Northwestern Alumna Publishes Book on Faith in the Workplace
June 2—Northwestern College alumna Shari J. Harris has recently published Walking in Faith: Stories of Hope and Encouragement for the Workplace (WestBow Press), a collection of personal reflections about living out her faith at work. Harris currently works in global organizational development for a Minneapolis Fortune 500 company, although the stories in her book are gathered from experiences she has had over the course of years in several companies.
Harris, a 2007 graduate of the FOCUS Degree Completion program, was inspired to write the book based on her personal experience of coming to faith in Jesus Christ through the example and invitation of a co-worker. “I knew there was God but he was a big and far away,” Harris explained. “When I got close to a friend and she talked about having a personal relationship with Jesus, I just knew she had something different in her life.” Her co-worker helped her see God in a new light and her life was transformed.
While passionate about the importance for Christians of bringing all of themselves—including their faith—to work, Harris recognizes that many people don’t think the workplace is where faith belongs; as a Christian she believes she’s called to be public with her faith.
“I have at times felt like I’ve been under attack because I’ve boldly claimed to be a Christian,” Harris said. “That’s put me in a difficult situation with people who don’t share my faith or don’t think I should bring faith to work…they’re sometimes offended.”
But for Harris, the reward outweighs the risks. “It is difficult [bringing faith to work] but well worth it.”
The book is dedicated to Harris’s mother, Darlene Harvatine, who passed away in late 2010. Pressing for months to get the book published so her mother, who was battling ALS, could see it. She ended up setting aside her writing last fall as her mother’s health failed. Harris found comfort in the book’s actual publication date—just a few weeks before Mother’s Day this year. A portion of the proceeds from the book will be dedicated to ALS research.