Last week we received a call from the Rev. Jill Beimdiek, interim rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Columbia, SC.
They have money set aside for Hispanic ministry and want to “let it go” in order to endow a scholarship for Hispanic ministry. They want the funds to be at an institution that can help make bi-cultural ministry a reality. St. Mary’s fund was originally set up in honor of Alfredo Gonzales, one of their parishioners who always wanted a strong Hispanic ministry at St. Mary’s. Alfredo is now 82 and his dream is not realized. VTS is gratefully accepting this gift and will happily use it for St. Mary’s and Alfredo’s purpose, which fits exactly into the VTS Strategic Plan.
One amazing thing about this gift is that Jill is not our alum; she graduated from one of our sister Seminaries and believes that VTS is the only Seminary poised and ready to fulfill Alfredo’s and St. Mary’s dream. We are honored by this, and it makes me reflect on how we’ve become so uniquely positioned.
What makes us strong? We have a board that cares deeply about our current position and the Seminary’s future. We have staff and faculty that are devoted to our mission. We have students and alumni who are working to fulfill God’s call. And we have a strong Annual Fund that is the basis for much of our work. Our Annual Fund is not for light bulbs and paper towels. It is the vehicle by which people vote with their finances to help support and strengthen this Seminary—a Seminary that trains and raises up the best lay and clergy leaders in our Church. Our Annual Fund makes it possible for others to see their dreams fulfilled.
Have you made your Annual Fund gift yet? If yes, thank you. If no, then join me
in giving to an institution that nurtures each of us and that helps bring dreams alive.
The Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D.
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
The Arthur Carl Lichtenberger Professor in Pastoral Theology and Continuing Education