As I was out for a walk the other evening, I arrived at the FAU stadium, or should I say the Howard Schnellenberger Field Stadium. As I kept walking, I encountered the Marlene and Harold Forkas Ticket Center and the Martin and Jane Greenberg Foundation Tower. I also noticed the Debbie Lindstrom and Bob Sheetz Owls Perch before I crossed the street.
I noticed the Peter and Nona Gordon Library on the walk up to the stadium. And the Dorothy Schmidt
College of Arts and Letters. And the Louis and Ann Green Memory and Wellness Center. And the Sean Stein Pavilion, and the… There seemed to be a pattern at this school! I don’t think I’ve given enough money to my Alma Mater to have a bathroom named after me, but wow! Everything that doesn’t move seemed to get a name attached to it at FAU.
I then walked by the “Recreational Sports Center.” I looked for a name, twice I looked. It must have been the only building on campus that was not named. Then I walked down this long, covered walkway, wider than it is tall and painted in what could be Desert Southwest colors (the sun had set at this point); it was reminiscent of a Frank Lloyd Wright design. I say that because Frank Lloyd Wright designed several things at Florida Southern University in Lakeland and the covered walkways were one of them. The thought didn’t dissipate as I walked and walked, down that long corridor past (named) classrooms and food courts and offices and finally, dorms on the south side of the campus.
For the last several years, our church has had a small campus ministry at FAU in conjunction with the Annual Conference. Ryan DeLaune led that ministry for several years for us and in his absence, Rev. David Schmidt, who pastors at Cason UMC, has led it. That chapter is closing for us and I am praying for God’s direction in this area. I invite you to join me.
Walking down that long Frank Lloyd Wright-looking corridor I passed the Hillel Jewish Center. I suppose you could call that building named after someone, but Hillel was a Rabbi that lived right up to the time of Jesus’ birth. So, he didn’t donate money to FAU, or any Jewish student center, although they are all named after him. That resource to the students of FAU made me ponder anew what resources we provide them and what responsibility we might carry for that most prominent of institutions in Boca Raton.
This is just one of the ministry questions that pose themselves for us as we enter the New Year. I am
grateful to have been brought here this last year. I am looking forward to what God has in store as we ready ourselves for 2022. Discerning God’s will for us, whether related to student ministry or children’s ministry or any other is central to what we will do in 2022. Our denomination will be doing that too, and we will prayerfully follow those events with interest. As 2021 comes to an end, and variations on the pandemic continue with us as 2022 starts, let us bathe this new year with prayer, knowing that because God has been faithful to us throughout the years past, He will be faithful in this new year as well.
I am grateful for my appointment to FUMC Boca Raton. I am looking forward to living out my calling with you all in the next year. Let us find together God’s good and perfect will for our lives personally and in the
Happy New Year!
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2