Between lectures, staff meetings, and ungraded exams, many of Anderson University’s faculty devote time and energy to various organizations within the city of Anderson. Whether it’s serving food to those in need, helping the blind learn about God, or working with those who are struggling, many of AU’s faculty put their whole hearts into service and receive more than they give.
Not that different after all
Dr. Fredrick H. Shively, professor of religion and director of the AU Center for Ministry Education, has volunteered at the Christian Center since he was a student at AU in 1955. [Photo: Fred and Kay Shively, pictured with the Peacemakers of the Year award they received earlier this year from the Church of God. Photo credit: Scott L. Miley/The Herald Bulletin]
“Part of our stewardship as Christians is to give back to the community we are in,” said Shively. “By serving at the Christian Center, I’ve become more sensitized around men who are homeless or struggling with drug and alcohol problems. There are many homeless people in this country, and when you see these men, you realize there are commonalities. I’ve always felt called to be involved and help in people’s lives; this is just a small gesture.”
The Christian Center provides food for families, affordable clothing, and offers a chapel service that is open to the public. It also serves as a place for men to stay and provides resources to help them find jobs and relocate. Shively has served as a board member for four years.
Reaching the unreached
Dr. John Aukerman, professor of Christian education and director of distance education and outcomes assessment at the AU School of Theology, serves on the board of directors for Silent Blessings Deaf Ministries.
“This ministry has not only widened my horizon, but has made me more aware of the needs in society,” said Aukerman.
Silent Blessings is an organization that focuses on communication between deaf children and their families. The organization’s biggest project right now is Dr. Wonder’s Workshop, a nationally televised program that teaches children about Christ.
“The deaf population is one of the largest unreached groups in the United States,” said Aukerman. “Hardly anyone is taking the gospel to the deaf population. By giving my time and expertise in leadership, I feel a sense of satisfaction knowing that our Dr. Wonder’s Workshop program can take the gospel out to people that I could never have reached otherwise.”
Silent Blessings is located in Anderson, Ind., and has completed three of the five seasons of Dr. Wonder’s Workshop.
Celebrating with those in recovery
Lisa Pay is an assistant professor of social work and has been working with Celebrate Recovery for four years at a community church, The Bridge, in Anderson, Ind. Celebrate Recovery is an international faith-based 12-step recovery program for people of all ages. People dealing with food addictions, loss of loved ones, sexual abuse, and other issues come to be with those going through the same struggles. [Photo: Lisa Pay, a social work professor at AU, speaks at a Celebrate Recovery meeting.]
“It’s not therapy or a self-help group,” said Pay. “We have a set curriculum just like at Alcoholics Anonymous, but instead it’s set on a biblical foundation.” The program provides a safe place for people to share their experiences, strengths, and hopes with other people who are seeking a Christ-centered recovery.
“By teaching what I know about recovery and God every week, I’m constantly learning and growing,” said Pay. “I receive so much from the people there because they are humble and broken. There is so much transparency; it looks like a kingdom of God.” The Bridge is just one of many places across the nation where Celebrate Recovery meets every week for two hours.
— Laura Overman is a senior from Anderson, Ind., majoring in communication arts. Overman is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2009, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the sixth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.