My husband, children and I became Presbyterians in August of 2001 when we joined Washington Presbyterian Church here in Knoxville. Steve Musick was pastoring Washington at the time and was the campus minister at Ukirk. My husband was working at the zoo at the time, and one of his volunteers was a life-long Presbyterian who thought that he would be a good board member for Ukirk. My husband served on the board, and when his term was finished, he recruited another member of our church to serve who then recruited another member of our church to serve when his term was done. Washington Church now had a connection to Ukirk as one of its ministries. In August of 2014, the board member before me announced in church that her term was done, and she would like to recruit someone from our church to serve. I felt God was calling me to this position. I was recently retired, and felt I had the time to make this commitment.
I have no ties to the University of Tennessee, being from Illinois. Neither of my grown children attended there. When I was in college, I was not involved in any campus ministry. There wasn’t anything for my church affiliation. When I did attend worship, it was at the Catholic Student Center. Even though I was not Catholic, I attended there because the mass was geared to student concerns. After I graduated college and during my young adult years, church and religion were not very important in my life. My faith was important, but I was struggling with the formal church and religion aspect. Then we had children and moved to Tennessee. I realized that in order to share my faith with my children, I really needed a faith community. God called us to several faith communities while we lived in West Knoxville. But it was the move to the east side of town that brought us to Washington.I wish that I had the faith community that is at Ukirk when I was in college. It would have saved me from all those years of struggling! I have enjoyed being part of this growing ministry. My term on the board is almost over and I feel I have grown in my faith by serving at Ukirk. I want the students to have the faith community that I did not have while in college. I am sure that I will still find some ways to serve at Ukirk because I feel this ministry has blessed me too.
UKirk Board Member
UKirk, UT Knoxville