By the time she was eleven years old, this month’s featured Peace member had moved 26 times. Yet her memories of those years are of friendships made, not friendships lost. A woman who is living her vocation, Chris Bacon clearly is a resilient person who makes
friends easily (and keeps them). She knows the meaning of hard work and gives of herself as an employee and as a volunteer.
Those 26 moves Chris made as a child were due to the nature of her father’s job, which involved working for telephone and electrical contractors. He wanted to have his family with him, as opposed to being away most of the time, so he brought his wife and two children ( Chris and her younger brother) with him as he went from town to town. Fortunately, there were a few other families doing the same thing, so Chris and her brother grew up with the children from these other families. They also learned how to make new friends, and it is a tribute to Chris’s parents that she focused more on the new friends she would make than on the ones she was leaving behind. One constant for Chris was attending the local Lutheran church. She remembers one rural church with ten pews and a wood-burning stove and vividly remembers attending VBS, receiving her first Bible, and going to Sunday School at these various and diverse churches. When she was eleven, her parents decided it was time for the children to settle into one place,
so they moved to Bloomington and stayed there. Chris attended Lincoln High School and Christ the King Lutheran Church, where she was active in Luther League, sang in the choir, and co-taught confirmation with a friend. This is also where she and her husband, Jack, were married.
Chris spent most of her career in recruitment advertising, with 35 years being spent at the agency from which she retired. At the end of her time there, she was an Account Director. It was a fast-paced environment, and she worked long hours. When the opportunity for an early retirement came along in 2016, she took it. Not long after, a part-time position became available at Peace, and she jumped at it. A member since 1984, she had already been thinking that she would like to work at Peace if the opportunity arose. Now the time was right. “I always thought I belonged working in a place that served the needs of others,” she says. The ad agency did not fulfill her desires in that way. At Peace, “I thought my previous work experience could apply as well as my experience as a volunteer at Peace. I felt it was a calling. Peace was a place I should be, helping others.” At the ad agency, the parent company used the phrase “Truth Well Told” as part of its branding. She always felt comfortable with this value in her company. But now, at
Peace, she can truly help other people in a calm, flexible environment. “Whether it is making referrals to outside agencies, learning more about the church, participating in programs that Peace may be involved in, or simply working to help prepare the Sunday service, it feels like a great fit for me,” she explains.
As a member at Peace, Chris has taught Sunday School, was a regular volunteer for Families Moving Forward, has been a communion assistant, has worked on Peaceful Nights, has sung in the choir, served on multiple committees, helped at Summer Day Camp, sewn altar paraments, served on Council three times and has twice been Council President. Most recently, she has spent time with Peace’s sponsored Afghan family. Outside of church, Chris loves to travel and manages to take one overseas trip per year
with three of her girlfriends. She and Jack have been able to go on some cruises and a few other international trips as well. “Travel has helped me gain a new perspective on the way people live in other countries and take that home to further the realization of how well Americans live and the privileges we have,” she says. In her “spare” time, she is currently serving on two volunteer boards of directors. In addition, Chris is a seamstress who made her own wedding dress and, at one point, had a business creating and sewing window treatments. Chris and Jack have two sons and two grandchildren (and two dogs), and they enjoy spending time with their families.
“It has been part of my life to work as a volunteer and give back to the community,” Chris tells us. From her days in high school as a “candy striper” at Fairview Hospital to now, when she is still volunteering to serve where needed, Chris has learned how fulfilling it can be to give back to her church and to her community. Chris, thank you for your countless hours as a volunteer at church and beyond and for the meaningful work you do in our church office!