When illness came to Delaney Tacka's family she was unaware that in the midst of a difficult situation, there would be a silver lining. After her dad was diagnosed with cancer, he began inquiring about his personal relationship with God and longed for a church to attend regularly. Their family began attending Glen Mar United Methodist Church in Elliot City, Maryland and for the first time, they were able to worship and grow in their faith together. It was the turning point in their family's lives.
Tacka had a great childhood and she always felt loved and supported, in spite of the many health issues in her family. Her family stayed together and worked as a unit to fight against cancer. She feels lucky to have such a good relationship with her parents. Despite the hardships they endured, her family remained a unit and their relationships became stronger.
"The UMC played a huge role in strengthening my family’s faith life. Aside from the support my family received from the church, Glen Mar also offered me many opportunities which strengthened my faith and myself as a whole. Through Glen Mar, Tacka obtained a worship internship which "allowed her to guide hundreds of people toward God." Because of these opportunities, she began considering a career in Christian ministry.
When Tacka decided to attend college she had no knowledge of the United Methodist Student Day Gift of Hope scholarship provided through gifts from United Methodist churches annually until her pastor informed her about the scholarship and encouraged her to apply. She was excited when she was approved to receive the scholarship. "Without the scholarship, I might not be able to attend Eastern University in Pennsylvania," said Tacka.
Your gifts on United Methodist Student Day, enables The United Methodist Church to supports the Gift of Hope Scholarship so that students can prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge.
"The United Methodist church shaped me into the person I am today. The church helped to shape my path with God but it also taught me to use my gifts for his glory and find direction in his call for my life. I would not be able to pursue God’s calling for my life without the financial help from the church. My biggest question when looking at God’s call for my life has been whether he wants me in a church or a school. Whatever I decide when it comes to my major I hope that my choice will remain divinely influenced and I will do everything I can to follow Christ’s path for my life."
Currently, Tacka serves as a youth ministry intern at a church in West Chester, PA and on campus, she serves as a worship leader. She also continues to volunteer as a worship leader at Glen Mar UMC when she returns home to visit friends and family. She hopes to graduate with a youth ministry or education undergraduate degree.
Please give generously to United Methodist Student Day. Your gift helps United Methodist students unite their faith with knowledge.
Elsie Cunningham, freelance writer, UMCom retiree, now living in Jamaica
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.