“Seminary Light”—the title intrigued me when I heard that it was a weekly class at UKirk.  A lifelong Presbyterian and retired English professor, I was first enticed by the opportunity to combine my love of learning and my interest in theology.  I had known about the campus ministry, most recently because my church, Westminster Presbyterian in Knoxville, supports it.  But when I began attending those weekly classes and getting to know the staff, students, and UKirk house, I quickly became a fan.  I could see how much UKirk offered: acceptance of diversity; fellowship; pastoral care; weekly dinner and worship, including an open communion table; special activities; opportunities for education, mission, leadership, and service; as well as the UPerk coffeehouse and study space; and little touches like free printing, candy, and a headache tablet or band-aid.

When I was asked to serve on the Board, I couldn’t refuse. I’m now an enthusiastic advocate and a financial supporter.  While we’re grateful for funding from churches and Presbytery, we know that donations from individuals are more and more necessary if UKirk is to survive.  For Giving Tuesday, our annual fund drive, we’re counting on alumni, parents, church members, and other interested folks.  I’ve made my gift—I hope you’ll make yours.

Penny Tschantz
Vice Chair