From the Editor (September 2018)

September 2018 final cover

For those of us called by our faith to work for justice, it’s been a hard summer. A hard year. There are days I’m afraid to read the news or unclasp my hands from prayer. The volume of worry and anger can leave me nonfunctional or, worse, numb. Don’t let anyone tell you your worry is your own failure at positive thinking—very real harm is and has been happening to God’s children and creation. We know we can’t ignore these injustices or the aches of our heads and hearts. But we also know as Christians it’s our job to spread the good news.

Stay informed, but don’t let news alerts be a constant disruption. Choose the best time, place and way for you to consume news, to read deeper about the issues discussed, and to learn more about similar occurrences in history and the solutions. Avoid articles with headlines telling you how to feel or articles that exist only to upset you. Don’t let the barrage of misinformation from deceitful sources overwhelm you into inaction. Focus on what those in power are doing and on what those most affected are saying. Prioritize issues you know are important and on which you can act. Take breaks for hobbies, humor, food, family, exercise, music, worship. Resting is not quitting.

Stay connected; you are not alone. You are a member of United Methodist Women, part of hundreds of thousands of women organized for mission. United Methodist Women is a resource for education, spiritual guidance and concrete actions. Stay tuned to our website and social media, and sign up for our e-newsletters. Keep this issue handy to relive or experience the reassurance, inspiration and power of Assembly. Read daily Assembly issues of response and more news at unitedmethodiswomen.org/assembly. Watch videos of Assembly gatherings and town halls  and browse the great Assembly 2018 photos.

Stay strong. Find strength in your church, family, friends and partners. Find strength in your fellow United Methodist Women members, and in turn provide spaces for fellowship, discernment, conversation, support and joy as well as education and action. We know how to live with some uncertainty because we have faith. In our God we find respite and endurance. Please take care of yourselves and one another. We will achieve the Beloved Community.

 

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Bright Lights (August 2018)

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At 106 Marjorie Howard remains a lively source of inspiration
United Methodist Women member Marjorie Howard in Charleston, South Carolina, celebrates her 106th birthday.

Cornerstone Church women give back to the community
United Methodist Women at Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Cutler Bay, Florida, collecting and donate personal items to local medical center and school supplies to local school.

Barrington church’s rummage sale to celebrate 85 years
United Methodist Women at Barrington United Methodist Church in Barrington, Illinois, host 85th annual rummage sale fundraiser to support mission outreach.

Hall of Fame Spotlight: Teresita Santiago, Jennie Harris
United Methodist Women member Jennie Harris inducted into Delano Union School District’s Pioneer School Hall of Fame in Delano, California.

“Whale of a Sale” offers everything and maybe even the kitchen sink
Bridgeport United Methodist Women in Bridgeport, West Virginia, host successful “Whale of a Sale” fundraiser for mission.

Hurdtown UMC hosts “Back to School Giveaway”
United Methodist Women at Hurdtown United Methodist Church in Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, host long-running school supply drive and giveaway.

Lock Haven Rotary helps backpack programs
United Methodist Women at Covenant United Methodist Church in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, receive support for their backpack program from local Rotary Club.

Homeless Walk to raise funds for three area shelters
United Methodist Women at Faith United Methodist Church in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, host 12th annual walk to support neighbors who are homeless.

Former FBI agent shares real-life stories on human trafficking
United Methodist Women at Brecksville United Methodist Church in Brecksville, Ohio,  host forum with director of local organization fighting human trafficking.

Hurricane church to host food event during citywide yard sale
United Methodist Women at Hurricane United Methodist Church in Hurricane, West Virginia, serve their famous hot dogs, barbecues, drinks, popcorn, home-baked goods and candies during Hurricane’s citywide yard sale to raise money for mission.

Shandon Methodist Women hold 13th Annual Garage Sale
United Methodist Women at Shandon United Methodist Church in Columbia, South Carolina, host 13th garage sale fundraiser to support local and national outreach.

Round Rock United Methodist Women talk fight against child trafficking
United Methodist women at First United Methodist Church of Round Rock in Round Rock, Texas, host forum on human trafficking.

Slice of Pie for Gary
United Methodist Women at Pine Bluffs United Methodist Church in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, host pie sale fundraiser to help church member purchase a wheelchair.

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From the President (July/August 2018)

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Invite and Grow

Summertime means longer, slower days. It means family picnics and vacations, time for spiritual growth and reflection and transformational education opportunities with Mission u. As women of God, our faith does not take a break. We may just need to discover new ways to participate and express our faith during the hotter, slower months of summer.

Recently I was at the dentist, and the hygienist and I started talking. Through pauses from tools being changed, our topics turned to travel and books. The hygienist got really excited about a particular book on mission work. Do you know how hard it is to talk when you’re getting your teeth cleaned?

Part of mission work is listening and part is sharing. I learned about her family, her life and how she came to the west side of Indianapolis to work in a dental office, all in less than an hour. I shared my role and work in United Methodist Women. Turns out, she grew up in and still attends a United Methodist church. So, what is my next move? Invite her into United Methodist Women! We are in this together.

At work during this past year we had a graduate fellow working with us. As I got to know her, I learned that her fiancé grew up United Methodist and that she was moving to Alabama. We talked about what she was learning in her graduate courses, and I would share how United Methodist Women was stretching my fundraising knowledge with the Legacy Fund. She became active in the Junior League, and I asked what she liked about it. It’s because they work with women and children, she said. So, of course, I told her about United Methodist Women in Alabama.

As our graduate student’s year finished up and she was getting ready to move, she asked if I would connect her with some women in the area. It’s not pressure sales—it is life, and sharing yours with others is the beginning of mission work and the work of United Methodist Women.

United Methodist Women has an amazing Reading Program. Recommending a book can be mission work, or sharing that book with others, donating it or “accidentally” leaving it behind. Even simple acts invite others into transformative education.

Visual expressions of faith can speak louder than words. A smile can do wonders to welcome the first timer at Mission u. Make room for someone new at your coffee hour table or in your circle meeting. Breaking our routines and stretching our comfort levels is the bold work to which we’re called.

I hope Assembly renewed your charge for mission and helped you harness the Power of Bold. I know some decisions of the church have reinforced our next steps, that in today’s world women still need to organize for mission with women, children and youth at home and around the world. Mission happens one step at a time. Let’s take the next step together.

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Bright Lights (July 2018)

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Immigration vigil on Newton Green opposes separation of children from parents
Skylands District United Methodist Women Leadership Team in New Jersey co-sponsors a “Keep Families Together” vigil opposing family separation.

Sharing the love of a good story Book clubs offer fun, friends
United Methodist Women at First United Methodist Church in Lynchburg, Tennesee, host Lynchburg Page Turners Book Club.

Freedom House is shelter for homeless
United Methodist Women at Antrim United Methodist Church in Guernsey, Ohio, donate washers and dryers to local shelter for homeless neighbors.

UMW donation helps youth in foster care
United Methodist Women at Fortuna United Methodist Church in Fortuna, California, provide gift cards to local family resource center.

U.S. Department of Agriculture retiree works as the Holston Conference United Methodist Women president to prevent human trafficking, teen suicide
Lynice Broyles, from the Harmony, Tennessee,  and retired from U.S. Department of Agriculture, is the president of the Holston Conference of United Methodist Women. Read more about her in this profile.

BelieveFest school supplies giveaway planned
United Methodist Women at First United Methodist Church in Huron, Ohio, support local school supply drive.

Superior Home Gets a New Paint Job, Thanks to Local Volunteers
United Methodist Women at Superior United Methodist Church in Superior, Montana, organize “house party” to help spruce up a local home.

Tilghman celebrates school’s second chance
United Methodist Women at Tilghman United Methodist Church in Tilghman, Maryland, help celebrate local elementary school.

VUMC Ice Cream Social and Bake Sale committee finalizes plans
United Methodist Women at Village United Methodist Church in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, host ice cream social fundraiser for mission.

Estate cleanup results in second church quilt auction
Penni Day Rexrode honors her mother’s legacy by donating her quilts to United Methodist Women quilt auction at Bridgeport United Methodist Church in Bridgeport, West Virginia.

51st Whale of a Rummage Sale to offer an ocean of low priced items
United Methodist Women at Bridgeport United Methodist Church in Bridgeport, West Virginia, host rummage sale fundraiser for mission.

God’s Closet back open for fall clothing children for school year
God’s Closet thrift store at First United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, Mississippi, offers free clothing to schoolchildren at need and is run by the church’s United Methodist Women.

Village Methodists team up to help Arkansas Food Bank
United Methodist Women at Christ of the Hills United Methodist Church in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, regularly volunteer at local food bank.

Rays of Hope Camp gives emotional comfort to children
United Methodist Women at Convoy and Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Churches support free attendance at local day camp in Van Wert, Ohio, for children and youth dealing with grief.

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From the Editor (July/August 2018)

 

July August 2018 cover

While driving past a Wendy’s fast food restaurant recently, my 6-year-old son looked longingly out of his window and said, “Wendy’s has the best chicken nuggets. I wish we could eat there.” He wasn’t whining, but he was sad, because my family has chosen not to eat at Wendy’s again until it stops getting its tomatoes from growers who use child labor and mistreat farmworkers.

As you’ll learn about in the July/August issue, Wendy’s has refused to join the Fair Food Program, a partnership among farmers, farmworkers and retail food companies that ensures humane wages and working conditions for workers who pick fruits and vegetables on participating farms. All other major fast-food restaurants have joined the program, as have grocery stores like Fresh Market, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and even Walmart. But Wendy’s chooses to continue exploiting workers. Even with a 451.3 percent increase in net income this year thanks to recent tax cuts, Wendy’s still deems a penny per pound of tomatoes too high a price to pay to protect workers from child labor, sexual harassment and assault and wage theft, among other injustices. All people deserve safe working conditions and living wages.

So my son and I wrote a letter to Nelson Peltz, the chairman of the Wendy’s Company board of directors, asking him to please join the Fair Food Program. As people of faith, it’s the right thing to do. And we really like Wendy’s chicken nuggets.

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Bright Lights (June 2018)

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Dressings and blessings
United Methodist Women at First United Methodist Church in Kaufman, Texas, host annual “Dressings and Blessings” salad luncheon to raise money for mission.

Sorority celebrates “Finer Womanhood”
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority in Suffolk, honors United Methodist Women member Sarah Catlett with Humanitarian Award.

First UMC plans ice cream social, car wash
United Methodist Women at First United Methodist Church in Huron, South Dakota, partner with church’s youth group for a joint fundraiser.

Grace UMC awards scholarships to graduating seniors
United Methodist Women at Grace United Methodist Church in North Augusta, South Carolina, give scholarships to church students.

Baldwin Memorial UMC automotive event benefits SPAN
Car show at Baldwin Memorial United Methodist Church in Millersville, Maryland, benefits local charity as well as the church’s United Methodist Women and United Methodist Youth Fellowship.

Mattoon residents show off little pieces of paradise in Garden Walk
United Methodist Women at First United Methodist Church in Mattoon, Illinois, host garden walk fundraiser for mission.

United Methodist Churches serve up a bit of the old country
United Methodist Women at Siren United Methodist Church in Siren, Wisconsin, hosts fundraiser dinner featuring authentic German food.

Bunco event helps raise funds for local charity groups
United Methodist Women at Community United Methodist Church in Fairfield, California, host bunco game night to raise money for mission.

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How To Use This Issue (June 2018)

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Left to right, Corinne Arthur, Pat Knebel, Carol Barton, Itsel Wheatley, Julie Taylor and Judith McCrae represent United Methodist Women as a march for women farmworkers in New York City on March 2018. Marchers called on Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program and protect workers. Photo: Courtesy of Carol Barton

Did you know that the month of June has 30 special days? In addition to Father’s Day (June 17) and Juneteenth (June 19), National Cheese Day (June 4), National Red Rose Day (June 12) and Monkey Around Day (June 14) are among them. One that resonated with me with me is National Hug Holiday Day on the 29th. It was created to remind people to give a hug to those who could use one: the sick, the lonely, the forgotten, or someone who is experiencing a hard time. A hug is an easy way to comfort someone—and you don’t have to wait until the end of June to offer one.

Setting a goal and reaching it is satisfying. Setting a goal and exceeding it is stupendous. In “Challenge Accepted, Goal Exceeded” on pages 14 to 15, residents of United Methodist Women’s Brooks-Howell Home in Ashville, North Carolina, share their strategy for giving to the Legacy Fund—and beating their goal! What’s your Legacy Fund strategy? Discuss ways that your group can participate in sustained giving for the long run.
“Emma Cantor works across a wide stretch of the world where people speak dozens of languages.” That’s how Senior Correspondent Paul Jeffrey describes the depth and breadth of what our regional missionary in Asia does. In “Helping Women Find Power” on pages 22 to 29, Jeffrey focuses on Cantor’s outreach in Myanmar. Her mission, she says, is “finding women from the grassroots who are struggling” and helping them improve their communities.

Myanmar has been in the news for the violent attacks its military is waging on the minority Rohingya population, which has led to a mass exodus now considered a humanitarian crisis. Learn about the origins of this crisis by reading “Myanmar’s Rohingya Flee for Their Lives,” also by Jeffrey, on pages 28 to 29. Share with your church the work of United Methodist Women regional missionaries, or write to Cantor using the addresses provided in the Prayer Calendar.

United Methodist Women is among forward-thinking organizations that are advocating for a living wage where salaries are in line with the local cost of living. In “Everyone Deserves a Living Wage” on pages 30 to 32, Carol Barton makes the case for why a living wage is a sensible step in addressing income inequality. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed an easy-to-use Living Wage Calculator that estimates the cost of living in communities throughout the country: livingwage.mit.edu. Use it to see where how your area ranks.

Recently, our communications director Yvette Moore traveled to Maputo, Mozambique, then to Manila in the Philippines for international conferences sponsored by United Methodist Women. The highly anticipated events were successful in bringing women leaders together for networking. Read about both in the Moore’s articles “United Methodist Women Strategize for Mission in Asia” on pages 33 to 37 and “African Women Gather in Maputo for ‘Women Transform the World’ Conference” on pages 36 to 37. Enjoy the splendor of June.

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