Meet Youth Ministries Director Dee Baraw

Meet Youth Ministries Director Dee Baraw

By Roving Reporter Marcia Mengel

Recently, I sat down with Dee Baraw and learned a lot about what she does for our church.

At first, I asked her how she found out about PM UMC and what caused her to join. She told me, “After Bruce and I moved to San Diego I got involved in district camping and got to know a lot of local churches. A little while later, Pastor April (then PB UMC Pastor) called me to tell me PB UMC had an opening. I jumped at the chance to become involved in PB UMC Youth Ministries. That was 13 years ago.”

When I asked her what her job involves, she told me, “I coordinate various social activities and mission projects for our youth. I teach Sunday school classes usually just during church second service. Some Sundays, I teach Sunday school both services, when more youth are present. I synchronize this with Malea Sandstrom, our Sunday School Coordinator. Also, I have a strong attachment with the youth ministry program in the San Diego area and I meet with other leaders once a month to coordinate district youth events, including special worships, beach days, and camping. I also coordinate and teach confirmation classes for youth wanting to become church members.”

That sounded like a lot to me, but I asked if she did other things, too. She told me, “In addition to the Youth Ministries Director tasks, I coordinate and lead family camping. Multi-generational ministry is a passion of mine and I love it when I can get adults and kids in the same room interacting with each other. Recently, I instigated several multi-generational events: Advent kick-off, Shrove Tuesday dinner, and Good Friday prayer stations, are a few examples. Another thing I do is train and coordinate our acolytes. Our acolytes are young people who Iight and extinguish candles during our worship service and perform other tasks during the service when additional help is needed, especially during communion celebrations.”

Dee is also involved in our organization called Samaritans to assist church members going through a crisis or immediate needs. She is usually at church on Project Grace Wednesday nights to help with the meal. She also does Wednesday night prayers and announcements when Pastor Bob is not there.

Before this get together, I thought I knew Dee, but really didn’t have a good idea of what all she does for our church. I was amazed to find out how much she actually does and how much she loves doing it. We are very lucky she is such a dedicated member.

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