GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–The sign above the door reads “Through this door walk Glorieta’s best.” It’s a statement that describes the staff, but it also defines the dedicated volunteers who serve LifeWay’s western conference center every day.
Mostly retired couples, Glorieta volunteers join the facilities and housekeeping staff each morning for a brief devotional in a maintenance building break room. As the sun rises above the mountain peaks surrounding the facility near Santa Fe, N.M., the staff and volunteers share coffee, laughter and prayer requests.
John and Marian Work have volunteered for the past three years at LifeWay Glorieta. They live in Sherman, Texas, but they see Glorieta as a second home and enjoy coming back every summer.
“We love the feeling that’s here — the spirit and the setting,” Marian said. “We enjoy getting to know the other volunteers and going to the worship services when we can.”
Members of Trinity Baptist Church in Sherman, the couple remembered seeing volunteers when they attended conferences at Glorieta many years ago. So when they retired, they called Glorieta “to find out how we could be volunteers,” Marian said.
Marian assists in the first aid office and John helps maintain the prayer gardens.
Rick Tanner, general manager of Glorieta, said the spirit of service is the most important benefit volunteers bring with them.
“The time they take to help guests and the relationships they form really sets us apart from other convention hotels,” Tanner said. “They help us fulfill our vision to help people and churches [know Jesus Christ and seek His Kingdom] by providing the best conference center environment we can.”
Because of New Mexico labor laws, volunteers can only perform tasks that are not considered normal conference center jobs. Volunteer duties include greeting guests, assisting in the dining hall, driving a tram that carries guests to meeting rooms and the dining hall and recording worship services on tape. In return, Glorieta gives volunteers their housing and food.
The Works generally serve the seven busiest weeks of the summer — from the end of June to the first of August. And, they acknowledge, volunteering isn’t for everyone.
“You really have to have a servant spirit and a willing attitude,” Marian reflected. “When we came, we were asked to give our three choices of what we’d like to do, and neither of us has ever gotten what we chose. But we love it though. We take joy that we’re serving Jesus whatever we’re doing.”
Volunteer opportunities are available at both LifeWay conference centers. For more information, contact Glorieta directly at 1-800-797-4222 and Ridgecrest at 1-800-588-7222. (BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: