Epworth welcomes Orion Lacey as our Director of Youth Ministries.
A few words from Orion:
My name is Orion Arthur Lacey. I am 26 years old and am originally from Grass Valley, CA. In the 90’s it was a very simple, run down mining town that was run by over the multi-generational farmers and the bay area retirees that came to escape the city. I fit into neither of these categories as my family had moved to Grass Valley just before my birth from
At the time Grass Valley was not a diverse community and not a very welcoming place for outsiders. I was one of six kids of color in my elementary school and faced much racism at a young age.
When I was a freshman in highschool my sister gave birth to my first nephew but was not ready to be a mother. By the start of my junior year, I had perfected a single, teen father routine for myself and my nephew. Just after graduating high school in 2011, my second nephew was born and my mother and I took custody of them.
At this time I began regularly attending Sierra Pines UMC and became close friends with Rev. Alison Berry. I started volunteering from time to time in the Sunday school room with elementary aged kids. I decided that I wanted my career path to be somehow involved with the church and Rev. Alison became a mentor for me allowing me a glimpse into what it really took to be an Ordained Elder.
In 2014 I was offered a temporary youth pastor position at Sierra Pines which turned into a 2 year position. I continued to raise my nephews until 2016 when my sister was ready to be a mother and we handed custody back to her.
I made the decision to continue my college education and moved north to Humboldt
county. I volunteered as the Youth Program Leader at the Joyful Healer United Methodist Church for 2 years before they were financially able to offer me a part time position as their official Youth Pastor. I also worked at Blue Lake Elementary and Middle School for 4 years as a kindergarten teaching assistant and a Special Day One on One Aide.
In 2017, my birthday present to myself was coming out as Female to Male Transgender and began to fully allow God to help lead me down a path to figuring out who I truly am and what I can do for the world around me.
I am continuing my long road to become an Ordained Elder of the United Methodist
Church and continuing to walk hand in hand with God through all the windy paths my road takes.