Episode 30

Why Children Matter Most-Part 1 with Emily Krach and Rev. Jen Huff

Bishop Julius C. Trimble is the Resident Bishop of the Indiana Area of the United Methodist Church.

Bishop Trimble has the personal mission to encourage all people with the love of Jesus Christ to rise to their highest potential. It is his commitment to his personal mission that led Bishop Trimble to create the “To Be Encouraged” Podcast along with co-host Rev.Dr. Brad Miller.

Bishop Trimble says, “I am compelled by Jesus to share with you an encouraging word or two about Jesus, theology, the Bible, the pandemic, the environment, racism, voting rights, human sexuality, and the state of the United Methodist Church.”

To Be Encouraged with Bishop Julius C. Trimble is to be published weekly and is available at www.tobeencouraged.com and all the podcast directories.


Episode 030 is all about "Children Matter Most" an Initiative in the Indiana Conference of the UMC to make our communities the best place possible for children. It is Part 1 of a two part series of Episodes continued on Episode 031 www.tobeencouraged.com

Guest on Episode 030 are:

Emily Krach emily.krach@inumc.org, Associate Director of Leadership Development-Emerging Leaders Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church

Rev. Jen Huff, <jennifer.huff@inumc.org>Indiana Conference Missions Coordinator, and chairperson of Children Matter Most.

Find out more about Children Matter Most at:


Part 2 of the interview with Emily Krach and Rev. Jen Huff on Children Matter Most will be on Episode 031 of To Be Encouraged available at https://tobeencouraged.com/episode/031


Hello again good people and welcome to the to be encouraged podcast. The podcast with Bishop Julius see trouble, which is all about giving an encouraging word to a dis courage world. I'm your co host Reverend Dr. Brad Miller. And today we have two special guests with us on on to be encouraged. It's involved with the initiative called children matter most Emily crash is the Associate Director of leadership development and emerging leaders in the Indiana conference, the United Methodist Church and she has been involved intimately with this program. And Reverend Jin Huff is the missions coordinator for the Indiana conference United Methodist Church and the chairperson of children matter. Most Bishop help us welcome these two fine guests to be encouraged.


Welcome, my friends and colleagues, Jen and Emily, we're so pleased to hear from you. And those who will hear this podcast will be inspired by the opportunity for anyone and everyone to be engaged and making life better for the children of the world and for the children of Indiana in particular. So thanks so much for joining us on the podcast.


Well, thanks for sharing that welcome. And Emily and Jen, we are welcome you to the podcast. And Emily, I want to start with you if I can just I really like to have kind of a foundation of who we're talking to before we kind of get into the topic at hand. And that really means a little bit about your face story a little bit how give us just kind of the synopsis of how you came to Christ in the first place, and how that walk kind of led you to what you do right now.


Sure, thanks. That's great to be with you all. I can say that for me, growing up in the United Methodist Church, as a child, I have fond memories of children's moments at the church and opportunities to be a part of children's and youth ministry in my churches. And knowing that I was supported and encouraged, as I was in attendance at worship and spending time with leaders within the church as a young person. For me, that moment when I knew that I needed God, though, came when I was 12 years old, and had experienced a death in an unexpected way of a young person in my life. And during that time, it led me to all kinds of questions about the presence of God and had fantastic support of church leaders as well as parents and family friends. And it was then that I began to truly understand that really difficult things even as a young person, that God was with me, and offered me an amazing love and an amazing grace that I needed at that time as a 12 year old. And I will tell you then, as I continued to grow up in the church and was a part of youth group, and it was a significant part of my development, as a young leader, had another moment when I was trying to understand what I was called to do and be and actually had a significant moment of doubt where I thought I just do not know the Bible well enough, like I don't know, all these things that you're supposed to know if I'm gonna go into ministry and and it was in that moment where God again just gave me the courage and the confidence to say, well, that's why you keep learning. And that's why you keep growing, and had many opportunities within my youth group as a teenager, to experience some different leadership moments that helped me know that this was something I was being asked to do with my life, and so became Director of Youth Ministry, after completing a degree and youth ministry and have loved the opportunity to work with young people, all the years of my career and ministry so far, I will tell you, I ended up with the working within the conference here in Indiana because I began as a long time youth director in a church to really feel a sense of a need for leadership development within the lives of the church. And that was when I pursued further education and said, I want to be a part of what it means to help as many churches as I can and as many children and youth as I can to continue to grow as leaders so that they can have the courage and the confidence to follow the calling that they have.


Wonderful. Thank you for sharing that Emily and then agenda Reverend Jen Huff, a person I've known for some time and but she just had her own story of faith and come into Christ, that I know that you have and then how that led you to the work of missions and Local Church, just to introduce yourself to our listeners here on TV courage about your faith story.


Okay, I grew up in the church, my parents switched between Presbyterian and United Methodist churches. My mom served in churches after she switched over from her teaching career. And so I got to see her leadership as director of Christian education and a variety of settings. When she got moved to a different church, it was then up to myself and my dad to decide if we were going to drive the hour in Illinois to go to her church, where if we wanted to plant our roots somewhere else. So we actually went back to a church we had started going to when we moved to Naperville, Illinois, and I had already been through confirmation at the church that was directly across the street from the church. And I decided that I should go through confirmation with my peers again, who I'd be going to high school with,


visually, I know that you had had some things that you had wanted to share about children matter most and some thoughts about children's ministry. Yet what do you have to share it here today?


