The Best of Things in the Worst of Times
The cornerstone of a chapel in Leicestershire, England, bears these immortal words:
“In the year 1653, when all things sacred were throughout the nation either demolished or profaned, Sir Robert Shirley, Baronet, builded this church; whose singular praise it was to have done the best things in the worst times, and to have hoped them in the most calamitous.”
The year is 2020, not 1653, but we find ourselves again endeavoring to do the best things in the worst times. EAGLE has long helped guide our principles by focusing not just on what and how but on who and why.
The Methodist Home mission statement deals with kids, family, and our staff. But the first words undergird it all: In response to Christ and the Church. This is our why that moves us.
Essential work defines what we do on our campuses. No matter the circumstances, our people stand in the gap to provide for our kids. Why? Because no matter who sends our kids to us we believe they are entrusted to us by God.
In this context, as Chaplain I have felt a particular call to support our staff even more deeply. I asked Alison Evans, our President/CEO, if I could send a brief daily email to encourage our staff. She affirmed the idea. In my mind, I saw 4-6 weeks. Now half a year down the way, I’m finding the opportunity to give encouragement, hope, and inspiration, both an affirmation to our people and an unexpected gift to me. All of us find strength as we are reminded God is with us every step of every day.
However, even if masked and socially distant, nothing beats personal connection. Wandering the campus and connecting with staff has become increasingly important to the ministry here. Prayer is a natural part of many encounters because the usual challenges of life continue unabated, plus more.
What an unusual time for an EAGLE review! Though our reviewers were unable to be on site, they did an outstanding job in their virtual presence. The review allowed us again to revisit our purposes, processes, and outcomes.
The reviewers brought excellence and empathy to the process. They helped us clarify that our mission aligns with EAGLE principles. They both affirmed the excellence of our work and offered suggestions for further growth. That is value added since one of our key goals is continuous improvement.