Our Next Minister to Youth

May 2, 2023

Dear Friends,

Holy Communion’s vestry priority this year is ensuring the long-run sustainability of our church. To that end, the vestry is taking a close look at our ministry expenses, at our stewardship giving and other sources of revenue, and also at the opportunities we have to invest in our bright future. As one vestry member recently put it: “We can’t cut our way to sustainability. We need to grow our way there.”

I am writing today to let you know about an exciting investment in congregational growth and vitality that Holy Communion will be making this summer – the appointment of our next Minister to Youth. 

As many of you know, the vestry suspended the search for our full-time youth ministry position at the end of last year. This difficult decision did not reflect a lack of emphasis on youth ministry, but the reality that we had been working to fill this position for more than a year without success and that we had a budgetary “pinch” that needed to be addressed. In place of our full-time youth ministry position, the vestry created a part-time interim position that has been ably filled by Jake Epperson ever since. The vestry also commissioned a task force to undertake a top-to-bottom review of our youth offerings. More than thirty parishioners participated in youth ministry listening sessions last week and several more are scheduled to be interviewed in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Head of Program Staff Carter Webster became aware of an exceptional youth minister who was beginning to consider what the next leg of his ministry journey might look like. I am grateful to the vestry for acting quickly to allow us to be in conversation with this candidate, and for recognizing the investment that such a hire would be in the faith formation of our young people and in the growth of our church.

I am pleased to announce that Amzie Williams has accepted my invitation to serve as Holy Communion’s next Minister to Youth!

Amzie has a wealth of experience with youth ministry – first at Camp Bratton-Green in the Diocese of Mississippi, then at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church near the University of Mississippi, and most recently at Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Midtown Memphis. Amzie impressed everyone with whom he interviewed – adults and youth alike. He knows the proud heritage of Holy Communion’s youth programs and is excited to invest himself in the lives of our youth and in the creative future of this important ministry. Amzie will begin his ministry at Holy Communion on July 1, 2023.

Holy Communion’s review of our youth ministry offerings will continue, as will our intentional commitment to grow our church and increase stewardship giving. But, each of those efforts will now be supported by a remarkable and experienced youth ministry professional. I am excited to have Amzie Williams join the Holy Communion parish staff this summer. More information about Amzie will be forthcoming in the mid-summer issue of The Communicator.

Please let me know if you should have any questions about this appointment, Holy Communion’s ministries to young people, or our conversations about sustainability.

Posted by Sarah Cowan at May 2, 2023