Bishop adds new staff position: Ministry Developer for Children and Youth
(posted Jan. 5, 2023)
Meet the Rev. Erin Pickersgill, the newest addition to our diocesan staff.
The Rt. Rev. Deon K. Johnson, Bishop of the Diocese of Missouri, hired Erin to serve as the Ministry Developer for Children and Youth. She began her new job January 3, 2023.
Erin will be working three-quarters time in this diocesan role. She will continue working one-quarter time at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Creve Coeur, where she has been serving as the Interim Director of Youth and Children's Formation. When that position ends June 1, Erin will be in the diocesan position full-time.
"I'm convinced that children and youth need to be in the center of everything we do," Erin said. "I see myself in a supporting role to those already doing the work throughout the Diocese."
In that supporting role, Erin hopes to help our churches and convocations resource each other and help our youth members make connections to other youth in the Diocese and beyond.
"The Spirit is always profoundly drawing me to children and youth in a church," Erin said. "We miss out if we don't take their experiences of God really seriously."
Erin was ordained a priest in December 2022 at Christ Church Cathedral. She grew up in Webster Groves, but has spent the last twenty years living and serving in different parts of the UK. "What was meant to be a simple gap year in Belfast turned into half in Northern Ireland and many different places in England," she explained.
After she graduated from Missouri State University in Springfield with a degree in Arts and Letters, she worked and lived in neighborhoods in Belfast alongside a mission organization, whose emphasis was on peace and reconciliation. She mentored young leaders and traveled to places of conflict in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, teaching a curriculum on forgiveness through the International Forgiveness Institute.
Her first introduction to the Anglican communion was her involvement with a church plant in East Belfast called Wells. She married David, who’s English, and they moved around England, with their two young daughters. While her husband trained for the priesthood, she had some fun jobs like bakery apprentice, swimming instructor, and cafe barista/cook.
At the end of a three-year course to become an Ignatian spiritual director, Erin started to feel the Spirit’s invitation to the priesthood for herself. After a few years of discernment in the Church of England, Erin trained and finished her Masters degree in Theology, Ministry and Mission through St. Mellitus College in the East Midlands.
"The pandemic became a time for me and my family to evaluate and consider where we would like to live for the next part of our lives," Erin said. "And St. Louis became an obvious spot to be closer to family and friends."
Erin loves writing poetry (badly), skateboarding (badly), wild swimming, binging mediocre tv, and trying new things. "I feel incredibly blessed to be able to work with the Diocese of Missouri and thankful for the opportunity to grow, learn and serve here back in my hometown."
You can reach the Rev. Erin Pickersgill at [email protected].