“Everything is Spiritual”

Integrating faith on Capitol Hill.

  • by Jess Fong
Susan (left) with Christian Embassy staff member Sue Vernalis. photo courtesy Sue Vernalis

When working as a college intern on Capitol Hill, Susan Manchester had a small focus: “I didn’t feel the need to get connected [to a church]. A lot of people are just here to have a good time, and come hoping this will lead to a future job,” she says. In her student housing, she spent much of her time partying.

A year after graduation, she returned to the same office as a staffer in the House of Representatives. Unlike her initial internship, she wanted to make different decisions: “Evangelism is a lifestyle now. It’s something God thinks is important and it’s something I constantly think about – and it is a constant challenge in this environment.”

Susan met Sue Vernalis, a staff member with Christian Embassy, a ministry of Cru dedicated to providing resources for national and international leaders to integrate faith and work.

“[Staffers] are spending the time to help shape the laws of our nation,” says Sue. “They are also young people dealing with normal life, like who to marry and how to negotiate relationships.”

Encouraged by Sue, Susan began wanting to influence people not just in the political realm, but the spiritual. She now leads a weekly Bible study with Capitol Hill interns.

“I’ve been able to encourage a lot of my co-workers,” says Susan. “Faith comes out in everyday conversations; everything is spiritual.”