A Moment for Mission
"Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing." — 1 Thessalonians 5:11, NRSV
From the beginning of the United Methodist movement, education has been an important emphasis. One of John Wesley's aims was to raise the status of the poor from poverty to middle class. The vehicle used to do just that was education.
In his lifetime, Wesley urged people to read; he distributed book lists, published his own teachings, built schools for children and created opportunities for adult education. Wesley's hope was that education would provide opportunities to improve quality of life and empower those who were educated to give back so that others would be afforded the same opportunity.
Education continues to be the primary vehicle that moves people out of poverty in our society today. The commitment to supporting people in their educational pursuits also remains with United Methodists.
One of the ways that we continue our commitment to lifelong learning is by observing United Methodist Student Day, one of our six Special Sundays, when we take up a churchwide offering to provide scholarships to qualified students.
We will celebrate United Methodist Student Day on Nov. 26. Our generous gifts on that day will provide United Methodist students opportunities to further their education and equip them to carry out God's mission of making disciples for the transformation of the world.
God, grant us wisdom in how we live, generosity in how we give, and compassion as we stand beside our students on United Methodist Student Day. Grant that we help them as they discern their vocations, live out their calling, and learn to give back out of what they have received. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Twenty-Fourth Sunday After Pentecost / Bible Sunday — God, our provider, your Word creates our life and strength. Everything we have is a gift from your open hand. Guide us by your Spirit to be diligent and faithful stewards of all that you entrust to our care. May we not bury our gifts or fearfully hoard resources. Fill our hearts with trust, so that we can experience your joy in giving. May our congregation show your generosity through our mission in the world. We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen. (Matthew 25:14-30)
United Methodist Student Day is Nov. 26 this year. On United Methodist Student Day, we take up one of our six churchwide special offerings.
Through this offering, The United Methodist Church has been able to give more than 2,000 scholarships each year. This is an important way to support our young people in furthering their education and gaining skills that will equip them to live out their faith in every part of their lives.
This is an important gift to students considering the current student loan debt in the United States, which is $1.45 trillion dollars spread across 44.2 million Americans. Those under the burden of student loan debt are making average monthly student loan payments of $350. This is quite a burden, and when minimum wage is not adequately covering the cost of raising a family, the need for further education increases.
When we give generously, our gifts on United Methodist Student Day go toward scholarships that reduce debt for students.