The Serendipity of Faith

by Jill Klusendorf, Director of Community Life

I love the word serendipity. It's joyful. It's hopeful. And it's just plain fun to say. I can safely say that I didn't find this job. To find a job implies that you are actively looking for one. It was more of a "dipping a toe into the waters of the possibility of thinking about maybe going back to work after twenty-two years." But facts are facts. My children were getting older, and I was too. I could only do so many online crosswords a day because there were just no more to be found~ seriously, someone needs to get on that! While I found deep fulfillment in my volunteerism and a passionate affinity and ferocious joy for my family life, it was time for me to "get a job" in every literal and proverbial sense of the phrase.

A friend of a friend of a friend called me about a fundraising database project and wondered if I would be interested. And that's where serendipity skipped in. The database project never came to fruition, but something new and wonderful had come across her desk. An Episcopal Church in Kenilworth was looking for a Director of Community Life. As I read the job description, I kept thinking, "Is this for real?" If I didn't know better, I would have sworn I wrote it myself and filed it under "Jill's Dream Job That Could Never Possibly Exist" in Microsoft Word.

But it did exist. And after twenty-two years I "got a job." The truth of the matter is that the job is actually better in life than it is on paper. Each day is an adventure and an exercise in serendipity. My office (I HAVE AN OFFICE!) overlooks the play yard. If that isn't just about the best perk in the world then I don't know what is. Really, if you are ever having a bad day, please come over to my office and sit and watch these teeny beautiful tots "paint" the fence with soapy water or run, hula hoop, climb and laugh. It's a visual all natural mood-enhancer. And it's good for the soul. When you happen upon an Olympic Torch Parade complete with paper towel roll torches and theme music, you swear it's just as good as and maybe better than the real deal. And then thank God for your good fortune.

There hasn't been a day since I arrived here that someone hasn't reached out to me to not only introduce themselves, but to share their love for the community of Holy Comforter. The Shawl Ministry literally takes my breath away with the love and care they put into each stitch. The Flower and Altar Ministries are so darned talented and ever so gracious with their time. The Vestry is, well, so very vested in CHC. To witness such love and devotion strengthens my faith in God and humanity. Everyone here is so kind and so nice! People sing in the hallways and laugh readily. Amazing. I get the feeling that everyone really likes to come to work here. I know I do. It's as if God knew what a warm and cuddly place this was and named the parish Himself.

I guess the point of it all is that you just never know when serendipity will wake you up and have you take notice of the beauty in the small stuff and yet see the big picture so much more clearly at the same time. So that's the story of how a couple pleasant surprises got me here. And keeps me here. And truly reinforced my faith in me. And in the greater Glory of God.