Unstoppable is the word that comes to mind when you look at the early days of the church. Conflict and controversy threatened to take down the young group but, instead of destroying it, the challenges fueled the fire that spread across the first-century landscape.
And now, in these challenging times, we are reminded of our mission through the following stories from Lake Union department leaders what being the Church is really about — God’s people doing God’s work together by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Planning and problem solving are two of the more prominent activities that take place in the Information Systems Department at the Lake Union. Often research is being done to determine what types of systems are reliable and could these systems be beneficial to our field either at the Conference office, at a church or in a school setting. In the last few months, that planning ahead (by the grace of God) has paid off as, prior to 2020, the Union office had assisted several Conferences with implementing Microsoft Office 365 and the Teams module. This has been a blessing during the COVID-19 crisis as many meetings and collaborative work was and continues to be to be handled in an efficient manner in the Cloud.
The Information Systems Department can be viewed as a resource available to the conferences and the wider field. During the COVID-19 crisis, the department has continued to make itself available by ensuring that those that need support have the information necessary to contact our staff via Teams, cell phone and email. We believe this has made it possible to continue to provide support in a timely fashion and make sure departments at the conferences and academies have the technology resources they need.
Here’s a case in point that demonstrates both how this works in our current environment and how we continue to assist the field. One of our conferences was having a software issue that had been going on for some time. It wasn’t earth shattering, but it sure was bothersome and certainly was slowing staff productivity. Our department received a plea to take another look at this issue to try to determine the cause. We spent some time talking it over, doing some additional research and, in this particular case, a prayer was offered for Divine guidance. Although I know God does not always immediately provide a solution to an issue, it was not more than a few minutes after this prayer that a Google search pointed us to an article that ultimately solved the problem. I believe this happened as we worked together both here at the Union and in conjunction with our counterparts at the conference office, with a prayer in our hearts and with the willingness to put agendas aside and find a solution to the problem.
Life is not always perfect and we aren’t always able to solve every problem, but I find it refreshing to know that we work in a place where the day starts out with worship and prayer, where we are encouraged to use our talents to the best of our abilities to further the cause of God, and where we are often given positive feedback and encouragement in our work. I hope that the Information Systems Department will continue to be that kind of channel of God’s blessing both to the union office and to the wider constituency that we serve.
Sean Parker, IT director, Lake Union Conference