From the President (May 2016)

All for One and One for All

Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And God will honor anyone who serves me.
—John 12:26 (NLT)

Excitement is in the air as we begin the second week of the  General Conference of The United Methodist Church. United Methodist Women is at General Conference in Portland, Oregon. I am delighted to be a part of our delegation, participating in the pre-conference with women Central Conference delegates—it’s a pleasure and joy to be with powerful, God-loving women from around the world. I will also be there as the first alternate for the magnificent Missouri Conference delegation.

Packing for these two weeks has proven interesting. I took one large suitcase for clothes and my carry-on for all of the General Conference literature! I did not forget my warm wrap and comfortable shoes. I am excited for all the extra walking points I will get on my Fitbit.

More than 1,000 General Conference resolutions and petitions are in for deliberation, and we have been reading, highlighting, tabbing in our efforts to ensure women, children and youth are protected and supported. We will have difficult decisions to make.

It is important to live by the words of Micah 6:8: “And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” We are the vessels of God’s work here on earth. As I prepared for this General Conference I was in my last weeks of my first semester at United Theological Seminary working toward my master’s degree in Christian ministries. I will see if I can put into practice some of the teachings I’ve already learned to discern if we are really working on building God’s kin-dom or on personal agendas. I pray that the Holy Spirit will stay high and surrounding all of us for the two weeks we are together (and then after).

Mark on your calendars for Monday, May 16, at 3:53 (PDT) [Editor’s note: TODAY!] to watch the United Methodist Women 150th celebration report on the floor of General Conference. I am bursting with pride to honor the women who laid this awesome and amazing foundation for us to carry forth into the 21st century and beyond. I hope you will also tune into the commissioning of our deaconesses and home missioners that same Monday at 8 a.m. (PDT). We are truly blessed to be United Methodist Women members witnessing God’s blessings firsthand.

I want to thank everyone who participated in the making of finger labyrinths for General Conference, from sharing the information, purchasing fabric or sewing, as we accomplished our finger labyrinth goal back in March! We know they have been prayed over. Now say some extra prayers for travel mercies along with the two weeks we will be in Portland.

Thank you, awesome and amazing United Methodist Women members, as you turn faith, hope and love into action for women, children and youth around the world. Glory to God as we are prepared to Make It Happen!

YVETTE KIM RICHARDS
President
United Methodist Women

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