October 27 – Black College Fund/20th Sundayn after Pentecost/Reformation Sunday

A Moment for Mission

"I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions." —Joel 2:28b, NRSV

"The most exciting thing about the Black College Fund," said Jessica Love, "is the fact that I am a living witness of the magic it creates in the lives of students. The BCF has been the gateway to every single educational and development opportunity in my life. Without a doubt, I would not be where I am today without its network, financial support, professional resources and mentorship."

A graduate of Rust College, one of United Methodism's 11 historically black colleges and universities, Jessica is a technical sergeant in the U.S. Air National Guard. Earning her master's degree from the University of Mississippi, she is now a third-year doctoral student at the University of Southern Mississippi. Jessica recently completed a marketing communications internship at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

Serving as a Black College Fund ambassador, Jessica said, "never feels like promotion to me. It feels like sharing the gospel. Had it not been for the Black College Fund, I would not have been able to afford a college education. Had it not been for the Black College Fund, I would not have come in proximity to the more than seven internships I've completed throughout my academic career. Had it not been for the Black College Fund, I would not be encircled by loving mentors who groom and guide me as a young professional."

Indeed, your gifts to the Black College Fund change lives. Thank you!

Offertory Prayer
Loving God, thank you for opportunities to dream and envision a future with hope. Thank you for historically black colleges and universities that change lives. In your name, we pray. Amen.

Newsletter Nugget
"The Black College Fund reached back into the rural woods of Mississippi, expanding the horizon of an 18-year-old girl with limited access to opportunities," said Jessica Love, a graduate of Rust College, Holly Springs, Mississippi. "The Black College Fund made all the difference in my life. My story is but one.

"What if the Black College Fund could invest in a thousand more students?" she continued. "While my own experience is what makes promoting the Black College Fund exciting, that question is what drives me."

Historically black colleges and universities "offer a culture of great expectations," said Cynthia Bond-Hopson. "You may never have lived into your greatness, but if you go to a black college, I think most of them have folks who are going to demand your best." Bond-Hopson is executive of United Methodism's Black College Fund and ethnic concerns for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

United Methodists support these life-changing institutions through the Black College Fund apportionment. Thank you!

Barbara Dunlap-Berg, freelance writer, retired from UMCom