College students at a new UMC event showed compassion for Hurricane Sandy survivors.
By Susan Kim*
January 3, 2013—College students, many of them living on student loans, aren't usually known for their tremendous financial resources. But when dozens of them gathered in St. Louis to explore their futures, they still found a capacity to give.
In November, United Methodist college students attended a new event—“Imagine What's Next”—planned by a launch team of college students, campus ministers, chaplains, and young adult clergy and laity from across the United Methodist connection.
Speakers, worship, and affinity groups were organized by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, all to help the students consider and plan the next faithful steps for their vocations, communities, churches, and the world.
In two offerings during the event, they raised more than $500 for Hurricane Sandy survivors. Many more students used UMCOR's “text to give” option for a total amount that is still being tallied as donations continue to come in.
“For the participants, it was a real way to experience and participate in the ministry of our connectional church,” said Beth Ludlum, director of Student Faith and Leadership Formation at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s Division of Higher Education.
“Part of our goal at What's Next was to showcase the amazing work that the UMC does through general agencies in a way that highlighted how college students could get involved,” she said.
Landon Taylor, manager of church relations for UMCOR, was one of many speakers at the conference.
“I attended the event and was given an opportunity to speak and share a video,” he said. “Superstorm Sandy had made landfall just weeks before and was very present on everyone's hearts and minds.”
Taylor said he was moved by the students' concern for Sandy survivors.
“For college students living on student loans and for most, minimal resources, I felt it was generous. But most important, they supported UMCOR's ministry to people whose lives were forever changed by Sandy,” he said.
Your support for Superstorm Sandy survivors is urgently needed. Please give to Hurricanes 2012, UMCOR Advance #3021787.
*Susan Kim is a journalist and a regular contributor to www.umcor.org.