Today’s Miracle Monday comes from Sister KarenJo Pandone. She reflects on how “church work” has shaped her life and even her career path.
Reading Sister Zarella’s blog post about how working for the Lord influenced her future career made me reflect on my own career goals.
When I graduated high school—I won’t say how long ago that was but I’m now retired—all I wanted to do was become a secretary.
My first secretarial job was at age 11 when I was elected MBA Secretary for my branch. I was so excited to sit up front, record what hymns were sung, who said prayer, and take attendance.
Then my nerves set in – I had to read the minutes out loud! I was a nervous wreck. But my branch loved me, and my MBA teacher, Brother Frank Morle, gave me all the encouragement I needed. And so my career path began…
In my sophomore year of high school, our youth group decided we wanted to publish a branch newsletter. I was voted the typist. Various class members would write the articles, and it was my job to type and lay out the newsletter.
I was living with Brother Alex and Sister Cathy Gentile when the General Church print house began in their kitchen with a monster computer that you needed instructions to use. Several of us mastered the instructions, typed songbooks, publications, and then completed the project by collating around a huge table in their basement.
I looked forward to each project we completed as the family of God.
I remember interviewing for my first managerial position at Michigan Bell. They asked if I had ever coordinated a large group. By this time, I had been elected GMBA Secretary and had worked on the registration and accommodation committees for several campouts. They were shocked to hear that I had experience in a worldwide youth group as secretary and was responsible for the registration of several hundred people for an event. (Thanks GMBA!)
When I retired from my last job as an executive legal secretary, I went on to what I refer to as my dream job: administrative assistant for The Church of Jesus Christ.
My days are now filled with corresponding with my brothers and sisters from coast to coast. I receive emails from people in the world looking for Christ, and I get to direct them to the appropriate people in our church who will then lead them in the right direction. I’m blessed to be able to help when we have conferences at the World Operations Center in Greensburg and interact with each brother and sister on a personal level.
So, yes, Sister Zarella’s blog post definitely had me strolling down memory lane, but also realizing how the Lord influenced each part of my working career, beginning at a very young age into my life right now at this moment.
I’m grateful and can never thank God enough for all He has done for me.
Don’t Minimize Working for the Lord
Historian. Editor. Librarian. Secretary. Superintendent. Do you hold any of these titles in church? If you do, then don’t pooh-pooh the work as “nothing much.” You could be gaining valuable transferable skills for your career.
Or, maybe even more importantly, you get the chance to do work that you find enjoyable and meaningful. Not because the work is necessarily fun (collating papers, painting a Sunday school room, or washing dishes after a potluck) but because you’re in good company with the family of God.
Did today’s article remind you of a time when you worked for God and it impacted your life in some way? Let us know, and we’ll share your story here!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.
This was a beautiful message to all, that working for the Lord shapes our future ❤.
GOD Continue to Bless you Sister. Beautiful article.
A wonderful testimony and a great example that I hope many will follow. A caveat to everyone: don’t take an office in the Church just to get it on your resume. Whatever you do for the Lord, give it your best not expecting anything in return, and you can be certain He will bless you.
I am reminded of a time early in my career where a volunteer effort for the Church ended up helping me land a job in a rather direct way. This was back in the early 80’s, a couple of years after I had graduated architecture school at a time when I was working as a draftsman, acquiring experience towards my architectural license. The General Church trustees at that time were seriously considering putting a storage and office addition onto the backside of the auditorium(before it became the World Conference Center), so I volunteered to draw up a set of plans for it. At the time, I was working for a very large architecture/engineering firm, where due to my lack of experience, I was relegated to relatively minor roles in the development of documents. Consequently, my portfolio of actual work experience had little to show in terms of drawings I had done in a position of significant responsibility.
After a big layoff during a downturn in the economy, I took some time to work full time on those plans using my own name on the title block and developed them to a point where they looked very complete. While the trustees decided that they would not proceed to build what I had drawn, the set of plans drawn with me as the responsible professional was key in convincing my next employer (after I moved to Arizona with no job leads) that I was qualified for a position at a very good firm that opened up literally the day I showed up at their door. I ended up spending several years at that firm and it led to other jobs that allowed me to enjoy a satisfying and successful career as an architect. I am still able to use my professional skills to benefit the Church today and have found that as I volunteer to do things for the Lord, he has blessed my natural career in ways that more than outweigh the efforts I put towards doing things for His purposes.
Great message! As I read Karen’s secretarial history, I felt like I was reading my own as I, too, began accepting secretary positions in the church as a 14 year old. So many similarities between us but I have to say that it IS a blessing being able to help the church in whatever way I can and the Lord certainly has blessed me naturally and spiritually.