Special offering blesses students
|Student Day is Nov. 25
The Student Day Offering is one of six churchwide appeals. It provides loans and scholarships to students who have demonstrated leadership in their church.
Katelyn Parmalee plans to combine optometry and mission. Another Gift of Hope Scholar, Scott Beck, is studying music education. His plan is to move to Florida and put his degree to work with young people there.
Student Day loans and scholarships are applied for on an annual basis. For a list of financial aid available from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and how to apply, click here.
Resources are available to interpret the Student Day Offering. Find them here.
Katelyn Parmalee is a senior at Michigan State University. She is studying Human Biology and in the fall of 2013 she will attend Optometry School. “I am fascinated by the human body and the intricate way that God has designed each and every one of us,” says Katelyn. “Studying science has only elevated my amazement in God as I learn about His incredible ability to create each and every day.”
Katelyn is one of 19 students from West Michigan receiving loans or scholarships from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry over the past two years. Over $39,500 has been awarded them from the gifts given to the United Methodist Student Day Offering, one of six church-wide Special Sundays.
This year the offering will be taken on November 25 but congregations are free to change to a date more convenient on their local calendar. The United Methodist Student Day Offering lightens the financial burden for young people going to college.
Katelyn notes, “I have been shown this extension of God’s love by the United Methodist Gift of Hope Scholarship for the past four years.”
The Gift of Hope Scholarship is given to those who have shown leadership within the church. “This scholarship has not only helped me financially,” says Katelyn, “but it’s shown me the true generosity of The United Methodist Church.”
Katelyn has been happy to call Jackson Brookside UMC home since 2007. She has served on the Mission Team, volunteered at VBS, worked with media in worship, and served at the annual Harvest Dinner. “The people at Brookside have been so supportive since I’ve been in school,” Katelyn shares, “and they are excited to learn how God is blessing me every time I return home.”
Katelyn’s pastor also happens to be her dad, the Rev. Chad Parmalee, who reflects on his daughter’s life goals. “Katelyn is strongly motivated by the prospect of optometric mission,” he says. She will accompany their family optometrist, other students and volunteers on a medical mission trip to Peru in January. “We are going to a village high in the mountains,” Katelyn explains, “where, in one week, we will be providing free eye exams for thousands of people.” The team will also distribute free eye glasses collected over the past year.
“I see Katelyn as a leader in the church and her community,” Chad notes. “She sees optometry as a ministry as much as a career. She has a mind for science and a heart for people.”
Recipients of these scholarships become gifts of hope for a denomination that is inviting young people to chart the future course of The United Methodist Church. The General Board asserts, “Your gifts enable students to continue their education and their faith journey as they strive to make a difference in the world and discern what God has planned for them.” Katelyn’s dad says it well. “The Gift of Hope Scholarship is an investment in Katelyn that will reap rewards in local and global mission alike.”
Support for United Methodist Student Day is crucial if we are to honor the church’s commitment to educating a new generation of Christian leaders. Your congregations’ dollars have gone with students to Albion College, Western Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Adrian College, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and other schools familiar to us here in West Michigan.
“In my practice I will provide medical attention to those in need,” concludes Katelyn Parmalee. “I will also share the gospel.”
~Reported by Kay DeMoss, Weekly News Senior Writer