May 03, 2021
Newberry College Sunday is May 16, 2021!!!
Inspiration is a beautiful thing! I often think it comes from the Holy Spirit. So, I was looking for a little inspiration to tell our Newberry College story. While listening to the Gospel lesson this morning and Pastor Katy Christie’s sermon, and POW, the light came on. The reading was John 15:1-8 and particularly verse 5: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” It occurred to me that this is a great metaphor for Newberry College! Newberry is the vine, and we, the former students, are the branches, and we have borne much fruit!
Newberry gave us the Christian and educational nourishment through its vines, and our branches bore fruit as Pastors, Bishops (including Bishop Strickland), teachers, doctors, business leaders, scientists, music professionals, and many more. That vine continues to push out more branches with each graduating class.
It has been said that graduates of Lutheran colleges become the Council members, Faith Formation teachers, church musicians, and volunteers of their home churches. Plus, they are just overall good citizens. More fruit! This is part of Newberry’s legacy.
My wife Carolyn Saine Yost, class of 1970, and I, class of 1969, were back at Newberry for my fiftieth reunion in 2019. It was great to be there with those now retired friends, and catch up on news of careers, the places we’d been, and of course children and grandchildren. But the really exciting news was that the college had not been static. The student body has grown by 50%. There are many new facilities and fields of study. For instance there is now Broadcasting, Public Relations & Advertising, Digital Marketing, Graphic Design, Healthcare Management, Forensic Psychology, and Nursing, just to name a few. The college is certainly keeping up with the times.
Carolyn and I both have extensive Newberry branches in our lives. Her grandfather, mother, father, two uncles, and a brother went to Newberry! As for me, I was influenced by pastors, teachers, and principles who were graduates as well as several relatives. They all influenced us, and I guess you could say that we were some of their fruit.
All of this to say that Newberry College is an outstanding Lutheran institution supported by the ELCA and the Southeast Synod. It is growing branches and bearing fruit in many ways, but it needs your congregation’s help. Please have your church consider giving to the college during its annual drive. Hopefully, as I was inspired this morning, I have inspired you.
I keep thinking about the last phrase in John 15:5, when Jesus says “because apart from me, you can do nothing”. We are all branches of His vine and connected. Let’s keep bearing fruit!
Peace be with you,
Max & Carolyn Yost