As those who were there can attest, our meeting Saturday at St. Luke’s Community UMC was indeed a celebration! There were around 150 of us, and the UMW and the Rev. Dr. Michael Bowie, Jr., of St. Luke’s welcomed us in fine Christian fashion—of course. I want to tell you just a bit of what went on.
The Rev. Sarah Squires spoke with great enthusiasm and conviction about the work at Wesley-Rankin. (I hope most of you know about this great National Mission Institution. If not, look it up online—or look into the “Older Posts” on my blog: RoseWatsonUMWSocialActionblogspot.com) Her theme was this quotation: “We’re ready to ride...but first we have to decide…Do we ride in the direction we’re all facing?...Or is that too easy?” That’s a thought worth contemplating. She pointed out that, to remain relevant and effective, Wesley-Rankin has had to re-think some practices, implement new ones, and continue to serve.
Six focus groups were available; I chose to attend the “Visiting Missionary, Chennai, India.” Ms. Kasthuri Devaraj is—as she told us—80 years old but is still leader of the Opportunity School for mentally challenged children in Chennai. The School tries to teach all of them to become less dependent on others and where possible, it teaches them to become independent citizens. She is a charming, vivacious lady, and she was attended by Grace, a volunteer who travelled to America with Ms. Devaraj and who has her own story. (I’m so sorry that I’ve misplaced the card with Grace’s full name on it.) Although the ladies came to the meeting to tell us about the school and were not actively fund-raising, I was led to leave a contribution.
I encourage you to look up their website and learn more. Then, if you feel led, you may send a contribution to The Board of Global Ministries, 475 Riverside Drive, NY 10115. Gifts processed through GBGM are eligible for tax exemption. You may also send checks directly to the school, and the instructions are at the website.