Currently, the Africa University Silver Jubilee Events roster lists 137 special events taking place in 2017. Events are happening across the United States and in all five jurisdictions of The United Methodist Church. Organizers have a four-fold agenda—give thanks, provide an update on AU's progress, make new friends for AU, and invite attendees to honor the anniversary with a gift of $25.
Africa University is supported by your gifts to The Africa University Fund apportionment.
In March, Frank and Betty Balderson brought friends together over coffee and sweet treats.
"Word of Africa University and the good that it is doing passed beyond just those who came that morning," said Betty Balderson. Attendees went on to share what they'd learned about Africa University at a meeting of the United Methodist Women and a church event for young people.
"I'm encouraged by the celebration of 25 years of this ministry that some said would never happen," said James Salley, the university's chief advancement officer.
As 2017 progresses, four conferences—Baltimore Washington, California Nevada, East Ohio and South Carolina—are inviting the full participation of their members through worship services in every local church and conference-wide offerings. In the South Carolina Conference, Black Methodists for Church Renewal, (BMCR), jump-started the effort among African-American congregations.
"Giving back…empowers us to be better as family and strengthens the well-being and sustainability of our communities," said South Carolina BMCR president, Rev. Pattie Gordon. "This in turn, builds relationships and proves that together we make a difference."
The California Nevada Annual Conference's theme this year was "Testify to Love. Your story matters." The first offering was devoted to a ministry that Bishop Minerva Carcaño describes as "one of the best things that we have ever done as United Methodists" in a video message to members.
"Here is an opportunity all year long for not only United Methodists, but also all persons who are advocates for Africa University, to make a statement by helping us celebrate," said Salley. "If people give out of their ability, our practice is to trust God to provide the increase."
The Africa University Silver Jubilee commemorative events culminate in December.
Andra M. Stevens, Director, Communications, Africa University Development Office
One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Africa University Fund transforms Africa by educating and empowering students from across the continent through Africa University, the first fully accredited, United Methodist-related educational institution on the continent. The Africa University Fund supports the general operating expenses of Africa University including faculty and staff salaries and vital infrastructure. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Africa University Fund at 100 percent.