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Ethan Moose: Dishwashing and the Kingdom of God

Ethan Moose didn’t expect to spend his summer elbow-deep in dishwater.

He had come to the CCO’s Ocean City Beach Project (OCBP) to live and learn in community, grow as a leader, and worship God. Scraping plates covered with other people’s breakfast remains wasn’t in the planor rather, it wasn’t in Ethan’s plan. 

OCBP students find a day job soon after they arrive at the shore in order to build outside relationships and put their classroom learning into practice. Ethan found a dishwasher position at a local café, which quickly became the hardest part of his summer. “It was new to me, and I wasn’t very good at it,” he remembers. “I wanted to slack off.” 

But something kept him going.

In class, they had been talking about a big-picture view of God’s work in the world—creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. Learning that God cares about all aspects of His creation changed everything for Ethan. He began to see his relationships, his accounting major, and his love of basketball in the light of God’s restorative work. And eventually, he even began to apply this new perspective to his dishwashing work at the café.

“I was learning about how all work is important to God and that I need to do it well for His glory,” Ethan says. “I sensed God’s Spirit moving in me and making me more eager to do His will.” And so Ethan dug deeper into the Spirit—and into the soap bubbles—and persevered. The big picture of God’s work gave Ethan new purpose for his own. 

Now back at Geneva College, Ethan has a new mindset. He plans to pour into teammates on the basketball team, work hard in his classes, and be more open and vulnerable with people on campus. He even hopes to participate in the restoration of Beaver Falls, the city where Geneva College is located.   

“I had always thought about what God saved me from, but I never thought about what God saved me for,” Ethan says.

“I am a part of the Church and we are called to be God’s agents of restoration in the world. I’m not just sitting around waiting for Christ’s return. There is work to do!”