A Moment for Mission
"Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. — Psalm 119:34, NRSV
During Black History Month, our thoughts frequently turn to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of many who was a part of a movement that challenged how things were in light of the life around him and the faith he held dear. Education was an ally of the movement. Whether that was the education of the Civil Rights activist himself or his further training at the Highlander Folk School in rural Tennessee — whose founders included Methodist minister James A. Dombrowski — education alongside faith was critical for success.
Dr. King was credited with saying, "Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education." We are carrying the legacy of these words and this movement that insisted that all people bear God's image when we support the work of the 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities through our Black College Fund. These institutions are values-centered and aim for not only intellectual growth, but also the spiritual growth of students.
At a moment when our attention has turned again toward race relations, faith and education will again need to play a vital role in moving us from conflict to understanding. The colleges and universities supported by the Black College Fund through our apportionments are colleges and universities that are raising up leaders that are equipped and ready to make a difference in the world.
God, you are the giver of wisdom and grace. We pray for all those seeking to gain understanding that they might serve you better. May they grow in knowledge, grace and understanding that they might make a difference in the world. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Seventh Sunday After the Epiphany - Holy God, you give generous blessings and fill our hearts with gratitude. Empower us to respond joyfully, sharing in ministry with those who are hungry for food and those who thirst for spiritual refreshment. May our community of faith reflect more fully the priorities of the kingdom of God, even as we look forward to Christ's return. Receive our gifts and offerings for the sake of Christ our Lord. Amen. (Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18)
The Black College Fund is one of the general funds supported by our apportionment giving. Those who attend these schools are receiving a cutting-edge education. These schools work to keep the cost down so that all have the opportunity to attend, and 90 percent of the students receive scholarships. These colleges and universities also have a diverse demographic despite being Historically Black. They have this title because their original mission was to educate freed slaves shortly after the Civil War.
At each of the 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities supported by our apportionments, students receive a high-quality education. These schools have a reputation for educating preachers, artists, legislators and community leaders who are equipped to be successful in our ever-growing, culturally diverse world.
With our generous gifts to the Black College Fund, we are able to be a part of raising up the next generation of leaders who are ready to make a difference in the world using their heads and hearts.