Young Adult from Davidson UMC Benefits from UM Student Day Offering


MercuriTHROUGH THE GIFT OF HOPE SCHOLARSHIP, KAYLAN MERCURI IS ATTENDING HER FIRST CHOICE AND DREAM SCHOOL. Between mission trips, Bible study, singing in church choirs and enjoying college life, Kaylan Mercuri is never at a loss for things to do. A native of Mooresville, North Carolina, Mercuri is a freshman at Furmam University in Greenville, South Carolina, which she confesses, is her “dream school.” For five years, she was homeschooled by her mother and later attended a Christian classical school during her middle and high school years. It was during her time in high school that she developed a passion for reading and an appreciation of great literary works and their authors. She also acquired oratory skills, which she still finds useful in her work and studies. Growing up, she was surrounded by beloved role models. “My grandfather is a retired United Methodist minister and both of my grandmothers are actively involved with the United Methodist Women’s group in their respective churches,” Mercuri said. Besides being a home school teacher, her mother is a Christian educator in Mercuri’s home church, Davidson United Methodist Church (UMC) and her father spends a great deal of time volunteering and teaching in the church as well as being involved with mission work. There has never been a time when Mercuri was not part of the UMC. “I do not know life without the church,” she admits. “The leaders, volunteers, my Sunday school teachers, mentors, the congregation and even the church employees have all been a great influence in my life.” Mercuri has always loved to sing and has been a member of the Davidson church choir since she was 4-years-old. “I have traveled many places singing with my choir, including Nashville, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., Denmark and Sweden,” said Mercuri. For three years, she sang with the Davidson Compline Choir and played in the youth Hand Bell Choir. Without the support of her Gift of Hope Scholarship Mercuri said she might not have been able to attend Furham She was encouraged by her grandfather and mother to research every available opportunity for scholarships within the church. “I wholeheartedly feel the UMC church should support the United Methodist Student Day,” said Mercuri. “Future students like myself, who are in need of assistance in reaching their goal of higher education, can succeed with the help of the offerings on United Methodist Student Day.” Mercuri loves taking on leadership and counseling roles as a member of her youth group. As a youth leader, she has participated in five mission trips, the Appalachia Service Project, YouthWorks family mission weeks and has led classes in vacation Bible school, music camp and Sunday school. One of her favorite roles is being a mentor and buddy for children with special needs during their Sunday school classes. She says she has been privileged to be part of many different programs and activities through her church stating, “These programs have affected me in such a way that I feel the church and my faith will always play a role in what I do.” Gayle Starling-Melvin, a freelance writer from Hendersonville, Tennessee 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.

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at


  • Resources
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.