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Stories of Brethren stewards * July 12, 2017

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BVS in warehouse 2017
Paige Butzlaff (left) and fellow volunteers of
 BVS unit 313 serving during orientation.

Photos by BVS Staff

A passion to serve
By Paige Butzlaff

Since high school I knew I would join Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS). Little did I know that it would shape me for the rest of my life. But what I’ve come to discover throughout this whole experience, from switching projects, from being hospitalized due to depression, from continuously doubting my capabilities to complete assignments, and to even doubting my own faith, I’ve come out stronger and more steadfast in the direction I want to steer my life. I’ve developed passions for things that make my heart sing. I’ve grown farther and yet closer to my faith than ever before. I knew BVS would be somewhat like college, where one leaves home and everything they ever knew to embark on a journey of discovering who they are and what they were put on earth to accomplish, and that’s why I wanted to join BVS.

Paige Butzlaff 250w
"BVS has helped me to be
the person I want to be."

When I was seven years old I wrote in my diary that I wanted to help “poor, needy and sick people.” I didn’t know it at that time, but that’s when I found my calling in life. I now know that I’m passionate about not just helping others, but serving them. Helping implies that someone is helpless, but serving implies that you are encouraging someone to find their own strength, not denying that they can take care of themselves. Helping puts the helper on a pedestal. But serving puts you right there with the person you are serving, so your humanity meshes with their humanity. Rarely do we get the chance to recognize our own humanity, let alone acknowledge others, and empathize with them, especially in the culture we’ve been born and raised in.

BVS has helped me be the person I want to be. I’m serving others in a capacity that I never thought I’d be doing, but it’s worked and I’m grateful for the opportunity. What’s allowed me to discover more about who I am as an individual and where I’ll leave my mark in this world is not only my work at the General Offices, but the everyday occurrences between places I visit and people I meet. I’ve learned so much about myself by attending Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren, and I’ve met some incredible people there. My housemates at the BVS house in Elgin are inspiring people, and although we don’t always see eye to eye on issues, they have been super supportive of my journey and I have learned a lot about them as well. Who knows what’s in store for me after BVS, but I’ll always have this experience to look back on and thank God for providing me with this incredible opportunity.

Paige Butzlaff recently finished serving through Brethren Volunteer Service as a volunteer in Congregational Life Ministries. Learn more about the life-changing ministries of the Church of the Brethren at, or support them today at . 

Annual Conference 2017 logo

AC 2017 packing boxes G Riegel


     Photo by Glenn Riegel

Annual Conference
2017 Giving

2,329 attendees in
Grand Rapids, Michigan
and several online
viewers gave the following
at Annual Conference:

  • $15,534.58 given to the
    Core Ministries offering.

  • 190 usable pints donated
    at the Blood Drive.

  • $2,420.08, a pallet of office
    supplies, and several backpacks
    and material goods were
    collected as part of the
    Witness to the Host City.

  • $55,280-plus total
    received for offerings.

  • Whether you were present in
    Grand Rapids or viewed from
    afar, thank you for joining us
    at Annual Conference 2017.



    “There is so much life to live on the
    other side of what’s easy. Press into
    uneasy conversations and challenges,
    knowing that God is with you and
    waiting on the other side, and one
    day it will become your default.”

    —Sarah Shearer in “A big God in the small spaces”
    from the July/August issue of Messenger Magazine.


    Messenger July August 2017

    Facebook icon 32  Twitter icon 32  Blogger icon 32  YouTube Logo  Pinterest icon 32  Instagram icon 32

    Donor Relations department photo 2Matt DeBall, John Hipps, Mark Flory Steury,
    Cherise Glunz, and Traci Rabenstein.

    Watch for our
    next issue on
    July 26

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    about how you and
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    eBrethren: Stories of Brethren Stewards is produced every other week by the Donor Relations department of the Church of the Brethren.

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