There are many pastors for whom youth ministry is a starting position, a jumping-off point. They may serve as an associate for children and youth for a few years and then move onto a new call serving as a solo or senior pastor. But there are others for whom ministry with children and youth is a life-long calling. Rev. Kelly Wiant served as associate at Market Square Presbyterian Church for 20+ years and each of those years was filled with the joy of ministering with and on behalf of children, youth, and their families. Kelly loves the fresh perspective, curiosity, challenge, and growth that young people bring to their faith and the church. The congregation she served is not unlike FPC of Palo Alto. Market Square is downtown and unapologetically theologically and socially progressive congregation. This meant the young people were nurtured within the church to ask difficult questions, to challenge the status quo, to encounter the world, and see their faith as a lens through which to view the work of social justice. It was the young people, their seeking and questions, their unique life experience, their willingness to engage the messiness of life, and their desire to work toward a better tomorrow that gave Kelly’s ministry meaning and joy.
Bruce and the Christin Education Committee recently invited Kelly to serve as a consultant as they seek to determine how to best offer education and nurture to the children, youth, and families that find themselves in and around FPC Palo Alto. As part of that effort, Kelly hopes to engage parents and youth in ten-minute Zoom conversations. She and the committee have formulated a series of questions that will hopefully give us insight into the needs, desires, limits, and possibilities for education at FPC.
In the coming month, Kelly will be reaching out to the families of the church via email. Please watch your inbox and put aside just 10 minutes to have a relaxed conversation with Kelly. Fortunately, Kelly is easy to talk to, inviting, and open to hearing whatever you have to offer. We hope that as we move into a new way of being as a congregation post-pandemic, that together we create meaningful interaction and opportunities for learning for all who call FPC home.
A couple of other important details you should know about Kelly before she calls. She is married to an amazing woman named, Kristen, who owns a pet food store (where they met) and mother to a deeply longed for four-year-old child, named Cora. They share their home in Harrisburg, PA with three dogs (all of them geriatric) and two cats, and sometimes other animals who need a home for a day or several months. Kelly has also known Bruce well over 20 years so they can vouch for and tell stories on the other.