The church needs reinforcements during the summer months when activity ramps up among the Children’s, Students and Serve Ministries. College students interested in a career in the church and education need practical hands on experience. Floris’ summer internship is a beautiful answer to the situation where everyone benefits, including our community.

Vacation Bible School, Camp Hutchison and mission trips all take a lot of planning and manpower to run smoothly. Summer interns are an integral part of their success at Floris. Ashley Allen, Student Ministries Director and intern supervisor, says the program is on its fourteenth year. She was a Wesley intern herself in 2010 and 2011. She describes having their youthful energy around the church as “super fun” and says the church leadership “really does benefit from these phenomenal and competent young adults and the gifts that they bringthey have such great ideas.” She is happy that their experience sets them up for future work and knows of many who have gone on to teaching careers or church staff positions.

Lacy McClesky, an Oakton graduate and rising sophomore at the University of Virginia is an intern this summer and primarily spends her time on Camp Hutchison. Her work with the school, which has brought her in contact with teachers on a regular basis, has been a positive experience for the young education major. Hanging out in the Floris office, where the interns desks are in the center of the action, has given her a “whole new respect for the system” and the opportunity to get to know the staff on a personal level. Interns join the staff for lunch each day and Lacy describes the conversations as “always very entertaining.” She said she’s learned there are a lot of “foodies” among Floris staff and that food and restaurants are often a hot topic. Lacy says she’s been given a lot of responsibility this summer, which “has been a big confidence booster.”

Susan Ward grew up locally and attended Floris. When she was a student at Ithaca College, she served for two summers as an intern for Student Ministries. She recalls the impact it had on her. “I got to know the staff, these people I looked up to, as co-workers, saw them on a different level and how they treated each other. I came to realize this is who they were all the time, not just on Sundays. As a college student, trying to claim my faith and understand who I was, it helped form me as a Christian. I began to feel more confident talking about what I believed in and saying that I was a Christian back at school.” Susan is now Floris’ Social Media Director, married to Tim Ward, the pastor at Restoration Church, Floris’ Reston Campus, and the mother of three.

The process starts when college students are home for winter break in December and January. The church posts opportunities online and applications are admitted to Human Resources Coordinator Karen Heier. Interviews are held and interns selected and assigned to specific staff members.

Submitted by Margot Smith

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