Responsively Yours: Day of Giving

Responsively Yours: Day of Giving

As we’ve been reflecting on the blessings and challenges of working together in mission for 150 years and on the impact that work has had on women, children and youth, we’ve been telling stories of amazing, long-serving, far-sighted women and the institutions they built, the advocacy they conducted and the impact they had. We stand in a grand tradition!

As I read these stories, some very familiar and some new, I’ve noticed a consistent theme of change. Women organized because they saw the need for change. Women and children needed adequate nutrition, support in literacy, education of various kinds, gender analysis skills or confidence and other forms of support and advocacy. Our predecessors saw the need for change, and their faith led them to work to make a difference.

Then, after the work was organized, we see more change. The work expanded, or an institution moved to a more suitable location or refocused its work. Many of the same needs continue today: education for women and girls, health, women’s empowerment, anti-racism work, ending hunger and poverty. The expressions are different, but there is a clear connection between sending a woman doctor to India in 1870 to working for the Children’s Health Insurance Program in the 1990s.

Over 150 years, a lot of change has happened! Change is not always easy. It is hard to leave behind a property full of memories for a new location, or to change the program focus of a mission institution as needs change, or to reconfigure programing to serve a new population. But every single story of the work and the institutions and the women who shaped them includes changes to expand and continue the mission.

This legacy of creative, mission-focused change and the work to plan for and sustain it is also the background of the Legacy Fund. We know, based on our experience, that the work of mission will continue to change. There is never enough money to do all we’d like—but God has still blessed us and the work. Through faith-filled giving and strategic deployment of resources, the work has grown.

Building a permanent endowment that sustains the organization of United Methodist Women into the future will enable our successors to fund the changes in mission necessary for their day. Covering core expenses from earnings will allow the women coming behind us to make more direct connections and more flexible decisions about giving and about emerging work.

On Friday March 23 we will commemorate and celebrate our founders and the origins of United Methodist Women in our support of Day of Giving, with all proceeds on that special day directed to the Legacy Fund. Your contribution and participation in Day of Giving bears witness to your commitment to the future of United Methodist Women as well as its present and will be an investment in our continuing legacy of mobilizing assets and change as God calls us. Thank you for all the ways you live the legacy of United Methodist Women!

Harriett Jane Olson
General Secretary
United Methodist Women

Posted or updated: 3/8/2018 12:00:00 AM