RICHFIELD - The new youth pastor at Richfield Mennonite Church is making connections.
Jason Munford started his role as the pastor of family and youth on Oct. 28. He takes over the reins from Joel Snyder who held the position for 25 years before taking on the role of associate pastor .
Snyder was on the search committee for the new youth pastor. He called Hyland Heights Baptist Church in Virginia as he researched a candidate. When that potential candidate was not available, Snyder asked if there was anyone else in that area looking for a pastorate. The Virginia church named Munford, who was an unemployed graduate of Liberty University with a degree in religion and youth ministry.
Sentinel photo by TABITHA GOODLING
Jason Munford is the new youth pastor at Richfield Mennonite Church.
Munford came to Richfield in late summer and was hired to begin the role in late fall.
He made a connection immediately.
"I actually knew about this church," he said, having roomed with a Richfield Mennonite Church member in college.
Though Munford arrived a few months ago, he is already knee-deep in activities. Munford is preparing for his first ever Impact experience. Impact, a youth weekend event held March 8-10 at the Hilton Towers in Harrisburg, is a major part of the youth ministry at RMC. The church was one of the first to take part in the weekend of seminars and music.
Within a month of being the new youth pastor, he also experienced another RMC youth annual event. He and a team of teenagers and adults traveled on Thanksgiving to North Carolina for Operation Christmas Child. The group spends a few days at the site and helps go through shoe boxes donated to the program that gives Christmas presents to under privileged children around the world.
"I want to make sure I get connected with the families," he said, as he takes part in youth events.
He said he wants to get to know the parents of the kids with whom he ministers weekly at youth group and in Sunday School.
After Impact, Munford will prepare for his first ever RMC Soccer Camp, which is held the last week in June. The week consists of Bible lessons, soccer lessons and soccer games.
Munford says this is something that is familiar for him.
"I love sports and I like to make connections with the kids through that. I tend to build relationships best by being around the kids," he noted.
The church offers some "open gym" nights where teens and young people can come play in the church gymnasium. That is one way Munford has made that connection.
More activities and opportunities await Munford as he and his family make their home in Richfield. Munford and his wife, Ashley, and 18-month-old daughter, Emilie, feel at home in the eastern Juniata County town.
He thanks his predecessor, Snyder, for making him feel comfortable in this new chapter of his life.
"I'm really glad to have him here. It's good for me to grow here with him and bounce ideas off of him," he said.
For more information on the youth ministry and other ministries of the church, visit www.richfieldmennonite.com or "like" Richfield Mennonite Church on Facebook.