From the President (March 2018)

Making an Imprint

Your life is about the imprint that you’re making. Use your voice. Be vocal. Women fought for us for years, and years, and years, so that we would have the rights that we do. Not using your voice is an assault on them and what they did for us.
—Chelsea Handler

I wouldn’t normally pick a comedian for inspiration, and Chelsea Handler can be seen as polarizing. However, this month as we celebrate United Methodist Women and the building of our Legacy Fund, her words are spot on—especially as they come from an interview in which she talks about leaving her talk show to help work to get women elected to public office and women’s rights prioritized.

Growing up with a mother active in United Methodist Women, I listened as the small groups of women spoke of spiritual growth through Bible studies and service to others. I watched as cookies were baked and sold, as funds were sent to mission, as support was given to women in need. These simple acts made up what would become the foundation for my choice to be part of United Methodist Women. I don’t believe these women in the local units ever knew that anyone was watching and learning, quietly taking it all in. These women made an imprint on my life.

I was invited into United Methodist Women, not once but many times and in many different ways. I became a United Methodist Women member by choosing to attend circle meetings and participating as a local and then a conference officer, and I learned to use my voice. First I modeled my voice on the women I watched stand in faith and solidarity with the marginalized. Then I found my own voice, knowing I was not standing alone. I may not be the loudest voice, but because of United Methodist Women, I know I am not the only voice. United Methodist Women has a legacy of growing leaders.

As a United Methodist Women member, I continually share stories of our work and of the opportunities we offer for leadership development, spiritual growth, transformative education, and service and advocacy. I am always amazed when women from United Methodist churches say things like, “I had no idea United Methodist Women did that!” Obviously, we need to practice using our voice! And we better invite women to join.

I am called to be a United Methodist Women member. My life’s work is to become the disciple of Christ God created me to become. I do this with United Methodist Women, with a community of women developing a creative, supportive fellowship and expanding concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church. The women who came before us stand next to us. It is in every mission dollar raised and in the personal gifts we give to support the Legacy Fund, a permanent endowment to help future generations of United Methodist Women put faith, hope and love into action. I invite you this month to reconnect, invite and give to United Methodist Women, especially to the Legacy Fund (visit http://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/150 or call 800-278-7771). Become the legacy you want to leave for future women.

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