Giving as a Means of Grace
by Pam Cottrell, Director of Annual Giving
AS THE NEW DIRECTOR FOR THE COLUMBIA ANNUAL FUND, I am grateful for the opportunity to write this brief article for an issue of Vantage that focuses on the sacraments. Initially, this seemed like an easy assignment, and then I began to wonder, “Is there an intrinsic connection between the sacraments and giving?” Christians sometime differ as to what they recognize as sacraments—some recognize as few as two and others as many as seven. Whether two or seven, we all agree, the sacraments are visible expressions of God’s invisible grace. In observing the sacraments, we celebrate God’s amazing gift of grace given to and for the world through the birth, death, and resurrection of God’s son, Jesus.
For more than 180 years, Columbia Seminary has answered faithfully to its charge of educating and preparing several thousand men and women for Christian leadership throughout the world. We are committed to giving financial support to our students as they respond to God’s call to a life of ministry. Our endowment and tuition income cover only part of the cost. We rely on gifts to the Columbia Annual Fund from alumni/ae, friends of the seminary, and congregations to make up the difference so that our students do not build up large debts as they prepare for ministry.
Therefore, the answer to the question, “Is there a connection between the sacraments and giving” is a resounding YES! Our giving is a natural response to God’s inexhaustible provision of grace that continues to renew and transform us. As Christians, we are called to respond to need—to give faithfully out of our love of others that God’s kingdom might come and God’s will be done on earth…
Please consider making your gift to Columbia Seminary today.