By Paul Barker, Director of Youth Ministry
This has been a busy summer; Mission trips, summer of service and preparations for transitioning. I start my field work at St. James in Penn Hills September 1 and I am excited to begin this next stage of my preparation towards ordination into the diaconate. This excitement is accompanied by some sadness because it requires me to step back from youth ministry and the many other duties I have picked up over the past eight years at St. Paul’s. I have deeply enjoyed the work and fellowship with staff, families, parishioners and especially with the youth. I will miss it all.
While on youth mission trip in Bluefield, WV, back in June, another exciting opportunity for diaconal preparation came to me. I was talking with our host, Rev. Chad Slater of Christ Episcopal Church, Bluefield and letting him know of my changes. He wondered if part of my field work could take place outside the Diocese of Pittsburgh? It can and so, I have been asked to be the interim replacement for Rev. Slater while he is on sabbatical next summer, June-August 2020, and I have accepted. This will be an amazing opportunity to deepen the relationship between the Dioceses of Pittsburgh and West Virginia and to strengthen our mission work in the area. Thank you to St. Paul’s and Bishop McConnell for their additional support of this assignment.
I am thankful to God for the many years of rewarding work at St. Paul’s and for these upcoming opportunities to serve Him. Thank you to Noah and all the clergy and staff for your friendship, support and guidance. Thank you to the families and parishioners of St. Paul’s for your support and dear friendship. And THANK YOU to the crazy, goofy, amazing and wonderful youth! You are all the presence of God in my life. Thank you!