How to Use This Issue

 

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Campers and counselors hang out in the yard at North Rampart Community Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. The center is a United Methodist Women-supported national mission institution. (Photo: Betty Backstrom)

Discovery. Innovation. Tradition. Steadfastness. These words describe innumerable ways in which United Methodist Women members work to change the world. They also speak specifically to the efforts highlighted in this month’s issue.

Randie Clawson discovered United Methodist Women after joining an Ubuntu Journey as part of her post-retirement plan to give back. “I was United Methodist and a woman,” but, she says, “I didn’t know yet about the national organization.” In “My United Methodist Women Journey,” on pages 16 to 20, Clawson gives a first-person account of going from mission volunteer to social action leader with revelatory moments along the way. How has belonging to United Methodist Women changed you? Share with your group how you became a United Methodist Women member.

Dharmsinh Desai Memorial Methodist Institute of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery (DDMM) provides innovative care to a rural part of India where culture can clash with modern medicine. In “The Incredible Heart Hospital,” on pages 22 to 26, Jane Schreibman reports on programs the hospital launched to encourage people to become healthier. Just having access to information can empower people to take better care of themselves. As a group, partner with local health agencies to remind church members about the importance of regular screenings for preventing and treating disease.
In the early 1900s, the Woman’s Society of Christian Service set out to establish community centers in high poverty areas throughout the country. North Rampart Community Center is one that remains essential to New Orleans residents who rely on it for education and recreation. Betty Backstrom’s “Fostering Well-Being” on pages 27 to 30 looks at the center’s current initiatives and ways that United Methodist Women members throughout Louisiana Conference support this institution. Take time this month to celebrate the longtime work your local United Methodist Women has done for the church and community.

Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season—who doesn’t like a bargain? But before you hit the stores, consider points raised in “Corporations and Social Responsibility” on pages 36 to 38. Big business affects our lives significantly, say writers Robert Emerick and Ralph Gomor, because their billions give them significant political clout. The retail industry is notorious for unfair wages and scheduling practices that leave workers in limbo. As we continue to make income inequality a priority in our advocacy, strive to be an informed consumer and investor to help dismantle this type of exploitation and urge your shopping buddies to do the same.

“In Ministry As a Native American,” on pages 40 to 41, is the Rev. Tweedy Sombrero Navarrete’s frank account of the sexism and racism she’s faced as a church member, seminarian and pastor. Standing firmly in her faith and calling, she maintains, “I want people to know that the love of Christ is in all of us, no matter who we are or where we come from.”

This Thanksgiving, give to World Thank Offering and encourage your entire congregation to do the same by sharing the great work United Methodist Women does in a bulletin insert, an announcement in church or a special social hour after church. Have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving!

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