A Message from Timothy Sheridan

Dear Mrs. Roahrig and other Members of the Student Ministry Scholarship Department,

Thank you for once again considering me for your Student Ministry Scholarship. As a result of your generosity during this academic year, I have been able to afford my tuition and other expenditures as a student here at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. As my first year of seminary draws to a close in a couple of months, I have been reflecting on God’s goodness to me over the past year. I have had a number of experiences that have helped to form me for my future in ministry and am anticipating the continuation of these experiences in the coming year.

Apart from having a rigorous but very rewarding course load, I have gained very valuable practical experience for my future in ministry. Since September, I have served as a field worker at Zion Lutheran Church in Decatur, IN. Under the supervision of the pastor, I have gained my first real experience in helping to assist in leading worship and conducting liturgy, particularly reading the day’s Scripture lessons. Additionally, I help weekly with the distribution of the Lord’s Supper. At the seminary itself, I am on a two-week rotation for leading our early morning chapel services, brief prayer services always led by seminary students. My confidence in simply being at the front of the church and helping to.lead the congregation in worshiped has been greatly bolstered in the last year. God has given me a real sense of peace when I am granted the privilege of standing before His altar and behind His lectern and pulpit.

During the winter quarter, I completed the Homiletics I class requisite for preaching as a seminarian. Thus far, I have been able to preach on four different occasions, once at an adoption congregation in western North Carolina and three times at my home congregation, Our Savior Lutheran in Raleigh, NC, while home for spring break. It is a unique challenge, but also a joy, to proclaim God’s Word and to find one’s own voice as a preacher of the Gospel.

Perhaps the greatest lesson I have learned over the past year is how truly practical the work and mission of the Church is. Since I was a teenager, I have loved theology and the study of God’s Word. I do not have the space here to share all the insights I have gleaned from my seminary classes, all of which have been excellent courses. Combining my academic work with practical work in the church has rejuvenated my love for service to the people of God. My time here in Fort Wayne has reminded me time and again of the purpose for which I am studying. To that end, I will be spending my summer serving as a vicar (intern) at Martini Lutheran Church, a small congregation in inner city Baltimore, Maryland. I am anticipating a challenging, but also formative and rewarding, experience.

Thank you again for your generosity to me over the past year, both in terms of financial support, as well as the birthday and Christmas cards. Please know that I mention you in my prayers often. I am thankful for our partnership in the Gospel, which will bear fruit even into eternity (Phil. 1:3-6).

Sincerely yours in Christ,