September 16, 2018
The Rev. Emily Zeig Lindsey, a colleague, Pennsylvania pastor and friend, summed up the importance of theological education beautifully in a video that the Theological Education Fund shared in late 2017.
“There are people waiting in our pews and in our communities, hungry to learn and be fed, and waiting for a leader to come alongside them and help with that journey,” Emily said. “Seminary prepares you to do exactly that, in many ways, and teaches you to be receptive to the lessons you will learn during ministry.”
Today, we celebrate the guidance of these saints and the future pastors of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on Theological Education/Seminaries Sunday. Thanks be to God for the seminarians who have boldly answered the call of God!
Emily is a pastor today because someone encouraged her to go to seminary. What can each person sitting in a church pew do today to support future ministers?
You can take a look around your congregation for people who may have gifts for ministry. Which youth in your church offers prayers willingly and with a joyful heart? Who is the young adult who uses a mountaintop moment with God, in service, in worship or at a youth conference experience as an opportunity to spread good news to others? Who is a go-to leader in your congregation whom you might help discern a call to seminary and ministry full time?
This is your task today, and it is something each person can do.
When I talk to people throughout the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I hear that many are deeply concerned about where the next pastors in the church are now. Some 80 percent of the ministers in the pulpit today are eligible to retire in the next decade, which is startling but not insurmountable, with God’s help in the body of Christ, the church. The Presbyterian heritage of facing mission challenges in health and education resulted in the founding and maintenance of top hospitals and colleges across our country and world. I’m convinced that the way we come together to address our leadership challenges will be our next legacy. Won’t you join me and others in this effort?
I have faith in God, and I have faith in you, my friends in church. Together, we can support future ministers. There’s no time to waste; people are waiting on us, so let’s get started today!
Rev. Dr. Lee Hinson-Hasty, Senior Director for Theological Education Funds Development, Presbyterian Foundation
Today’s Focus: Theological Education/Seminaries Sunday
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Shawnda Styles, FDN
Carla Sutton, FDN
Let us pray:
Abiding God, we pray for those who are called to ministry, that they may hear your call and discern their place in ministry. We pray that you will walk with them as they seek their place in the world, and that those of us who see those around us with gifts for ministry will offer encouragement and mentoring to them along the way. We pray for today’s seminarians, that you will be with them and guide them toward the calls you have designed for them. Amen.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, September 16, 2018, the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
First Reading Proverbs 1:20-33
Second Reading James 3:1-12
Gospel Mark 8:27-38