Thanksgiving: The Expression of Gratitude, Especially to God
Dear Cedarville Family,
I am thankful beyond words for Jesus and His gracious sacrifice in my place, bearing the penalty of my sin on the cross. I am thankful for a heavenly Father who is merciful and gracious to repentant sinners. I’m so glad we serve a God of second chances, and thirds and fourths. I am thankful for the Holy Spirit who brings fellowship between believers, enlightens the Scriptures, and ministers to us in too many ways to list. We have never been worthy of the good gifts God has given us, and we never will be. But we can be thankful for those good gifts.
Among those good gifts in my life is the opportunity to serve alongside the most amazing people at the most amazing place in the world. I genuinely believe that Cedarville University changes lives in this world and for all eternity through academic excellence and intentional discipleship in submission to the authority of God’s Word. I genuinely believe that God has called amazing women and men to serve at this unique place. I genuinely believe that our best days are ahead, and I still expect God to do something amazing in these cornfields of Ohio in such a way that only He receives the glory and praise for it.
This incredibly challenging semester has increased my gratitude for our team. University Medical Services has been on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19, addressing questions and serving our students well. Faculty members have taken overloads and prepared in-person and online delivery systems for multiple classes. The Physical Plant team has purchased and cut countless acrylic sheets to provide an added level of security, and Print Services, along with Creative Services, created countless signs to help steer us in the right direction and remind of us of our safety protocols. Student Life team members have led in the residence halls and the entire division has served students scared and anxious about the unknown. PSG has had to adapt to chapel being held in multiple venues with changes on short notice. So many in our various divisions have taken on increased workloads, created new, safer ways to do old familiar tasks, and performed “other duties as assigned” without complaining. Faculty, staff, administration, and students have delivered about 15,000 meals this semester. Our partners at Pioneer College Caterers have made arrangements to have every one of those meals ready on time and, to my knowledge, without a single mixed-up order. Our partners in WFF Custodial Services have added additional cleaning shifts and utilized the latest technology to disinfect this virus. And, I may be biased, but I think our students did better than any other student body at living under authority and following necessary, albeit uncomfortable-at-times, protocols..
Far too often, I take the incredible spirit on campus and the uniqueness of this place for granted. While writing this letter, I received a text from a parent of a prospective student who shared how their family clearly heard the Gospel three times while on a campus tour. They walked around campus at night to see what the culture was really like and encountered welcoming students showing the love of Christ and observed authentic Christian community, even in the midst of a global pandemic. They commented that of their three choices, it wasn’t even close. God clearly has His hand on this place. They submitted their student’s reservation deposit the next day. They live thousands of miles away but desire a place where God is at work. Let us continually be thankful for God’s blessings upon this place we love.
God is at work through people like each of you. In your own way, whether faculty, staff, student, alumni, or partner in ministry, you help make this place what it is. Together through the empowerment of the Spirit, the focus on the Word, and the blessing of God, these cornfields are rare — many of our consultants call us a “unicorn” for various reasons, but we all know the real reason why.
To each of you, I want to express my sincere gratitude — my thankfulness. You are amazing, and I am thankful to God for the opportunity to serve Him alongside each of you. I pray God’s blessing upon you and your family this Thanksgiving season, and I pray God’s blessings upon us all, asking that He will send revival as we strive together for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ.
Thomas White, President