A calling is a term we use to describe the strong urge that people feel toward a particular career, vocation or path in life. A calling to heal and comfort is why some people become doctors. A calling to inform and instruct compels others to become educators. A calling to paint, compose music, write poetry or act stirs many to pursue the arts. Having a calling allows one to move through the world focused and with purpose.
As United Methodist Women members, we are called to spread the word of God by putting faith, hope and love into action. We focus on improving the lives of women, children and youth worldwide and we purposefully seek out impactful ways to do so. Consider response your guide to our many good works.
Our March issue opens with “Bright Hope for Tomorrow” by Barbara Campbell on pages 8 to 11. In it she reminds us that the work of United Methodist Women is part of a rich continuum and is as necessary now as it was in 1869 when our foremothers Clementina Butler and Lois Parker and friends felt called to help women and children in India. What would you like the legacy of your United Methodist Women group to be?
Five years ago a group of clergy in North Carolina felt called to speak out against their state’s reductions in health care, education and human services funding. Thus the beginning of Moral Mondays, a sustained protest that has grown to thousands, including United Methodist Women members. Richard Lord’s “Moral Mondays” on pages 18 to 20 tells how the movement has gained momentum by appealing to people’s sense of decency instead of their political leanings. How do you address inequities in your community?
From 1910 to the end of World War II, Korea endured brutal treatment under Japanese occupation. The residue of those dark days lingers still as bigotry, hate and denial continue to strain relations between the two nations. In “Building Peace Between Japan and Korea,” on pages 22 to 29, we learn how United Methodist Women is helping to bridge that divide by bringing young women from both cultures together to foster understanding.
Constructive communication is the first step toward healing.
If you haven’t attended Mission u, Denise Nurse’s article “Transforming Through Education” on pages 30 to 34 is a must-read. It’s a lively account of her recent Mission u experience in Arkansas where she gives the scoop on the classes, plenaries and worship services that comprised the weekend and the United Methodist Women members that she met. We hope it inspires you to attend a Mission u in your area. To learn more visit http://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/mission-u.
Last month’s issue featured photos of our 2016-2020 officers Shannon Priddy, Clara Ester, Cindy Saufferer, Gail Douglas-Boykin and Estella Wallace. For this issue, we profile each one in “Leading Into the Next 150 Years” on pages 36 to 41. Read it to learn more about their backgrounds and experience as well as how they plan to use their calling to these positions to serve United Methodist Women.
March 1 is the beginning of Lent, a time we use to prepare, reflect and repent. We hope this Lenten season provide you with whatever you may need—strength, solitude, ritual, sacrifice, service, prayer—to bring you closer to God.