A MOMENT FOR MISSION
"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I; send me!'" —Isaiah 6:8, NRSV
"My Ethnic Young Adult intern experience," recalled Iris Gadsden, "was an unexpected, yet indescribable, time. Not only did I get to discover the history of my awesome denomination but I also got to explore our nation's capital and create lifelong friendships."
Gadsden said her internship through the General Board of Church and Society "set a spark in my spirit to continue and push harder for social issues in my community. I learned that directly serving others was only one way to support those in need. This experience allowed me to research policy with the NAACP Washington Bureau and see just how important policies are to our country. I got to meet powerful voices in the U.S. political system. I became more politically involved and saw how fast political declarations can change the nation.
"Being around inspirational leaders and peers for two months," Gadsden continued, "reassured my passion for service and my dream of being a nonprofit owner. I have served my community by interning with the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce in South Carolina."
Was the internship worth it? "Absolutely!" Gadsden said. "I would recommend the program to anyone interested in social issues and…ready to change the world."
Through your congregation's support of the World Service Fund, you nurture the ministry of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society and encourage young leaders like Iris Gadsden. Thank you!
—Adapted from Katie Monfortte, General Board of Church and Society, December 3, 2018
Loving God, you call us to serve you every day. Open our minds, hearts and doors to respond, "Here am I! Send me!" In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany — Almighty and Gracious God, so often we have come to worship feeling ill-prepared to give our gifts, locked in our sense of scarcity, and not focused on your abundance. Like Simon in his first encounter with Jesus, we have been too attached to our own way of doing things and resistant to open our lives to you and to experience your abundance. As we offer our tithes and gifts this morning, may we also offer up our willingness to be led by you and to be open to new ways of living and working, so we may know the abundance of nets overflowing. We pray this in gratitude for all your blessings. Amen. (Luke 5:1-11)
Did you know the General Board of Church and Society maintains a searchable database of books (https://www.umcjustice.org/sacred-worth-books) that teach that every child is wonderfully created in God's image?
Our earliest understandings of ourselves and our self-worth often reflect what we see around us. The first images we see as children are those of our closest family members and community, and books and other forms of media. What happens when the majority of the images that society projects do not portray the strength, beauty and brilliance that God created?
Books that reflect the diversity of God's creation help decrease the bias children learn as they grow older and enable children to see themselves represented and a part of the tapestry of life that God has given us.
Thanks to your congregation's support of the World Service Fund, the Board of Church and Society finds new ways to relate the gospel of Jesus Christ to the church, the community and the world. Thank you!
—Adapted from "Sacred Worth Books," Susan Greer Burton, General Board of Church and Society, December 4, 2018