Good News to Share
The end of the year is always a time for celebration, reflection and forward thinking. This is especially true in 2013 as United Methodist Women completes its first anniversary as the autonomous women’s mission organization of The United Methodist Church. For me, this year ends with resounding praise to God for the wonderful things God has done for and through United Methodist Women!
I love this organization for what we do. Like Paul on the generosity of the missionary churches (2 Corinthians 8-9), I boast on you, United Methodist Women, and your love in action everywhere I go. After listening intently when friends and associates talk about a charitable cause their various organizations support, I share that through annual pledges, teas, bake offs, rummage sales, walk-a-thons, theatrical events and more United Methodist Women supports 98 community centers, residences, schools and other mission institutions in the United States and international mission programs empowering women, children and youth in more than 100 countries. I also share how we are advocates for God’s creation, immigrants, trafficked persons, survivors of domestic violence and others whose voices are not heard. As the biblical prophet said, we aim to “learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, and plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:17).
United Methodist Women, we’ve got Good News to share! As we enter the holiday season, I urge you to share your kindness. Approach the new woman in the neighborhood or visiting your local church. Invite her to share in the joy intrinsic to this mission reaching out to women, children and youth at home and around the world.
We are a supportive community. Whether we’ve gathered in our local, district, conference or national program advisory groups, we walk with one another through life difficulties and celebrate life joys—the daughter who’s now a senior, the new grandbaby. We learn one another, recognized and appreciate one another’s gifts and graces. When my job deployed me to a three-month assignment in Amarillo, Texas, earlier this year, board member Karon Mann drove 25 miles out of her way to have diner with me—and I knew she was my sister. The women at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Amarillo treated me like I was a founding member while I was there and included me in all their meetings and actions, even a visit to Wesley Community Center, a national mission institution in Amarillo. United Methodist Women sisters from nearby towns also joined in this extravagant hospitality.
United Methodist Women, you have the gifts and graces to move this organization—and this church—forward. Let’s encourage one another to this end as we celebrate the love of God revealed in Christ’s incarnation and as we embark on another year of putting our faith, hope and love into action.
YVETTE KIM RICHARDS
United Methodist Women