A Prototype CFB Chapter Launches In Virginia
A Prototype Chapter Launches in Virginia
By Barbara Finnegan
My attention was grabbed by the cover text on the Fall 2022 issue of Response Magazine – “Faith and Work.” I had just heard a sermon on that very topic, and my pastor had even used the Dorothy Sayers quote that appeared in the publication. As I flipped through the articles about the Center for Faithful Business (CFB), I was captivated. The faith stories captured in films of the featured Faith & Co businesses were so powerful. I began to wonder if we could start a local CFB chapter in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Our area has good inter-church relationships and a history of working together for issues like thermal shelters, child care, housing, and public transportation for rural residents. I could think of several strong Christian business leaders I’d worked with over the years who would likely be interested in a local CFB chapter.
When I spoke with CFB Executive Director JoAnn Flett, I learned that chapters did not exist, but she thought it was an idea worth pursuing. We agreed that I’d follow up with some of my business contacts to gauge interest. Everyone I met with early in 2023 was enthusiastic and encouraging — game on! I was able to gather a great steering committee to join me in my planning efforts: a realtor, a nonprofit director, and a business professor. My pastor was also supportive, and my church gave us permission to use a nice meeting space.
On August 7, we emailed an event promo and invitation to over 40 pastors and leaders asking for their help in spreading the word about the upcoming sessions. One pastor wrote back to me saying he had mailed the invitation to 20 other leaders. The meeting room has a capacity of 75, and we’ll soon find out if it’s adequate!
The first of six Thursday sessions begins September 21, and attendees are welcome to bring a lunch along. We’ll open with two Faith & Co. films, and hear responses from the group. We’ve also lined up local Christian business owners and managers to briefly share their faith journeys. The last 20 minutes will be used for breakout sessions using discussion questions adapted to our audience from the Business on Purpose Group Study Guide.
We’re all very excited to see where this leads and hope to schedule another set of sessions beginning in February 2024.
Barbara Finnegan has held various management positions in radio, publishing and non-profits. She holds a B.A. from Seattle Pacific and an MBA from James Madison University. Currently a writer and seeker of new ways to bring people together, she lives with her husband on a small farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.
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