Message From the President (June 2017)

Learning to Transform Lives

We are called to live together. As Christians we are meant to live with one another. Our faith calls us to build community in Christ, not by standing alone but by working alongside those we serve. Editor Tara Barnes writes in this month’s LEARN intro, “We can’t avoid discomfort. It’s what Jesus calls us to, for on the other side is deeper knowledge, understanding and love. In the discomfort is community. In the discomfort is God.” And in the LIVE intro, “Being part of United Methodist Women means the opportunity to change the world and yourself for the better through spiritual growth, leadership development, transformative education and service and advocacy.”

We are called as Christians to learn and transform in our faith. Utilize the resources available to you. This is why Mission u exists. As we enter the summer months, Mission u events are happening around the country. Thinking back to my first Mission u and the many since, I see transformation happening in the lives of the women attending. For me, Mission u is learning that the world is bigger than your own backyard. It is not enough to just learn and understand—Mission u empowers and implores us to take what we learn and share it with others. Mission u works provides the tools necessary to take the lessons back to your local unit or district. How many of us were nervous the first time we used Mission u for a local program? This supportive community will not judge you but instead help you develop your leadership skills so that the next time you are less nervous to stand up and present.

United Methodist Women knows education is important. Just reading the mission studies can be transformative. United Methodist Women also offers the resources to dig deeper into priority issues and partnerships through our Reading Program. There is a reason one of our first missionaries was a teacher—to empower women through education. Today, many of our grants and international mission partnerships support education for women, because when you educate one woman, you educate a village.

As a woman of faith, how do you grow? I know I need to learn and try new things. I need to identify difference and celebrate it through community in Christ. I know I need the fellowship of community, because I believe Jesus did not want us to work alone. It is community that keeps United Methodist Women moving forward. It is the purpose of community that has moved United Methodist Women through 150 years.
Psalm 46:5 says, “God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day” (NIV). I love this Bible verse for many reasons. I find it comforting, because this verse does not say she is on her own or that she is alone. God gives us the strength to build community, to educate and transform our faith. God gives me United Methodist Women and the tools to succeed. This year, as you register and plan for Mission u, think about how you will use the tools God is giving you. I stand beside you as you grow and transform in your faith. I am your community.

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