A Big Welcome to Our New Outreach Coordinator, Billi!

A Big Welcome to Our New Outreach Coordinator, Billi!

Why Hire an Interim Outreach Coordinator?

You may have heard or read in the Elders’ highlights from their last meeting that our present Outreach Director, Alesha Thomas, will be leaving effective August 31, 2019.

Members of the Administrative SLG saw this as an opportunity for Old First to consider restructuring the staff to have an Associate Pastor who would do Outreach half time and Pastoral work half time. The Outreach SLG agreed. If a full time Assistant Pastor is possible, Outreach would have someone available at the church more consistently. Hiring an Interim Outreach Coordinator would give Old First time to explore if a commitment to an Associate Pastor is possible. Either way, we will have a staff person doing the job as we move forward in our staffing decisions.

To quote from the Elders’ highlights, These staffing changes are allowing us time to look ahead and give the church an opportunity to do some longer range thinking and planning about the future direction for our Outreach Ministry. Questions to be considered: should we replace the Outreach Coordinator position on a permanent basis or consider hiring an Assistant Pastor, who would take on these responsibilities as well as others. Additional financial support would be necessary to consider the Assistant Pastor position.”

I wondered who would take on a temporary, dead end job like this Interim Outreach Coordinator position for 20 hours per week? Fortunately, Michael knew of someone who would consider it. Someone who has done the job before and is starting a part time internship for her degree program which she would like to supplement with some part time work. 

The resulting interview and comparison of our Outreach requirements with her internship schedule made this an easy decision. We offered the position to Billi Charron and she accepted. She will begin working September 3rd. Her contract continues to May 31, 2020, with an option to renew for that summer.

Please join me in welcoming Billi Charron as our Interim Outreach Coordinator.

Clark Dingman, Chair

Outreach SLG


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Many of you know me as I have been an official member for about 5 years. As you read in Clark’s intro, I am going to be the part-time Interim Outreach Coordinator for the Wellspring Ministries. I am very excited to be starting this position at Old First. 

Some things you may not know about me:

  1. I moved to Philadelphia in 2011 to be the full-time Outreach Coordinator for Old First, part of the UCC Partners in Service program at that time. I lived on the 3rd floor of the CE Building with my husband, Cole, and our two dogs. Since leaving my position at Old First in September 2013, we bought a house in Bensalem. Our household has grown to include my mother, Diane, and her dog, as well as our foster daughter Aubrey, who was recently confirmed at Old First. 
  2. I am in the 2nd year of Temple University’s online MSW program. While working part-time at Old First I will also be fulfilling my field placement hours at the Bucks County Area Agency on Aging. I will be working with senior citizens who are eligible for Medicare waivers. Right now, I do not have a specialty, though I am confident I will discern that before I receive my degree. 
  3. I bring to Old First my previous experience in this position, as well as my 6 years working with children, adults facing criminal charges, and adults who were convicted of homicide when they were under the age of 18. In my time working at the Defender Association, I grew my social service wings and learned more about the city’s services and resources. I hope to bring this to our ministries to the homeless. 
  4. My favorite ministry, if I choose one, is the Cupboard. In that space, I have met many people that I call friends. The guests and volunteers of the Cupboard share a sacred space and become connected to one another over time. Back in my day (haha) I was there every Saturday, but the ministry has expanded and there are several Old First members who are hosts. I hope to add a few extra members to our host roster. That’s your cue to reach out to me if you would like to volunteer or share in the leadership role on Saturday mornings. 

I can easily be reached through the church office or by email. I am using volunteer@oldfirstucc.org as my professional email address. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions, concerns, ideas, or to sign up for a Cupboard or Shelter shift.