“I didn’t know you work here!” said an excited parishioner to Dede Johnson last Thursday afternoon. Dede, also known as Our Hidden Treasure, explained her job to the visitor and made very kind remarks about how much she enjoys working for Saint Dunstan’s. I was in my office when the interaction took place and realized that I have not done a good enough job informing the congregation of various personnel changes in our staff.
Rector’s Administrative Assistant: Dede Johnson needs absolutely no introduction to most of you. She is the daughter of Bonnie and Jack Bobcock, wife of Rod Johnson, and mother of Maston Van Atten. She was hired in May as a part-time administrative assistant to the rector. Within a month, however, we decided to change her job from part time to full time, as my responsibilities increased considerably when we began preparations to re-open our church. Dede is responsible for the reservation system for in-person church and helps us with registration at the door. She schedules all Zoom meetings related to my role (Parish, Diocese, Vestry, Wardens, etc.) She handles all communications between the rector and the Diocese and manages my schedule. She oversees my e-mail system and alerts me of priorities and emergencies as they arise. She coordinates my continuing education requirements and helps me satisfy all Diocesan expectations (retreats, Convocation meetings, Council, etc.) Finally, Dede assists with the writing of reports, meeting agendas, and various correspondence.
Director of Youth and Family Ministries: As most of you know, Louise Durnell is no longer employed by the church. We remain very grateful for her many years of faithful service and we will build on the foundation she left for us as a Coordinator of Sunday School. We have decided to widen the scope of that position to include several children and family’s ministries, and we have spent several months recruiting the right person for the new position. Early on in this process, I chose to promote Sarah Quiroga from her existing job of Youth Minister to Director of Youth and Family Ministries. This was done strategically as I wanted the new Coordinator of Children’s Ministries to be recruited, hired, trained, and supervised by Sarah in her new role as Director. Sarah has distinguished herself over the last few years as a person who loves children and youth, has incredible experience with volunteer recruitment and training, and is a trusted leader in this field. Next time you see Sarah, make sure you congratulate her on her well-deserved promotion.
Coordinator of Children’s Ministries: I am happy to report that we have hired Angela Stengl to fill this new position on a 19.5-hour a week basis. Angela comes to us with 32 years of progressive experience in teaching at Klein, Tyler, and Austin ISD. Additionally, she has been a volunteer in most of our children and youth programs over the years and has served in In-His-Steps, the St. Nicholas Youth Choir, Kid’s Hope, VBS, Vestry, Diocesan Convention, Camp Allen, Contemporary Choir, DOK, Story-time, Feed My Flock, and Foyers Group. Our goals for this position are ambitious. We want to create a range of children’s programs (0-5th grade) that includes parent’s Day Out, Mom-and-Me programs, Dad-and-Me programs, After-school mentoring, VBS, Sunday School, Virtual Church, etc. The goal is to offer opportunities for parents of young children to engage in faith-building activities and fellowship while their children receive engaging and inspiring Christian formation. We hope to have parenting groups, Bible Studies, and fellowship opportunities. Angela will need a small army of volunteers and day-care workers soon, and I hope many of you will step forward to support her in this new role. Please join me in welcoming Angela to our staff.
Communications: We all have noticed Katie Lamb’s herculean efforts to oversee the communications department during this Pandemic. Katie’s job doubled almost overnight when we had to pivot to online worship in March. Suddenly, she had new responsibilities that fall under a role we call “Technologist,” in addition to her duties as Communications Director. In this “Technologist” role, Katie oversaw the installation of Live-Stream technology in our sanctuary, while coordinating the recording, editing, and posting of pre-recorded church services from March to early September. Since we went live with our streaming services, Katie has managed the console that allows the multiple pieces of hardware and software to work together to deliver high-quality, in-vivo liturgies. Now that we know what we need, we are in the process of hiring a Technologist to oversee these live-streams. We will announce very soon who will be hired to fill this post on a contractual basis. Keep us in your prayers as we find the right person to provide Katie some needed assistance. In the meantime, next time you see Katie, please express your gratitude to her for going above and beyond the call of duty during this time of crisis.
Music: You remember when we had a fulltime Director of Music/Organist, in addition to several choir masters. During the last year or so, we have had David and Linda (contract) manage all our musical needs with Angela’s support in the children’s choir. David has had to do more, while preparing for a new school year and teaching under very stressful circumstances. Yet, he has handled it all with grace, good humor, and a generous disposition. Now that we are slowly re-opening, David has been called upon to do more. We are in the process of redesigning his position to allow David more of a supervisory role in terms of our contract organist and a part-time Adult Choir Leader/Assistant we are planning to hire to assist him. Keep us in your prayers as we recruit for this assistant position. Our goal is to continue to work with all our choirs and to use their talents in liturgy often.
As you can see, we have been busy behind the scenes and the future looks very bright for our ministries and programs. I truly believe our best years are yet to come. Pray for us and join us in our efforts to make Saint Dunstan’s the most vibrant and loving church in town.
May God continue to bless you,