June 26 – World Service Fund (General Board of Higher Education and Ministry)

 A Moment for Mission

“I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” —Psalm 16:7-8, NRSV

Preacher’s kid John Mark Wang didn’t hear how passionately God was calling him to ordained ministry until his father recruited him to lead fellowship games with teenagers and provide a Bible message each Saturday. At the time, John was studying psychology at the University of California, Riverside.

“Throughout my undergraduate years,” he said, “I was mentored by the Rev. Mamie Ko through the [ministry] exploring process, but never took it quite seriously.”

Finally, after years of resisting God’s call, John decided to pursue ordination as an elder in The United Methodist Church. He headed to Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina, earning a master of divinity degree.

John’s father encouraged him to apply for the $5,000-per-year Journey Toward Ordained Ministry (JTOM) scholarship and mentor experience, awarded by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. JTOM is open to undergraduate or graduate racial/ethnic minority United Methodist students who are at least 30 years old and pursuing a career in ordained ministry.

“I was fortunate to receive this scholarship over the three years of seminary training,” John said. “The greatest benefit was the funding to help pay off some of the debt of attending seminary. The mentor experience and colleague relationships were a close second.

“My mentors helped me immensely in navigating the ordination process of The United Methodist Church and gave me the tools I needed to become an ordained elder of the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference in 2019.”

Through World Service Fund support, GBHEM develops and strengthens church leaders. Thank you!

Children’s Message
What is a leader? The person with the loudest voice? Someone who bosses other people around? Someone who is sure their way is the only way?

A leader is an encourager. They may not have the loudest voice or the best ideas. They listen. They work with others to turn good ideas into great ideas.

Helping people to become the best leaders possible is one job of the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry—GBHEM, for short.

Young adults especially depend on GBHEM as they figure out if God is calling them to be a pastor or to serve the church in another way.

We are thankful for GBHEM and others who help us to become the best leaders we can be.

Offertory Prayer
Loving God, thank you for your wisdom and counsel. May our pastors and other spiritual leaders always keep you before them as they guide and nurture your church. We love you. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries: Third Sunday after Pentecost — Loving and welcoming God, we have come through a time in our lives when, for many months, we sheltered in our homes: working from home, learning from home, worshiping from home. As we bring our tithes and offering to you this morning, you open our minds to a wider definition of home and a broader definition of family. May the gifts we give today find their way to home projects: ways this world can feel like a safer, more loving home to all your children. In Christ’s holy name, we pray. Amen. (Luke 9:51-62)

Newsletter Nugget
Recently, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry announced Francis Asbury Award winners for the 2020-21 academic year. The award recognizes and encourages outstanding support of United Methodist higher education and campus ministries.

Coming from annual conferences in the United States and central conferences in Africa, honorees represented the breadth of United Methodist campus ministry from laity, university chaplains, Wesley Foundation directors and administrators and the episcopacy. From the stages of voluntarism, early and mid-career engagement and upcoming and current retirement, they demonstrated exceptional local, multigenerational, international, ecumenical and interreligious educational Christian ministry with students, faculty, staff and colleagues.

Bishop Francis Asbury, one of the first two bishops of The Methodist Episcopal Church in the U.S., charged the people called Methodist to erect a school near every church. “We must,” he said, “give the key of knowledge to your children, and those of the poor in the vicinity of your small towns and villages.”

Through World Service Fund support, GBHEM develops and strengthens church leaders. Thank you!

Adapted from “2021 Francis Asbury Award Winners Announced,” Sept. 1, 2021, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry website. Used by permission.