After two years as Epiphany's Youth Minister, Jake Athyal has decided to step down from this position in order to pursue opportunities he has been offered in theater. His last Sunday with us will be 3 June, the end of the program year. He has agreed to accompany our youth team as a chaperone during the El Hogar mission trip in July.
We will miss him greatly. It has been a gift to work alongside Jake, we are thankful that he has been our youth leader during this exciting time of new life and growth in our youth programming. His enthusiasm and commitment have been so remarkable. YPF has been invigorated, many new youth are now serving in our Parish as acolytes, as members of a new high school choir, as frequent volunteers at Parish events, and as counselors at Vacation Bible School and our youth are also serving outside our Parish at such places as Rosie's Place. YPF has become more outward looking, through meeting and becoming friends with youth of other faiths and cultures and by attending and learning at multi-cultural events.
Most importantly, what Jake has helped to build in these past two years is a sustainable youth program which will continue to evolve and grow. We are so grateful to Heather Keith-Lucas and Chris Deter who have been youth mentors alongside Jake and will continue to do so during this transition.
We send Jake much love as he embarks in this new adventure in his life.
Please read Jake’s letter the parish below.
Talk to you soon,
Dear Parish Friends,
I'm writing this letter with a heavy heart to inform you that I will be taking my leave of the Youth Minister position on June 3rd. Those of you who know me should be aware that a lack of words isn't a challenge I struggle with, but I can't find the proper ones to fully express the gratitude I hold for the members of this Parish.
I have been offered a few opportunities in other cities and I plan on pursuing them.
I've been at the Epiphany for ten years and being the Youth Minister here for the past two has been the greatest honor. I can't possibly thank the staff enough. I can say that Carolyn has been my dream boss, simply because she has been a more considerate, guiding, and kind than I could have ever wished.
The community we have at this church is unparalleled. Coming to Winchester from India as a 14 year old was a tough transition and God guided my parents and I to Roger Nelson, Thomas Brown, and this community so we could finally feel a sense of home somewhere. As a member of YPF with Jason Kinchen and Sandy Bristol was where I found friendship and trust.
And it’s that same age group, of middle schoolers and high schoolers, that guides me today. This is the part that hurts the most. People say that the children are the most important, because they are our future. I disagree. They are the most important because they are our present. These young ones have shown me and so many others what the Christian spirit at its best can accomplish. I owe you the world. Thank you for teaching me true patience, fearless understanding, and unfettered love. We all know how incredible you are, now we can't wait for the rest of the world to find out.
This isn't goodbye. It's only until next time.