In 1904, Mary McLeod Bethune, the daughter of former slaves, began a boarding school for African American girls. She had $1.50, lots of faith and a dream. One way she began to finance her school was through baking pies and selling them. Through doing this, she met James Gamble, of Proctor & Gamble. She told him about her school, and asked him to become a trustee. When he visited, there was only a shed and several girls working and reading. He said “This is the first time I have been asked to be the trustee of a dream. I hope I am worthy.”
That school is now Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach Florida. It is one of the historically Black Colleges and Universities with ties to the United Methodist Church, and supported in part by one of our apportionments.
When we give to St Stephen's, we don't just give to support an institution. We give to dreams. We give to visions of a better world, a more just society. We give to a living breathing community that has hope and gives hope.
We are all part of the picture, beloved in our church, and essential to the life of our beloved community.