Assembly 2018

Women Find the Power of Bold at Assembly 2018

Women Find the Power of Bold at Assembly 2018
Harriett Jane Olson, the general secretary/CEO of United Methodist Women, addresses the closing session of Assembly 2018 in Columbus, Ohio.

More than 6,000 United Methodist Women members and supporters gathered in Columbus, Ohio, May 18-20, for the 2018 United Methodist Women Assembly with the theme “The Power of Bold.”

Hundreds of women came a day early to participate in an Ubuntu Day of Service, volunteering in the Columbus community. Many more partnered service with advocacy at a rally at the Ohio Statehouse calling for a living wage for all, partnering with 14 local Columbus-area organizations.

The Scripture focus for Assembly 2018 was the story of Mary, Mother of Jesus. Telling the story throughout the weekend were dancers Alexandria “Brinae Ali” Bradley and Dolores Sanchez, joined by spoken word artist Summer Dawn Reyes.

This historic Assembly brought Methodist women in mission back to Columbus, site of the first Methodist women’s Assembly in 1942. It was also the official celebration of 150 years of Methodist women in mission, as United Methodist Women marks 150 years in March 2019. In honor of the bold women that came before and to the bold women to come, the 2018 Assembly offering went to support the Legacy Fund Endowment.

Assembly attendees heard from Climate Scientist Katharine Hayhoe, Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee, Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman and The New Jim Crow author Michelle Alexander, and young women activists Tamika Mallory, national co-organizer of the Women’s March, and United Methodist pastor the Rev. Hannah Bonner.

Around 90 different workshops focused on leadership development, service and advocacy, spiritual growth and transformative education, and over 50 exhibitors filled the Assembly Experience Hall, which also featured action stations on United Methodist Women’s social justice focuses of climate justice, economic inequality, maternal and child health and criminalization of communities of color. Experience Hall visitors also heard from women from United Methodist Women’s past as actresses played key figures in mission history in the 150th Journey exhibit.

Thousands took advantage of the Assembly mobile app and tuned into Facebook Live interviews with the event’s speakers, both new features for this year’s Assembly. Assembly 2018 also featured a teen track for United Methodist Women’s Limitless young women and mentors and saw an increase in participation of young women. A bookstore and fair-trade market gave attendees the opportunities to go home with resources for mission as well as sustainable gifts and souvenirs.

Other artists who performed were Friends of the Groom theater troupe and Quixotic Cirque Nouveau as well as the Assembly Band. Nine women bishops of The United Methodist Church joined Assembly Sunday morning to serve communion.

“We assemble because we must,” said Alisha Gordon, United Methodist Women executive for spiritual growth, during Friday morning’s opening worship. “We gather, and collect, and congregate and convene. We meet, and we rally. We construct and we build, because we must.”

Because women, children and youth are depending on us.

Join us at the next United Methodist Women’s Assembly May 20-22, 2022, in Orlando, Florida.

Watch videos of community gatherings and town halls.
See photos from Assembly 2018.

Posted or updated: 5/23/2018 12:00:00 AM
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