Six bright, young, faithful, energetic, recently graduated, and newly ordained Presbyterian pastors make up our newest ministerial study seminar. It was a great privilege for me to join five of them in April for their first meeting. Their sixth member is in Africa on mission this year. We gathered at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, from which they had graduated as recently as 2009 and 2010.
These pastors are competent in their ministries and dedicated to the service of their congregations. They enjoyed reading theology together, they were refreshed by their week together, and they will carry this learning and reinvigoration back with them to the churches they serve.
What was very heartening and gratifying to me was that they not only liked Reformed theology in general but they also loved and delighted in the writings of Dr. John H. Leith (required reading for the first meeting of each new seminar) in particular. They had never met Dr. Leith, though I did learn that one of our friends at Pittsburgh, Dr. John P. Burgess, had them read Dr. Leith's Basic Christian Doctrine in preparation for their ordination exams, so they were already aware of Dr. Leith and appreciative of him. As the seminar discussed each of his books through the week, they were marveling over his insights, his understandability, and his application of Reformed theology to the life of the church today.
This is a great encouragement to me, and I hope it is to you, too. With this new seminar, we have reached a new generation of ministers, and therefore we have an opportunity to extend our support of such ministers farther into the future than ever before. We have a program that can help these twenty-something year old pastors in their ministries not only for ten or twenty years but even for thirty or forty years.
The gifts we receive from the friends and supporters of the Foundation are what make this seminar possible. Of course, the gifts we receive make all our seminars possible. As you know, we reimburse the room, board, and travel expenses of our minister participants in order to provide for them to read historical Reformed theology and then to apply it to their preaching, teaching, and pastoral care.
The more gifts we receive, the more seminars we can conduct. The more seminars we can conduct, the more ministers we can support. The more ministers we can support, the more congregations of the church of Jesus Christ we can help build up. For this high privilege we are grateful. Can you make a gift to the Foundation to help us in this great work?
Thank you for your consideration.