Women examine a copy of response, the magazine of United Methodist Women, at the organization’s exhibit at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Oregon.
Who do you think succeeds more—the givers or the takers? I just finished reading Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant. The givers are usually the least successful. But do not despair; so, too, are the givers the most successful, the people in the highest levels in our organizations. The lesson is to give, but do not become a doormat.
Another takeaway from the book: If the giving takes only five minutes, do it. In every issue of response, you learn about ways to give—for five minutes or 150 years. This issue of response shares news and photos of how United Methodist Women contributed to the 2016 General Conference.
If you only have five minutes, read the prayer on page 46. Then sit in silence and meditate on the image of God’s invitation to a party. Or go online and give to the Legacy Fund. It only takes five minutes.
If you have five weeks, consider offering the women of your church a Bible study based on Bishop Sally Dyck’s “Go … Learn … Mercy.” Use Bishop Dyck’s questions as discussion starters.
If you have five months, consider planning a springtime daylong or weekend retreat following the lessons of the 150th anniversary celebration for United Methodist Women Day. Create a prayer circle, rally for clean water and celebrate United Methodist Women’s birthday.
If you have an extra 150 years, include United Methodist Women in your will.
Giving and talking about giving is not always easy. When I was interviewing the United Methodist Women members who sewed the labyrinths in the story “Ye of Little Faith …” I learned that the project was a bit more complicated than many bargained for. Giving requires sacrifice. The sewing work paid off as General Conference participants followed the path of their labyrinths to slow down and pray.
Give time and talent for the issues you value. Give thanks to God for the time and abundance you have. Give service.
On a personal note, this will be my last “How To” column for response as I am embarking on a new career as a grammar school teacher. It has been a privilege to serve as the interim managing editor for this magazine over the past year and a half. I thank the staff, members and friends whom I have made through my nearly 25 years of service in various capacities to this beautiful organization.
In particular, I thank Yvette Moore, the director of communications, and Tara Barnes, the editor of response, for your intelligence and kindness.
I always say working for United Methodist Women has been like going to graduate school. I have learned new skills and truths about the world. I have found my faith deepened and my spirit enriched.
In every story I’ve written, my heart was touched by United Methodist Women members, the givers and go-getters. I hope through my writing I have inspired you to share your story and give.
I tell my students as they leave my classroom to push in their chairs and tidy their space: “Leave it better than you found it.” I pray that as United Methodist Women members, you know that you have left the world better than you found it.
And for you I give thanks.