Women Weaving One World (Alternate): An Installation Service
December 15, 2014
Preparation: This ceremony is meant to be interactive, and the activities to continue beyond the service. Purchase a friendship bracelet kit at a local craft store or large box retailer. Cut each colored string six feet long prior to the meeting. At the beginning of the installation, have the president sit in a chair and hand her all the strings. They should be folded in half and gathered at the folded end so that there are two open ends hanging toward the ground on each string. The president then calls up each of the leaders and hands them the two open ends of correct color string plus a copy of the script. This works best if the president sits on one side of the space and the officers stand in a half circle in front so that the rest of the unit can see the activity.
Pastor or other leader: Weaving has been an activity women have engaged in since the loom was invented. What is woven can be plain and utilitarian, or it can tell a story. It can be full of artistry or it can be dull. Weaving is also a metaphor for our lives. We each weave our own fabric of faith and life. From the time we are children until we are near the end of our journey, we are creating a pattern or weaving a design. The loom is our life.
When a garment or other basic weaving is planned and carefully made, one reward is the fun of embellishing and trimming. Our Christian life begins with the basic acceptance of Christ, but our lives are embellished as we say “yes” to opportunities of stewardship and service. This, like trimming a woven piece, is where individual style, imagination and skills have free play.
Threads, when weaved together, have many uses — as a holiday ornament, to edge a wall hanging, as a decoration, for fun, to add elegance, for finishing, for significance, on clothing, on pillows, on banners and more. The many threads, when combined and woven together, can become the bonds of friendship, and when woven correctly can become a bracelet of friendship that tells everyone who we are together. Let us look at the colors and find each of you.
President – The top of the friendship bracelet creates the knot that holds the many strands together. It is created by bringing all the colors together and directs the color pattern of what is being formed. The President has knowledge of the total program and the Purpose of United Methodist Women and its relationship to church and community.
The president takes the gathered folded ends that she is holding and makes a single knot with all the colored strings, 1/2 inch from the end. Then, as each officer reads their portion of the script, the other officers bring their strings together to form one long tight string, and the officer that is reading does a figure-four loop friendship knot around all the other strings. This continues until all the officers have had their turn.
Vice President – Brown is the color of the earth, which provides nutrients and water for growth. The Vice President seeks to provide growth in knowledge and understanding through dynamic programs that fulfill the PURPOSE.
Secretary – Blue represents the faithfulness of the Secretary in keeping records, which become history and represent continuity of years in growth and service.
Treasurer – Light Blue for the Treasurer reminds us of waters flowing to the sea as our pledge follows channels to provide funds for bringing living water to those who thirst, aid to those who are in need.
Secretary of Program Resources – Orange for the Secretary of Program Resources is a vibrant shade and denotes brilliant potential of all program resources available to United Methodist Women to brighten, color and enliven participation in the total program of United Methodist Women.
Nominations – Lavender, a gentle color — purple, a royal hue, blended with white — reminds us of the prayerful and persuasive efforts of those lead by the Chair of the Committee on Nominations as they call the best leaders to opportunities to be in God's mission through United Methodist Women.
Mission Coordinator for Spiritual Growth – The Mission Coordinator for Spiritual Growth is represented by white, which is also symbolic of the Holy Spirit. If there is to be a radiance and vitality of spirit, each person must be positive in her faith and seek to know God. As we grow and give of ourselves in God's work, our spiritual growth will be evident.
Mission Coordinator for Social Action – The Mission Coordinator for Social Action is represented by red, which denotes the courage it takes to speak boldly on social issues in an effort to bring justice to the community, state, country and world.
Mission Coordinator for Education – Green symbolizes the new growth that comes through the Mission Coordinator for Education and Interpretation, who makes us aware of the needs and opportunities for us to be in mission.
Mission Coordinator for Membership Nurture and Outreach – Yellow reminds us that without sunlight nothing will live or grow. The Mission Coordinator for Membership Nurture and Outreach lights the way for us in finding ways to enlist new members as well as being a community for and supporting the present members.
The Communications Coordinator – The Communications Coordinator is more than "black and white and read all over." Telling others our story and publicizing programs and activities has now taken many forms and uses lots of color.
Leader: You have been woven into a colorful team, with your basic pattern being the Purpose of United Methodist Women. I challenge each of you to be a bright color yet blend together in this beautiful combination of colors of the team to work together.
Let us pray: Most Holy One, who created the rainbow of colors, and each unique person, bless this team and the district they serve so they might weave a pattern of friendship that tells of your love and forgiveness. Inspire and guide them as they bring others into the fabric of the _______ district United Methodist Women. In the name of the one who came that we might know you more fully. Amen.
The president, the leadership team or the other members of the unit are now invited to finish off this bracelet, continuing the pattern begun — or the whole unit can create bracelets that unify them as a unit.
Adapted from Women Weaving One World Installation ceremony - Friendship bracelet model.
Rev. David McGlocklin
St. Paul’s United Methodist Church San Bernardino, Calif.