From the President (January 2015)

Not Just a Pew Sitter

Moving into 2015 we must be ready more than ever to move outside of the walls of our churches and meeting rooms. In our spiritual journeys we will be tested and tried, but we all know God doesn’t put more on you than you can bear.

I have learned from my former pastor the Rev. Emanuel Cleaver II that there is more to being a Christian than sitting in the pews. I live by that. It’s not always easy, but in order to complete God’s request that we put faith, hope and love into action, we must leave the pews of comfort and ease.

“But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves,” says James 1:22.

We often get caught up in what we see others doing. God has not given us the spirit of fear but the spirit of strength to move against the tide and stand up for our marginalized neighbors. As a Christian and United Methodist Women member, I cannot understand why anyone would not want to help others who are hurting or in need. God calls us to such work. We find kindred spirits in fellow United Methodist Women members who share our passion for action. I often find myself in a non-United Methodist Women setting asking, Where is the action? What are we doing to address the issue?

Getting off the pews and out of the church building also leads to spiritual growth. It allows you to come closer to God and become a powerful witness. Others will ask, “What is going on in her journey?” Getting out into the world has allowed me to walk in a greater faith with a sense of boldness to go forward—sometimes without asking.

Don’t get me wrong; I love to be in service and worship at St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Missouri, being on the hospitality team, greeting those coming into the house of God. Worship is a magical time. But my real joy comes when I am volunteering in the community in service with others. I have been blessed to have traveled around the world to see women in action.

For 146 years United Methodist Women has been in action for women, children and youth around the world, ensuring a place at the table for all. We are happy for you to sit next to us in worship, but we are delighted to have you work side by side with us. There is no greater joy than to know your journey has impacted individuals, families and communities around the world, all because you decided you are not going to be just a pew sitter. United Methodist Women is proud to be a part of the transformation of all God’s people.

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