We’re Hiring! Grow With Us!

Director of Children’s Ministries

15 hours per week

Avery United Methodist Church in Washington, PA is seeking a part time Director of Children’s Ministries. The Director will work with volunteers from the congregation to develop a vision for teaching the Christian faith to children (ages 3-12).  They will serve as the lead over all children’s programming, focusing on faith development and discipleship, and integrating the children’s programming into the regular worship service through special music, plays, and presentations to nurture growth within the church family.  He or She will work with members of the congregation to assure that all the church’s policies regarding safety for volunteers and children are met, this includes background checks, proper staffing, and CPR/First Aid training.  The goal of the programming is to develop a genuine relationship with Christ within the hearts of our children as they continue on their personal spiritual journeys. To apply, send cover letter and resume to averyum@comcast.net.

Avery United Methodist Church is a growing congregation with many young families, and strives to expand an existing positive relationship with Trinity West Elementary School, located across the street from the church.


Director of Children’s Ministries

Avery United Methodist Church


Provide leadership and vision to develop a genuine relationship with Christ within the hearts of our children (ages 3-12) as they grow and mature.


The director of children’s ministries will serve as the lead over all children’s programming, focusing on faith development and discipleship, and integrating the children’s programming into worship and other areas of ministry. The director will work with the pastor and volunteers from the congregation to develop a vision for children’s ministry, and to implement plans to work toward that vision. This is a part-time salaried position which will start with an expectation of 15 hours per week. The director will report primarily to the pastor, and secondarily to the Staff-Parish Relations Committee.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Develop overall vision for children’s ministry that is in line with the overall mission & vision of Avery UMC.
  • Lead all areas of programming for children ages 3-12.
  • Build genuine relationships with the children & parents of the church.
  • Oversee selection and implementation of all curriculum for Sunday School.
  • Plan children’s ministry programming in addition to Sunday School.
  • Plan outreach events including but not limited to: Trunk-or-Treat, Easter Egg Hunt, Outdoor Movie Nights.
  • Oversee support of Trinity West Elementary school.
  • Recruit, train, & schedule volunteers for all areas of children’s ministries, including Sunday School, nursery, and other programs and outreach events.
  • Be responsible for implementation, compliance, and record-keeping of all policies regarding safety for volunteers and children, including background checks, proper staffing, and CPR/First Aid training.
  • Plan, administer, and track the budget for children’s ministries.
  • Maintain an accurate inventory of equipment & supplies for children’s ministries.
  • Work with the administrative assistant to maintain accurate contact information for children & families, and to communicate ministry news as needed.


  • Personal relationship with Jesus Christ and active participation in the life of a Christian church.
  • Passion for ministry to children & their families.
  • Ability to be sensitive to needs and pressures of special needs children and seek to include them as their ability allows.
  • Willingness to teach the Christian faith from the United Methodist theological tradition.
  • Creative & innovative.
  • Self-motivated, organized, and capable of leading teams of volunteers.
  • 2 years of experience (paid or volunteer) in children’s ministry.
  • CPR/First Aid Certification.
  • High School Diploma or equivalency
  • Submitted PA Criminal Record Check, PA Child Abuse Clearance, & FBI Criminal History Report.

Who Sustains Who?

“If a root is holy, the branches will be holy too. If some of the branches were broken off, and you were a wild olive branch, and you were grafted in among the other branches and shared the root that produces the rich oil of the olive tree, then don’t brag like you’re better than the other branches. If you do brag, be careful: it’s not you that sustains the root, but it’s the root that sustains you.
– Romans 11:16-18

When you’re repeatedly told how special and beloved you are, sometimes it’s hard to stay humble about it. Isn’t that true for us as Christians? We read in scripture that we’re righteous, we’re God’s beloved children, we’re to be a good example for others to follow.

So it’s hard to stay humble when we’re praised so often. But this passage cautions us against becoming too boastful about the faith we have in Jesus, especially towards those who have yet to discover that faith.

The last line in this passage really stood out for me as I read it this week: “it’s not you that sustains the root, but it’s the root that sustains you.” Sounds simple enough, but do we live it?

I know I often feel as if God and the church really need me. Without me, how will God’s work be accomplished? That’s thinking about it backwards, as if I sustain God, the branch sustaining the root. But if that’s true, then I’m more important and more powerful than God! And obviously, I’m not.

But sometimes we need that gentle reminder. We might not ever say that we’re sustaining God, but we may act like it with busyness and anxiety about church activities. God’s mission will die out if we don’t sustain the ministry!

But it won’t. God doesn’t need us to sustain it all. But we surely need God to sustain us. As we’re tired and worn down, or confused about which way to go next, it’s God the root who provides nourishment and strength for continued growth. We branches don’t sustain the root. The root sustains us!



Pastor Erik

Back to School Prayers

I’m always glad for a new school year. Since my office windows face Trinity West Elementary School, I get to enjoy seeing buses and cars go by twice a day, energetic children running around, and a full parking lot by 8 am as teachers prepare to welcome students.

A new school year is exciting! But it can also be overwhelming. Teachers spend the final weeks preparing lessons and decorating their rooms. Children worry if they’ll like their teacher, or if kids in their class will like them. Parents and guardians manage the details like getting out the door on time, coordinating who’s dropping the kids off today, making sure lunches are packed (and not forgotten at home!), all while caring for their child’s emotional needs in the anxiety of the new year. And administrators often take on the stress of the teachers and families, knowing it’s their role to help make these new beginnings go as smoothly as possible!

Most of the schools in our area have their first day of classes this week. If you have not already, take time to include our area schools in your prayers. Pray for teachers, staff, and administrators. Pray for parents and guardians. Pray for children and youth returning to the classroom. Pray for them by name if you know them. If you haven’t heard, there’s a new principal at Trinity West: Mrs. Carol Lee. While she’s not new to the district, I invite you to specifically pray for her as she transitions into her new position.

Then, let these people know you’re praying for them! Send them a text, email, or hand-written note of encouragement. Make specific offers to provide assistance in this first week of the year, like making dinner for the family, or helping teachers or students collect and organize supplies and papers. This is more helpful than the open-ended, “Let me know if you need anything!” It’s okay if they decline; they’ll appreciate the offer nonetheless.

If you are one of these people, know that I am praying for you as your pastor. I’m praying by name for the teachers in our congregation and for families with children and youth. And I’m praying for everyone at our neighbor school across the street, as well as those in other schools and districts. I hope and pray that this year you’ll be blessed with opportunities to learn and grow, to teach, to develop relationships, and to give your best in service to God!


Pastor Erik