The Lord blesses us each with gifts, Saint Paul instructed the Corinthians in his first letter and offers them to us for our use in building His kingdom. “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit,” Paul writes, “and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but the same God who inspires them all in every one.” In service and in evangelizing, many gifts are needed, all of them with equal dignity and worth.

I think about this often, especially in terms of ministry – including Marriage Encounter. Not too long after Marcia and I became a team couple for MN Marriage Encounter, our dear friend Mary Jackson asked us to join the board of directors for the organization. Then, as now, the board consisted of good friends and dedicated people looking to offer their unique gifts for the success of our combined effort to strengthen marriages and families in our communities. Over nearly 16 years – most of those as President Couple – Marcia and I have had the joy and blessing of working with a number of faithful servants of the Lord and benefited from their gifts.

And thankfully, the board has the privilege of supporting an entire community of gifted people! Later in 1 Corinthians, Paul writes about the specific gifts within the kingdom: “And God has appointed in the Church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues.” Who are team couples but teachers and healers? Mary and Sandy are certainly workers of miracles, keeping the organization afloat through stormy times. What blessings we have!

We board members bring gifts of administration and helping, but we get so much back from our efforts. As always, the board could use more members, more friends to bring their specific gifts to further our mission and serve the Lord. For those who might be discerning about how and where to put their gifts to use, please consider coming to a board meeting soon and spend a little time with us.

May the Lord bless your families, and thank you for the blessings your service has already brought so many others.


Your brother in Christ,

Ed Morrissey

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