Church Welcomes New Minister of Youth | News, Sports, Jobs

Eager to expand its reach and support the community, the First United Methodist Church is pleased to announce that Natasha Zirkle is its new Minister for Youth.

“We are delighted to welcome Natasha to our church family and to our staff”, said Brian Seders, first United Methodist senior pastor. “Natasha has a strong testimony for Christ as well as a great passion for touching the lives of children. One of the goals of our church is to help all age groups develop a deeper relationship with Jesus, and Natasha brings valuable experience and a genuine call to do just that, especially with children, to the both inside and outside the church.

A native of Elkins, Zirkle spent much of his childhood at the Mountain View Church of the Nazarene where his father was pastor.

“I have always been involved in the ministry, that’s what I love”, Zirkle said.

Although she was not looking for work in the church, she says she felt called to this position. “When Pastor Brian told me they were praying and looking for a leader for the children, I felt God was saying ‘Someone should do this. Why not you?'”

In his role, Zirkle will create a model for the Church’s youth ministry, laying a solid and lasting foundation for the future. Working with Kindergarten to Grade 8 youth, she will provide guidance to help them achieve their individual goals in addition to leading many group programs including evangelism, retreats, Bible study, Confirmation and the holiday bible school. She will also build relationships with other youth-focused groups within the Church, including the Pioneer Club, Sunday School, and Boy Scouts.

Zirkle will also work closely with parents, volunteers and community leaders to increase engagement with newly developed and long-standing programs.

“I hope to go far beyond the walls of the church, touching the lives of the children who need it most”, Zirkle said. “I want to help every child in this community find a safe place – to learn to face this world knowing that God is there with them.

“It’s wonderful to see the children coming back to church” she said of the children’s church resuming after a pandemic hiatus.

As she settles into her new position, Zirkle plans to start a weekly evening youth program and plan special activities and outreach opportunities for children in the community.

The first special activity, a fall harvest festival, is scheduled for Sunday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Children of all ages are invited to join church for an outdoor celebration with hay rides, trunk or treats, crafts and more.

Zirkle previously served as a church nursery leader, children’s church teacher, Sunday school teacher, holiday Bible school principal, and a member of the worship team. She has also been a ministry volunteer at the Huttonsville Correctional Center.

In his spare time, Zirkle enjoys singing, playing the guitar, painting and hiking. She is also the owner of Roaring Creek Portraits, which specializes in outdoor portrait photography.

Zirkle has three sons and lives in Mabie. She is engaged to Clark Evans of Elkins.

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