My Dear Ones,
Happy Fall! The autumnal equinox occurred on 9/21, so we are now officially in that sweet and spicy season, although with our southern heat it won’t feel like autumn for at least another few weeks. As we move into the full swing of parish life with the coming of Fall, I have several items to share with you.
I am very pleased to finally be able to tell you that we have hired a Coordinator of Elementary Faith Formation (grades pre-K – 5), Sandy Major. We have also hired a Coordinator of Youth Faith Formation (grades 6 – 12), Austin Tupps. Our intrepid Rita Salvador will continue on with us in a somewhat revamped position as Administrator of Faith Formation. All three of these individuals will work together on an FF Team, and will report directly to me.
Sandy Major brings a great deal of experience to her new job. She is formally trained as an educator with a BS in Education (May 1988, University of North Carolina). She has considerable teaching experience (10 years, particularly with middle school aged children). She is also formally trained as a paralegal, (May 1996, Central Piedmont Community College), having had 13 years’ experience in that field. She also studied at Wingate University and at the University of London – Spurgeon’s College. She converted to Catholicism in 1991.
Sandy has been a SPX parishioner for several years. She has been a member of the Life Teen Core Team (2013 – 2016) and is an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. In her previous N.C. parish she was deeply involved, serving variously as a lector, RCIA team member, sacristan, catechist (1999 – 2008), baptism preparation teacher, member of the Parish Pastoral Council, Girl Scout leader and several other ministries.
She is married to Scott for 28 years and has 4 children (Noah, Isaac, Hannah and Jacob). She is a Lay Cistercian, associated with our local Trappist monastery.
Austin Tupps also brings a great deal of experience to his new job in youth ministry. He has been a member of the Edge core team (2012) and the Life Teen core team (2013 – 2016). He has served SPX as a confirmation catechist, RCIT catechist, coordinator of the annual Stubenville Youth Conference, the Prayer in Action summer youth mission, the Life Teen Spring/Fall Retreat team and assistant to our former youth minister on the Core-Team summer training retreats. He is an extraordinary minister of holy communion and is a proven public speaker. He is an experienced teacher in relational ministry and in working with special needs students. Austin is also bilingual (Spanish). He has a son, Daniel (10). He has just started formal Catholic college course work to achieve a certificate in youth ministry.
In his earlier years he was a member of the USMC (2002 – 2008). He served in Iraq. While in the Marine Corps he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, the Navy and MC Achievement Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal (two times) and the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation.
On a different note, we are also now in full-swing with our annual Stewardship Campaign, which we kicked of this Saturday, September 24, 2016 with our Ministries Fair. I want to thank Chuck Rich, Chairman of the Parish Stewardship Committee, Cheryle Johnson, Communications Coordinator of the Committee, and the dozens of faithful, committed and joyful volunteers who made the Fair possible. I also want to publicly thank Barb Roberts, our Parish Secretary/my Admin. Assistant, for the untold hours she has given to the preparation and publication of this years’ Stewardship Ministries Manual. I literally don’t know what I would do without her!
Please pick up your family’s Manual at the Narthex information desk this weekend or next weekend. If you are unable to do that, keep an eye on your mailbox as we will be sending a Stewardship packet to your home.
I’ll have a lot more to say about this necessary, worthy and holy obligation next week in the bulletin. For now, please begin to engage in earnest prayer to discern your involvement in the life of our parish: your precious time, shared talents and well-considered financial support for the forthcoming year.
Grace and blessings be on each of you and on every SPX household!
Your brother on the Journey;