Assembly 2014: response daily

Clinton Urges Assembly Women to 'Wake Up the World'

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses Assembly 2014 in Louisville, Ky., April 26.

Clinton Urges Assembly Women to 'Wake Up the World'
Hillary Clinton is joined by Yvette Richards (left) and Harriett Olson (right) after her address at Assembly 2014.

Former U.S. Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton encouraged United Methodist Women to “wake up our world” during her rousing keynote address April 26 at Assembly in Louisville, Ky.

Ms. Clinton spoke passionately about the challenges facing many of the women and girls she’s met in her travels, including growing inequality, human trafficking, lack of access to maternal and other health services.

“I end with a challenge that we need to wake up our country and wake up our world about the work that can and should be done,” said Ms. Clinton, a lifelong United Methodist. “And we each are called in our own ways to lead. That’s the great tradition that I was raised in and I cherish. And that’s what you represent. So, please as you go out to ‘make it happen,’ there are lots and lots of people willing to fall faithfully behind you as you lead the way.”

Ms. Clinton said The United Methodist Church has played a pivotal role in shaping who she is. At age 13, Ms. Clinton said the Rev. Don Jones, the youth minister at her childhood church in Park Ridge, Ill., helped her and other teens to understand, question and search for the role that faith would play in their lives.

“He was the first person who taught me and other compatriots to embrace the idea of faith in action that is so central to our United Methodist creed and to the work of United Methodist Women,” Ms. Clinton said.

The former U.S. senator from New York said she cherishes The United Methodist Church because it offers the “great gift” of personal salvation as well as the obligation of the social gospel. “Having hope, faith and love in action was exactly what we are call to do,” she said.

Ms. Clinton said she took that obligation very seriously, and it has guided her work as an advocate for women, children and families and for the marginalized around the world. She congratulated United Methodist Women on the launch of a new maternal health initiative, saying it will build on the denomination’s focus on global health.

Ms. Clinton proudly shared that woman at Metropolitan United Methodist Church in New York had given her a United Methodist Women “daring” adjective button before she left for Assembly.

Shanta Bryant Gyan is a freelance writer and strategic communications coordinator.

Posted or updated: 4/25/2014 11:00:00 PM