150th Anniversary

Cakes for Children: Celebrating United Methodist Women’s 150th Anniversary

Cakes for Children: Celebrating United Methodist Women’s 150th Anniversary
A United Methodist Women circle in Boca Raton celebrates the organization’s 150th anniversary and starts collecting cake mix.

Not so long ago I announced during Sunday worship, “Today is Mother’s Day! It is a time of celebrating mothers, especially our foremothers who over 150 years ago laid a strong legacy of mission by showing kindness through mission…making a difference in the lives of children and youth.”

As president of United Methodist Women of First United Methodist Church in Boca Raton in Florida, I have been preparing for this special celebration for over five years while serving on the Florida Conference Legacy Committee. We’ve been sharing stories, making plans, doing skits at district and conference meetings, and educating our members and congregations about the important work of United Methodist Women. I’ve been involved with the organization for 50 years, and it’s always a celebration when we gather!

In addition, I know about the importance of celebration after working as an educator for more than 30 years. At school, birthdays are always a special time to celebrate. However, many children simply can’t celebrate their birthdays because they live in highly impoverished homes. In the Title I school where I teach, nearly all of my students are on free meal programs. So I provide birthday books and we have a little party for students to celebrate the milestone in their lives.

Making Birthdays Feel Special

I can recall the ways my beloved mother always made birthdays feel special with family and friends. And as we began reflecting on ways that we could celebrate United Methodist Women’s 150th birthday, I had an idea. It has always been a dream to give cakes and mixes to needy families so that they can experience the same joy and cherished memories around a birthday. To make this dream a reality, I began enlisting members to spread the word about a collection of cake mixes and frosting. We began with the 150th United Methodist Women anniversary Sunday Worship Service on March 31. It was a birthday celebration for the whole church, with a special 150th cake and everyone singing “Happy Birthday!” Sharyn Ladner, South East District President, was the keynote speaker who told of the women reaching out in mission throughout the history of the organization. We then announced the drive for cake mixes and tubs of frosting to make a child’s birthday special!

United Methodist Women members began collecting cake mix and frosting to give to Christians Reaching Out to Society (CROS) Ministries, a Florida Conference outreach ministry for children and youth. This was a church-wide mission project, with items collected during worship, at United Methodist Women meetings, and at the United Methodist Women May Tea.

On Mother’s Day, the cake mixes and tubs of frosting were displayed at the altar and blessed by Pastor Ryan DeLaune, associate minister at First Boca. We collected over 50 items to give to the CROS food pantries. CROS representative Lynn Freytag was there to accept the donation. At the end of the service, children and youth helped pack the mixes and frosting into boxes for distribution to CROS. With these small acts of kindness, we can make beautiful memories for our children on their birthdays. Mothers and children will know that United Methodist Women cares!

I challenge every United Methodist Women group to continue the 150th celebrations throughout 2019, and to consider collecting supplies for birthdays. Lastly, as the children’s coordinator of Florida Conference Mission u, I invite everyone to our Mission u Birthday Bash, held later in the summer.

As John Wesley said, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can!” So let’s go shopping and pick up a cake mix, and don’t forget the cans of frosting!


Pamela Davis is the United Methodist Women president at First United Methodist Church in Boca Raton, Florida.

Posted or updated: 6/19/2019 12:00:00 AM
 

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Video: Celebrating 150 Years of United Methodist Women

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