Rev. Jen Howat
Jen is from the east coast and moved to Edmond with her family to begin ministry here @ FPCE in August of 2014. Her primary function is to oversee a comprehensive strategy for assimilation, discipleship and spiritual growth, small group ministry and leadership development. Jen was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, graduated from the University of DE with a BA in Criminal Justice and served as a juvenile probation officer in FL before being called into ministry. After graduating from seminary she served as solo pastor for six years in Kennett Square, PA. Jen is also certified in Life and Leadership Coaching, coaches pastors and consults in the area of organizational change. She loves hanging out with family and friends, is an avid sports fan and loves the outdoors.
Excerpt from 2015 Annual Report
The year 2015 was full! I was able to complete my year of “firsts” here at FPCE, now having been here for over a year and experiencing rhythm of the church and life here in Oklahoma! What a ride it’s been!
I have enjoyed the opportunity to preach more regularly. It is great to connect with the congregation in this way! At the beginning of the year, I continued to have meetings with our core team and we came up with a framework for our pathway. In late spring we realized that we needed to partner with our ministry teams (committees) to help us discern and make adjustments. With the help of the Adult Discipleship Committee we held an Adult Forum in early September where we talked about becoming a church that is designed around an intentional process/pathway of discipleship (Simple Church), our REVEAL survey results, and we began to evaluate where each ministry might be on the pathway. This was a great start and in order to carry it forward in a steady, sustainable fashion, I began TEAM Night in October. TEAM stands for Together Everyone Achieves More. Once a month every member of every committee is asked to attend TEAM Night for 30 minutes of vision casting, processing and celebration and then they break off into their individual committee meetings.
Late spring also saw the formation of our small group lead team. We collaborate and pray about how these groups would fit into the pathway. We work together in 4 month cycles to discern the focus of our small groups, form the groups with various facilitators at various times, fill the groups (sign ups) and then launch (facilitate) while giving support. I provided facilitator training and surveyed both participants and facilitators to get feedback at the end of our fall semester.
I continued to work with Student Ministry and Kids Ministry staff, as well as support the session, Adult Discipleship, Evangelism & Assimilation, Kids Ministry and Student Ministry committees. I also had the pleasure of teaching a class during The Gathering in the spring and was the speaker for the Women’s Fall Kick-off in the fall.
Another exciting aspect of ministry has been working with ECO. I was asked over the summer to join ECO’s discipleship initiative and I am on a team of 7. We are all leadership coaches and we are developing a pilot phase to be launched throughout the denomination by region starting in the spring. We have three retreats to help us plan and train for our implementation. Although I was not able to travel in late September because of an injury to my arm, the Director of Discipleship for ECO, Tim Fearer, traveled to Oklahoma and personally worked with me to make sure I was caught up. Our second retreat was in early December and I was able to attend! Our last retreat is in early February. Then in April I will be working with what we are now calling the “Texas Region”.