CCC youth leader transitions to being professional storyteller

By Mary M. Rall
Community Covenant Church

Mary M. Rall

Mary M. Rall

I’ve always been fortunate enough to do what I’ve loved for a living.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my stints as a cookie decorator, wearing a Snoopy costume at the grand opening of a PayLess Drug Store, being a pizza prep cook, selling two different brands of vacuum cleaners door-to-door and as the salad bar sheriff of my hometown Sizzler. Since the time came to get serious about a career, though, I’ve always been able to work in a profession I’ve been passionate about.

Community Covenant Church has once again made this truth a reality as I transition from working as the assistant High School Youth Group director to being the church’s Communications and Connections director.

This shift in professional focus may take a lot of people by surprise, probably because we haven’t made any church-wide proclamations or sounded a gong at the front of the sanctuary during Sunday services to announce we’re losing another high school ministry staff member.

Okay – we’ve never sounded a gong to declare change, but I do know that’s what it sometimes feels like when there’s a shift in the church’s staff. I’ve sat right there alongside you, experiencing the same waves of confusion and speculation as they reverberated through the congregation and the realization of change was absorbed, especially when that change impacted our youth.

I empathize with you on what may seem like an unanticipated announcement on the revision in my role as a staff member and apologize if it’s alarming to anyone. To put it simply, the transition from one job to another for me at CCC hasn’t been shouted from the roof of the church, because I’m still going to be volunteering with our middle and high schoolers, just like in the good old days.

I mentioned earlier that I’ve always been privileged enough to do exactly what I love for a living, and working as a staff member in support of the student ministry programs at CCC is a perfect example of that. I was serving the students for about five years before I ever became a church employee and experienced about 18 fulfilling months of getting paid to support a program I previously participated in voluntarily.

Not many people get to say they earned a paycheck for doing what they once did for free. I did, though, and I will once again serve as a volunteer for both the Rise Youth middle school program and with the High School Youth Group, because I believe in the ministries, our students and their leadership more than you could possibly imagine.

I genuinely know the transition to being the Communications and Connections director is yet another opportunity to work and serve in an area I love, as it will once again give me the chance to write professionally, something I haven’t been able to do for about five years and have greatly missed.

My life in Alaska began in 1992 as a military journalist stationed at what was then Fort Richardson, and I spent the following 17 years filling column inches in area publications as both a military and a civilian journalist. I worked my way from being a soldier, to a freelancer, to a lead journalist, to being the editor of the Chugiak-Eagle River Star and The Alaska Post newspapers before shifting my focus to community relations in 2009.

I’m passionate about the way God has allowed me to serve Him, the Army and the community over the last few years, but I’ve missed writing. I’ve missed the privilege that comes with being trusted with someone’s story and the responsibility that accompanies communicating it well and as it was intended to be shared. I’m a professional storyteller, who has been woefully lacking stories to tell.

Not anymore, though. I once again have the opportunity to be a storyteller, but now I get to convey what people are experiencing on a daily basis as followers of Christ. I get the honor of sharing how CCC’s story and the many and varied stories of its congregation are part of God’s eternal narrative. I get to be God’s storyteller.

I’m going to revert to my student ministry roots momentarily as I go on the record as saying that’s pretty ripping cool…dude.

I’m so ready to get started on this awesome new chapter in my personal plot, although I’m lacking knowledge of all the stories that are in need of telling. So, I make my plea to you, humble reader. Heck, I make my plea to the not-so-humble reader too, and ask you all to tell me what you’re up to and how you’re living out the reality of pursuing Christ and His priorities in the world.

I want and need you to tell me your story, as well as the story of the person or group from CCC that’s doing awesome things as followers of Christ. I quite literally want you to dime out the members of our congregation who would never communicate all the ridiculously awesome things they’re doing for the kingdom.

Don’t worry – Pastor Todd hired me in this new position, so we can all blame him if anyone wants to know why you told me about all the super cool ways they’re impacting the world for Christ. I mean, that’s what I was hired to do, right?

All kidding aside, I really do want to know what you, your friends and family and the various church groups and ministries are up to so I can communicate how Christ’s enduring story as its being lived out in the world today.

Contact me on the website or 632-0366 if you know of a story that should be told, and know that I can’t wait to help share it.