Change the World Weekend is May 17-18. The materials are on-line, available for
download—only I couldn’t make the process work. Most likely, though, it’s user
error. You will probably have success.
If you are one
person in one congregation in one community in one corner of the world, the
weight of trying to make a lasting, positive transformation could seem
impossible. The great thing about Change the World Weekend is that it
highlights the connectional system of The United Methodist Church. We are never
just one person or one church congregation. We connect globally with each other.
Participating on May 17-18 means showing our connectionalism as a whole
In the UMW Monthly Calendar of Observances that I posted sometime ago, I listed Peace with Justice Sunday
for May. In 2013 it was in May, but the date is actually based on Pentecost,
and this year it's June 15,
so there's time to order posters and envelopes--which are free.
Day against Child Labor comes in June. If you want to distribute copies of the Universal Declaration
of the Rights of the Child, it’s time to order. Source for these is the University
of Minnesota human rights store on-line: https://hrstore.law.umn.edu/catalog/. It is available in packets of 50
(passport size) for around $15.
declared 2014 as the Year of Innovation for Equity – to focus the world’s
attention on showcasing and developing innovative solutions for children’s
well-being. Throughout 2014, UNICEF will convene a series of “Activate Talks”
which will bring together change makers from all walks of life to rethink and
rework how we can deliver results for the most vulnerable and marginalized
children. These talks will be live-streamed or broadcast on the Activate Talks web portal. To
broaden the dialogue, all visitors to the site are invited to get involved in
the discussions and debates and to share their views and experiences of
innovation for children.
The Alma Mathews House is in Greenwich Village and was featured in response of October 2012.
When I arrived, Claretta Nesbitt, manager, was filling in for the ailing front
desk administrator, but took me around the House. It’s a charming guesthouse
from the 1920’s with several double occupancy bedrooms, a suite with two beds,
a small kitchen and sitting area. There’s also a communal kitchen and dining
area. If you missed the response article go online for Alma
Mathews House to learn about the origins. I’m wondering if we could consider it as a possibility for
some of our group, for a seminar on-site or at the Church Center! (There is an elevator in the house and one makes only one bus transfer to get to the Church Center at the U.N. building.)
Continuing my "report" on my visit to UMW offices in New York City last week...
next visit was in the national UMW office at the Interchurch Center, 475
Riverside Drive. When I arrived, Sally Vonner, our national assistant general
secretary of membership leadership development—and a member of the North Texas
Conference—was in a meeting about Assembly, but she left the meeting to greet
me and send me with Alicia, her assistant. (Sally finished her meeting before I
left the office and we had a nice visit in the office on the 15th
floor of the Interchurch Center. She later sent me this e-mail message: “You are always welcome here. This is
your home and we are family. We are always glad when members stop by to visit.”
I was given a cup of coffee, a desk and materials to look over while I waited
for Yvette Moore,
the editor of response magazine. I had explained to Alicia and the other
staff present that I also wanted to go downtown to the Alma Mathews House—and
before I knew it, Alicia had gone online, gotten precise bus directions and
printed them out for me!
Yvette came in, we discussed an article that I had prepared about our Stop
Hunger Now event. I thanked Yvette for her work on the magazine, including the very
interesting article about maps in the March edition. Yvette didn’t promise to
publish our story, but I’m hopeful! She told me she’s on the lookout for
pictures of UMW groups actively participating in programs or
activities….. and then I was off to the Alma Mathews House with Alicia’s
posting will be different from the usual because I want to tell you what wonderful
visits I had last week in the UMW Riverside office, at the Church Center for
the United Nations (CCUN), and at the Alma Mathews House. . Since the posting is
likely to be a little long—because the visits were so exciting for me—I will
divide it into three parts.
been visiting the two offices annually for a few years now and am always reinvigorated
and enlightened and encouraged by the activity and the welcome. Although both
offices were heavily involved in GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2014, they took time for me.
Barton is executive secretary for community action and her office is in the Church Center.
An aside: Do you realize what an absolutely incredible thing it is that
we--women of the United Methodist Church--own and operate this 12-story
building across the street from the United Nations Building?! If you aren't
familiar with it, put "Church Center of the United Nations" in your
browser and learn about the power and opportunity this asset gives us! But back
to my visit with Carol....
gracious and enthusiastic hostess, Carol was eager to learn how our NTC
"Social Action Three" arrangement works, and she seemed pleased with
my report. The main message that Carol left with me is this: Don't drop the
topic/issue just because you've finished the study. We all know,
intellectually, that knowledge imparted through UMW emphases is not to be the
end; it may be just the beginning for some of us and another building block for
others. But the goal is to MAKE A DIFFERENCE as a result, and to do that we
need to continue to address the issue. If one woman takes as her commitment the
Patricia Project to provide sanitary items to women and girls who have no
access to such, and pursues the activity on her own, that’s a success. If she
brings another woman into her work, that’s additional success.
Or if one
of us is deeply touched by the conditions the Roma people live in, and delves
into the study further, learning how to help, that’s success.
it is true that, as UMW members, to gain knowledge about a need is to gain a
responsibility to do something. But it is also true that we simply can’t adopt
every need with equal fervor so, with God’s guidance, we have to choose a need
to which we will devote our energy. As someone has said: “I’m not everybody,
but I am somebody. I can’t do everything, but I can do something. What I can
do, I must do.”
Carol and I also discussed a mutual concern that, within
the new flexibility for organization of UMW units, our membership maintain our
commitment to the many missions and structures that UMW has built and supported
these 100-plus years. We can continue this service to God only through
continued financial pledging of our
These are the messages I brought with me from my valuable
time with Carol.