By Cathy Luchetti
We all have faith, we all have a workplace, and we all want to bring God more into everyday life. How do we do this? How does the type of work we do advance the kingdom of God? How does faith change the way we work?
Every profession has its own story and every member of SCC has a story to tell. To see one person’s path of faith is to encourage us all.
“We have 15 Christians in our office of twenty.”
This is Susana M., a career counselor at Hayward State University. Her role as part of the Academic Advising and Career Education (AACE) team thrusts her into daily contact with staff and students–probably dozens. In counseling students, she can advise and discuss career decisions, major selection, resume writing and more, but cannot discuss faith. How, then, can she and her fellow Christians manage to incorporate faith into a hectic schedule in a secular workplace?
Susana’s outreach is to fellow workers through a prayer support group that focuses on the university as well as other needs. She receives daily email devotionals, and in the spirit of these reflections, will spark a religious discussion while asking others about their day. Sometimes she offers to pray for a fellow worker, which leads to a meaningful conversation. This is an opportunity to ask about their beliefs.
Sometimes, there’s a surprise. A query about someone’s cell phone use leads to the discovery that her co-worker listens to worship music. Or hearing a scrap of conversation in the large, 100-person kitchen, helps her find a way to broaden the discussion and talk more about faith. Or, once a year after Christmas, she brings in treats—macadamia nuts with chocolate, or melon– for the Epiphany on January 6, the commemoration of the revelation to the gentiles of Jesus Christ as Savior.
“As a child I loved this ‘Little Christmas’ because it was yet another opportunity for goodies and presents,” Susana says. She greets her office with a full-page description of the celebration, ending with: “May you have an ‘Epiphany’ this and every year. Please share mine.”
Susana’s actual job—that of advising students—allows her to use her natural, professional and spiritual gifts to help and guide students with ethical issues, to encourage them, to direct them to other sources of help and to provide a safe place for them and their needs. Even though Susana does not actively discuss faith with the students, she can direct God’s resources to them. What better workplace ministry? ©