As the light of Epiphany grows in our world, I can't help but remember the wonderful moment before Christmas when the community of VTS really shone. And now the students are back on the campus, I want to honor that moment.
The staff of Bishop Payne Library, working with the office of Church and Community Engagement, designed a way for us to support Project Christmas Angel, a project of OAR (Offender Aid and Restoration). The idea was to ask members of VTS if they might contribute toys and gift cards that could be given to children of incarcerated parents. Spending Christmas in jail instead of at home with one's children, and not having the financial resources to buy even a small gift for a child, is a hard fate indeed. And having the opportunity to share one's own bounty with others less fortunate is its own special gift.
The VTS community responded with gusto, filling an enormous collection box to overflowing with toys, puzzles, and books and 26 gift cards for these children. At least one VTS child asked his friends attending his 13th birthday party to bring a gift for Project Christmas Angel instead of a gift for him. Many VTS community children selected and donated gifts for the project. It was a generous outpouring of love from VTS students, families, staff, and faculty. This outreach project in observance of Theological Libraries Month lived up to its motto: “Theological Research Leads to Gospel Action!” As the Light of the world continues to shine in our hearts, thank you VTS for your generosity to those in need at Christmas.
The Rev. Melody Knowles, Ph.D. Vice President for Academic Affairs