A Moment for Mission
“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.” -- Psalm 25:4-5, NSRV
Some might think United Methodist Student Day is about raising money for students challenged with money problems. To some extent, that is true. However, United Methodist Student Day is also about turning problems into possibilities. Offerings collected on this special Sunday are also about bright futures.
Diane Lee, Dartmouth College, has a bright future working with autistic children. Joshua Warner, United Theological Seminary, has a bright future helping people in inner cities struggling with poverty, mental illness and medical issues. Aaron Avera, Reinhardt University, has a bright future teaching history to middle schoolers.
The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry administers programs that award 3,500 students annually. Allyson Collinsworth with the Office of Loans and Scholarships said, “We see the difference it makes to the student to be recognized and encouraged by the church.”
She urges United Methodists to “help the student see the connection to their local church by celebrating them on Student Day.”
Here is an idea. What if each of us gave $1 for every person who inspired us on our educational journey? Perhaps, a third-grade art teacher encouraged your budding talent. Maybe a college professor helped you decide your major or a youth pastor wrote letters of recommendation for you.
On this important special Sunday, your gift is a small price to bless those with a yearning for learning. Please give wholeheartedly and generously.
Loving God, today I recall my educational journey. It took many encouragers to get me through the highs and lows that led to where I am today. I pray that my financial gifts will bring brighter futures for others. Amen.
United Methodists celebrate Student Day on the last Sunday in November. Many congregations invite college and university students who are home for Thanksgiving to have a part in the worship service, reading Scripture, sharing a testimony or serving as ushers. Opportunities to celebrate students continue year round. Local churches can observe Student Day at any time.
Our attention to college students is not a one-time ministry limited to giving money. We can support them throughout the school year in other ways. When possible, plan to invite a student to sit with you during worship and then treat him or her to lunch. Send cards or email words of encouragement, especially during exam time. Create a fellowship event or retreat when students are in town. Consider adopting a student for a year providing special meals, phone calls and occasional gifts. International students? Let us not forget them on holidays when they may need a home away from home.
Kindness counts as much as dollars. Please give your love and your offering generously.