Nov. 21—26th Sunday after Pentecost/Christ the King/Reign of Christ/Thanksgiving Sunday—United Methodist Student Day (next week)
A Moment for Mission
“Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. I was born and came into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Whoever accepts the truth listens to my voice.’” — John 18:37b, CEB
“My church was always one of the rocks in my upbringing,” said Bethany Vaughan. “Having great parents, great friends and a great church community has always been a part of my life. I was privileged to attend a performing and visual arts high school, which was an amazing joy and opportunity.”
But when Hurricane Harvey bore down on her hometown of Bellaire, Texas, in August 2017, and flooded Vaughan’s parents’ home, she became concerned.
Immediately, Vaughan had to draw strength from the values she learned from the church and her parents. “Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in the fall of my freshman year of college,” she recalled. “I was away at Indiana University in Bloomington and was unable to help my parents.” She realized college funds would be a problem.
“Applying for the Gift of Hope scholarship, supported by the offerings on United Methodist Student Day, was a way for me to feel like I was contributing to the rebuilding process,” she explained. “The damage from the hurricane was a very expensive ordeal for my parents.”
One of six churchwide Special Sundays with Offerings, United Methodist Student Day calls the church to support students as they prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge. The special offering provides scholarships for qualified United Methodist applicants.
Loving God, thank you for sending your Son, Jesus. We pray that this season of Advent will be a special time of sharing the light of Christ throughout the world. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries Reign of Christ (Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost) — God of majesty and power, you have dominion over all the universe, and yet you chose to rule not in power but in love. The gifts we give to you are not given from fear or in petition for your favor, but in the deepest gratitude for all your blessings that keep us and sustain us. May our whole lives reflect to the world that there is one who rules us with love and compassion, above all this world’s nations and principalities. In the name of your Son, the Christ, we pray. Amen. (John 18:33-37)
Gift of Hope scholar Bethany Vaughan grew up in Bellaire, Texas, near Houston. Today, the young woman is a trumpet performance major at Indiana University Bloomington, and draws great strength and satisfaction from music.
“The church,” Vaughan said, “was the first place that exposed me to music. Singing in the church choir and later playing bass guitar in the church band developed my musical skills.
“I was very blessed to play in the pit orchestra for the Indiana University Opera and Ballet Theatre’s production of ‘Westside Story,’ which was an amazing experience,” she added. “I give all glory to God.
“Because of the church, I’ve always had a very clear sense of right and wrong, and I’ve always had a community of people supporting me and helping me grow.”
Next Sunday, we will celebrate United Methodist Student Day. This churchwide Special Sunday with Offering calls United Methodists to support students as they prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge. Please give generously. Thank you!
Adapted from “Student Day Scholarship Provides ‘Financial Peace’ for Bethany Vaughan” by Elsie Cunningham. Used by permission.