Departures Announced in College Missions Department
Allie Melancon, Director of College Missions, will leave the diocesan staff this summer, at the end of the academic year. She joined the diocesan staff in 2011, during the Rt. Rev. Gary Lillibridge’s tenure. Allie has worked closely with Bishop David Reed and previous Director, Greg Richards, as a college missioner, then Assistant Director of College Missions, and currently as the Director of College Missions. After completing her final ordination requirements, by the grace of God and with the consent of the Standing Committee and people, she will be ordained to the diaconate in June and begin her curacy at St. Thomas’, San Antonio in Fall 2021.
Bishop David Reed expresses deep gratitude personally and on behalf of the whole Diocese for Allie and her ministry. He shares, “During her years of faithful service, Allie has built upon and added to the strong foundation of campus ministry within the Diocese. Whether serving as a student intern, college missioner, assistant to Greg Richards, or as director, she has brought a love of the Lord and a wonderful mix of gifts to the mission field of our campuses. She has been a mentor, pastor, teacher, counselor and friend to our college students for more than a decade. While I’m sad to be ‘losing’ Allie for this work, I am eager to see her serving the wider Church soon, God willing, as a member of the clergy.”
Regarding her time with Vital University Missions, Allie shares, “I have my time in College Missions to thank for answering this call to ordination. It has been a wonderful ten years. Thank you all for this amazing experience to serve the young people of West Texas in this particular way. It has been a true joy to watch our students be a blessing to their campus and community, listen to them ask hard questions, and mature in their faith.”
Vital UM will experience additional staff transitions this summer. Chelsea Mueller, Valley Regional Coordinator for Vital UM, has announced that she will return home to Michigan, to begin graduate school at the University of Michigan in Fall 2021. Chelsea served in the Rio Grande Valley for the last 5 years, in addition to previous College Missions ministry as an Elisha Leadership Initiative (ELI) intern and campus missioner in San Antonio. And Avery Moran, who has served as a campus missioner and worship leader with Vital UM since 2017, will begin a full-time youth minister position in a local Episcopal church next fall.
Regarding these transitions, Bishop Reed shares, “Losing any of these three campus missioners would present our diocesan College Missions program with challenges. Losing all three of them at the same time obviously sets a very large challenge before us. But I’m confident the Spirit will lead us to see new opportunities to build upon what Allie, Chelsea, and Avery have done so well.”
Named as one of the Diocese’s primary initiatives since the start of Bishop Reed’s tenure as Diocesan Bishop, College Missions will continue, building on strong foundations of faith, collaboration, service, and fun. The College Missions Committee will convene soon to determine the next best steps forward as the Diocese seeks to continue following Jesus Christ onto campuses and into life-giving relationships with the young adults attending college within the Diocese of West Texas. The Rev. Mike Woods, Associate Rector at St. Mark's, San Marcos, will serve as the new chair of this committee and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.