by Andrea Meier
On Sunday, July 16, we welcomed the Rev. Libby Garfield to the staff of St. John the Divine as our new curate. In the Episcopal Church, a curacy is a temporary place to continue training after ordination, similar to an internship. Along with her other duties, Libby will act as our interim director of youth ministry while we search for a permanent staff member to fill this vital role. We asked Libby to share a little about herself.
What called you to ministry?
My call to ministry was an unexpected one. I grew up in the church and had been very involved as a youth and adult volunteer, but I envisioned a life of lay leadership in the church. But in my late 20s, as I was trying to figure out what was next, I realized that the parts of my week I enjoyed most were when I was volunteering with our Youth Group. This sparked a season of discernment during which I became the Associate Youth Minister. In this discernment, I realized that I was being called to ordained ministry where I could not only preach the gospel but be present with people through the highs and lows of life from baptisms to funerals.
Tell us about your background
I grew up in Louisville, KY where I attended St. Francis in the Fields, Episcopal Church. After college, I lived in South Africa for two years serving as a Peace Corps volunteer. When I returned home to Louisville, I worked for Liz and Roo, an American-made baby bedding company doing everything from product design and order fulfillment to accounting. At the same time, I was an active volunteer with my youth group, eventually stepping into the role of Associate Youth Minister. In the fall of 2020, I moved to Wisconsin to attend Nashotah House Theological Seminary and I graduated in May with my Master of Divinity.
What do you think youth and parents of youth are looking for and how can the church best connect with them?
I think youth and their parents are looking for a place where they can grow in their faith and learn how the gospel relates to them and their lives. It is during these years that young adults come into their own personal relationship with Christ and build an understanding of what that means in all aspects of their lives, not just a church on Sunday. The church is here to come alongside and support them as they discover and understand their faith. Youth play an important in the life of the church and hopefully, the church is a community that is important in the lives of our youth.
What excites you most about coming to St. John the Divine?
I am excited to be joining such an active and engaged church community. There is so much energy in the building not only on Sunday morning but throughout the week.