Absolutely. And, and I know that most people either have very positive or sometimes they may even have some negative or sad experiences of their own childhood, or have children in their communities. And my prayer is for all children, all children across the globe to be able to thrive and have positive and affirmation, positive affirmations, for their life and and to thrive as healthy children in the world. The Bible says in Psalms Children are a gift from God. Psalm 127 verse three, Isaiah 5413 says, all your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the prosperity of your children. There's an African proverb that says, You do not have to teach a child about God. God is self evident to children. There's a lot of data on the state of children in Indiana and across the across the United States in particular. One of the places where you can get some of that information is from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. And I just want to share a couple of data points about American kids and mental health. The corona Corona virus pandemic has brought children trauma and tremendous loss over the past two and a half years. We know that just from the challenges of having school and being online for school, the health crisis has killed more than 1 million people in America including more than 1600 children have died from the Coronavirus during the same time span. More than 200,000 kids lost a parent or primary caregiver to the virus. Think about that. So a lot of children have lost parents in the last two years due to the Coronavirus. These conditions that have helped you what the US Surgeon General has called a mental health pandemic for youth and children. The incidence of anxiety and depression among kids has skyrocketed. Comparing pre pre pandemic to the first year of COVID-19 crisis. The share of children struggling to make it through the day rose nearly 26% All of that data really points to the fact that the pandemic the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted everybody. And it also has impacted children and we often don't talk about that very much. It's like there has been a pandemic emits within the pandemic, the pandemic of trauma to children and communities. While we have almost all been dealing with the pandemic. So one of the things that we are doing to children matter most and Emily and Jen can talk about this, that it's a priority your priority prioritizing meeting kids at their basic with their basic needs and meeting kids where they are. Whether it's in our churches, whether it's in our school, whether it's in our after school programs, whether it's in our communities, meeting kids and meaning children where they our children need a solid foundation. They need nutritious food, stable housing, safe neighborhoods, and they need people who love and care for them. Sometimes that's the parents, and sometimes that's people who are not their biological parents. So in in January 2020, really the vision was cast for an emphasis in the Indiana conference. On children matter most. And not long after that the pandemic began to take off. But what did not stop was the team they came together, to focus in to encourage, and to inspire a whole annual conference, to embrace as a mission of priority children, children, youth, and families that are impacted. So I'm so pleased for the work that's happening. And Jen and Emily could talk at length about some of the things children matter most have done.


What kind of things would you like to learn Bishop about the from Emily and Jen about what the event they've had? And about children matter motors? Which question Do you have?


Well, well, I just wanted to learn I miss it, but the afterglow of the event, it's just, it's rippling all across the country in the state. So it sounds like that it was not only a marvelous event, but it really spoke to some of the needs and concerns people had.


Well, Emily, what you tell us what what the advantage you had, what was the purpose of it? And what is children matter? Most what, well, what's happening here with this movement?


Absolutely. We had the opportunity as a children mattermost team to host the event called all in on October 1, and it was an opportunity for people to engage in our focus areas for children mattermost, which bishop has already spoken to a bit, but the three areas include non violence, food insecurity, and partnering with schools. And so our guest speaker at the event was Angelo monta, and he spoke about the ministry that he is a part of in Fort Wayne, and the need for peacemaking and peacekeeping, and especially the work that he's doing within a local high school in Fort Wayne. And it was very inspiring, it was meaningful for all of us to consider the realities that are happening within our local schools, and what it means for us to be people of non violence and to teach non violence. We also had the opportunity to have many breakout sessions with leaders all throughout the state of Indiana who represented different organizations who are doing significant work to impact the lives of children. And through those breakout sessions, people had the opportunity to focus in a little bit on some of the different areas that we've been talking about and have been providing resources for in regards to children matter most. I'll speak specifically to one and then I'm sure Jen can speak to some others as well, that she has heard have had an impact. But we continue to have a focus on partnering with schools. And so often we hear churches, when we start to talk about children say, well, we don't have any children in our church. And we understand that statement and understand that for you and is a true statement in terms of who's walking in your doors on a Sunday morning. And yet, we also know that there are children in the community, and there has to be a school somewhere nearby your church where children are attending. And so we want to continue to help churches understand, there are many ways that you can still be involved in your community and with children by finding ways to even partner with schools. And we've had some team members for children mattermost, who have done fantastic work sharing their stories about ways that you can engage with local schools, I have this document that we came across from the Louis center for church leadership, along the lines of ways you can engage with local schools. And it's one of those resources on our website, that we finally got to spend some time at this event with one of our speakers in our presentation breakout time with Sarah Daniels, and Stacey downing being able to actually teach this material and talk about how to engage with schools. And so that's just one of our focus areas that people got to spend some time having significant conversations about what does that look like in their context? What does that look like in your community? And so we love to the opportunity to be together and sense that energy and that excitement about the opportunities that are right there right in front of us oftentimes in our communities with children because of the great needs that they do have, and knowing that there's so many fantastic organizations in our state, who are helping us learn more and Providing resources that we can utilize to be able to make that connection with.


Awesome. Well, we've heard a little bit about kind of the history and background of the need from Bishop from Bishop tremble. And it really you're speaking about this event he's had to provide the tools and that type of thing to help apply them. Jim, can you speak to what are the APA the takeaways applicable things at a local church pastor, if I'm a local church pastor, or if I'm a local church, youth group leader, or a teacher or layperson who's a teacher in a local school, and you see some needs of children in your kindergarten class, what are some practical applications of the children's matter most initiative going to do in terms of practically meeting the needs of the children of those in those communities.

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