Joanna Drayton begins as new Pulse Team Leader

Joanna Drayton begins as new Pulse Team Leader

Joanna Drayton is the new Pulse Team Leader, a role she started in early April.

Ms Drayton told Insights she was excited to take on the role.

“I am excited about the possibilities available to Pulse to gather young people through camps and gatherings but also to work together with our innovative leaders in congregations who are endeavouring to find new ways to be the church in community engaging new generations of young people who think and see life differently.”

“I get to work with Joyce, Ofa, and Molk as we as the School Chaplains, leaders and workers in Congregations and Presbyteries and hang out with young peeps who inspire me with their curiosity and creative ways they see God at work all around them.”

Ms Drayton comes to the role with decades of experience working in ministries with youth and young adults.

“I have been a youth group leader since my early 20s, when I first started going to church, during those years I lived in a ‘Youth House’ community with other youth leaders from that church which embedded this deep passion for young people and the importance of living with integrity and transparency, good boundaries and that God moves in wonderful and mysterious ways at all times of the day and night,” she said.

“After several years in Congregational pastoral ministry I then worked for six years in what is now Sydney Central Coast Presbytery (was then Sydney North & Ku-ring-gai – ‘SNAK’) as the Leadership Development Consultant focusing on Youth ministry which expanded into Children and Family ministry.”

“The collaboration of many great Youth, Children and Family leaders, Pastors, Ministers and School Chaplains, several employed in roles in Congregations or Schools and many very committed volunteers, meant the ‘SNAK’ Ministry was able to bring Messy Church and Godly Play to this Synod, host youth outreach nights (U-Nite) for up to 350 kids across youth groups, start several Playgroups with different emphasis (eg ‘Play and Pray), run HSC study camps, Challenge Camps for up to 200 high schoolers, curate a training resource for leadership development (‘Transformaton’) and a bunch of other fun initiatives, camps and many challenges along the way. I am really proud that there are still so many of those youth and children’s workers still in ministry in the church, several of them are now UCA Ministers, Candidates and Pastors in this Synod.”

“Since the SNAK days I have led the way to establishing a playgroup at my church, which is still going thanks to some fantastic volunteer leaders, am now a facilitator for Youth Mental First Aid and we host  a young adult bible study in our home every fortnight, we regularly have 18 for dinner and a study or deep conversation together and have 25 on our list with more wanting to come! All of this I count as a privilege and have a deep sense that God is calling and equipping us for this ministry for this time.”

Ms Drayton asked for Insights readers to pray for the PULSE ministry.

“The team needs as much prayer (and practical) support as we can get,” she said.

“The church’s place in society has changed and we need to keep ‘Growing Young’ in how we take the good news of Christ into this world. I have much to learn, and much to offer, but can’t do that without the team, your prayers, and innovative thinkers all around us.”

Ms Drayton succeeds Rev. Karen Mitchell-Lambert as Pulse leader. Rev. Mitchell-Lambert is now Minister at Gordon-Pymble Uniting Church.

For more information on Pulse, visit the official website here.


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