All are grieved at the massacre of schoolchildren and staff in Peshawar, Pakistan. We are extremely thankful to God that our schools in and around Sahiwal are not directly affected. But all in Pakistan, and around the world, are suffering from this tragic and devastating act of violence. Some schools will be temporarily closed for security, while observing a nationwide 3-day period of mourning. Let us continue to pray for God’s grace and mercy to prevail even in this tragedy.
A Year-end Tax-Effective Gift Option
The ARP Foundation offers a simple, no cost, alternative to making cash gifts: By giving appreciated stocks, bonds or mutual funds, you can make a single gift through the ARP Foundation which will handle the sale and paperwork, then direct the proceeds to any combination of ministries you choose – 100% goes to ministry. Making a gift of appreciated securities also avoids capital gains taxes; you receive an immediate charitable deduction & protect your cash.
Gifts of appreciated securities can be transferred directly to the ARP Foundation brokerage account before December 31 (before they are sold): we handle the process and send you the tax deductible documentation. Since transfers can take several days, we encourage you to contact your investment firm before the Christmas holiday.
For information or immediate personal attention please call me at: (864) 326-5242.
Director of Gift Planning, ARP Foundation
Bonclarken Motel Renovations
Just before Thanksgiving, we began renovating the Bonclarken Motel. We are excited about all of the planned changes. They include completely updated interiors, replacing the bathtubs with showers, new HVAC units and improvements to the exterior. Please pray for the progress and success of the renovation. We look forward to these efforts blessing many of our guests for years to come!
A Letter from the Erskine Board Chairman
December 17, 2014
Dear Erskine Family:
The Erskine Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Tuesday, December 16th to hear a report from Dr. Kooistra and get an update on the progress of the financial stability plan.
We as trustees understand this plan to ensure Erskine’s long-term financial stability has a significant impact on the campus community, and we continue to lift them up in prayer. We would further like to express our appreciation and gratitude to those who continue to serve Erskine sacrificially, especially the faculty and staff.
The Board recognizes the cuts and changes that have been made are painful. Yet amid the challenges in Dr. Kooistra’s report, we heard several things that cause us to celebrate God’s blessings on Erskine:
• Erskine continues to be accredited and to pursue its mission.
• Erskine was cleared by its accreditors on all 19 recommendations from 2012 dealing with institutional efficiencies in the college (one item remains pending for the seminary).
• The accreditors were complimentary and optimistic about the plans Dr. Kooistra has set in motion to keep Erskine on solid financial ground.
• The four students most directly affected by the department closure will be able to complete their majors over the next two years.
• Erskine has more than twice the number of annual donors thus far compared to last year.
• Contributions to the annual fund to date are nearly double that of last year, putting us on a good trajectory toward our goal of $1.6 million.
• Enrollment numbers for 2015-16 are on pace with the past two near-record years to welcome more than 220 new students.
• Retention of current students remains steady.
The Board commends Dr. Kooistra and his team in the college and seminary. These are challenging days and difficult decisions. We remain committed to Dr. Kooistra and stand in solidarity with him. We appreciate his heart in all of these matters and his faith and trust in God. The Board also appreciates the faculty in both the college and the seminary for their support of Dr. Kooistra and his plan.
Finally, the trustees wish to express thanks to the students, faculty, staff, families, alumni, and the ARP Church for your support of Erskine. May God bless you all this Holy Season and may Immanuel be the hope within your heart.
In His Grip,
Bill S. Cain
Chair, Erskine Board of Trustees