The President’s Corner

Well, I’m back from my sabbatical! Thank you for your prayers this summer asking God to give me some needed rest and rejuvenation. A pastor friend of mine who had taken a sabbatical a few years ago gave me some great advice—that I find an activity I love to do and spend a lot of time doing it. For him, it was rock climbing. For me, it’s gardening.

In Sandpoint, Idaho, where we live during the summer months, I have a large vegetable garden and several large flowerbeds. This summer I spent countless hours in my gardens, planting, pruning, weeding, and harvesting produce and flowers. It was refreshing to see the progress, and I would often pray, talk to God, and listen to praise music while I worked.

Jesus used many garden metaphors in His teaching. This summer I enjoyed reading Scripture through the lens of those illustrations, praying about what they mean for my life and the ministry of Q Place. One clear message came through loud and clear in my times of reflection: the importance of prayer in our daily walk with Jesus, especially for leaders like myself. If Jesus is the vine and we are the branches, apart from Him we can do nothing of any lasting fruitfulness (John 15:5).

This verse from Galatians 5:25 also became central in my prayer time: Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. I am not sure if it is this summer’s sabbatical or my aging body (or both!) that are pointing me to this conclusion, but I am more convinced than ever that our pace has got to be more in step with the Spirit of God if we expect lasting fruit from our ministry efforts at Q Place. Please join me in praying for that to be so in the upcoming year.

Grateful for you and your prayers,

Mary Schaller