New Staff at Living Word

When COVID turned our world upside down, every organization scrambled to adjust to the new realities of work and ministry. Living Word had to do the same thing.

Like most churches, we went through quite a bit of staff changes during COVID. Churches all across the United States are still seeing an exodus of pastors and other staff who not only leave a church, but leave ministry entirely!

At Living Word, we had a truly servant's heart response from so many of our staff. Some positions came to an end. Some staff moved into new roles. Other staff picked up additional responsibilities and began to wear several different "hats" about ministry. Most of our staff worked longer and harder to meet the growing needs of the congregation and the community during the time of COVID and the great cultural transition taking place.

New Staff at Living Word

Most of you already know Eunhee Kim joined our worship team as a Worship Director. Eunhee (the E is silent, so her name is pronounced "Unhee") started at the end of May. She spends two-thirds of her time with adult worship ministry and the other one-third of her time she is a part of our Fusion youth ministry. Eunhee not only has a heart for worship, but a great love for the next generation. In addition to leading worship, she was involved in discipleship and leadership in youth ministry at her previous church.

Gavin Smith has joined our student::life team. His main responsibility is leading worship for our Next Generation, as well as involvement in discipleship on that team. Gavin grew up at Living Word. His mother, Tracey, worked for many years as a part of our kid::life staff. Gavin is working on his master's degree. And he has a real passion for outreach, creative arts, and reaching the young creatives in our community. You will most likely hear Gavin as a part of our Sunday morning worship team from time to time.

Jeremy Shank is now a part of our pastoral team (on a part-time schedule) with primary responsibilities for pastoral care. Jeremy and his family were part of Living Word for many years. During that time he was in seminary and, after seminary, Jeremy was a pastor of a Brethren church in Lancaster. They have relocated back to York and Jeremy was available to help us out with pastoral care ministry.  He has already been a great blessing to so many people.

Tammy Schopf-Smith is our new church receptionist and we are delighted to have her as the friendly and welcoming face to people coming into our church all during the week. That role also has a good amount of administrative management for several of our ministry teams.

And even though he has now been with us for several months, Tim Storey is now our facilities manager. Tim brings a lot of energy, life, and fun (he is one of our Fun Meisters who plan staff events) to our team.

Last, and certainly not least, Pastor John Hilliard is one person who does not know the meaning of retirement. And we are grateful for that. John stepped down from being our missions pastor at the start of COVID. He then gave an enormous amount of volunteer hours to the community and, in particular, the York Food Bank. That organization runs as well as it does, in part, due to John's leadership energy and missional heart. He is back on staff in a part-time and as-needed basis to help us be effective and fruitful in mobilizing Living Word for local outreach. John also lends a leadership hand in global missions trips. On yes, did I mention that he also is the Board Chairman for Living Word? John is the model for what retirement should look like for Christians.

We are privileged and delighted to have these  partners working with the team and family of Living Word.

Changing Roles at Living Word

In addition to the new staff at Living Word, we have a number of staff who have new ministry responsibilities at Living Word. In our next post, I'll share these changes with you.

The Four Core Words we are using to shape and advance life at Living Word are: Connect, Grow, Serve (within the church), and Reach (the local and global communities we love).

All our staff adjustments are designed to get the right people in the right places, where they can use their gifts so you FLOURISH.

You can see all of our staff at any time by checking out our staff directory.

Grace and Peace to All of You,
Pastor Brian Rice