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World Communion Scholar connecting church, society


Sandra Brands


Annie Solis Escalante wants "to understand the current needs of churches and the boundaries that need to be crossed to reach justice and peace." The World Communion Scholarship helped the young Peruvian woman take steps toward doing that.

Solis Escalante completed a master's degree in social management at the Cayetano Heredia University in Peru.

The special gifts United Methodists make on World Communion Sunday – Oct. 2 this year – provided Solis Escalante's scholarship. Fifty percent of the offering supports World Communion scholarships awarded by the General Board of Global Ministries to students around the world. The remainder funds the Ethnic Scholarship and the Ethnic In-Service Training programs administered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

Soon after graduation, Solis Escalante became a Global Mission Fellow, one of the short-term missionary programs for young adults of the General Board of Global Ministries

Her first assignment was in project management with the World Council of Churches in Geneva. In the second stage, Solis Escalante served in social work projects through the Methodist Church of Peru.

"That experience helped me," she says. "Social justice issues are not yet properly addressed by churches, especially at the grassroots level. It seems like there is a divorce between churches and society."

To address that gap, she planned to return to school following her fellowship to study theology and social development. "Being a World Communion scholar means being part of a big fellowship of Christians trained and committed to transforming themselves and the communities they serve," she said. Her studies and her work as a mission intern told her that God equips people with the courage, patience and skills to help people get better opportunities in life.

Sandra Brands is a writer and regular contributor to This article is adapted from a posting at

Find resources to promote and celebrate World Communion Sunday at While the first Sunday in October – Oct. 2, 2016 – is the official date for the observance, churches needing to celebrate and receive the offering on another day may do so.