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November 18 – United Methodist Student Day (Next Week)


"From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised. The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens." —Psalm 113:3-4, NRSV

Brock Bourek doesn't let academic struggles stop him from pursuing his goals.

"I have an eye-tracking problem," he explains. "It takes a lot longer to complete work. I am an A-/B+ student who works hard to maintain my good grades."

Brock's mother, a single parent, teaches music and shares that passion—along with her love for the church—with her son.

"I was very active in my church groups and representing the youth on the worship committee," Brock says. At school, he participated in student council, intramurals, speech, theater, band and choirs.

Brock and his mother are members of First United Methodist Church in Columbus, Nebraska.

"The church has been an integral part of my life and how I choose to live—to be kind, friendly, nonjudgmental, open-minded and caring," he says. He credits his decision to minor in religious studies to "the positive influences of the Methodist faith and how I want to spread my knowledge and love of God to others."

Thanks to a Gift of Hope Scholarship, Brock is majoring in art administration and theater at Morningside College, Sioux City, Iowa.

Going to a private United Methodist college, Brock says, has strengthened his insight and knowledge about his denomination. "This college," he asserts, "has had a positive impact on my present and my future."

Next week, we will celebrate United Methodist Student Day. Through the special offering, promising students like Brock Bourek pursue their dreams. Thank you!

Loving God, you are with us from the rising of the sun to its setting. Through our gifts, help us to be present in the lives of students who aspire to serve you. In your name, we pray. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries: Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide – Holy Architect of the Universe: we bring our gifts to you this morning, and many of us have held back, worried about what the future might bring, worried in some cases what tomorrow may bring. We all know we have not lived up to the disciples we could be, and often not even the human beings we ought to be. May the gift we receive this morning be the confidence to stand before you in worship not because of what we've done In Christ, but confident that what Christ has done for us is sufficient for us to be here. This we pray in that holy name above all others, Jesus the Christ. Amen. (Hebrews 10:11-14 [15-18], 19-25)

College "broadens our horizons and gives us connections beyond the regular classroom setting," says Gift of Hope scholar Brock Bourek. Through a caring professor at Morningside College, Brock secured an internship at a community theater. 

This determined young man hopes eventually to become a youth director for a United Methodist congregation. Meanwhile, he sharpens his leadership skills as a member of Sinfonia (Phi Mu Alpha) fraternity and the Greek council, is founder of an all-men's a cappella ensemble and the dance captain for a musical opera. He is also a dorm resident advisor.

"I am hoping to make a difference in others' lives," he says, "with the positive effects of music and drama." In everything, he adds, his Christian faith will be "the core of my life decisions."

Brock remains grateful for his church's investment in his future.

"Without this support," he says, "students like me would not have the financial opportunity to attend a private United Methodist college."

Please give generously on United Methodist Student Day!

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