Dear friend of Taylor,
I am pleased to tell you about an important development at Taylor College and Seminary. As our valued ministry partners, we want to make sure you hear first about the projects we are working on.
We are announcing the launch of the Parish Nursing Institute, which will operate as part of our continuing education branch, the E P Wahl Centre. Parish nursing utilizes the skills of registered nurses in a ministry context; parish nurses are sometimes part-time, and sometimes provide their services on behalf of more than one congregation. Their ministry is profoundly important for seniors, shut-ins and those with chronic health concerns. Someone with training as a parish nurse can often bring medical expertise that pastors do not have, and can offer unique support to those in medical crisis.
The Parish Nursing Institute, developed by Dr. Joyce Bellous of Taylor along with other experts, will offer its first Certificate Program in June 2017. Representatives of the provincial and national parish nursing associations have been part of the process, and their encouragement and counsel have been instrumental in shaping this initiative. Churches that want to grow in this area of ministry to congregants and families and individuals from their communities are encouraged to participate in this training program.
The Parish Nursing Institute’s Certificate in Parish Nursing program is presently envisioned as something we would offer once every two years, and would serve R.N.’s from across western Canada and beyond. Pray with us that the compassion of Christ and the healing ministry of the church would be significantly extended through this new ministry focus!
This has been a heart-warming Fall Semester at Taylor. We continue to see students from around the world enroll in our degree programs, and the stories of life change and ministry growth are so encouraging. The E P Wahl Centre has offered a variety of training programs that have been very impactful, based on follow-up surveys. And many of our ministry partners have made significant investments in this ministry, with year-to-date giving ahead of the pace of 2015-16. We had been forecasting a modest operational deficit this year, so this generous support along with higher than forecast enrolment have been answers to prayer.
One new suggestion we are making this fall is for a greater number of our ministry partners to join us with regular automated giving. You can read more about that in the insert we have provided. I have never made it a practice to focus on fund-raising, believing that God will supply all that we need to do all that He asks of us. I mention this because the focus on automated giving is new; I ask that you pray with us for hundreds of people to respond, as this would alleviate some of our ongoing budgetary pressures.
Finally, I want to share a few thoughts about this Christmas season. Over the past few weeks, a number of us have immersed ourselves deeply in the Incarnation, the mystery of the Word made flesh. We have just published the Fall edition of The Bridge, and the Incarnation has been our special focus. Thinking deeply about this as a team of writers/editors has been a wonderful reflective exercise for me, and I pray that you will be blessed as you read the articles and stories that will arrive soon in your mailbox.
We believe that in His coming in the form of a servant, Christ has modelled something central to the Kingdom. His weakness, His preferring of others over Himself, His generous welcome of sinners and outcasts – these must be hallmarks of our lives and ministries. “Let this same mind be in you…” the apostle wrote. Here at Taylor, we have been freshly challenged to live out the mystery of God with us, and the call to take up our cross and follow Him.
I pray that the greatest highlight of this Christmas season will be a renewed sense of wonder at the love of God on display in the weakness of His birth.
Thank you again for the partnership we share in ministry preparation. We could not do this vital work without you.
David Williams, PhD
President, Taylor College and Seminary
P.S. Regarding year-end giving: remember that your gift to Taylor is tax-deductible for the 2016 tax year if A) we receive the gift in 2016, or B) if the envelope containing your donation is clearly post-marked on or before December 31. Of course, you can contribute by phone (using a credit card) or online (http://www.taylor-edu.ca/about-taylor/donate-online).