Meet Marjory Zoet Bankson

Marjory BanksonMarjory, a Seeker for over 30 years, speaks about her call to outreach teaching

Last Fall, I went to my 50th high school reunion in Bellingham, Washington. The videographer asked me, “What extra-curricular activity in high school shows up in your life now?”

The answer was easy for me. “Writing for the newspaper and publishing the literary magazine. In my current life, I’ve been editing and publishing Faith@Work magazine for the past 22 years. That’s not all I’ve been doing at Faith@Work, but it’s an important part of my job there.”

Faith at WorkMy call to “outreach teaching” has emerged over time. It began as a job as a high school history teacher for nearly ten years. Then, while Peter was in Vietnam, I began working with a potter’s wheel and the clay drew me to more experiential learning. For a decade (1970-1980), I was a professional potter. During those quiet years in the studio, I also explored spiritual disciplines of prayer, journaling, meditation and retreat. When we landed at Seekers in 1976, I moved quickly into the School of Christian Living and began meeting the Learners & Teachers Mission Group. In a routine gift-discernment exercise, somebody named my gifts as “outreach teaching,” and I think that fits. Writing, speaking, creating learning events, and continuing to deepen my own spiritual life are all part of that call.

Call of the SoulToday I want to offer these examples of my call to “outreach teaching.” Representing my outward journey, here is one of my books, Call to the Soul, and a copy of Faith@Work magazine. When we started publishing the magazine in 1985, we had a mailing list of 1,000. Today, it goes to nearly 10,000 people as a resource for helping others discover call and ministry in daily life. And many Seekers have also joined us for the annual F@W work/pilgrimage to Guatemala which Peter and I have been leading.

Story of Seekers ChurchAnother dimension of my call takes place here at Seekers. Last Spring, I completed this historical record of how our community emerged from Church of the Saviour. Copies of The Story of Seekers Church, 1976-2006, are available upstairs. Another aspect of my call is my interest in our financial stability and stewardship of this building—represented by this annual budget and my membership in the Financial Oversight Group for Stewards.

Return to the EarthThe inner dimension of my call to “outreach teaching” is expressed by this unfired burial urn. As a founding member of the Living Water Mission Group, I’ve been able to support the inner life of Seekers through silent retreat, workshops and courses on aging and dying, and work on the new memorial wall which will be located in the back stairwell. These unfired burial urns are meant to dissolve gently along with the ashes they contain as a return to God’s creative process.

I’m grateful that Seekers has been a place where all three aspects of my call can be expressed, challenged, shaped and shared. I cherish this community as a place to share my call.