Today’s Core Value reflection comes from Kay Halverson, Program Director at our Mary Marshall Assisted Living Residence and a Commissioned Minister with Chesapeake for more than 5 years.
Core Value Reflections: Faith
It is no accident that one of the core values of VOA Chesapeake is faith. The founders of Volunteers of America, Maud and Ballington Booth envisioned the organization as a broad spiritual movement “to reach and uplift people, and bring them to the immediate knowledge and active service of God”. Volunteers of America is recognized as an actual church, and it is led by ministers who have promised to abide by the principal faith tenants. At the same time, Volunteers of America does not discriminate based on religious preference, hiring persons of all faiths and religions, and serving whomever is in need. Volunteers of America is a Ministry of Service, and faith in action. James 2: 14 – 17 describes this “faith in action”.
“What good is it my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.”
This is the very essence of Volunteers of America. The passage eloquently talks about how faith is meant to be active, and alive. Jesus constantly challenged the Pharisees and priests to do more than engage in their worship rituals. As a minister of Volunteers of America one has the opportunity to really impart this message to those we serve as well as to employees. Many social service agencies are committed to helping others, but because Volunteers of America acts from a foundation of Christian faith, the organization “is built on rock, not sand”. It is truly exciting to be a part of a community of faith engaged in helping others. Many people can “talk the talk”, but “walking the talk” is what puts meaning behind actions.
The Bible has many references to active faith, which can also be used as a scriptural basis for the ministry of Volunteers of America. In Matthew 25: 35-38, Jesus tells his followers “…for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…”. When questioned about when this was done, Jesus responded “when you do this for the least among you, you are doing it for me (paraphrased)”. The Old Testament also speaks of combining faith and action in Micah 6:8; the Lord requires you “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
Faith is what drives us, and keeps us grounded. How fortunate we are to be able to practice our faith every single day.