Dr. Dennis Marke realized treating the community conditions that lead to disease was just as important as treating actual illnesses.
“I wanted to go and meet people in their communities and empower them with knowledge and programs to help prevent the diseases killing them,” he explained.
He vowed to focus on “safe drinking water, good sanitation, immunization, family planning and good maternal care.”
Dr. Dennis Marke, World Communion Scholar, Sierra Leone
World Communion Sunday goes beyond the sacrament.
United Methodists celebrate World Communion Sunday: one of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings. Your offering provides college scholarships for racial- and ethnic-minority students in the United States and for international students.
World Communion Sunday calls the church to be “the catholic (universal) inclusive church.”
A long, rich history
•In 1940, the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America established World-Wide Communion Sunday as a global, interdenominational event. Prompted by the impact of World War II, the Methodist Church received an offering on this Sunday for the Fellowship of Suffering and Service.
•In 1971, The United Methodist Church changed the name of the observance to World Communion Sunday and redistributed the offering to support the Crusade Scholarship Program (begun in 1944), the Ethnic Minority Scholarship Program, and the Division of Chaplains and Related Ministries.
•In 1980, Chaplains and Related Ministries was moved to World Service funding, but the World Communion Sunday offering continued to assist racial- and ethnic-minority persons pursuing various avenues of ministry. The 2008 General Conference changed the name “Crusade Scholars” to “World Communion Scholars.”
Your gifts are distributed as follows:
• 50% of the offering provides scholarships for international and U.S. racial- and ethnic-minority graduate students (World Communion Scholars).
• 35% of the receipts support ethnic scholarships for undergraduate students.
• 15% funds the Ethnic In-Service Training Program scholarships for racial- and ethnic-minority persons seeking second careers in church-related vocations.
Your gifts support three vital programs.
This program seeks to support students whose study focus will relate directly to mission and to the elimination of poverty, expansion of global health, leadership development or congregational development.
World Communion Scholars
"I have learned about the history of Christian worship and how to make worship applicable to people today. I am doing my field education at a historically, predominantly Japanese-American church, which is teaching me to apply what I learn in class.”
-- Akiko Miyake-Stoner, World Communion Scholar, Master of Divinity student, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, Calif.,
"As a World Communion Scholar, I can concentrate on what really counts: helping people who are in the darkest corner of
addiction and despair to find a new life in Christ. It's only because of United Methodists who have given on World
Communion Sunday that I am free to pursue the rest of my education without fear or anxiety."
-- Laura Pressley, World Communion Scholar,Master of Arts Degree in Counseling and Addiction Ministry, Methodist Theological School in Ohio
“Like many children of my time in Russia, I was raised in an atheistic family. I was a student in the medical university when a team of American doctors came to our village. They invited me to the first student forum of the Russian United Methodist Church. This was my first community of believers. I felt welcomed, cared for and loved. I finally realized they were different because they
believed in God.”
-- Natalya Shulgina, World Communion Scholar, Russia
The United Methodist Church allocates 15 percent of the World Communion offering to the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry for Ethnic In-Service Training.
These funds are designated for the recruitment, training and retention of ethnic United Methodists in leadership positions in every level of the church and its ministry.
One Ethnic In-Service Training grant recipient was the North Carolina Hispanic/Latino/A Leadership Academy that provides ongoing academic and spiritual training for Hispanic leadership in the Western North Carolina and the North Carolina annual conferences. The academy is a cooperative venture of the conferences, Pfeiffer University and Albemarle District Hispanic Ministries.
North Carolina Hispanic/Latino/Leadership Academy at Pfeiffer University
Thirty-five percent of the World Communion Sunday offering benefits Ethnic Scholarships, related to the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
This undergraduate award is for Native American, Asian, African American, Hispanic or Pacific Islander applicants pursuing their first undergraduate degree.
“As a college student, I have to account not only for my studies but also for school expenses: books, tuition and more. The United
Methodist Ethnic Scholarship allows me to focus on my academic and community efforts rather than to fret over my financial
Education and faith, Moore asserts, “are assets no one can take away or destroy. Both are necessary treasures nothing can
“I could not afford to be in college today if I did not receive scholarships through my church, my family and my community. Even though my classes contain a high degree of difficulty, they challenge me and pique my interests. I am determined not to let
anything stop my drive to succeed.”
-- Aarron C. Flowers, Ethnic Scholar and biology major, University of California—Davis