Story Magazine - Second Quarter, 2004
Norman and Eunice Jones
Fargo, North Dakota
Norman and Eunice Jones enjoy seeing the fruits of their giving—so much so that they have made it possible for many others to share the joy of giving to Luther Seminary.
A founding member of the Luther Seminary Foundation Board of Trustees and its former chair, Norman Jones not only contributes, but also helps lead fundraising efforts.
His spirit and enthusiasm for a worthwhile cause allow Jones to be a top volunteer on behalf of Luther Seminary. He is passionate about telling the seminary's story to others, and displays a strong commitment to the gospel of Jesus, the church and future leaders.
“When people hear the story and the need for support, the number of new students we need, they are generous with their gifts.We have to continue to work hard to get the message out there. It’s exciting to see how well that message is received,” Jones said.
“I was recently taking with a friend of mine in Fargo who supported Luther Seminary’s last campaign. I asked him, ‘Will you help us again?’ He didn’t event hesitate. He just said, ‘I sure will.’ People know the need is there. They’re committed to helping meet it.”
Janet and Brad Anderson
Several years ago, a pastor noticed something about Janet Anderson and her husband, Brad: they loved to hear a good sermon. “Good preaching is so important to me,” she commented. “It was a first-call associate pastor who took us aside and said, ‘You know, you really should be supporting the seminary.’ ”
Since then, the Andersons have embraced Luther Seminary’s work, mission and vision in exciting ways. She has participated in several classes for lay leaders in congregations, has served on the seminary’s Foundation Board of Trustees, and has chaired the Partnership Gifts Committee. This year she was elected the foundation board’s chair. “God is calling me to do this,” she said. “It feels like a call!”
Anderson joined the board three years ago, as the seminary’s strategic plan, “Serving the Promise of Our Mission,” was being considered.
“It just resonated with me. ‘This is where the seminary should be going,’ I thought. I was aware of the need for increasing the financial resources of the seminary to carry out the plan.”
The Called and Sent campaign promises to build upon that vision, she said. “We’re working on developing new programs and expanding the kinds of programs already offered here. It will help to develop professional and lay leaders who are called to reach out in innovative ways with the message of the gospel.”
San Diego, California
Ask John Steel why he serves as a Luther Seminary volunteer and he’ll tell you it’s an arrangement where a little effort goes a long way.
A retired marketing and sales executive for the electronics industry, Steel has served on the seminary’s board of trustees and has chaired the Major Gifts Committee for two years. “It’s easy to get totally engaged with the seminary’s work, the strategic plan and the obvious passion of all those who serve at and with the seminary,” he said. “Their focus and commitment to the seminary’s mission is contagious.”
Steel’s service is motivated by his desire to financially make it possible for students called to ministry to attend seminary. “The Lutheran church needs future leaders. And Luther Seminary is an outstanding seminary with many gifted students,” he said. “However, developing leaders costs both the student and the seminary a lot of money today. Even more will be needed in the future. Anything I can do to increase the amount of financial support so generously and cheerfully given to the seminary will serve the future of the Lutheran church well.”
Steel’s passion for ministry is to pass on the gift of spiritual growth that results from the ministry of effective Christian leaders. “My wife, Gail, and I have received ministry in many a deep and meaningful way from our church leaders,” he said. “Faith-filled leaders produce faith-filled followers. Whatever we can do to pass on this gift is a treasured opportunity.”
David and Andrea Hayes
Half Moon Bay, California
David Hayes and his wife, Andrea, have financially supported Luther Seminary for eight years. David is a member of the Luther Seminary Board of Directors. The Hayeses recently contributed $25,000 to refurbish a pipe organ acquired by the seminary from St. Olaf College. The organ, now valued at nearly $100,000 because of the refurbishment, will serve as a much needed practice instrument for students in the seminary’s master of sacred music program.
Church music has had a great impact on David’s life. A trained musician, David studied organ for 10 years, and he served as a substitute organist for two years. “Music is a gift from God,” he said. “There is nothing more thrilling for a trained church organist than to lead a congregation of voices in a vigorous hymn of faith or praise.”
Whether it is by music or preaching of God’s Word, the Hayeses have a strong passion for getting the word out about the gospel. “With all the issues the church faces from time to time that are controversial, and as modern times bring ever-new pressures from a secular society into our lives, we sometimes get caught up in the issues of the day and lose sight of the cross,” said David. “We must remain focused on getting the good news of Jesus Christ out into the world.”