Today’s reading, which comes from the beginning of Mark, brings us to the desert for the preaching of John the Baptist.

The people of Judea and Jerusalem come to the desert to hear John the Baptist’s messages of forgiveness and to receive baptism. Through his proclamations, we learn that the Messiah will come after him. While John baptizes with water, the Messiah will baptize with the Holy Spirit. It’s in this way that John’s baptism is preparation for the one through which our sins are forgiven, and we unite with the Holy Spirit.

John the Baptist is an important figure, particularly during the season of Advent—a season that calls on us to prepare for the coming of Jesus and reflect on the ways we can become better disciples. Like John, we have the opportunity to use our actions and words to pave the way for the Lord.

At CMMB, our mission follows in the footsteps of Jesus. With partners, donors, and volunteers, we’ve delivered locally sustainable, quality health solutions to women, children, and their communities for over 100 years. But in addition to our work in the communities we serve, CMMB is committed to connecting with young students around the country, to introduce them to the world of humanitarian service.

Hunter College students meeting Mary Beth Beth Powers, CMMB’s new President and CEO, during a virtual event in November 2020.

Mary Beth Powers and CMMB x Hunter

In November, CMMB’s President and CEO Mary Beth Powers participated in a virtual Q&A with students involved with CMMB x Hunter—a student-led organization at Hunter College that partners with CMMB to raise awareness about the health disparities women and children face around the world. Mary Beth spoke with students about her 30 years working in the humanitarian field, her role at CMMB, and what she hopes to accomplish. If you’re interested in reading more about Mary Beth’s Q&A, click HERE.

During a season where we’re empowered to reflect on the ways we can become better disciples of Jesus, we’ll leave you with insight Mary Beth shared during the virtual event. Her words describe the importance of deeply listening to the communities we serve, but it’s a lesson that holds true in beyond our work at CMMB.

“I’ve spent a lot of time working on how can we better listen to communities. We might think we have the answers to something, but then the perspective is totally different on the community level. What we presume might be the answer is really going to require a lot more dialogue and a lot more listening than telling.” – Mary Beth Powers

In grace and peace,


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