From the President (May 2014)

Whats In Your Hands?

We have been blessed by God to be a part of an organization of women who for 145 years have used their hands to turn their faith, hope and love into action on behalf of women, children and youth. Today I challenge you to examine what’s in your hands, reflect on United Methodist Women’s next 100 years of mission in Jesus’ name—then make it happen. Use your hands to invite women you know to expand their concepts of Christian mission at Mission u. Use your hands to push a United Methodist Women member to stir up her gifts at Leadership Development Days. Use your hands to support women, children and youth who face injustice.

On the dawn of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, famed Harlem, N.Y., preacher and legislator Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr. encouraged the impoverished community he represented saying:

“God said to Moses, ‘What’s in your hand?’ And Moses says, ‘Lord, the only thing I’ve got is a stick. That’s all.’ God says, ‘Well let me use what’s in your hand.’ And God used that slave boy with a stick in his hand to divide the Red Seas, march through a wilderness, bring water out of rocks, manna from heaven and bring his people to freedom land. What’s in your hand? … You’ve got God in your hand, and with God in your hand … you win because [God] is on your side, and one with God is always in the majority.”

I believe this applies to United Methodist Women today as well. So what’s in our hands?

I know what’s in our hands: faith for seeking spiritual growth personally and guidance for moving forward in mission. What’s in our hands is hope for making the world more just and peaceful for women, children and youth by training new leaders, expanding educational opportunities and working with United Methodist and other like-minded partners. What’s in our hands is love from God for reaching out to sisters and brothers.

We have an awesome opportunity to hone our skills and educate ourselves for informed action at our annual Mission u events. This year our spiritual growth study theme is “How Is It With Your Soul?” The text by Priscilla Pope-Levison and Jack Levison explores this question that is central to the history and development of The United Methodist Church. For the second and final year we will learn about the Roma of Europe in our geographic study. And this year marks the first of our two-year issue study on the church and people with disabilities.

I’m particularly looking forward to The Church and People With Disabilities. My niece has apraxia, a speech disorder, and she lives not letting the disability stop her from achieving any of her goals. She loves to read, so I’m always picking up Reading Program and other United Methodist Women resources for her to read. Also, one of the most awesome opportunities I’ve ever had was to serve as a Special Olympics cheerleading coach.

United Methodist Women, examine what’s in your hands. Then use your gifts, talents and giving to make United Methodist Women a stronger and more effective agent in God’s mission.

YVETTE KIM RICHARDS
President
United Methodist Women

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