Gifts that give more than you ever expected
By Pastor Kara
One of the biggest gifts I have ever received was a Lilly Endowment grant for a sabbatical that I was able to take in summer 2013. The focus of my sabbatical application was cooking. My hope was to empower myself and others to get back into the kitchen, to make our own food, and to share that food and fellowship with family and friends.
To that end, I traveled to the Napa Valley to attend a five-day boot camp at the Culinary Institute of America, sent my kids to a farm camp north of Manhattan, ate a lot of good food in New York City, and shared my new knife skills in the kitchen of Outlaw Ranch, an ELCA Bible camp in South Dakota.
Just the other day, as a family, we were reminiscing about the summer of 2013 and what it meant to us. We still enjoy the Culinary Institute’s baked mac and cheese recipe at least six times a year. The gift of a sabbatical and the resources to go to the places and spaces we might not have otherwise been able to enter is a gift that keeps on giving.
Yet, there was another unexpected gift of my sabbatical: the belief in myself and my ability to lead. In all the places mentioned above, I encountered amazing female leaders: women who knew their boundaries, stood their ground, and led from a position of knowing themselves and how to create the best working environment for their gifts to be shared. I met women willing to take on lead roles and women who knew when it was time to step back.
The unexpected gift of my sabbatical was the encouragement to step out of my comfort zone, to trust the skillset I have been given by God, and to take a lead role in a new place. Here I am at Carthage.
When you give a gift to Carthage, to an endowment fund, a scholarship fund, to the Science Center, or offering at the Christmas Festival, you are giving a gift to support education, music, learning, and deeper reflection. You may picture a young student who reminds you of yourself and your time at Carthage and how you were shaped by your experience here.
Your gift definitely will impact the life of the student who received that scholarship or who uses the beautiful labs in the Science Center. Your gifts also give in ways that none of us could ever imagine, opening students to new understandings of themselves and their place in the world.
Your gifts give more than you or I will ever know.
The Carthaginian is a magazine for Carthage alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends of the College. It is published three times a year by the Carthage Office of Communications. Read the Carthaginian online at www.carthage.edu/carthaginian.