Brittani Fletcher’s family had a unique introduction to The United Methodist Church.
“My grandmother,” Brittani explained, “was originally from Mexico, where she was a nun in a monastery. Having felt the need to leave the Roman Catholic Church, she came to the United States, where she found her calling in The United Methodist Church.”
That decision brought the entire family to The United Methodist Church. “In Galveston, Texas,” Brittani said, “my mother met my father in high school and helped introduce him to church. My grandma played an essential role in mentoring my father with his calling to become an ordained minister in The United Methodist Church.” Today, Brittani attends Kelsey Memorial UMC in Corpus Christi, Texas, where her dad is a pastor.
Brittani continued, “My second-generation Mexican-American family [lived] all around south Texas. As a pastor’s kid, I constantly moved from church to church, and I am grateful for that. It truly has been a blessing to meet God’s people all over Texas. Every church has personally taught me a lesson, whether how to be more compassionate, how to serve others or how to delve more into God’s word. I have been blessed by each church.”
A church friend who had received an Ethnic Scholarship, supported by the offerings given on World Communion Sunday, encouraged Brittani to apply.
“Receiving this scholarship truly changed my life,” she said, “because I did not have to worry about funding for my books. As we all know, parking and books are needed expenses that we often struggle to pay for; at least I did. This scholarship allowed me to purchase tools needed in order to succeed in my classes.
“This scholarship gives me comfort, knowing that my church family cares enough about me to help me get my education. I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to reach for my educational goals with the support of my church.” She noted that when United Methodists are baptized or join the church, the congregation promises to uphold one another with prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness and that one way to do that is by supporting one’s educational goals.
Brittani gained unexpected benefits from a required class: geology. “I had little to no expectations about this class,” she said, “but as the semester progressed, I found myself more and more intrigued. Learning about volcanoes, earthquakes and other phenomenal things of the earth made me realize just how powerful God is. The God who made the molten lava deep in the earth made me. It was honestly hard to contain my excitement. I loved geology from this moment on as I learned more and more about God’s creation.”
When Brittani graduates from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, she hopes to work for a nonprofit organization to help children in her community. “My heart is specifically with children who need that extra push to succeed in their studies,” she said. “I hope to show God’s love to each student with whom I interact so that they may experience God’s love, too.”
Barbara Dunlap-Berg, freelance writer and editor, retired from UMCom
One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, World Communion Sunday calls the church to reach out to all people and model diversity among God’s children. The special offering provides World Communion Scholarships, the Ethnic Scholarship Program and the Ethnic In-Service Training Program.