Welcome to the “Make It Happen” 2014 Assembly issue of response! This issue recaps that United Methodist Women quadrennial mountaintop experience with a view that compels us to “keep on keeping on” in God’s mission.
My first Assembly was in 1990 in Kansas City, Mo. I was senior writer for response and assigned to cover a luncheon for teen and college-age women at Assembly. There may have been 12 people in the room—and that included a 30-year-old me and Barbara Campbell, then assistant general secretary of the Women’s Division (the former national policymaking body of United Methodist Women). One of the teen women at the luncheon was Lisa Swett, who years later as an adult served as a director of the Women’s Division from 2004 to 2012.
Fast forward to 2014. About 100 teen and college-age women attended the pre-Assembly reunion of participants in United Methodist Women’s Limitless: Redefine Tomorrow event for young women. Six percent of Assembly registrants were under 35; 13 percent were under 50. It was standing room only in the Assembly workshop on young women in mission, and women of all ages discussed United Methodist Women as a multigenerational movement of women organizing for mission in a world in need of their faith, hope and love in action. That’s progress!
Assembly is also an opportunity to see the impact of Mission Giving dollars. Every year local United Methodist Women members across the country raise funds for mission in teas, auctions, craft fairs, fashion shows, soup sales, secondhand boutiques and more. Up close, these activities seem like teas, auctions, craft fairs, fashion shows, soup sales, secondhand boutiques and more. But at Assembly, women see the many ministries uplifting women, children and youth here in the United States and around the world that are made possible by those Mission Giving dollars.
Assembly 2014 is now history, but its call to action stands. Read this issue of response—then go out and make it happen for women, children and youth.