VTS Day of Gratitude

Date: April 24, 2024

On April 26, we here at Virginia Theological Seminary will be celebrating a day of gratitude. We will reflect on the wonderful gifts that VTS has given those of us who have the privilege to study here—from its top notch staff to its robust community life—and the gift that VTS has given in raising up leaders (lay and ordained) to serve God in His Church. We also recognize that these gifts are not free, and so we will also give thanks to our donors, past and present, who have made the work and mission of VTS possible.

Prior to seminary, I worked for the University of Colorado Foundation. There I learned a lot about secular philanthropy. People generously supported the institution making higher education possible for thousands of students. Yet in the Church, I have experienced a different form of generosity founded on the virtue of Christian charity. As Christians our generosity does not stem from obligation, but rather a charitable response to God’s love. We give of our love, labor, and wealth because we are inspired by God’s action in our lives and in the Church.

As Christians, too, our gratitude is a response to God’s love. When we say “thank you” on Friday, this is not a simple sign of politesse for services rendered. Rather our “thank you” recognized the dependency that we all have on one another and the deep gratitude that we have for all those who make this seminary a place of learning and Christian formation. The Church does not (and cannot) exist without the faithful work and support of Christians responding to God’s love.

As we prepare for Thank You Day, I personally am incredibly grateful for the love and support that our greater community has shown VTS. I am grateful for our donors who makes the mission and ministry of the seminary possible, and I am grateful for the gift that VTS continues to be for my formation and for the wider church.

Rev. Durango Jenkins
M.Div-Class of 2024

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