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Honest to Greatness – Part 2: Erin Foellmi, Manager of Young People’s Ministry

authenticity“Good night,” she murmurred as her eyes were closing.  With that, Erin Foellmi (pronounced “fell-mee”), Manager of Young People’s Ministry fell asleep at Pasadena First United Methodist Church.

It was the semi-annual meeting of the Young People’s Ministry Council and, to make sure youth and young adults from across the whole Conference would be present, it was an overnight-er.  Fun!

The next day, Ms. Foellmi would be present with 25 young people, discussing issues ranging from the Global Young People’s Convocation in the Philippines this summer to the possibilities of traveling district events.  “What warms my heart is seeing our young people step up to the call to leadership in the church, through discussions and making decisions on matters that are of great importance to our whole church and the world,” she shares.

As the Manager of Young People’s ministry, Erin Foellmi’s responsibility is in nurturing empowered, passionate and engaged young people by supporting their work throughout the California-Pacific Conference and in including young people in all aspects of the Conference.

Erin Foellmi (second from left) with youth and young adults at Pismo Beach on the way to Western Jurisdiction Youth Gathering (“West Fest”) in San Francisco

Specifically, Ms. Foellmi works closely with the Conference Youth Coordinator and Conference Young Adult Coordinator in organizing the Conference Council on Youth Ministry (CCYM) and Conference Council on Young Adult Ministry (CCYA) which are bodies within the Leadership Essential Ministry Team (EMT).

These Councils meet four to five times a year in different locations throughout the Conference to collaborate on youth ministry Conference-wide and to serve as the voice of young people at Annual Conference.

“It is exciting to work with these faith-filled young leaders from all six of our Districts as they come together quarterly at our CCYM meetings and at Annual Conference to represent and carry out the work of our Cal-Pac Conference. Erin Foellmi and I are always looking for committed Youth leaders (and workers),” exclaims Rev. Allison Mark, Conference Adult Coordinator of CCYM and Associate Pastor at Pasadena First United Methodist Church.

Erin Foellmi’s love for ministry with young people caught her while she was a youth member herself.  As a High School senior, Ms. Foellmi was a Santa Barbara District Representative to CCYM learning the importance of young people’s ministry in the connectional church.  But, it was in young people’s ministry at camp that she experienced God’s love fully accept her and the Spirit lead the young people to closer relationships of Christian fellowship.

In fact, she is still friends with some of them today, including Michelle Corbett, Staff Associate for Cal Pac Camps, who was eventually a bridesmaid at her wedding.  “Looking back on those formative experiences of my faith, I can see God’s call on my life to create those kinds of spaces for our young people today who desperately seek a sense of belonging,” says Ms. Foellmi.

Since then, ministry with young people for Erin Foellmi has been all about making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world through creating environments that value high energy, intimacy, and creativity.  The goal is for young people to be developed into leaders through opportunities for personal growth with other young people beyond the local church and also with older mentors.



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Coming up for Erin Foellmi are annual “Youth Alive” and “Spirit Quest” events from February 15th thru 17th.  Over 120 middle school and high school young people will be together in worship, engaging in small group discussion, having fun in bounce houses, performing at open mic night, or learning in specialized workshops.  The theme this year is “I am,” focusing on who Jesus is to young people today and how God calls them to live like Jesus in the contemporary world.

When asked what she thinks will happen this year, Ms. Foellmi confidently replies, “The things that can change for these events are the venue, speakers, and theme.  The thing that will never change is that God will move the hearts of young people in life changing and world changing ways.”