How to Use This Issue (March 2014)

The 2014 theme of Women’s History Month is “Women of Character, Courage and Commitment.” Know any women who fit this description? This month, Women’s History Month, find a way to honor the woman (or women) whose character, courage and commitment inspire you. Send her a card, leave her a note, bake her a treat, say a special prayer, donate to her favorite cause. Buy her a gift subscription to response!

This month, pay special attention to building other women up, and take note of the times you have cut other women down, either by gossip or by quiet or public judgment. We’re all guilty of this, so take heart, and continue to work toward a global sisterhood of grace among all women. We need one another.

This month’s Bible study is presented in a different format than usual and includes visuals, call-and-response and song. It comes from the plenary studies at the 2013-2014 Leadership Development Days and explores our friends Mary and Martha—and through them ourselves. If your group is small, consider gathering with other groups from your church or other churches or with other United Methodist Women groups in your area to explore this Bible study (perhaps at your own banquet).

Read “Maps: An Ally for Indigenous Peoples” on pages 26-27. Maps for most of my life had always been just a device to let me know where I am or where others are in relation to me. Then I viewed a Peters Projection Map and realized maps can also represent bias of importance or reveal the presence of privilege. They can also perpetuate myths of ownership. But as Elizabeth Droggitis tells us in the article, maps can also perpetuate justice. Read more about the power of maps in “Map Is a Verb” by Yvette Moore on pages 28-29.

If you were to create a map of your community, what would be the key features? Your church? Where homeless people find shelter in bad weather? Which bakery makes the best cookies? Where roads flood or where deer cross highways or where your mother is buried or where you kissed the love of your life for first time? The best spot to view the sunset? A completely unbiased map is impossible, for no one map can represent everything in a space, so what would your map look like? Maps are intentional. Get out some pencils and paper and create a map or two (or more) this month and see what it reveals.

Sharon Delgado in “Everything for Sale” on pages 30-33 invites us to assess public services versus privatization from a perspective of faith. Read this article. Then read Acts 2:43-47. The existence of poverty is not conducive to fulfilling the hope of God’s kin-dom, so where do we find balance? Use this issue to start this discussion.

In this season of Lent, may peace underlie your mourning. Easter will come. God won’t let us down.

Subscribe to response.

About Tara Barnes

editor of response, the magazine of United Methodist Women.
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