This is a photo taken in 2014 of Ardyce and Vernon with people whom received gifts to help with educational debt. This photo is just a small glimpse of the many people that received their gifts.
Vernon and Ardyce Anderson
+Bishop Jon V. Anderson
In my watch as bishop, two of the people who taught me about investing in people and generosity were Vernon and Ardyce Anderson. For the last eleven years Vernon and Ardyce have set people free to lead in their ministry by reducing significantly their educational debt.
Starting with a significant gift, they asked for a simple thing, “Could you ask the seminarians to send a thank you note?” Through the years their gifts grew and the number of pastors grew who have experienced their generosity.
When I would have time to share a breakfast or visit their home, they would show me the thank you cards that reminded them of how God used their seeds of scholarships to deepen the awareness of God’s many gifts in the lives of pastors spread across the Midwest and our country from our synod.
My favorite memories are of Vernon and Arydce sharing about going to worship at a funeral or some celebration and seeing the student they helped leading worship, serving the Gospel and proclaiming the Good News. Eventually we invited them to come with to ordinations of the students they were supporting. Vernon’s sparkling eyes would reveal his joy those days. Ardyce also smiled and took joy in those milestone moments as well.
Vernon had been struggling with health issues in recent months. I saw him last at the nursing home. He died January 22, 2020. I want to acknowledge his leadership and his investment along with Ardyce.
All across our synod generous people give through their loving actions, generous gifts of time, expertise and experience. God’s Church is built up by their sharing of what God has given them in all kinds of ways. Thanks for all your generosity inspired by God’s generous grace.
If you were one of the seminarians who received a gift, Maggie in our office can help you with an address so you can express your sympathy and update Ardyce on your journey in ministry.
Vernon is one of a handful of people God has used to teach me about giving financially in ways large and small. When I first saw him come into our office with Ardyce and his seed corn hat on I had no idea what God was up to. The ripples of their investment will move through God’s world for decades. He was a sower who followed the Sower of grace, Jesus our Lord.