Welcome Friends! Today, our journey explores serving in mission at work with Pastor Lee Reid, Brethren Pastor and Managing Director of Information Technology at Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Virginia.
During a conversation over lunch, Pastor Lee shared the surprising ways mission occurs in the lobby area at his place of employment. He said, "The wonderful thing about my day at Mary Baldwin University is that my secular and sacred world collide."
I am blessed beyond belief. I run the information technology program at Mary Baldwin University. This is both my secular and my sacred world. What I make at Mary Baldwin I use to pay for the mission and the ministry of Grace Happens. I am the person you call when you have no one else to call. I work with low-income people who were formerly homeless. I help them with bills after they leave the shelter. I try to connect people with services and churches. I mostly give fellowship.
The wonderful thing about my day at Mary Baldwin is that my secular and sacred world collide. I might have a vendor sitting in the lobby to talk to me about computers or service. Or I might have a homeless person wanting to talk to me about rent or bus tokens. Whatever lines I thought existed, God has shown me quite the contrary. Here is the real miracle: I would have totally missed it by man's eyes. This is giving others in my department the ability to express mission elsewhere, whether through food drives for the New Directions ministry [support for abused women] or loads of love [laundry money] for the Thermal Shelter. Who would ever think that Mary Baldwin would allow me to do both? God takes you where you need to be, that is being open to mission.
Mission is a chance every day to live your faith. One family stands out above all that I helped years ago. There was a mother, father, three sons, and a daughter. They had fallen on hard times. They put all their stuff in a van and parked it on Johnson Street. Their van caught on fire, and they lost everything but the family Bible. Eventually, one of the sons went to Liberty University, two sons graduated high school, the wife went to pharmacy school, and the father owned a barbershop. I helped them through hard times for a few years. They lifted me by their example, always scriptural and faith-driven. They stand out in my memories. They empowered me to keep going.
Reflect upon a story that empowers you in mission at your job. Pray through your job description and discover ways to serve in mission at work.
Pastor Lee Reid's favorite places to serve in mission.
1. Grace Happens - Pastor Lee's non-profit organization that supports individuals who are without a home, or down on their luck with funds for utility bills, transportation, laundry, etc.
2. Brethren Disaster Ministries - engages volunteers to repair and rebuild storm damaged homes for some of the most vulnerable disaster survivors, thereby easing trauma and promoting recovery. By demonstrating Christ’s love and putting their faith in action as they restore damaged homes, volunteers also restore broken lives.
3. WARM - Read article about Mary Baldwin's IT department donating computers to WARM Thermal Shelter.
Pastor Lee's Mission Definition
Mission is us finding the purpose God made for us and using that tool for his work. We all have different mission fields, some near, some far, some big, some small. Mission is every day you step outside your door with the opportunity to serve.
Take a simple step in mission this weekend by witnessing the sacred and secular collide at your workplace for God's glory.
Rev. April H. Cranford