By Karen Greene
It's a new year with lots of exciting things happening, the first being the arrival of my granddaughter, Kaylee in America. This has led to my decision to cut back on my hours at the church as well as the church's decision to hire Jo Farmer to assist in the Children and Young Families' Ministry. What a lovely lady she is as well as a real asset to the ministry.
Following is an interview with Jo which I thought might help you get to know her a bit better.
K: So Jo, can you tell us what brought you to Broadstone Methodist Church?
J: We moved as a family to Broadstone 3 years ago when my husband was relocated with his job. We came here not knowing anybody. Once the children started school, I noticed a leaflet advertising Messy Church at Broadstone Methodist Church, so we all went along in the February half term. I was so amazed at how organised the event was and we recognised some families from school too. Not long after I received an email telling me about a new young ladies craft night, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to meet new friends.
At all times we have always been made to feel so welcome within the church. As a child I attended church regularly, and hadn't realised how much I had missed it, so I decided to go to a service and straight away was made to feel part of the church family. I have always found everyone so welcoming which is why I have never looked back since.
K: You were involved before taking on the role of Children and Young Families' Worker Assistant. Can you tell us what you were involved with?
J: I have always worked with the children and thrive on their passion. I'm not really sure how I became so involved with so much, I think it was just the love of how organised the events were that we have been invited to join. We went to a Family Film Night that Karen had arranged and I just began helping out, and before I knew it we were joining, as a family, in all the extra events that were at the church.
I remember when Thirsty Thursdays was in the making, I was asked by Karen to bring my children to church for a tasting event, which as you can imagine the kids loved and so Thirsty Thursdays became a weekly event for us.
The main turn around for my volunteering started off with Karen inviting myself and Lou to church for a coffee. This somehow led to (within an hour) us setting up and planning a youth club which became Ufee. (I am now very wary when Karen says, 'pop in for a coffee!')
K: Were you surprised when you were approached about the job?
J: I was surprised but mainly I felt very honoured to be offered such a rewarding role within the church, and I hope I can continue to help grow the Children and Young Families' ministry in the church.
K: What do you find most rewarding about what you do?
J: Seeing the children enjoy attending the church and taking part in all of the activities we host as well as seeing them mixing with and making new friends.
My daughter has made several close friends with children, through Messy Church and Ufee, who attend other schools. Without these activities she would never have had the opportunity to do so. This was one of our goals of Ufee.
K: What do you find most challenging about the work you do?
J: Because Ufee is weekly, it's challenging to think of new and exciting activities to keep the children engaged and enjoying themselves. It takes a lot of planning and organising but we have a good team working together to make it happen.
K: How do you balance all that you do with your job here and the responsibilities you have as a carer and to your family?
J: I have always been a type of person who thrives on being busy with lots of things to do. I work as a private carer which I find very rewarding. I'm currently working towards my qualification in care.
I think my family understand that I will always be a busy mummy and wife. I like to put 100% into what I do. My family and my job are my main loves in life. I still manage to drop off and pick up my children, and go to the all-important school plays, sports days, etc. And when I'm not being mummy, I do what I love best and work with people in the community.
K: You have admitted to having a hard time saying 'NO'. Has that gotten any easier?
J: I do find it difficult to say no, but I only offer to help because I love what I do! At times I do ask myself, ‘how have I managed to get myself into this?’ Or ‘how can I fit this all in,’ but everyone pitches in and the tasks get done. Also, Karen is very hard to say no to and I am easily led by a coffee and a cookie!
K: I understand you are preparing for a mission trip to an orphanage in Southern India in October. I would love for you to share with us about this but we are out of time for now. So until the next Pivot, when you can fill us in, we will be thinking about how we as a church will be able to support you in this wonderful opportunity.