Tuesday, April 22, 2014



Look into this event that’s coming up August 7-8 at Ginghamsburg UMC in Tipp City, Ohio!


Check it out online!


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 denomination.


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.


World 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.

UNICEF has 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.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


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...

My 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.”

Upstairs, 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!

When 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 stop-by-stop directions.


This 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.

I have 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.

Carol 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....

A 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.

I believe 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  members.

These are the messages I brought with me from my valuable time with Carol.