Nov. 28—First Sunday of Advent/United Methodist Student Day (Today)
A Moment for Mission
“May the Lord cause you to increase and enrich your love for each other and for everyone in the same way as we also love you.” — 1 Thessalonians 3:12, CEB
Raised in The United Methodist Church, Mireille Rhodes said she experienced her first true connection with God at age 13 when she attended Camp Aldersgate in Carrollton, Ohio. “During an invitational service,” she recalled, “I committed my life to Christ.” Two years later, she was confirmed. She was active in the district youth group and served as a sound manager and a liturgist at Mount Zion United Methodist Church in Rogers, Ohio.
Her Christian upbringing, Rhodes said, “has brought me to the right people at the right time. I have no idea what kind of person I would be if I had not been raised in the church, or where my mental health would be if I didn’t have access to the people who helped me during [a time of spiritual struggle].”
At Camp Aldersgate, Rhodes formed strong friendships and always felt welcome. “It was there,” she said, “that I decided I wanted to attend a Christian university. I wanted to surround myself in the same environment as camp.”
Rhodes is grateful for her Gift of Hope scholarship.
“It is helping to fund my tuition to Huntington (Indiana) University, a private Christian school,” she said. “I haven’t had to worry about working an extra job or applying for more scholarships.”
Today is United Methodist Student Day. When congregations support this special Sunday, traditionally celebrated on the last Sunday in November, they nurture committed young adults like Mireille Rhodes. Thank you!
Loving God, thank you for educational opportunities and for United Methodists who share their love for you and for others by giving generously. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: First Sunday of Advent — Holy God of new beginnings, as we share our tithes and offerings with you, we are filled with hope. We enter the season of Advent with expectation; we have left behind us a time of fear, isolation, and uncertainty; and we raise our heads because we know our redemption is coming near. May our gifts be dedicated to help heal the brokenness of our world and to welcome our Messiah into the world once again. In Christ, we pray. Amen. (Luke 21:25-36)
Film production is Gift of Hope scholar Mireille Rhodes’ first love. She attends Huntington (Indiana) University.
“My favorite college memories definitely originate with being on film sets,” she said. “I get to spend three eight-to-12-hour days working with people who are passionate about the same thing that I am.”
Students make short films and help other classes. “I’m already getting to do what I want with my life,” Rhodes added.
“While we don’t openly state that we’re Christians to those with whom we work outside the university,” she said, “we treat them as we would our brothers and sisters.”
Receiving formal training for film is important to Mireille Rhodes. “Some people can survive in the film industry without a college degree,” she said. “I firmly believe that because I’m getting this training, I’ll be able to thrive in the industry.
“Without the support of my church family, my university education would not be possible.”
Thank you for your generous gifts on United Methodist Student Day!
Barbara Dunlap-Berg, freelance writer and editor, retired from UMCom