I grew up here in Servant Branch and went to Trinity School. I came underway in the Colorado Springs branch and have belonged to the South Bend branch for almost 10 years now. I'm also a member of the Sisterhood. You may have noticed my name on the videos the community has been putting out, and I’d like to tell you a little bit about that: how I came to do that and what my work with the People of Praise looks like.
In college I studied music and theater. After college I decided to set them aside so that I could live in a campus division household and make myself available to serve the community in any way I could. I spent my evenings writing for Vine & Branches and learning some basic computer programming—this was an effort to help the budding One:Ten Communications division of the LaSalle Company. (I'd say it was more of “an effort” than “help.”) When Sean Connolly asked me to start working for the People of Praise Communications Office, not only in writing but primarily in video production, I had zero experience with video.
I started out in 2007 making filming trips to the South Side of Indianapolis, where our missionaries were then beginning to hold prayer meetings and lay the foundations for Christian community. Kevin Daly, who spent several summers of his college career serving in our communications efforts, taught me how to use our video cameras and edit video footage. We used a computer built and donated to us by Ken Larsen, and got a lot of equipment advice from Tom Bowar.
I work on the Greenlawn property, where Trinity School at Greenlawn, the People of Praise executive offices and the People of Praise growth center are all located. My studio is in Raclin Hall, the growth center building. The building also houses offices of the other communications team members, the property development team and the Center for Christian Studies. I often get to hear updates at our office morning prayer on the latest Action trip, or new properties the community has purchased or renovated. I get to participate in meetings of the growth team, led by Paul DeCelles, who is responsible for all the program offices. I’m always hearing about new things the Lord is doing among our missionaries and in all our branches from Chris Meehan who does reporting for the communications team.
I continue to rely on other brothers and sisters as I do the work I do.
Any time we make changes to the People of Praise web site or post videos in a new location, the folks in One:Ten Communications help us make it happen. In addition, Tom Noe, Dan DeCelles and others associated with the Center for Christian Studies save us from many slips of the tongue. Recently we were able to borrow some lighting equipment from the drama department at Trinity for a large video shoot. The property management team over at Greenlawn helped us make a living room into a studio. In fact, Paul Hommes and Nick Raway, both in Christians in Mission in Indianapolis, came to South Bend recently to donate a few days of their time to renovate a larger filming space for us. Susan Holovaty and Gloria Murphy have done hours of service for the communications team over the last year in transcribing video interviews. Joe Gleason, who volunteered a lot of his time as a college student to our video production, is now working in our department. I could go on and on about brothers and sisters whose names may not be in the credits of our videos but who are truly making it possible for us to communicate as we do.
One day a few months ago, I found myself in a very tight spot when our video camera’s behavior made an apparent change. We were scheduled to film a talk that day, and it was going to be our only chance to get it on camera, but our test footage was looking really funny. Nothing we tried could fix the problem. I started making phone calls to anyone in South Bend I could think of. One man, Jack, called me back immediately and gave me a few suggestions, offering more assistance if I should need it. I did what he said and it worked! He saved the day. I was so grateful to him that I later went to his business to thank him personally. He furrowed his brow, paused, and said, “It’s like that Gospel story--the one who came back.”
“You mean the ten lepers?”
He smiled. “Yes, you’re the one who came back to say thank you.”
Thank you, brothers and sisters, and thank you, Lord, for making it possible for us to labor with you in the Mississippi Valley!