Greetings

As I transition into my new role with the Evangelical Covenant Church, first let me say what a deep honor it is to serve Christ and you. I am humbled by the opportunity, excited to serve, and watching in expectation as God continues to lead our church. As this season of change moves forward, I not only want to acknowledge the amazing service of my predecessor and mentor Marti Burger, but also publically thank her for leading the way in Covenant youth ministry for over 14 years. What an example Marti has been of a faithful leader committed to teenagers and their youth workers, as she has led the way following the Spirit’s lead in the Evangelical Covenant Church. I am honored to continue her mission.

In this new season it is important for us to keep our eyes on what God is doing next in Covenant youth ministry. I believe in your calling to the local church and the community of teenagers you serve. I also believe strongly in the calling we each have as Covenant youth workers, encouraging each other in ministry, affirming one another’s gifts, challenging each to grow in the Spirit, and connecting with one another from our unique cultural background and context. What arich opportunity this truly is!

With this unique calling in mind, I would like to ask you to join me in some very important initiatives:

Pray: Please do not take this as a token statement-but rather as a very serious opportunity. Please pray for me and pray for each other. I believe in the encouraging words of Ephesians 3 that God is “able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” and it is in this ability of God that we pray for one another as Christ continues to get glory in the church; that God would sustain our journey in ministry; that we would follow after the dreams of the Spirit in the lives of the people around us; and that we would be faithful to our calling in the work and service to the Lord.

Evaluate: Over the next 30 days, I would like to invite each of you to help me evaluate Covenant youth ministry’s reach into the local church. You will be receiving an invitation to take a short survey to help assess our denominational resources, events, and programs as we strive to both continue the good work that has been done and grow in our effectiveness as a denominational youth ministry. Your voice in this evaluation matters.

Connect: As in any transition, the way people stay connected can make all the difference. I would like to ask each of you to evaluate the space you provide in your ministry rhythm to connect with your Covenant sisters and brothers. The beauty of our “family” is in our rich diversity and the shared wisdom coupled with experience we can give to one another. We have networks all across the denomination just waiting to be a resource to you. Each network has a Youth Ministry Facilitator who would love to connect with you. Those networks are listed here:http://blogs.covchurch.org/ywupdate/ymnldescription/

We have found that ministry is simply better together, and I hope that you can find not only a warm welcome in these wonderful networks, but a place to be encouraged and supported in your calling.

Finally, I want you to know that I am praying for you. I am excited and honored to serve you. And I am looking forward to linking arms with each of you as we enter this new season of Covenant youth ministry. May God bless you and may God bless the church.

Sincerely,

Tim Ciccone
Youth Ministry Leader
The Evangelical Covenant Church

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