Faith in the workplace


Faith in the workplace

By Carl Peterson

I have served as moderator with a ministry in our church: "Forum for Faith in the Workplace and Daily Living." This ministry, originally known as "Forum for Faith in the Workplace," was an area-wide ecumenical forum in central Ohio. We at Holy Trinity continue to carry out the intent of the forum as a ministry with the attached words "and Daily Living."

Once a month, we meet at the home of our founder for witnessing, storytelling and connecting Sunday worship to our daily lives and faith journeys. Attendance ranges from six to 14 people.

Our purpose is to reiterate that each of us has been given gifts by God for service to others in the name of Christ by all we do with our daily lives. This service may be in our vocational calling, volunteering, homemaking, consulting or any other facet of life. It involves all of us as Christians.

The list below is a summary of some of the activities in which we have searched for ways to be of service and to fulfill God's calling through this ministry. The exchange of ideas from items No. 2 and 3 were published in the congregation’s monthly newsletter:

1. We held two regional Community Faith at Work Programs in which we invited featured speakers to give testimonials about their work experience and faith journey. One speaker was a judge on the Ohio Supreme Court and the other was the superintendent of public schools in Columbus, Ohio.

2. We asked each member of the forum to lead a discussion on "how Christians remain faithful to core and religious values when confronted with workplace and everyday life challenges." Some topics covered in this three-year program were: information proliferation, consumerism, economic inequality, secularism, political intolerance and disconnectedness.

3. We examined "hot button" issues and language -- triggers for intense reactions from people. Our intent was to compare how these triggers were discussed on Sunday and lived out in daily life. Some topics considered in this yearlong program were: same sex marriage, sex, values, deviance and criminality, bottom line growth, and government and politics.

4. We have invited congregation members to share their faith journey and how they have heard and continue to hear God's calling to serve others on their journey.

Carl Peterson is a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Columbus, Ohio.

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