Staff Updates this May

| May 4th, 2023

Dear First Baptist family,

I write with several staff bits of news for you today!

This Sunday, we’ll give thanks for our wonderful interns, Zack and Amelia, and celebrate the transformative year of ministry we’ve shared together! Zack and Amelia have been among the finest interns I’ve ever had the joy to work alongside. Their impact on our congregation, particularly with our youth ministry, will be felt for many seasons to come! Amelia will conclude her work with us, and transition to enjoy a summer pastoral internship with our sister congregation, First Baptist Church of Greensboro. We’re delighted that they too will enjoy Amelia’s leadership this summer, and even more delighted to welcome her back in the fall for her final graduate school year at Wake Forest as church member and friend!

As you’ve read in past newsletters, Zack will begin his work this month as our new Pastoral Resident! In this new role, Zack will be both a generalist and a specialist. In his “generalist” work, he’ll continue growing in his responsibilities for working alongside the other members of the pastoral staff to assist in worship leadership, pastoral care, faith formation, missions, administration, and communications & outreach, all for the purpose of experiencing the rhythms of pastoral life. And in his “specialist” work, he’ll start something new: cultivating connections between folks new to First on Fifth and the existing congregation, with particular energies given to young adults. Zack’s thoughtful and wise leadership has already extended the love of First on Fifth to a host of new folks he’s invited to our community, and he sees with such clarity the need for an intentional layer of welcome and hospitality for all the new members and friends who are entering into our fellowship. This work will have him serving as the first layer of welcome to our visitors – through greeting on Sunday morning, processing information from Connection Cards, offering leadership in First Impressions classes, connecting with prospects and pointing them toward the church’s various ministries, and crafting winsome strategies for communications and outreach as part of an intentional approach to thoughtful public witness. (Is anyone surprised that our brilliant friend Zack used the phrase “crafting winsome strategies” when imagining this new role? Of course we had to use it then!) After a brief respite for rest and recovery at the end of the semester, this work and Zack’s role as Pastoral Resident will begin! For the summer months, Zack’s work hours will increase as he continues serving our youth ministry until the completion of that responsibility in late August. Please share your gratitude and encouragement to Zack as he creates this new role among us!

In today’s newsletter, you’ll see a new announcement from the Personnel Committee – we’re hiring a new Ministry Assistant! Many of you remember the wonderful gift of years with Amy Cook serving in this role through February 2021. After her departure, the Personnel Committee placed some of these Ministry Assistant responsibilities toward a new role of Communications Specialist (as served so meaningfully by Abigail Cook!), some responsibilities to be shared among existing staff, and some responsibilities on hold until we were ready to hire again. It is a joy to share this job description and announcement with you! Please read carefully to learn more about the role, share it widely to help us find the next member of our team, and join us in prayer for the process ahead!

I’ll sign off with a bit of whimsy on this May the Fourth.

As they say, “May the Fourth be with you!”

And as we say, “and also with you!” ????

Together in God’s work of Love,

Pastor Emily