In my experience in the Fellows Program thus far, I have seen "the convergence of faith, life, work, and culture" come to a head in my work at the Center on Faith in Communities. The Center on Faith in Communities, directed by Dr. Amy Sherman, is a branch of the Sagamore Institute, an Indianapolis-based policy research think tank. My job at CFIC entails assisting Dr. Sherman in her work to "inspire, educate, equip, and resource the Christian community for the work of mercy and justice among the poor." Day-to-day, this can mean many different things. From conducting primary and secondary research to writing book reviews, I have been fortunate enough to collaborate with Dr. Sherman on many stimulating and worthwhile projects. One of the projects that Dr. Sherman has graciously let me participate in is the process of writing her book called Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good, to be released by InterVarsity Press later this year. I have contributed to many things in this process, large and small, from formatting footnotes to writing the first appendix. Getting to see the book-writing process has been fascinating and informative, but I have most enjoyed learning from the actually content of the book. Dr. Sherman’s book does for pastors what the Fellows Program does for young adults. It challenges pastors to preach on vocational stewardship from the pulpit, encouraging their congregation to capitalize on their gifts for the sake of God’s kingdom and to integrate faith, work, and culture. The book has bolstered what I have been learning through our seminary classes, through discussions and stimulation from our Fellows community, and through our volunteer work at Trinity Presbyterian Church. As I was working on prospects for next year, I realized how truly different this job-search has been from my experience this same time last year. I am looking at vocation and faith in a totally new light, understanding that the dualist divide between the sacred and secular is a deceptive lie from the evil one. God has had profound amounts of grace with me and is continuing to lead me toward his heart through my faith and work. Please be praying that all 14 of us will be led by God to understand how he wants us to be transformed and how he wants us to transform his world through our vocations.
In case you are interested, Dr. Sherman has recently written an article published in Crosswalk Magazine to whet people’s appetites on topics, issues, and stories addressed in the book. You can access the article here.
--Sally Carlson, Chesapeake, Virginia