I am personally sad to lose her as a local partner in ministry here at Good News, but I am very supportive of her making this move working in a different area of God’s Kingdom. This is a job where she will get to use her business acumen (Latara has an MBA!), be able to manage a team of employees, and work with Christians internationally. These are all wonderful opportunities that could not be a part of her work here at this church.
Latara is certainly leaving on good terms with us here. In fact, I really wanted you to hear it in her own words. So, here they are:
LATARA: God has shown his kindness, grace, mercy, and love to me through the people of Good News. I’m incredibly thankful and blown away by the love, support, and generosity of the elders, staff, and the people of Good News. I can’t even begin to thank God enough for all the wonderful children and youth I’ve had the privilege of serving and ministering to. They hold a special place in my heart and will continue to be in my prayers. I’ve also enjoyed supporting the parents of this church and have been really thankful for their support and love. There are not enough words to say thank you.
Personally, I know that my kids and I would not be where we are without the ministry of Good News. How you all have loved Carlton and Jayla has been especially special and impactful to them and I can’t say thank you enough.
Although this place holds such a special place in our lives and hearts, I believe God is calling me to a new assignment. I’ve wrestled with this call for a while now, but knew that to not obey God would come with many consequences. Although I’m resigning, I am not resigning as your sister in Christ. I still believe in the call and mission of Good News Church and will continue to support this ministry as best as I can.
MARIO: Latara has been and continues to work remotely for INCM, but is likely to move to the Chicago-area in August as a part of this new position. We are grateful that she is willing to continue working through this summer, training and intentionally handing off this ministry to the next person who will serve in the position.
Oh, and by the way, we already have identified that person! I’ve met with the elders, and we have decided to “hire from within” rather than make a nation-wide search like last time. In fact, this person is someone who had applied for the position in the past (before Latara was here) and so she has already been interviewed and we already know her.
Jenny Stanley is currently a community group leader at Good News Church, and has been attending our church for eleven years – since day one. She holds a Master of Arts in Theological Studies with an emphasis in Youth and Family Ministry from Reformed Theological Seminary, and was the Youth Ministry Director at First Presbyterian Church, Goldsboro, NC. She was also the Assistant Director of Youth Ministries (working for Mario Villella) at New Life Presbyterian Church in Fruitland Park, FL back before we started Good News Church. She believes in the mission and vision of Good News and has served as a volunteer in both our youth ministry and our children’s ministry. She is already known and loved by many of us here, and is able to begin taking over the job from Latara almost immediately. The plan is for their employments to overlap for at least two or three weeks so that Latara can show Jenny the ropes around here from a staff perspective.
LATARA: I am so excited for the future of KidZone and our youth ministry with Jenny Stanley carrying on the torch. I am most excited because I have witnessed Jenny’s heart and love for Jesus, and have watched her shepherd His people well. I am most hopeful that you will show her the same love and support as you did me.
MARIO: We are planning on having a send off for Latara during the Sunday morning services on August 7. We would like to publicly thank her for her ministry here, lay hands on her, and send her off into her new ministry.