December 12 – 3rd Sunday of Advent – Black College Fund
A Moment for Mission
“From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things.…The God of peace will be with you.” — Philippians 4:8-9b, CEB
Church has always been a major part of Jacob Cogman’s life.
“It was there,” he said, “that I discovered my love for music and my passion of directing choirs. Singing provided many opportunities for me, specifically my involvement with the Washington Performing Arts Society Children of the Gospel Mass Choir.”
As Jacob explored colleges, he sought “an institution that understood and valued my experience and perspective as a Black man,” he said, “while also fostering a sense of critical reflection of what this means as I prepare to go out into the world.” Both Jacob and his identical twin brother, James, chose Claflin University, a United Methodist historically Black college in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
Claflin encouraged Jacob to wrestle with the complexities of academia and the reality of being Black in America. “I knew that Claflin provided the opportunity to nurture and develop my head and my heart,” he said. He majored in politics and justice studies and philosophy and religion.
As a graduate student at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, Jacob read a 1959 letter that rejected a medical school applicant simply because the person was Black. More than ever before, Jacob recognized the important role of HBCUs.
Today Jacob—now the Rev. Jacob Cogman—is associate pastor at Christ Church United Methodist in Louisville, Kentucky. “As a full-time minister,” he said, “I incorporate my Claflin education in many ways.”
Through the Black College Fund, United Methodists change lives!
Loving God, through our generosity, we nurture future leaders. Thank you for the gifts of love and acceptance. Open our eyes to the talents of your children. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Third Sunday of Advent — God who gives all gifts, in this season, we focus so much on giving gifts to one another. Help us, we pray, to remember what John the Baptist tells us is on your wish list: that we might bear fruit worthy of the repentance that is the very heart of this season: fruit of compassion, fruit of sharing, fruit by denying ourselves so that others who have little will have enough. In response to you, we give that our fruit might please you. In the Savior’s name, we pray. Amen. (Luke 3:7-18)
The Rev. Jacob Cogman is adamant about United Methodist churches supporting the Black College Fund.
“When someone joins a local congregation,” he said, “they vow to support the church by their prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness. During my college experience, I was supported by all of these, and I found them all to be important for my journey.” He received a Gift of Hope Scholarship as well as assistance through the Black College Fund.
“As a United Methodist attending a Methodist-related HBCU,” Cogman recalled, “I was excited to become a Black College Fund ambassador. It allowed me to represent my school, tell our story and educate and encourage others to be faithful in their support of the Black College Fund.
“The winds of the Spirit blew upon faithful Methodists to resist the evil that stared them in the face and to create the future of their imagination.When we support the Black College Fund,” he concluded, “we are investing in a divinely inspired future.”
Barbara Dunlap-Berg, freelance writer and editor, retired from UMCom