The June issue hit mailboxes right as most conferences are gearing up for Mission u: Learning Together for Transformation of the World. The United Methodist Women mission books being studied in 2014 are The Church and People With Disabilities, The Roma of Europe and How Is It With Your Soul? (all available in English, Spanish or Korean). The story “Justice That’s Blind to Deaf Defendants” by Brenda Webber can be used to supplement your learning about radical welcome for people with disabilities. Attend Mission u or study the books with your United Methodist Women group.
This issue contains stories for young women in high school, college and under-40, but like all issues of response is for women of all ages whose faith compels them to service and advocacy. Groups looking to expand their membership will find this issue especially helpful. Stephanie Greiner in “Room at the Table” on pages 36-39 offers some suggestions.
Growing up in a United Methodist Church I assumed that joining United Methodist Women was something to do when I was older. I thought that’s what United Methodist Women was—a group for older women in the church. The United Methodist Women members of my church dedicated their hearts and souls to the whole church, but its membership was only women over 50.
Especially as a young adult I was an active United Methodist and served in local and conference leadership roles, but not in United Methodist Women. I know that had I been invited, I would have joined. I don’t mean just invited to attend a tea or help at a fundraiser but to join, to help discern ways our church could make life better for women of all ages. Are there women in your church, district or conference who are like I was—active United Methodist women but not a member of United Methodist Women? Have you told them about United Methodist Women? Do it. Sometimes that may be all it takes, especially for young women.
“Faith, God and College” by Amanda Yau and “Nurturing Faith in College” by Prerna Balasundaram speak to young women in or on their way to college who want to establish or maintain a connection with God. College offers many opportunities to grow in different ways, and Ms. Yau and Ms. Balasundaram explain how it can also be a time for spiritual growth. If you are a college student, especially if practicing your faith has been pushed farther down the priority list than you’d like, these articles can give you some advice.
This issue also highlights two national mission institutions: Wesley House Family Services in Key West, Fla., and Wesley Community Service Center in Portsmouth, Va. These articles, by Jim West and Richard Lord, respectively, share not only the work these community centers do but the systemic issues causing such outreach services to be necessary. United Methodist Women members know charity must be matched with justice, so we serve and advocate. These stories are also about the good work you do.