"Thank you, thank you, thank you." Those were the words of the Rev. Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, dean of Drew University, The Theological School, when he spoke* on behalf of the presidents and deans of the 13 United Methodist seminaries during the 2012 General Conference (April 24-May 4).
Kuan's words "are addressed to each of you," says the Rev. Dr. Gwendolynn Purushotham, Associate General Secretary for the Division of Ordained Ministry. "United Methodists in local churches, big and small, urban and suburban, rural and in small towns, who support the Ministerial Education Fund through your church's connectional giving."
Kuan expresses gratitude for a miracle. And it happens like this. You go to church in California, Nevada, Alaska, or Nebraska – or some other place in the United Methodist connection. You place your offering in the plate. You and other worshippers rise to your feet, praise God, and dedicate the gifts. A portion of your offerings is sent to your Annual Conference, and a portion of that amount is combined with the offerings of other United Methodists in other places, to accomplish ministries that no single local church could accomplish alone.
This includes support for the 13 United Methodist seminaries and their students, enlistment and training of leaders for the Church, and continuing education for clergy.
"All of this happens because you support the Ministerial Education Fund through your church's connectional giving," Purushotham says. "And that's a miracle! Thank you for making it happen!"