Faith at Work: Introduction

The first question upon meeting someone usually is: "What is your name?" The second follows: "What do you do?" That answer often gets to the core of a person's life. After all, it is on the job that we spend most of our God given talents and time. So what connection is there between what a person does and their faith? To assist in making that connection, I have, as a priest, been visiting members of the parishes I have served where they work. I brief them ahead of time as to the purpose of my visit and the conversation I would like to have: What do you do here? What is the Sunday- the faith- connection with what you do? For the vast majority it is the first time that the faith/work connection has been raised. I find that an indictment on the Church- that at the core of what people of faith are about, the church has taken little notice.

That is where Episcopalians on Baptismal Mission (EBM) comes in. Our mission is to highlight the ministry of all the baptized in their daily life and to strengthen congregational support of the laity for their important ministries in the world. A metaphor we use is seeing the congregation as a base camp (See Stephen Jacobsen’s Alban publication: Hearts to God, Hands to Work.) The base camp exists for the hikers. The hikers don’t exist for the base camp. So the question is: how does the church, the local congregation, take seriously its hikers’ journeys? Throughout General Convention, ISSUES will be sharing stories of lay people discerning their faith at work. You will notice the variety not only of workplaces, but the reflections on the work/faith connection.

- J. Fletcher Lowe


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