From the publisher | February 27, 2020

For the common good

Photo by Wendy McFadden

Each February, the staff of the Church of the Brethren gather for two days of reconnecting with each other, hearing updates, and engaging in professional growth. Some work in places other than the General Offices in Elgin, Ill., so it’s an opportunity for coworkers to spend time together.

It’s a diverse group. But a few weeks ago when individuals shared one thing they especially liked about their jobs, it was clear they had a lot in common.

For many staff, it’s the people. One likes meeting church members and hearing stories of what they’re passionate about. For another, it’s helping people solve problems. One likes becoming acquainted with those being trained for Children’s Disaster Service. Another likes working with youth to plan events. One likes working with writers. For another, it’s meeting people from across the denomination. One likes getting to know the new volunteers at Brethren Volunteer Service orientations. Another likes visiting with people and finding out what they love about the church.

Other staff highlighted the variety within the work—“it’s never boring” and “I learn something every day.” They mentioned creativity, including photography and writing. Doing meaningful work that makes a difference. And knowing in advance that each day’s work will be interesting. For one person, the especially enjoyable task was working on Messenger.

What about you? As you engage in the ministry of the church, what brings you joy?

Do you like opening up the Bible text so that it comes alive for other people? Do you enjoy welcoming children into a Sunday school class? Do you extend the love of Jesus through food cooked in your church kitchen? Do you press for justice and righteousness in your community and your world?

We don’t all have the same job, but we are enlivened by the same Spirit: “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7).

Wendy McFadden is publisher of Brethren Press and Communications for the Church of the Brethren.