Happy new year! The Christ child has come and with him a cry, a mandate, to change to world. This month we experience the Epiphany—Jesus is the son of God!
Living up to Christ’s charge is our past and our future as United Methodist Women. The mandate of Christ that all must be welcome at the table is our present mission to fulfill. As you may be able to tell from this issue’s cover, United Methodist Women is approaching its 150th anniversary, which we’ll celebrate in 2019.
150 years in mission in this constantly changing world is a pretty amazing accomplishment. Our foremothers laid the foundation—financially, spiritually and in some cases physically—for our mission work. It’s our turn to return the favor to future generations. We can do this with the Legacy Fund, an endowment to guarantee women the ability to put faith, hope and love into action for women, children and youth around the world for the next 150 years and beyond. Use this issue to learn more about the Legacy Fund, and share this issue with others.
Your task this month is to plan how you’ll contribute to the Legacy Fund. Maybe each member of your group will give $1.50 each month, or $150 as a group. Maybe a special fundraiser with the goal of $1,869 (in honor of our founding year, 1869)? Maybe a partnership with other United Methodist Women groups to raise $150,000 by 2019? Be creative—and ambitious! Our daughter’s daughters in your church and around the world thank you. Visit www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/legacyfund.
Every January we offer an index of the previous year’s articles and topics. Have a particular topic you plan to focus on in 2015? Need help determining your mission focuses for the upcoming year? The index can help you learn more about areas of interest and help you provide resources to engage others. Back issues can be ordered at www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/store.
Studies show more and more the importance of early childhood education, beginning when children are toddlers. When children can begin their education on solid footing they are better prepared to learn at all levels. At Moore Community House in Biloxi, Mississippi, a United Methodist Women related national mission institution, children are given high quality care and an education, beginning at infancy.
The earlier the “playing field” is leveled the better; education, opportunity and comfort should not be the privilege of the wealthy. Read “A Head Start” by Carol Burnett and see how your Mission Giving is at work.
In “Restoring Justice, Restoring Lives” Stephanie Greiner talks about finding generosity of spirit in a surprising place: prison. Punishment serves no purpose unless something is learned. The Missouri Department of Corrections works with inmates to help them serve their time and reenter society as changed and contributing citizens. In fact, some of the prayer shawls at Assembly 2014 came from incarcerated men and women in this program!
In your ongoing work toward being a radically welcoming church, “Disabilities Research Improving Lives” by Beryl Goldberg can supplement your reading of the 2014-2015 mission study The Church and People With Disabilities.
May 2015 bless you as you bless others. Now let’s get to work.