Bright Lights (July 2014)

Mission u “Good Job, Good Job”
The West Ohio Conference hosts successful Mission u.

Fair Haven: Gardeners Share Harvest
United Methodist Women at the United Methodist Church of Red Bank in Red Bank, New Jersey, grow vegetables in a community garden and share the produce with a local hunger outreach organization.

Central Arkansas Development Council Offers Youth Summer Food Program
United Methodist Women at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Malvern, Arkansas, support a summer meal program for community children.

Anti-human-trafficking Billboards on Display
United Methodist Women members in Ohio have partnered with Abolition Ohio to sponsor highway billboard ads as part of the state’s human trafficking awareness campaign. See also “Local Group Targets Human Trafficking.”

Alabama First Lady Dianne Bentley to speak on domestic violence in Hoover
United Methodist Women at Bluff Park United Methodist Church in Hoover, Alabama, host Alabama First Lady Dianne Bentley, who will speak about domestic violence.

A Wee Little Man and a Big Insight
Jack Levison, co-author of United Methodist Women spiritual growth study How Is It With Your Soul? reflects on teaching the book at Mission u.

Downtown’s Hidden Gem: The Methodist Thrift Shop
United Methodist Women at First United Methodist Church in Napa, California, have run their United Methodist Women Thrift Shop for 22 years. Customers call it a “hidden gem” and “their favorite thrift shop.”

United Community Centers Are Coming Back in Style
United Methodist Women at Arborlawn United Methodist Church in Forth Worth, Texas, host Styles and Smiles fashion show fundraiser with national mission institution United Community Centers.

101 Years Young: Bernice Blackwell and Still Giving Back to the Community
United Methodist Women at St. Luke United Methodist Church in Hartsville, South Carolina, present a Special Mission Recognition pin to 101-year-old Bernice Blackwell, who is still actively contributes to the church and United Methodist Women.

Posted in Bright Lights, Domestic violence, Human trafficking, July/August 2014 | Leave a comment

How to Use This Issue (July/August 2014)

But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.”
Mark 6:37

Assembly 2014 may be over, but the call of Assembly lives on. We have been tasked to feed the 5,000. We have been asked to Make It Happen.

If you made it to Assembly 2014, this issue will remind you of the fun you had, the people you met, the Spirit you felt. If you were unable to attend, we missed you! This issue invites you to be a part of Assembly, our quadrennial gathering that celebrates your giving and your work.

Begin this issue by reading Mark 6:30-44, the feeding of the 5,000, the Assembly 2014 Scripture. Perhaps, like me, you’ve heard this story and were amazed at Jesus’ miracle of feeding so many with impossibly little. At Assembly we were asked to consider that the miracle wasn’t just that Jesus turned two fish and five loaves into a meal that fed thousands but that the hearts of the people on the hill opened, and they realized that, together, they already had more than enough. During Assembly’s opening worship the Rev. Bridgette Young Ross asked, “What if the act of Jesus blessing the bread and fish didn’t just multiply the food, it multiplied the hospitality?” Hillary Rodham Clinton in her message called the feeding of the 5,000 “that first great potluck.”

Chances are you have been asked to feed thousands with only five loaves of bread and two fish. And chances are you responded, “What? That would take a miracle!” As it turns out, a little trust in Jesus—and a community of friends—turns us all into miracle workers, for the kin-dom of God is among us (Luke 17:21). This month, think about the miracles your unit may be capable of, even if your resources seem scarce.

Not all who hunger are hungry for food. On the Assembly day of action, attendees joined the Louisville, Ky., community for a march to end economic inequality. In “Marching for Economic Justice” on pages 22-23, Christie House and Mary Beth Coudal explain some of the disparity between East and West Louisville, the dividing line between the haves and have-nots, of race and class.

This month, watch “This Is Beecher Terrace” from PBS’s Frontline. The Beecher Terrace public housing complex is on Louisville’s west side and is one of the communities we marched through during our Assembly action.

Materials from Assembly are available on Assembly2014.org. Visit to learn about workshop topics and to see videos of worship services. More photos from Assembly can be seen at www.flickr.com/UMWomen.

Our God is a God of abundance. Never doubt that we can Make It Happen!

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Relishing a Raisin.

