I’ll never forget our conversation. It was a passing one that happened after he handed my paper back to me at the end of class. “The Church needs your voice,” he said. Dr. Coleson may never remember saying those words to me, but they changed something in me – and helped me see myself in a new way.
These are the conversations of life-change. These are the conversations of encouragement on days when you just want to give up. These are the conversations of setting off a spark of possibility. These are the conversations of NTS.
I’ve never experienced a place quite like it. Where there is an energy in the air of hopeful expectation for the Kingdom of God and the work of the Church. The halls are filled with dreams that are backed with the absolute belief that we as God’s people can actually play a part in His transforming work. Belief that is the backbone of the preparation that happens in the classrooms and in passing conversations.
To walk those halls today, 20 years after being a student there, I am charged once again with hopeful expectation. I believe more than ever in the work that is happening at our beloved seminary, so thank you for how you are helping the work continue. This kind of investment helps the conversations take place that will encourage students for decades to come.
Sure, we all know that there is much more to a graduate level education than encouragement. Salaries and technology, campus improvements and upkeep are all so very important and needed. It’s exciting to think about how far the seminary has come in recent years and how more students can be impacted by her collective wisdom through distance learning. These are good days.
What I hope you’ll remember, though, is that your generosity has a greater impact than the good days right now. You see, one day there will be an alumnus who is experiencing the “not so good days” of ministry and remember one of those NTS conversations . . . and the spark of possibility will be reawakened. A calling will be encouraged. And the work of the Church will take a step, once again, into the world that God so loves.
Thank you for your generosity. And for helping light a spark.
Grace and peace,
Rev. Jen Showalter
Port Orange Church of the Nazarene
Class of 2001