Welcome to the Metro Phoenix Women's Chapter homepage. We are Christian women who support one another in living out the mission of Christians in Commerce: Being Christ in the workplace. We are young and old, Catholics and Protestants, owners and employees, blue collar and white collar. Our work is done through chapter meetings, retreats, seminars, small support circles called Challenge Groups, and our Annual Conference.
Chosen as Examples for Christ
I came to Women’s Christians in Commerce because someone invited me. I stayed because I found encouragement, challenge, and acceptance. I found community! Christian community is distinct from all other forms of community because we are chosen, we are Christ’s and we are bound together by the Holy Spirit in love, acceptance, encouragement and our mission.
How about you?
1 Thessalonians 1:2-8
We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it.
I have attempted to live out my Christian faith in my secular job for years, and my church and prayer groups have been supportive. However, WCIC provides a place that intentionally helps us learn to be an example, “to be Christ in the workplace,” wherever that workplace may be. In WCIC there is the mutual encouragement of like-minded women who have helped me hone my words and to look for specific ways to share Christ.
Several years ago, I was at a crossroad and was praying about my career. Should I stay where I was? Or should I venture out into something completely different from my industrial technical background? I was led by the Spirit to take an Icon workshop at the Franciscan Renewal Center, where I met a dedicated member of Christians in Commerce (CIC). She invited me to the WCIC-Phoenix meeting, where I found strong women of faith who pray, who seek the Spirit’s guidance and seek to live for Christ in all parts of their lives – family, friends and workplaces. They strive to be imitators of Christ. So I kept going back.
The following spring, I attended a Challenge Weekend, where I received a message from God that was the final part of my decision to change my career. The Spirit affirmed my desire to serve Christ. My WCIC sisters affirmed my love of Scripture. And God the Father reminded me that service needs to be directed to both those who are meeting Jesus for the first time and those who want to know him better. Opportunities to meet both types of people can be found in the workplace. But opportunities can also be found at the bank, restaurant, grocery store, gas station, in schools, in sports activities, in our families and friends, and in our faith communities.
I no longer work in the industry, but have become a student again, at Fuller Theological Seminary. My primary focus of ministry is within the church where I am interning. However, I am now in a position where I am the face of Christ to the many secularized persons I meet who know I’m in seminary. They ask me questions. They are watching me in order to see Jesus. This is true for all of us; if we claim to follow Christ, people are watching us.
WCIC sisters encourage each other and challenge each other to live intentionally in all our interactions, as if we were introducing someone to Jesus for the first time. WCIC’s effectiveness comes from our diversity. WCIC sisters represent many Christian traditions. Our work is done in commerce, manufacturing, social work, medicine, health care, real estate, communications, marketing, sales, education, and home-making. We include newly baptized Christians and “seasoned” disciples. We are in our 20s and in our 60’s. I have received much wisdom from the varied insights, breadth of experience and perspectives within our group. They help me explore how to speak about Christ within our secular culture.
We are the body of Christ. We are beloved daughters of God. Together, we pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to fill us, guide us, and work through us for God’s kingdom. And God gives us the gift of seeing the Spirit work in each others’ lives. It is a blessing.
This month’s CHALLENGE!
What are your unique gifts that enable you to encourage others? To whom are you the face of Christ? How will you be an example of Christ’s love to your family, friends and workplace this fall?
The author, Elaine Pope, resides in Mesa, Arizona. She would welcome your questions or comments on her reflection. Elaine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.