December 3, 2011
Dear friend of Taylor,
The first stanza of my favorite Advent song says:
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
For me, this song best captures our longing and hope, our loss and our anticipation, as well as the joy and redemption brought to us in the Savior. Advent is a time of reflection, and this year my thoughts return to the things God has done in my life and the life of the faith communities in which I have been involved, particularly to the men and women who have impacted my life. I think of the Sunday School teachers who taught me the faith, the camp counselors who led me in my youth to a deeper commitment, and the ordained and lay leaders who encouraged, exhorted, and inspired me to be the man of God that God wanted me to be. I also remember with gratitude the pastor who suggested that I consider a life of full time vocational ministry.
I reflect on my faith journey with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for being involved in a ministry such as Taylor. For over 70 years this institution has prepared church leaders and helped them make an impact on the lives of others; being part of this ministry brings a deep sense of fulfilment. The continuing need for institutions such as Taylor is highlighted by the fact that as many as one-third of pastors will be retiring over the next decade and will need to be replaced. And we know all too well that the world needs Christian leaders who are ready to step up—whether on the mission field, in the boardroom, or in our neighborhoods—all providing hope and a better way. Where will our churches get these new leaders? Where will these new leaders be trained?
Taylor is moving strongly into the new future into which God is calling us. The rough waters of the past are behind us. We have paid off our debt, created significant efficiencies, and are working more cooperatively with other Kingdom partners than ever before. We have not only survived, but are beginning to thrive again. As so many of you have stood with us in the past, we invite you to stand with us now as the new day is beginning to dawn.
Advent marks the beginning of the new church year; during this season of remembrance, celebration and anticipation, please consider how you might join with us both financially and prayerfully as we continue the task of developing Christ-minded leaders who make a difference in the world.
On behalf of the board, volunteers, faculty and staff – from everyone at Taylor – we wish you a blessed and joyous Christmas, one that is focused on Jesus.
David Williams, PhD.
President, Taylor College and Seminary
P.S. Donations from individuals and churches represent half of our annual budget, enabling us to keep our students’ costs down. Your gift, however generous in size, is greatly appreciated. Donations post-marked by December 31, 2011 will qualify for a 2011 charitable donation receipt for income tax purposes. You can give to Taylor using the secure, online service of Canada Helps (click here).