2016 - Easter Sunday: Changing the Lives of Those Around Us

2016 - Easter Sunday: Changing the Lives of Those Around Us

For our final reflection during this Lenten season, let us celebrate our legacy by hearing from those who will carry United Methodist Women into the future.

My mother was a district president of United Methodist Women. As you can imagine, I was still in utero when I went to my first United Methodist Women mission education event—it was called School of Christian Mission back then, now it’s Mission u.

When I was a child, Mission u meant rolling down the hills at Florida Southern College and swimming in the pool with other kids my age. As I got older and my life revolved around friends, Mission u meant a road trip with my buddies—and doing silly things together at the talent show. In high school, when I became more aware of a whole world of other people, Mission u meant exploring other cultures and learning about why some people were poor, and sometimes really poor. One year the spiritual growth study at Mission u was about forgiveness. That Mission u changed my personal relationships.

I began to realize that United Methodist Women was offering me a way to respond to God's love and not only change my life but the lives of those around me. I found myself with United Methodist Women and the Immokalee Coalition for Farmworkers marching for fair wages and humane working conditions. I was teaching Mission u studies to my history class. United Methodist Women had pushed me beyond the comfort of what I knew to a world outside the church to show the love of Jesus Christ. With United Methodist Women behind you and teaching you, you have the confidence to "go forth and preach the Gospel."

To Travel and Learn

I learned about opportunities to travel and learn through United Methodist Women. My first trip was to New York City for the United Methodist Seminar on National and International Affairs program. I studied the migration of women and children for almost a week with Korean and American young women. It was fantastic. You may say, “How would I pay for that?” There’s a Haitian saying, “When God plans the trip, God pays the way.” You might need to speak to different United Methodist Women units and ask for a little money, but that's all part of your leadership training.

All this United Methodist Women work was not happening in a vacuum. All the while I was finding my way as an adolescent. My grades were great, but I was insecure and tall and awkward. My boyfriend was not very loyal, and the worst part was that my brother, whom I loved fiercely, was going off to war at 17. Peace became my issue—after all, United Methodist Women had given me this global perspective and introduced me to social issues like peace and justice.

Next thing I knew I had been accepted by United Methodist Women to go to Japan for the 66th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima to study peace with other college women. This was the summer before I entered college. United Methodist Women activities were the best part of my college resume.

Today I am a member of the United Methodist Women National Program Advisory Group. This summer I am going to South Korea with the Mary Scranton Young Women's Leadership Center. Mary Scranton was a missionary with the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society who started a school for girls in Korea in the 1800s when Korean women were not allowed to go to school.

United Methodist Women is awesome. And God is so good. My brother came home from Iraq and is now going to school on the G.I. bill. I’m convinced with organizations like United Methodist Women, someday our brothers and sisters will go to war no more.

In the 21st century women still need to organize for mission. And that’s why I’m a member of United Methodist Women.

Posted or updated: 3/25/2016 12:00:00 AM

Our Lenten Journey

In this season of Lent, we are reflecting on the 150-year legacy of United Methodist Women. Each of our Lenten reflections is part of our ongoing legacy of putting faith, hope and love into action.

Save March 23 as the date to celbrate 150 years with a gift to the legacy fund.
Facebook Tweet It Pin It
Give Now
Email It Print It