Ryan’s welcome to parents of Asbury University freshmen
First, we realize that a strong mix of emotions is swirling at this moment – excitement, a hint of nervousness, and maybe a touch of wistfulness. This moment marks a significant milestone in your child’s life as they embark on a new journey, but we would be remiss to let this moment pass without acknowledging how we got here.
Colossians 2:6-7 provides us with an important perspective for moments like this. Paul writes, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” This verse reminds us that your children, much like well-rooted trees, are now prepared to grow, flourish, and draw strength from the faith you’ve instilled. Paul is challenging us in this passage to continue, but to also be thankful.
Your presence today speaks volumes about your love and dedication to nurturing these young souls. Your guidance, sacrifices, and support have played a vital role in shaping the remarkable individuals before us, and we honor you both for the solid foundation you’ve provided and the wings you’ve helped them spread. To the parents, guardians, and others who helped raise these young adults…thank you.
Secondly, we encourage you to trust the seeds you’ve sown and pray that God will use this time, this place, and these people to cultivate the growth necessary to bear abundant fruit in them. Just as a farmer trusts the process of planting and tending, even through seasons of waiting, have faith that your investment in their education, character, and faith will yield a harvest beyond measure.
Lastly, as your sons and daughters settle into this campus, remember that they’re not alone. They’re entering a community that is rich with opportunities for fellowship, friendship, challenging questions, clear-sighted exploration, and spiritual transformation. On this campus, students will discover friends who inspire, mentors who guide, and experiences that shape their character. This was my experience 20 years ago as an Asbury student, and this is what we will strive to foster as advisors for the Beloved class.
Thank you for entrusting us with the privilege of walking alongside these students during this exciting new chapter God is writing in their lives. We can’t wait to see how their stories unfold.