Parishioner Profile: Jake Szoeke

Parishioner Jake Szoeke is prayerfully aware of the gifts God has given him. He is generous in the many ways that he gives back to God through his work at the Church of Saint Mary.

 

As a Houston native, how did you find yourself working for the Church of Saint Mary in Tulsa?

I moved to Tulsa Nov 2014 pretty much on blind faith. My fiancee and I were looking at numerous areas as she was in Ft. Worth while I was in Houston. Kimberley grew up here and her parents still live in BA, and when we thought about our future family, she knew she’d want to be close to them. So naturally we bought a house 4 minutes away from them.

I was also attracted to the area for the ministry opportunity. God placed contemporary worship on my heart while I was in college and I always wanted to be able to serve a parish with the gifts He gave me. Soon Kimberley and I were married, Dante Schmitz approached me asking if I could take over as St. Anne’s needed to add a Sunday Evening Mass. I was overjoyed at the opportunity, met with Father Jack over some pizza to talk ministry, and that was the beginning of this amazing opportunity.

 

I’m just in awe of the community that He placed my family in.

 

How does working here help you grow closer to God?

The support of our Pastor, Parish Leadership, and fellow Staff have made this a wonderful place to work. I can easily get lost in the details and the trials of producing ministry, but from seeing our Parish come alive during Mass and other functions, getting to know long time parishioners like Esther Loustaunau and Steve Allen and hoping one day I can grow up to be like them, to seeing the little one’s in Children’s Liturgy of the Word on Sunday mornings so vibrant and eager to learn more about their faith; that’s one way I grow closer to God.

I’m just in awe of the community that He placed my family in. Another way is being able to come to this beautiful Sanctuary we have to pray. I love sitting down at the piano on a Sunday afternoon between all the activities and spend some time praying for my family and for our Parish.

 

What are your plans to help our parish young adults develop their relationship with God?

Over the summer Father Jack and I sat down to discuss Young Adult Ministry. I took some guidance from various organizations, council from other young leaders in our Church, and prayed long and hard about what our Parish needs to offer Young Adults.

I will say right away that I don’t have it all figured out, but along with our Core Team, we have to trust as long as we’re moving, God will lead us where He wants this ministry to go. We first wanted to setup some recurring events, such as YA Night and Sunday School. Our primary focus is creating ample opportunities to become part of this ministry through our various meetups (social events) and sports teams. Coming this Lent, we will start several small groups that will meet in each other’s homes in communities of your choosing. You can stay tuned to the Bulletin for upcoming events, but the best way to communicate with our ministry is in our Slack team. Feel free to email me with any questions about our Young Adult Ministry.

 

You’ve been teasing Sunday School. What is it and why should I know about it?

As a lifelong Sunday Evening Mass guy, I was always so envious that fun things seemed to only be offered to the Sunday Morning Masses. From time to time I like to see what our protestant brothers and sisters are doing and see how we can adapt some of their strategies with our catechesis. With our Parish subscription to Formed.org, we have Opening the Word at our fingertips. Sure, we can all access Formed.org on our own devices, but I also think we can implement some of that resource here at our Parish so we can be together. Opening the Word will help us dive deeper into the Sunday that we are celebrating.

We view Sunday School as a great opportunity to enhance everyone’s Sunday Experience by offering convenient meeting times. Sometimes, our crazy lives make it hard to get back to church during the week. So come early or stay late depending on which Mass you participate in. Feel free to bring a friend or co-worker that has been hesitant to join you for Mass.

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