Tara Barnes:

Deaconess Pat Hoerth reflects on her time, teaching and fellowship at Assembly 2014:

Originally posted on Turtle Rock Farm:

United Methodist Women March for Economic Justice

[★]Marching for Economic Justice in Louisville, Ky. during Assembly 2014
Deaconesses consecrated at Assembly 2014 in Louisville
Consecrating 26 new deaconesses at Assembly 2014

Every four years
thousands of women
gather
at United Methodist Women’s
Assembly.
They come to learn,
to worship together,
to be together
as a sisterhood
and to recharge themselves
for their work in mission
with women, children and youth
around the world.
The United Methodist Women
support the work of deaconesses
and home missioners (men,)
of which I am one—deaconess,
that is. My work is in
ecospirituality and environmental justice
based here at Turtle Rock Farm.
So it was with great excitement
that I looked forward to Assembly 2014
last week in Louisville, KY. Time with
others in the deaconess/home missioner
community, is always a nourishing joy.
Though we had an evening together for fun
and to welcome the 26 new deaconesses,
as usual, much of our time together
is spent learning…

View original 974 more words

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Assembly 2014: Ubuntu Day of Service

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Correction (May 2014)

The r-list in the printed May 2014 issue of response included errors. Below are the correct figures. response regrets the errors.

r-list: May 2014

303,858,000
U.S. civilian population. Of this, about 56.7 million (18.7 percent) live with a disability.

241,682,000
U.S. civilian population 15 or older.

21.3 percent
People 15 and over who live with a disability.

14.8 percent
People 15 and over with a sight disability.

3.1 percent
People 15 and over with a hearing disability.

1.2 percent
People 15 and over with a speech disability.

12.6 percent
People 15 and over who have difficulty walking.

6.3 percent
People 15 and over with a mental or emotional disability.

41.1 percent
People 15 and over with a disability who are employed.

Source: Americans With Disabilities: 2010 Household Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, 2012.

Posted in Disabilities, May 2014 | Leave a comment

From the President (July/August 2014)

The Promise We Keep

The summer months have been very busy. I’m sure many of you are attending, teaching or assisting at your Mission u and gaining new insights from our mission studies. Mission u is a wonderful time of fellowship with new friends, old friends and a chance to engage in the work of United Methodist Women. No matter where you are on your Christian journey, we rely on the Scriptures to help us understand what God is asking us to do and what promises we must keep to move United Methodist Women forward in mission. I rejoice constantly in knowing that the God we serve is faithful to meet all that we need as United Methodist Women to fulfill our calling to improve life for women, children and youth around the world (Philippians 4:19).

We must be vigilant to accomplish this goal. Remember to regularly peruse the United Methodist Women website to get valuable information about mission, including the latest Action Alerts, the national United Methodist Women event calendar, news and mission videos, articles from response and United Methodist Women News and more. From the website you can connect to photos on Flickr and also share what’s going on in your local unit and community through United Methodist Women social media outreach on FacebookPinterest, Twitter and here on the response blog. These mission tools will help you better discern where you can step in and make a difference by bringing awareness to an issue, connecting with a nearby national mission agency, volunteering at a school or community center or reaching out to female veterans or spouses at a nearby military base.

The opportunities to put our faith, hope and love into action are endless.

I had the privilege of walking former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton out after her Assembly speech. We talked about United Methodist Women’s work—our meetings, workshops, Mission u, spiritual growth, Limitless events, maternal health initiative and scholarships. Ladies, that’s faithfulness to God’s call. We lament that it’s hard to get people to come to a meeting or a district event. I say, stop worrying and be encouraged. Let’s move forward with the 800,000 Bold, Edgy, Loving, Giving, Compassionate and Unreasonable United Methodist Women members we have, continue to do the work we’ve been call to do and plant seeds of mission at every opportunity. God will give the increase.

In 1869 our foremothers made a promise and gave a few cents. Today, with that same passion, love and dedication, we will keep the promise and make sure that United Methodist Women will go forward into the next 150 years in mission with women, children, youth, who are still among the most vulnerable in the world. This is the work God called United Methodist Women to do. And like our foremothers, we answer, “Yes!” to God’s call. Thank you United Methodist Women for what you do. Thank you for your time, energy and passion. To God be all the glory!

YVETTE KIM RICHARDS
President
United Methodist Women

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This Is Beecher Terrace

At Assembly 2014, thousands of United Methodist Women members marched in solidarity with the Louisville, Ky., community to call for economic  justice. In Louisville, like in many cities and towns throughout the United States, the line that divides the haves and have-nots also divides the community by race.

Beecher Terrace, a public housing complex in West Louisville, was one of the groups we marched with. Beecher Terrace was featured in an April 2014 episode of PBS‘s FRONTLINE:

FRONTLINE goes inside Beecher Terrace, a housing project in Kentucky where nearly every resident spends time behind bars. This disturbing cycle of incarceration raises big questions about America’s infatuation with incarceration.

Watch the episode here.

Posted in Assembly, Economic justice, July/August 2014, Racial justice | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment