The second of two 2016 South Wisconsin District (SWD) Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) $1,000 scholarship winners, Mary Ferguson, is a member of Peace Lutheran Church, Sussex, Wisc. A history major with a minor in educational studies, Mary is enrolled at Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW), Mequon, and aspires to be a Lutheran educator.
“As Christians we are taught to rejoice in the gracious gifts that God has bestowed upon us, knowing full well that we receive these gifts, not by our own works, but by God’s sacrificial love for all of us, His children,” wrote Mary in her scholarship essay.
“We are also taught to share these gifts with others and to continually spread the message of God’s love with everyone. What I like most about the Lutheran Church Extension Fund’s mission is that it strives to follow Christ’s generous mercy by providing help to those who need it the most. They show brotherly love to fellow Christians in a variety of different services while still keeping Christ at the center of all they do.
Christ says in Matthew 5:42, ‘Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.’ By providing financial assistance to churches, schools, and other members of the LCMS community, LCEF is obeying God’s command and are changing the lives of everyone they help.”
In her letter of recommendation, CUW Professor of History and Department Chair Susan Mobley, PhD., wrote the following about Mary:
“In addition to being a good student, Mary cheerfully demonstrates her personal faith and constantly seeks ways to combine faith and learning, both inside and outside of the classroom. Mary is dedicated to Christian education and is currently pursuing a major in a new program that we are starting here at Concordia in Classical Education…. I am confident that she will develop into an excellent teacher and will serve as a positive Christian witness to her students. Mary is the kind of young person that the Lutheran Church needs.”
In his letter of recommendation, Rev. Gary Gehlbach wrote, “The most significant thing I appreciate about this young lady is her faithfulness to hearing the Word of God and her regular reception of the Lord's Supper.” Gehlbach expressed gratitude that while at college, Mary found a local church where she could worship regularly. When she comes home to Peace, she often brings several of her college friends along to worship with her. “There is a genuineness to her charm that makes you feel welcome. She also has a marvelous sense of humor which adds to the warmth of her personality,” wrote Gehlbach.
LCEF is blessed to have the funds available to support our youth as they pursue post-secondary education. It is our prayer that they are equipped to become strong, Christian leaders as adults. There are several more upper Midwest district 2016 LCEF scholarship awards to be announced yet this spring. Watch for announcements by subscribing to LCEF’s upper Midwest districts’ newsfeed or follow our Facebook page.
Upper Midwest district LCEF scholarship applications are available each September through February at lcefuppermidwest.org. For more information regarding how you can be a partner in ministry with LCEF, visit lcef.org.