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Fine-tuning faith

When your father is a pastor and your mother is a youth director, you can expect to spend quite a bit of time at church.

That was the case for college student Anthony Antonelli, who says he was "surrounded by Christianity" growing up in Linden, Alabama. He has fond memories of his time at Linden United Methodist Church, even though being a pastor's son meant people had high expectations for him.

"We truly believe in the United Methodist Discipline and live by it," Antonelli says of his family.

It was through his connections with The United Methodist Church that Antonelli first learned about Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. He says he came to know and love the university, which he now attends with the help of the Gift of Hope scholarship.

He is thankful for the United Methodist Student Day offering that funds the scholarships.

"It helped enable me to attend a private Christian college for which I am very grateful. This university, Asbury, founded by United Methodist pastor John Wesley Hughes, is dear to my heart."

Antonelli urges United Methodists to continue to give generously on this Special Sunday of The United Methodist Church.

 "There are many young people in the world today that desire a higher education but cannot afford it, and churches should have an interest in helping the pursuit of higher education," he says.

He adds that that's especially true for United Methodist churches, which should support young Christians who are called to attend United Methodist-affiliated universities or other Christian schools.

Antonelli continues to attend a United Methodist church, Wilmore UMC, while away at school. He is studying piano and hopes one day to be a church pianist or piano teacher.

"My school is preparing me to be an even greater pianist than I am, and it has surrounded me with a very spiritual environment, which keeps me accountable in my Christian walk."

Julie Dwyer, general church content editor, United Methodist Communications

One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, United Methodist Student Day calls the church to support students as they prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge. The special offering provides scholarships for qualified United Methodist applicants.

When you give generously on United Methodist Student Day, you support students as they prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge. Give now.