"Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." — 1 Peter 2:5
As young people are entering college, they are asking themselves important questions: What will I pursue in life? Who will I become and what will I accomplish? These are questions of vocation as they identify the God-given gifts and skills they can use to accomplish God's work in the world.
All of our work is holy when we remember that we are called to be part of this holy priesthood, serving God by the way we participate in life around us.
One of the ways that The United Methodist Church helps young people in the pursuit of living as a part of this holy priesthood is through our support of the Black College Fund.
The Black College Fund benefits the 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the southern United States. These schools make values-centered learning a priority and work toward building up leaders and nurturing spiritual growth.
Our gifts help to fortify the foundation of these institutions by contributing to operating costs and renovations and supporting the faculty and staff, which includes keeping the student-to-faculty ratio low. When we give to the Black College Fund through our apportionments, we support opportunities for students to attend college who might not have been able to otherwise and we help to equip students in finding their gifts so that they may go out and use them.
Almighty God, grant that we live as people with minds open to learn more of you and the life you call us to living. Plant within us a spirit of generosity that we may give that others may have the opportunity to discover their vocation, to further their education and to be better servants of your kingdom. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Fifth Sunday of Easter (Festival of the Christian Home, Mother's Day) – O God, our Redeemer, you are glorious! Your Son Jesus has won salvation for all who trust in you. Thank you for nurturing us through your word and the witness of faithful disciples. Fill our hearts with your Holy Spirit, so that we might speak boldly of your mighty acts. Let our monetary offerings and spiritual sacrifices be acceptable to you. We pray through Christ, our risen Lord, who stands at your right hand and governs our lives with wisdom, power, and love. Amen. (1 Peter 2:2-10)
The United Methodist Church has long been a supporter of education, going as far back as the mid-1800s when churches in the Methodist tradition began setting up schools for children. This tradition of supporting education, particularly education that involves both a secular and spiritual emphasis, continues in the church today. One of the ways that this is accomplished is through our apportionments, more specifically, through the gifts we give toward the Black College Fund.
The money received for the Black College Fund goes toward keeping the 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities strong by helping to support operating costs. Gifts help continue the legacy of equipping students, not only academically but also spiritually, while also mentoring them to live in ways where they are using their gifts and skills to serve their communities. Many of these schools were established shortly after the Civil War to educate freed slaves. Today, these academic institutions are educating people of many different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.