One of my favorite hymns down through the years has been “Make Me A Blessing” that contains these lyrics,
“Out in the highways and byways of life, many are weary and sad. Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife, making the sorrowing glad.
Make me a blessing, make me a blessing, out of my life, may Jesus shine. Make me a blessing, O Savior, I pray. Make me a blessing to someone today.”
Among the greatest joys that I have experienced serving as the volunteer president of our Scholarship Foundation has been the joy of hearing an increased number of donors say to me, “I feel so blessed, and I want to be a blessing to others.”
As a direct result of so many of you singing or saying, “Make Me A Blessing,” we are now able to enlarge our scholarship recipients to include, not only our Seminary Students, but also, our Course of Study students presently serving as local pastors all across our Alabama-West Florida Conference. These Course of Study students are dedicated men and women, who for various and sundry reasons, were unable to graduate from a seminary. However, each of them has an opportunity to serve as a local pastor while taking a prescribed outline of 20 courses.
Oftentimes, the costs associated with these courses can become expensive. Your gifts not only provide financial support for their tuition, but your gifts also provide emotional support in their knowledge that you are standing “in the gap” with them every step of the way. The reality is that I do not know what our Conference would do for pastoral leadership if we did not have all of these dedicated Course of Study students serving as local pastors.
Because more and more of you have been saying and singing, “Make Me A Blessing,” we were able this past summer to support all of our local pastors attending the Advanced Course of Study programs at Emory, Duke, and SMU. The majority of them represented small membership churches like Bethel/Ebenezer in Washington County, Mt. Zion/Ivy Creek in Autauga County, Tabernacle in Houston County, and the San Juan Mission in Clanton.
Thanks to all of you for recognizing that you have been blessed so that you can be a blessing to others!
-Karl K. Stegall