From the President (March 2014)

Give Thanks for Women Who Make History

Women’s History Month is a perfect time for United Methodist Women members to recognize and celebrate the powerful women who have nurtured us along our faith journeys. This includes many mentors, roommates and sister-friends who have stepped in to help when they saw our plate was already full. For me personally, I think of helping hands from friends like Vanessa Smith, my sister Bonnye Richards and niece Faith Christina.

This also includes the women who laid a foundation for us to join in the building of God’s kin-dom through United Methodist Women. I think of women like Mai Gray, Theressa Hoover and Thelma Stevens, and give God thanks.

United Methodist Women’s mission call is to make a difference in the lives of women, children, youth and the disenfranchised, which means, we, like our foremothers, are called to be transformers. This also necessarily means that we too will sometimes be history makers in our own right. Our foremothers courageously tread a path in mission that was unreasonable, bold and compassionate in attending to the needs of women, children, youth and the “outsiders” that we now walk. We too must cut new trails in this mission for those who will come after us.

And this is happening. One example is how United Methodist Women members around the country are raising awareness of human trafficking in their communities. Susie Johnson of United Methodist Women public policy office in Washington, D.C., recently received this letter from the director of the Iowa Department of Justice:

I wanted to take a moment to bring to your attention the wonderful work of the United Methodist Women groups of Windsor Heights, Iowa, and Des Moines, Iowa, in the fight against human trafficking.

I can say that the interest, concern and action of these organizations has been nothing less than inspiring to me and my colleagues. They have embraced the plight of the victims of this crime as their own and show no limit to the depth of their compassion and humanity for them.

Thank you for your leadership, and I extend my true appreciation to the United Methodist Women and the Church for all of the support they have given and continue to give each day.

Thank you,
Michael J. Ferjak, M.A.
Senior Criminal Investigator
Iowa Department of Justice,
Office of the Attorney General

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, give thanks for the women who have come before us, for the sisters who stand beside us and for the women who will come after us to take on United Methodist Women’s mission of faith, hope and love in action with women, children, youth and the disenfranchised.

See you at Assembly!

YVETTE KIM RICHARDS
President
United Methodist Women

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