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One, Two, Three…Lift! - by Heidi Regier Kreider, WDC Conference Minister

February 01, 2023


Originally written for the WDC website, reposted here with permission by the author, Heidi Regier Kreider, WDC Conference Minister.
Original Link: https://mennowdc.org/one-two-threelift/

Last week WDC staff members gathered at Camp Mennoscah for our annual staff retreat.  This was a time to reflect on WDC’s mission, share updates about current initiatives, and vision for the future…and we set aside some time to do a service project for Camp Mennoscah!  

Since it was January, we requested indoor tasks (in contrast to the outdoor project of picking up and hauling branches that we did at our staff retreat last Spring).  

This time, one of our assigned projects was to move everything (meaning every single object touching the floor) out of the Buffalo Room into the adjacent dining hall, to make way for carpet-cleaning in Buffalo Room before Scrap-Booking Retreat and other upcoming activities.  

I must admit that, as we surveyed the room full of overstuffed couches, book-cases, folding tables, stacks of chairs, and musical equipment (including a piano, drum set, amplifiers and guitar!) I was skeptical about accomplishing what seemed like a monumental task.   

But, as usual, the WDC staff stepped up and figured out a way forward!  Together, we deliberated creative solutions and debated possible ways to maneuver large, heavy objects. Together we lifted, slid, or rolled awkward pieces of furniture. Together we braved dust, dead spiders, and debris…until the room was empty and ready for carpet-cleaning!

Reflecting afterwards, I observed that each person offered different but complementary gifts, skills and abilities. We experimented and considered various perspectives along the way. We focused on common challenges and goals rather than allowing our differences or debates to get in the way of progress. And we seasoned our work with patience, kindness, understanding and laughter. Of course, by the end there were some pinched fingers, sore arms, and dirty clothes. But there was also a sense of accomplishment, camaraderie from shared purpose, and the joy of supporting Camp Mennoscah’s ministry.

In a similar way, the church (including WDC and its congregations) has ambitious goals and faces big challenges.  We know that answering God’s call and joining God’s work is not always easy and the way forward is not immediately obvious.  In the midst of this, may we work together as we recognize our shared mission, creatively consider multiple perspectives, and compassionately care for one another. 

Ephesians 4 reminds us to  “...lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.  But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift… to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…  Speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. (excerpts from Ephesians 4)

May it be so.  One, two, three… lift!

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