October 4, 2011
Dear friend of Taylor,
Imagine – the printing press transformed the church (and the whole world) when Johannes Gutenberg invented it in the 1400’s for the purpose of printing Bibles, but after 500 years, the book industry is being shaken to its foundations. Publishing houses and bookstores are feeling the effects of the digital age, as electronic versions of books (e-books) are now outselling traditional books. Why do I mention the book industry? Very simply, we live in a world of dramatic change. All of us are regularly being directed into new ways of banking, communicating, listening to music, worship, etc.
Taylor has also been going through momentous changes. Like many other Christian seminaries and bible colleges, we find ourselves serving in a new and different environment. But here is the good news: God continues to be at work in that world and He wants to use all of us. In fact, I am convinced that God is just getting started with Taylor.
We are seeing similar changes in our culture, and they needn’t be feared. Indeed, the season of change that was thrust upon us in recent years has given us good reason to be even more attentive to the educational needs of the church and to respond urgently. The changes being made at Taylor Seminary and the new learning opportunities being developed at the Wahl Centre are being strongly supported as God brings students from around the world into our classrooms.
This year we have welcomed into our student body a former cabinet minister from Ethiopia. About a decade ago he narrowly escaped death as he fled his native land and ultimately found sanctuary in Canada. Over the past 10 years he has become a Christian, a successful businessman, and he has developed a passion to proclaim the gospel in his home country and the 70 distinct cultures that make up Ethiopia. He has enrolled in our intercultural studies program to be better prepared to be the leader that God has called him to be. We are excited to see what God will do in his life and are privileged to be a part of that work.
We also rejoice at God’s work through our former students. Recently I met with an alumnus who was sharing with me the dramatic impact Taylor Seminary had on his ministry as we trained him to navigate the rough waters of a church in crisis. Using the things he learned here, by God’s grace, the church’s ministry has begun to flourish rather than flounder. He met with me to say “thank you” to Taylor for our impact on his ministry.
As a dear friend and supporter of Taylor, I want to encourage you in the changes we have experienced and in the changes you may be facing in your own life: nothing we experience can overwhelm the grace available for our need! There is work to be done, and as we have rolled up our sleeves and busied ourselves with the work set before us, God has been faithful both to lead and provide.
This educational ministry relies on the generosity of partners like you. Student tuition generates only a small portion of our revenue requirements. With your generous support we are able to keep tuition costs well below that of other seminaries. With your generous support we are able to offer exciting new educational offerings through the Wahl Centre that serve the church in a variety of ways such as training young people how to manage their money and offering programs to encourage, inspire, and motivate our church administrators and secretaries.
As we seek to equip and train people for faithful service to the church and to the kingdom, you are an indispensable member of our team. Every gift to Taylor is further evidence of the common cause we share as God uses us to “equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Eph. 4:12).
We continue to need your help; Taylor meets the training and educational needs of the church only as God provides through faithful friends and supporters. For the current year of our operations, which began July 1, we are prayerfully calling upon our individual and church supporters to generously provide $750,000 towards our budget.
The changes brought about by Gutenberg’s printing press were monumental, and we owe a debt of gratitude to those who were faithful through that season of change. In this new season of change, we, too, are presented with great opportunities and great challenges. As an integral part of the Taylor community, we thank you for standing with us as we move forward, knowing that God is not finished with any of us yet!
I close with a simple prayer for a beautiful Thanksgiving season; may you celebrate God’s blessings in the sure knowledge of his presence and care.
David Williams, PhD
President, Taylor College and Seminary
P.S. Remember, all donations are gratefully received and will be used directly to train and prepare students for leadership service to the Kingdom. Charitable receipts will be issued at the end of the year for all gifts received. You can give to Taylor using the secure, online service of Canada Helps (click here).