A Moment for Mission
"But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today." — Deuteronomy 8:18, NRSV
Today is United Methodist Student Day, a day when we celebrate the generosity and commitment of The United Methodist Church toward empowering people to pursue education. On average, 2,300 students are able to receive scholarships because of the special offering that will be taken up today. This is an incredible gift when we consider that the average class of 2016 graduate has roughly $37,000 in student loan debt.
The emphasis on education has long been a part of our history as United Methodists. John Wesley, a lifelong learner himself, recognized that education is key in moving people out of poverty and into a place where they are able to meet their own needs and also give to help meet the needs of others. The first scholarship aid offering began in 1873 and 144 years later, we are continuing this important tradition.
When we give on United Methodist Student Day, we are paying it forward. Our gifts are multiplied in the work done by those who receive scholarships as they take what they have learned to positively influence our society. They make an impact when they take the skills and knowledge they have gained in their education and use them as they continue to walk in faith. They make an impact as they give, serve and live as God's people who are the light of the world.
Giver of all Good Gifts, we thank you for all that we have received. In our gratefulness, let us also be generous in our giving to our United Methodist students on this day. Fill us all with a spirit of perpetual generosity, giving and receiving, knowing that you will provide enough for us all. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Last Sunday After Pentecost / Christ the King Sunday/United Methodist Student Day (Offering) — Glorious God, you are the Lord of resurrection power! You raised your Son Jesus from death to live and rule at the right hand of your heavenly throne. We rejoice that you uphold the universe, and yet you treasure every person's life. Send your Spirit to shine your light so we will recognize your great hope for the world. Empower our church to work together to help make your reign visible in people's lives. Accept our gifts and offerings for the church of Jesus Christ, our Savior. We pray in his name. Amen. (Ephesians 1:15-23)
United Methodist Student Day is observed annually on the last Sunday in November. This year, it falls on Nov. 26. On this Sunday, The United Methodist Church takes up one of six churchwide special offerings.
With rising education costs, it can be difficult for some to pay for higher education. We also see this in the rising national student loan debt, which has become a true burden for today's students.
Students apply for these scholarships through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. The majority of the scholarships are given out for undergraduate education; however, there is a small percentage that goes toward graduate students, and an even smaller percentage of doctorate-level scholarships awarded.
Students who qualify for these scholarships must be active members of The United Methodist Church for at least one year. They must be pursuing a degree from an accredited institution of the United States and enroll as full-time students. Students applying must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher.