Stewardship: Automating the Important

Have you ever stopped to wonder why Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November? (this is for those in the United States; our Canadian neighbors to the north celebrate on the second Monday of October). The obvious reason is that we follow our calendars! Others may know the history and refer to actions by President Franklin Roosevelt to establish the holiday as we celebrate it today.

While these answers are all true, I want to suggest a more basic reason why we celebrate Thanksgiving Day every year on the fourth Thursday of November: establishing a routine allows the habits and traditions to emerge that lead to being truly thankful. Many families always eat turkey, always watch football, always enjoy the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. While these may not lead directly to pausing to be thankful, integrated into these predictable and expected moments are conversations about God’s provision, our privileges as citizens of the United States, and the joy and love shared by family. For those who experience pain and don’t enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s often because these items are lacking and they don’t have the opportunity to experience the habits and traditions of others. Routines, habits, and traditions create the space to experience true thanksgiving.

Over the past few weeks this InDepth blog has provided some updates demonstrating Winebrenner’s commitment to stewardship. These updates have included a recent decision by the Board of Trustees to cancel the financial debt of those students who had accounts previously submitted to “collections” (click here to read more about this action) as well as an update about Winebrenner’s decision to step away from the federal financial aid process, often referred to as Title IV, starting with the fall 2023 term (click here for more).

Winebrenner’s Board of Trustees has affirmed that the tuition for Winebrenner will continue to be $300/month as we move into the future. Beginning with the fall 2023 term, a student who is paying monthly will be required to have account information on file so that the payment can be drawn on a consistent basis. For a variety of reasons we did not make this a requirement when the monthly tuition was first offered in the fall 2020. We now see how a consistent monthly payment will serve both the student and Winebrenner.

As I noted above, the habits and routines we have are both a reflection of our commitments as well as opportunities to create space for important points of awareness to emerge. When we automate something like a monthly payment – whether for internet service, a car payment, mortgage, or tuition – we are taking actions based upon priorities. By automating the important items we are prioritizing where they fit within our overall financial stewardship.

More information will be coming in early 2023 that answers some of the questions about how this will work for unique cases and individual students. We will take the time to answer questions and assist in this transition over the next nine months.

If you’ve read this far it means that you are interested in the work of Winebrenner Seminary. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your spiritual journey!

– Brent C. Sleasman, President

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