Encouragement for the Church: April 2013
A Message from President Dr. Wendy J. Deichmann
With Easter Sunday behind us and the beauty of spring around us, new life is apparent everywhere in the North American Midwest. At the same time, difficulty and distress fill the minds and hearts of many. In the midst of both joy and pain, “Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on us!” is the opening line of a hymn and a prayer for all ages.
In the face of any challenge, the Church of Jesus Christ can still count on the good news that God is already providing everything that is needed for us and our salvation. In the midst of life’s ups and downs, the world’s beauty and chaos, human ecstasies and tragedies, the Spirit of the Living God is in our midst to offer hope, joy, peace, healing, spiritual growth and eternal life to all.
While great concern exists in many churches over decline and seemingly sparse resources for announcing the good news of the Risen Christ, we may be assured that the capacity of God to provide resources for renewal is not the problem. For every church in decline, you can find one experiencing growth and vitality. For every one who despairs of God’s intervention, another will testify to God’s very present help, healing and salvation. While many have been left to drift doctrinally, just as many cling to an orthodox creed and confession of faith in the Truine, saving God. Any theology worth its salt affirms the power of the Holy Spirit to bring the certainty of hope in Jesus Christ, and all that is needed to save and renew God’s people, the Church, and the whole creation!
In the North American context, theological schools affiliated with denominations in decline have a particular duty to prepare students to be grace-filled agents of change and renewal. A culture of continuing decline is not acceptable because the Holy Spirit is alive and well. The Spirit of the Living God is always faithful to lead God’s people to streams of living water and new life.
Now in our 142nd year, United is here to serve the Living God and the Church by recruiting and educating faithful leaders for the mission of Jesus Christ in the world. We are encouraged by the many faithful followers of Jesus Christ who are coming to study and work in our classrooms! Please pray with thanksgiving for our students, our graduates, and the churches they serve, for the great things that God is doing in and through them to transform lives and the world in the name and Spirit of Jesus Christ!
If God is calling you, I hope you will visit our campus soon, and let us know how United can help you fulfill God’s call on your life.
Joyfully yours in Christ,
Wendy J. Deichmann, President