The Diocese of Olympia is pleased to welcome Valerie Reinke as our new Canon for Faith Formation: 35 & Under. Valerie will be leading the strategic planning and oversight of diocesan children’s ministry, youth ministry, campus ministry, and young adult ministry. She will be developing and providing resources to support 35 & Under ministry efforts in the local congregations and will also assist in providing networks and connections between ministries and congregations working in these areas.
Valerie comes to the Office of the Bishop from Grace Episcopal Church, Bainbridge Island, where she has spent the last five years coordinating their Children & Families Ministry. She is the author of a curriculum for 2nd- 4th grades, “Storytellers,” that uses children’s books as a jumping off point for discussing Christian values and scriptural teachings. She was part of the leadership team that brought Grace’s Summer Day Camp to the children of farm workers last year in collaboration with La Iglesia Episcopal de la Resurrección and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Mt. Vernon.
Prior to landing in the Pacific Northwest, Valerie spent three years as the Christian Education Director at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Keller, Texas, where she initiated a weekly “Wednesday Night Live” program, which included dinner and break-out discussion groups for all ages. Before discovering a vocation in the church, she worked with public libraries throughout California helping them develop services for adults with low literacy skills, ultimately spending six years at the California State Library, managing the statewide adult literacy effort. In 2012, Valerie and her family moved to Bainbridge Island where she began writing creatively, gradually becoming a regular contributor to Bainbridge Island Magazine and the founding editor of Grace’s seasonal blog, Lenten Muse (www.lentenmuse.wordpress.com), which gathers the art, poetry, photography, and writing of Grace members to enrich and deepen the experience of Lent. In her spare time, she reads, practices yoga, and enjoys the company of her family: husband, Fred, and teenagers Ricky and Cara.
Please join us in welcoming Valerie to the Office of the Bishop!