That verse is Romans 8:28, and it reads, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
“I frequently see things happen, and even though I can’t see how they all work together, eventually they do,” said Meiser who was one of three new members appointed to serve on the Presbyterian Lay Committee’s Board of Directors.
That is part of what led him to service with the PLC board, along with that desire to continue helping others, something that has been a part of his life for many years.
Meiser is an executive sales director for Quest Diagnostics, headquartered in Madison, N.J. Quest is the nation’s leading provider of diagnostic testing, providing clinical, pathology and genetic testing services to more than half the hospitals and physicians in the United States as well as other parts of the world. He has been with the company for 23 years, filling several sales/marketing positions during his tenure.
“Every day we touch hundreds of thousands of patients and their families through our diagnostic testing; that’s a lot of folks waiting on lab tests to come back,” Meiser said. “Touching half a million people every day is a special feeling. I feel very blessed that for many years I’ve been here I have led teams that meet customers’ needs. I like to be around and help people. My fulfillment is knowing that we provide the information to help keep employees healthy and safe.”
Part of that desire to help others in need comes from his work as a paramedic, volunteering with fire/rescue/EMS agencies for a number of years.
Meiser and his wife Debbie are both from the Pittsburgh, Pa., area. They lived in Raleigh, N.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Pennsylvania prior to locating in Overland Park, Kan. They have two sons, Brian, 24, who lives in Orlando, Fla., and Alex, 18, a high school senior.
During their travels, the Meisers have been associated with various churches, though they have stayed true to their Christian faith as Presbyterians.
“We’ve attended our fair share of churches,” Meiser said, noting that his Presbyterian roots were planted in the early 1980s while attending Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa. “We drifted away from our faith but then started to attend church on a regular basis while we were in Raleigh, and we sort of pulled back toward our faith roots.”
Meiser said he “felt a strong calling to get more involved” while living in Pittsburgh and attending Memorial Park Presbyterian Church. He was involved with the New Wineskins Association of Churches in Pittsburgh and was approached by Presbyterian Lay Committee President Carmen Fowler LaBerge about possibly serving as a member of the PLC board of directors.
His church went through the discernment process in Pittsburgh and sought dismissal to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Eventually, Meiser and his family moved to Overland Park and found a church that proved to be a good fit for them – Stanley Presbyterian Church where he serves as an elder.
“We felt pulled and called to become part of that church body,” he said. “It was and is a Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation today.”
When the chance to serve the PLC board was presented, Meiser seized the opportunity, agreeing to become one of its newest members. It’s a decision that has brought him plenty of personal satisfaction from what he is able to do, noting that he “felt the tug of the Holy Spirit” telling him he could use the position to benefit others.
“Easily the most satisfying thing I’ve gotten out of it (the board appointment) is the compassion, faith and energy that the board (members) universally bring to their work,” he said. “The fellowship and worship together has been incredibly uplifting and fulfilling. Just being around that group of people has made a difference for me. There are a lot of bright, helpful and caring people on the board.”
Meiser fully understands that the Presbyterian Church continues to face challenges, and he outlined what he feels some of them are.
“The challenges have been there for hundreds of years for the PCUSA and all preceding bodies and entities,” he said. “It seems large, mainstream denominations are struggling with issues around governance and polity. We also face the issues from the pull of Sunday morning soccer and baseball, and secular values that are permeating our doctrines. Because of that, not many people want to worship and fellowship, to pour themselves into a church dealing with influx or struggling with a denomination or presbytery.”
He went on to say that a more inclusive church actually has created more fragmentation within the denomination.
“It’s become cumbersome to attract new people and continue to replenish the pews as we look to be more inclusive and welcome folks of different groupings,” Meiser said. “We keep seeing little growth and entire congregations separating. We try to reverse the decline, but people won’t compromise their beliefs to include others.
“We have tried to rewrite the covenants that have been passed down, but that isn’t strengthening the church; it’s actually weakening it. It’s a matter of the Bible being the infallible ordained Word of God. We squabble over that when it should be abundantly clear, and it makes us look silly.”
Meiser also believes that people need to realize the blessings bestowed upon them are directly from God.
“The abundant blessings many of us enjoy and are enriched by that we’re sometimes blissfully ignorant of were given to us by God for His glorification,” Meiser pointed out. “As we appreciate those riches and blessings, it helps us see why God blessed us in such ways with great ministries and many faithful friends and relationships. Using that effectively and in Christian service not only makes sense but also lets us know why we received them in the first place.
“Our issue is to keep believing and let Christ guide us. That should be our focus.”