By Fred Koenig
In early spring, Terri Williams announced she would be stepping down as the Festival of Sharing Coordinator to enter into a new phase of personal ministry. Terri had served as the coordinator for seven years and had introduced a number of new ideas and direction for the ministry but felt she needed more time for her personal health and ministries. In May, Audrey Phelps announced she would be leaving the Volunteers in Mission Coordinator position to become the South Central Jurisdiction VIM Coordinator.
Both of these moves prompted some rethinking of positions within the office. I began to ask myself, “How could we create better collaboration within our own office between Festival of Sharing and the mission and the outreach work that we do?” Rather than having one person doing each specific role, we decided to pursue looking for individuals with different gifts that could support one another. We also recognized Festival of Sharing had fluctuating workloads. We wanted to allow each individual to feel comfortable moving from one ministry to another during those busy times. We believe the organic feel of the office will allow more creativity and collaboration. We also felt it was important to understand how we could use the new building to expand and develop new ministries. Through our search we found Reverend Angie Olsen and Jill Wondel.
Jill’s name should be familiar. Jill has been working with the Imagine No Malaria campaign for the last year and continues to support our efforts to eradicate malaria in Africa. Having worked with Jill for a year, I knew she had a passion for missions. Jill has always been creative and had a great chemistry with our office.
Angie comes to us from Platte Woods United Methodist Church where she focused on missions and outreach. Angie moved to Columbia after her husband Curtis was appointed to Community United Methodist Church. Curtis and Angie have two boys, which keep them very busy.
With incredible passion and faith, we know that Jill and Angie will bring many gifts to these ministries. We are in an exciting time and pray for their ministries.