I want to share with you about some important staff transitions at Transfiguration.
First, hopefully you know by now that Rebecca Gingles, our Director of Communications for the past four years, has accepted the position of Lower School Chaplain at Parish Episcopal School. I am tremendously excited for her, as I believe she is going to be a fantastic religious educator. As I wrote back in May when we announced her departure, Rebecca has gifts for teaching and communicating that will now benefit the students and faculty of our partner institution, and she and her family intend to attend Transfiguration as members, so the goodbye is also a sort of welcome back, too!
After an exciting search process, in which we interviewed several excellent candidates, I am happy to announce the hire of Judson Watkins as our new Director of Communications. Judson is known to many of you, as he was an active member for several years before he began working in other churches three years ago. For the past 18 months he has directed the communications of First Presbyterian Church in Dallas, where he earned the high respect of the staff and membership by his creativity, dedication, and skill. He already knows and loves Transfiguration, and says the opportunity to work here will be like “coming home.” Judson will begin on July 1, and Rebecca will help his transition into the role before her last day on July 12.
Second, last week Alex Cavanaugh resigned his position as Director of Youth Ministries. Alex is a full-time student and rising senior at the University of Texas-Dallas, majoring in accounting. After a year of juggling the demands of school and youth ministry, with intense and busy times at each often coinciding, Alex decided to step down from his job in order to focus on successfully reaching graduation. I am grateful for all he did this past year to build relationships and energy in our program, and he will be missed.
I’m excited to share that we have already hired a new Director of Youth Ministries, Dana Jean! Dana comes to us from St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in McKinney, where she has served as the Director of Outreach since 2014, and where she helped launch their BlessMobile, which travels beyond the church campus to provide food and essential supplies to those in need. She possesses an abundance of passion, ideas, and joy, which she’s ready to direct toward the formation of youth. Mother Rebecca and I have long been impressed by Dana’s many gifts, and we had hoped to one day bring her onboard our staff in some capacity; when Alex stepped down, we were overjoyed that she was excited by our invitation to change ministerial directions and guide our youth ministry. Dana and her husband, Jacques, have three young adult children (one a teacher in Oak Cliff, and two in college).
She will also begin on July 1, and we hope all our youth and parents of youth will join her for breakfast on her first Sunday, July 7, starting at 10:15 a.m. in the Youth Center!
I hope you will reach out to me with any questions about these transitions. I also ask you to pray for all of them – Rebecca, Judson, Alex, and Dana, along with their families – and to look for ways to help the newcomers feel at home and hit the ground running.