5 July 2016, by Sarah Tanner, Digital Media Specialist
It’s been an interesting year. I work behind the scenes for Concordia Plan Services, very rarely interacting with our customer base. I’m a web designer who manages projects that people see, but I don’t often interact directly with our members. It’s easy to forget that even from the quiet of my desk, I’m a part of the larger picture of what is going on.
Until last summer. When Concordia Plan Services started talking about how to celebrate 50 years of service, I was on the edge of the discussion. Doing something with social media came into the conversation. As we started talking about how to tie it all together, we decided that the way to celebrate CPS having 50 years was to celebrate all of the people that we serve – and all of the people that they’re serving. A worldwide web of people serving God, doing whatever they do for the glory of God.
I have been consistently amazed in the last two and a half years of working here at the level of commitment that our employees show toward helping ministries and workers with their benefits. Coming from the secular world, I was impressed with the fact that the people who worked here not only were doing their jobs – but cared about the community they were a part of. Making sure that a pastor had the answers he needed about prescription coverage for his family – no matter what – or making sure a ministry could survive a tough time. It has been life-changing to be a part of work that matters.
But all I ever saw was the inside of this building, and the people here – impressive on it’s own. Until now.
In celebrating the work of LCMS ministries by finding and recognizing those with an exceptional Spirit of Service, I finally got to see the work that we’re working to enable. I was the person who collected all of the nominations. The person who read through them at my desk and removed any identifying information from them for the judging process. As I read more than 160 stories of people all across the LCMS who were changing people’s lives, I have never felt more joy. People bringing food and services to the homeless. People providing emergency relief. People bringing the gospel to the far corners of the world in languages that it has never been in. I was grateful that I would not have to be a part of the people trying to choose three. Just three, out of all of this work that brought tears to my eyes.
Here are those three – amazing people that are bringing the Gospel to a world that desperately needs it – but it is only a small representation of the 160 nominations we received – and the thousands more who are working across the church to do this work, and do it for the Glory of God.