YA Ministry Resource: Meet Jeri Lauren Lambert – Children & Family Ministries Specialist (Part 2)

jeri lauren lambertWondering how to better minister to married young adults and those with young families?
Jeri Lauren Lambert will be facilitating a workshop session on Children and Family Ministries this weekend at the Young Adult Ministers’ Gathering.
Come join us!

Read Part 1 of Jeri Lauren’s story here

Abolishing Poverty and End Suffering 

Addressing Childhood Hunger

It all began when I heard from a former school administrator the necessity to address childhood hunger in our area.  “You need to know kids in this area are hungry. There are children who only eat when they are at school.” Those words, repeated to me four years ago, resulted in Angie Harner and I partnering with Blessings in a Backpack to serve schools in Southern Illinois.  Each week, non-perishable food items are bagged by students in FFA, Beta Club and volunteers and distributed to children K-5 who are a part of the Free/Reduced Lunch program.  $80 feeds a child every weekend through the school year and once the community was made aware of the needjeri blessings and had an avenue to address it, the outpouring of generosity and support has been at once humbling and amazing.

For four years the children of the Tunnel Hill Community of Christ have collected loose change following the Disciples Generous Response element of the Sunday morning worship service. Every six weeks the congregation sends over $150 from that collection of change to fund the Blessings program. Children caring for other children, serving in Jesus’ name.

Pursuing Peace

Staff at Sports Spectacular

Serving as a Spectator at SPECTACULAR was a bright spot in my life before our children were born and now that they are older it has been a significant joy to return to Graceland for the best event the Community of Christ offers youth!  As a Spectator, I serve in a pastoral role assigned to a delegation or a group of people.  I interact with youth and staff in multiple settings fromspec class to sports events to serving the sacrament of communion in the rain. Sharing the burdens, concerns and laughter of youth and staff, working to create intentional Christ-like community, upholding both the entire Spectacular event and individuals in prayer, this is the work of a Spectator.

Guest Ministry Events

I am honored and humbled by requests to bring guest ministry in areas of family ministry and pastoral care.  Topics include preparing for the sacraments, (specifically marriage and the blessing of children), learning to apologize and forgive, living out faith in daily life, and spiritual practices with children.  One of my most recent experiences in guest ministry included sharing with a wonderful group of women at the Happy Valley Conference Center in California.  I was introduced to a wide variety of fabulous tofu and in our sessions we discovered the many ways forgiveness releases us from invisible, (though very real), bonds.  Through our conversations we learned the multiple phrases associated with apologizing well to those we have offended, whether in our families, our workplaces and even to ourselves.

I have enjoyed sharing at family camps/reunions, in weekend retreats for priesthood, women and young families and one-day events, such as guest speaker for Peace Club, on a variety of topics all over North America.  It is a privilege to serve and a joy to come to know the many individuals who make up my extended family of faith.  When I prepare for a guest ministry trip to a new location our kids often ask, “Mom, do you know anyone there?”  My answer is, “I have friends there that I have not met yet.”  And that has been my repeated experience of answering the call.

If you would like to invite Jeri Lauren as guest ministry for young adults (or other purposes) in your area or program, or if you have any questions and would like to know more about Children and Family Ministries , please feel free to contact Jeri Lauren at jlambert@cofchrist.org

One thought on “YA Ministry Resource: Meet Jeri Lauren Lambert – Children & Family Ministries Specialist (Part 2)

  1. Judith Nikel Nelson says:

    I was blessed to be at the Happy Valley CC, California Women’s Retreat last month. Jeri Lauren went beyond hypotheticals to discuss real life situations & how we might apply the tools she had just introduced.

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