We are eager to share with you some bittersweet news. Our Youth Director, Caroline Allen, and her husband, John, are in the process of following a call to serve as missionaries in Quito, Ecuador. This is a fairly lengthy process, and Caroline will remain part of the St. John’s staff through the end of this 2020-21 academic year. She will continue to create engaging programming and pastoral relationships with our youth over the coming months.
Once Caroline and John arrive in Quito, their ministry will involve connecting local churches and visiting teams of youth and adults, so that they may work in tandem for the Kingdom of God. Those of you who have participated in a youth mission team to Quito (whether by physically going, or through prayer or fundraising) already know how this can be a life-changing experience, and Caroline and John hope to facilitate more of these experiences. They will be deeply involved in ministry at three Episcopal churches in Quito – Cristo Liberador, Buen Pastor, and Emaus – so that when mission teams are on the ground for a week, the Allens can be the cultural bridge allowing connections to form and flourish.
St. John’s will send John and Caroline out do this work, which means although they eventually won’t be physically present in Tallahassee, they will remain integrated in the life of our parish. This is the first time, to our knowledge, that St. John’s has sponsored long-term missionaries, and it is an exciting new way to live out our faith. We are not all called to international mission work, but God does call each of us to come together to do God’s work in the world. We each have an important role to play, so please join us in praying for the Allens as they prepare for this calling.
The fact that the Allens will be around Tallahassee for a bit longer is welcome news for the many parishioners, friends of youth, and community members whose hearts have been touched by their warmth, creativity, and generosity over the past five years. When the time is right, we look forward to celebrating their ministries and friendships at St. John’s.
Caroline has begun sharing this exciting news with the youth and their families. Here’s the announcement in John and Caroline’s own words:
You can learn more below about the programs and organizations the Allens will be working with in Ecuador: