Monday, December 14, 2015


I was moved to prepare this posting by Bishop Michael McKee's letter to the Conference about the Syrian refugees and the subsequent meeting at the Conference Center,  which featured facts about the Syrian and other refugees and things we can do to help and honor our scriptural mandate to love our neighbors and to care for widows, orphans and aliens.

The document is designed as a two-column, back-to-back piece. You will need to copy the document, re-format it in Word into a narrow-margin, two-column piece, and perhaps make other minor changes for it to fit on one page.

I hope you will find it helpful.

“And on earth, peace, good will toward men.”
This is the season when we want to concentrate on peace and good will—but not necessarily toward all men, women and children. Mostly we want to concentrate on sweetness and generosity to our own. The pain and fear that is in the rest of the world—well, it’s in the rest of the world; it’s not so much in ours… We wish. The truth is, it is very much in our world because our scriptures tell us over and over that we are to love all people because God first loved us. We are told particularly to take care of widows, orphans and aliens.
Last Tuesday, I joined a hundred or so other United Methodists from the North Texas Conference in a meeting at the Conference Center in Plano to learn facts about Syrian refugees. The meeting was led by the Rev. Wes Magruder (who is on the Board of Refugee Services Texas <RST>) and RST’s director. This agency works with refugees from all parts of the world, not just those from Syria.
A week or so ago, Bishop Michael McKee posted a letter online about this issue. An excerpt follows:
“Now, people in our country, our state and even our city are having heated conversations about Syrian refugees. The governors of many states refusing refugee resettlement in their states, and the pervasive climate of fear reminded me of the family who escaped from Vietnam, came to our country, became model citizens, and raised three well-educated, respected children. I am also reminded of my parents’ finest acts of compassion and hospitality that were grounded in their Christian faith.
“This is the time for the followers of Jesus to reclaim values of compassion and hospitality. Today many people have succumbed to fear and xenophobia. Not every Muslim is a terrorist. Many who flee Syria with their families are doing what many of us would do—desperately seeking for safety for their loved ones.
“The resettlement of refugees is a complex and time-consuming process involving many nations and the resettlement program of the United Nations. The resettlement of persons in the United States is particularly thorough, despite the ongoing rhetoric. We are all deeply concerned about terrorism, but may we also be concerned about men, women and children who have suffered from acts of terrorism in their own countries. They simply want a safe place to live in peace. I imagine that most of them would prefer to live in their homelands, but there is too much danger of terror for them and their families.
“If there are opportunities to help resettle refugee families, I hope and pray many of our faith communities in North Texas will participate. As I witnessed my parents look upon a young family forty years ago as some of God’s beloved children, may we also begin to see today’s refugees who desire a safe place to call home as beloved children of God. “ … End of quote.
In truth, the threat from Syrian refugees is miniscule. These people are carefully screened through at least 20 agencies before they get to the United States!
I’m sure many of you have researched the process and know the small number who have been settled in the U.S.—not to mention Texas. There is a vast amount of information online, among the most reliable are our own GBGM, UMCOR, Church World Service (of which the UMC is a member), UMW, and the site for the Refugee Services of Texas.
At the GBGM and UMCOR websites, you can find many opportunities to help our church minister to refugees from all over the world: The Advance Global Response #3022144 and Refugee Response #982540, being two.
At RST’s website you can learn the many ways laypeople can help this agency: welcome refugees (several responsibilities here); pick up from airport; be a conversation partner; explore the neighborhood with new residents; collect donations; help navigate financial system; help with transportation; work in the office at 12025 Shiloh Road, Dallas; help with English.
Let us also remember that thousands of peace-loving, compassionate Muslims live among us as good neighbors. May we continue to interact with these brothers and sisters as the family of God that we are.
As Bishop McKee says, may we open our hearts and our homeland to these beloved children of God.
…And I’m certain our Christmas and New Year will be blessed beyond any measure that our endeavors could possibly warrant.
 After all: “Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, Love divine; Love was born at Christmas, Star and angels gave the sign.” May this Love reign in our hearts.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


This is a handout for these four topics. Copy, reformat for narrow margins, two columns, and print back-to-back.




So much tragedy has happened in our world in the last two/three months. Gun violence continues to take lives; earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes and wild fires have swept across the globe; and now terrorists have wreaked havoc in Paris, France, with threats going out everywhere. United Methodist Women serve in all these situations through our prayers and our gifts.


On Monday, November 8, I joined a nationwide telephone conference organized by Bill Mefford of GBCS. We heard Bishop Hoshibata from the Desert Southwest Conference tell how he has led his churches to address gun violence. Forty-nine of the Bishop’s 120+ churches have come together in strong affirmation of a three-session Bible study about the use of guns in committing violence. The study, “Kingdom Dreams, Violent Realities,” uses Micah 4:1-4 as its scriptural foundation.


The Bishop noted that the call to action should be to address general gun violence, not a specific issue. An example of what not to try to address would be gun-free zones. The point must be how to curb overall gun violence.


We heard also about the study regarding handgun purchasing (see www.taleoftwostates, which I have mentioned before) and the Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath to take place between December 10-14, in many UMC churches.


UMCOR needs help to provide winter kits for survivors of the earthquake in Pakistan. As always, to support international relief efforts you can contribute online to Advance #982450, International Disaster Response.


UMCOR’s mission statement reads: “Compelled by Christ to be a voice of conscience on behalf of the people called Methodist, UMCOR works globally to alleviate human suffering and advance hope and healing.” Our gifts enable this ministry.


I encourage you to read UMCOR’s November newsletter which addresses “natural disasters” and GBGM’s General Secretary, Thomas Kemper’s article on Grief, Dismay and Prayers for Peace in Wake of Paris Attacks. Another article tells how Austria, Vienna, has arranged to house some of the many refugees from Syria. Go to and review the list of articles.



“Activate Love. Transform the World. Change Lives.” This is the theme of UMC #Giving Tuesday which is December 1. This is the day when all gifts to UMC Advance projects are matched by GBGM. There are dozens—probably hundreds—of projects that you can support, including the one listed above. Go online to GBGM Advance or to UMC Mission

 and select the projects of your choice. You may also donate by phone to 1-800-554-8583.


And in our Thanksgiving prayers, let us join in Thomas Kemper’s prayer:


“God of mercy and justice, in the face of horrific violence in Paris, Beirut and war-torn cities around the world... For those whose lives are forever disrupted and changed by the violence in Paris and Beirut... For those who serve the injured, minister to the families of those killed and have the responsibility of determining responses to the attacks... For the people of France that they may find a sense of security and peace without closing their hearts and borders to Middle East refugees... For the refugees that they may find safety and welcome and not be turned away anywhere out of fear and distrust... For the perpetrators that their hearts may be transformed; that they disavow violence and become peacemakers reliant on you... For champions of peace that they will not succumb to fear but will remain devoted to peace through justice and compassion... and For strong United Methodist witness as instruments of justice and peace wherever there is violence, suffering, hatred, and fear... We ask all these petitions in the name of Christ, author of peace and maker of justice.”


And let all the people say “Amen.”









Social Action Nov. 2015



Friday, November 6, 2015


This handout is designed to be printed in the customary way: reformatted into two columns with narrow margins, printed back-to-back, and then cut vertically down the center. However, you may encounter some spacing problems at the top of the second column! I have no idea what is wrong. I've tried over and over again to fix it, but I cannot! It prints fine on my printer, but it looks wacky online. If you decide to use it, I hope you can fix it with little problem.




Remember the scripture, Isaiah 59:15-16a…

“Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands at a distance; for truth stumbles in the public square, and uprightness cannot enter. Truth is lacking, and whoever turns from evil is despoiled. The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, and was appalled that there was no one to intervene.”


From Bill Mefford, Director of Civil and Human Rights of the UMC’s General Board of Church and Society:

“I am not sure what I am more outraged by: Persecution of Christians or the silence of so many in the Church at the knowledge of such persecution.

“If we know of persecution and fail to speak out, what does that say about who we are?... The first two Sundays of November <were> set apart to remember and pray for <persecuted Christians around the world> through the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

“<We need> also <to> remember to pray for God to stop persecution and allow people of all faiths the freedom to worship and evangelize. 

“Remembering our persecuted sisters and brothers is always important and necessary, but the United Methodist General Conference, our denomination's highest policy-setting body, has made this a priority. It has repeatedly passed a resolution that states:


“Since The United Methodist Church opposes injustice, intolerance, and bigotry and believes in the power of prayer, we encourage United Methodist congregations to observe in November an

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. It is through our earnest prayers that we grow in our sense of unity with Christians around the world, as well as with all members of religious groups who endure persecution.” 

Although the special Sundays have passed, the need for prayer remains. Let us continue to intervene for those so persecuted.


Other tragedies and “natural” disasters continue in our world. Floods and earthquakes compound the misery of the poor and oppressed, and UMCOR—through our gifts—continues to minister in these situations.

And people who have endured years of war and despotism have been driven by desperation to leave their homes and search for better lives somewhere else. I, personally, cannot imagine a situation wherein I would simply pick up whatever belongings I could hope to carry on my person and, with children in hand, start walking—somewhere.

The logistical nightmare that such a migration has created is only the symptom; it is not the problem. Corruption in the seat of governments may be the problem—but the immediate crisis must be addressed.

From UMCOR: “Displaced people are among the least of our brothers and sisters and a reminder that we still live in a broken world. I hear much talk of donor fatigue and weariness over the seemingly unending conflict in Syria. We must remember that the hurt we feel as we see people fleeing their own lands is not a call for surrender or pity but, rather, a call to action.


“The forced movement of people is a manifestation of the brokenness of our world. Refugees, people who cross international borders, and internally displaced persons, those displaced in their own country, too often have to endure the most of failed diplomacy, unjust policies and injustice in relationships.”


As United Methodist Women, our call is to minister to people marginalized and abandoned by those charged with their care, and too often rejected by neighbors who are weary and overwhelmed by the immense human need. Give as you are led, but by all means pray—intervene with God on behalf of God’s people and God’s creation.


Monday, October 26, 2015


This document is designed to be printed back-to-back and cut vertically, producing two handouts per sheet--and saving paper. Copy the document and re-format into narrow margins and two columns, then print.






In the aftermath of yet more tragic shootings, it is clear that much is yet to be done to get out the message about ways to address gun violence prevention.


It seems that the events and our response have become simply routine. I saw this news item only in The New York Times on October 11.


“It passed with little notice when an 11-year-old boy shot and killed an 8-year-old girl a few days ago in Tennessee—shot her because she wouldn’t show him her puppy. The boy used his family’s 12-gauge shotgun to kill the second grader./ It passed, as these things do in a country that accepts more than 33,000 deaths by gunfire every year, because we now live by <a> headline that’s long ceased to be satirical: ‘No Way to Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.’”


Have we become numb?


Consider that the upcoming Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath weekend (December 10-14) normally has more than 1,000 congregations pledging their participation and, this year, at the end of September, there were just 50 congregations that had pledged so far. The numbers just aren't what they once were. And the same apathy is being felt by other groups struggling to keep the public focused on solutions to the gun violence epidemic.

Yes, while we all care deeply, a large number of us have become numb. But we simply must break the routine and renew our commitment.


As we wait for the opportunity to change Congress' collective mind, we need to commit ourselves to supporting efforts where they exist at the state level AND to making gun violence and potential solutions a regular topic of conversation. 


What you can do TODAY:


  1. Participate in the National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend and pass on information about the problem and the solution. Get more information with that




listing in your browser. Resources have been prepared by GBCS to enable places of worship to participate in observing the Sabbath. And our website also gives opportunities.

  1. Check out the comprehensive list of 30 Gun Control Actions You Can Take Now.
  2. Form a working group or committee within your congregation dedicated to gun violence education.
  3. Participate in the coalition called “Tale of Two States: Handgun Purchaser Licensing Saves Lives.” The UMC is a part of Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, a coalition of more than 50 national faith groups and organizations that launched this initiative earlier this summer. The initiative will educate faith leaders and the general public about the effectiveness of purchaser-licensing to save lives from gun violence. Recent studies released by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy & Research shows that handgun purchaser-licensing legislation led to a decrease in gun homicides in two states. For further information or to endorse this resolution, go to the website
  4. And you can notify your legislators that we insist they take action— to create laws that are meant to support and protect us equally; to be sure those laws are enforced fairly; to make education and opportunity equally accessible to every citizen; to put us on the path to provide “liberty and justice for all.” Call or email your U.S. legislators.


Our hands are not completely tied. We can change hearts and minds. We can empower our friends and allies with solutions and talking points they can use to counter the falsehoods being propagated by gun enthusiasts.


Please conquer your numbness and stand with other United Methodists and United Methodist Women.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

ANTI-RACISM DAY OCTOBER 3, 2015....Registration

Remembering that not EVERYBODY is bothered with e-mail, this is a printed form for registration.




October 3, 2015













Emergency contact: ____________________________________________


          Relationship:_______________  Contact number:______________


Anything we need to know, such as allergies, limited mobility:



Lunch reservation $8 (Jason’s Deli):   Yes____   No ____

          Make check payable to NTC UMW

          Mail to Rose Watson, 4365 FM 1173, Krum, TX 76249.



For UMW members:

Home Church:____________________________________________





This is the customary two-column, two-sided document to be distributed throughout your congregation. I want to point out that ALL are welcome: men and women, and the general public.







OCTOBER 3, 2015

9 AM – 4 PM







LUNCH from Jason’s $8




Anti-Racism Day link








As United Methodist Women we are sisters with a vibrant and demanding PURPOSE and we strive to implement that purpose: to put Faith, Hope and Love into Action…. But racism is an ugly thing. It is systemic, woven into the very fabric of our nation, and by its insidious nature racism often rears its ugly head, catching us unawares and derailing us from that purpose.

We will address this evil head-on under the leadership of Janis Rosheuvel, who is executive for racial justice for United Methodist Women in NYC.

Born in Guyana, South America, Ms. Rosheuvel has worked in the fields of international development and gender rights at the Tahirih Justice Center, Women for Women International, and Episcopal Relief and Development, and has served as executive director/organizer at Families for Freedom, a New York-based network of immigrants resisting mass incarceration and deportation. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship fulfilled in South Africa where Rosheuvel documented the work of social movements organized by migrants, shack dwellers and other working class activists. She lectures on migration and crime at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and serves on the boards of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from American University and a master’s degree in conflict resolution from the University of Bradford in West Yorkshire, England.

As you prepare for the day, consider these questions:

·         How has race impacted my life:

·         What are the key racial justice issues in my




Sunday, June 21, 2015


This brochure is a handout that may help us focus on some positive step in response to the Charleston tragedy. It is prepared so you can download, re-format into two columns on a narrow-margin document, and print back-to-back. Then by cutting down the center, you print two documents per page.


“Let justice roll down like waters….”

We have more than enough knowledge/facts to see that we cannot legislate tolerance, despite some efforts. We cannot legislate morality. We know that we cannot legislate legal behavior, although we have many laws defining legal and illegal behavior. Can we legislate justice?

This latest tragedy in South Carolina is another dreadful statistic for our book of knowledge: One young man killed nine people with a handgun. Those are facts not to be debated. But once again it brings us to the question: what do we do, and here continues the long-recurring debate.

Accepting John Wesley’s conviction that knowledge demands action, we start with prayer, wherein we ask for grace and mercy and discernment as to the course of action we should follow. The one action we can take freely in this instance is to determine to embody and promote love. But, to let justice roll down like waters, we must move into further action.

The Rev. Cynthia Moore-Koikoi of the Baltimore-Washington Conference said since the Charleston tragedy: “The Church has to provide the vision for what can be and the assurance that the vision is possible in spite of the present circumstances. When we pray, ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,’ we are committing ourselves to the work of community building.” To build community necessarily demands that we do justice.

WE United Methodist Women are the Church. And we are by our very Purpose committed to community building: “to develop a creative, supportive fellowship,” by turning Faith, Hope and Love into action, not just within our individual units and churches but throughout the world.

One aspect of this tragedy that requires vision and demands our attention is the racial attitude involved. We need to understand more about how racism continues to manifest itself in our communities and in our own behaviors. Could it possibly be that, somehow, we might have fostered fear or suspicion of “the other” in some uneasy mind?

On October 3, the NTC of UMW will sponsor a day-long study racism at FUMC Denton. The study will be open to all and will be led by Janis Rosheuvel, executive for racial justice for United Methodist Women in NYC. Ms. Rosheuvel will explain how racism is systemic to our U.S. government and culture and how we can help change the system. You might plan to attend this study.

In Denton there is the Denton Association of Christian Women, an inter-denominational, inter-racial group of women who meet to get to know each other and to learn about Denton, its successes and its challenges. If your community has such a group and you aren’t currently a part of it, consider joining—or help start a group.

Another possibility to consider is participating in the coalition called “Tale of Two States: Handgun Purchaser Licensing Saves Lives.” The UMC is a part of Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, a coalition of more than 50 national faith groups and organizations that launched this initiative earlier this month. The initiative will educate faith leaders and the general public about the effectiveness of purchaser-licensing to save lives from gun violence. Recent studies released by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy & Research shows that handgun purchaser-licensing legislation led to a decrease in gun homicides in two states. For further information or to endorse this resolution, go to the website

And we must notify our legislators that we insist they take action— to create laws that are meant to support and protect us equally; to be sure those laws are enforced fairly; to make education and opportunity equally accessible to every citizen; to put us on the path to provide “liberty and justice for all.” Call or email your U.S. legislators.

To do nothing is not an option. Our faith, our Church, our young people, our country are calling us to take this heartbreaking knowledge and prove ourselves committed to act to build a community of this nation and world, where justice rolls down like waters.

Friday, May 15, 2015


We all know that UMCOR constantly needs various kits--others are listed in this blog--but right now health kits are their greatest need. Additionally, the North Texas Conference UMW is collecting health kits and/or their contents as our annual project and our goal is 7500 kits by the time of our annual celebration on October 17. Listed below are the contents and instructions for compiling the kit.

To print two copies per 8-1/2x11 page, copy the information into a Word document, format it for narrow margins and two columns. Then you can print sheets back-to-back, cut the pages in half vertically, and have two narrow handouts per sheet.
United Methodist
Committee on Relief

Where 100% of the gift goes to the designated project

Health Kits
Value: $12.00

1 hand towel
15x25 to 17x27 inches; kitchen, cleaning and microfiber towels not acceptable

1 washcloth

1 comb
Comb needs to be sturdy; no pocket combs or picks, please; rattail combs and combs without handles are acceptable

1 metal nail file or clipper
No emery boards or toenail clippers, please

1 bath-size soap
3 oz. and larger sizes only; do not remove from original packaging

1 toothbrush
Adult size only; do not remove from original packaging

6 adhesive bandages
¾” to 1” size; common household bandaids

1 plastic bag
One-gallon size sealable bags only

$1 to purchase toothpaste

Pack items in a secure box and address to UMCOR, Sager Brown Depot, POBox 850, 131 Sager Brown Road, Baldwin, LA 70514-0850

(For regular donations, you may send $12 to UMCOR, 475 Riverside Drive, #1520, New York, NY 10115. Include an extra dollar for shipping. You may also contribute on-line at

Assembly Directions
Set the $1 for toothpaste aside to be included in a separate envelope.

Lay out the hand towel flat on a table. Lay the washcloth flat in the center of the hand towel. Place all remaining items on top of the wash cloth. Fold over the sides of the hand towel to cover all of the items. Fold over one end of the hand towel so that it covers all of the items. Grasp the bundle of items tightly and roll over the remainder of the hand towel tightly. Place the tightly rolled bundle in the plastic bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal the bag.

Important Notes
-All items must be new.
-Do not wash any of the items, as they will then be considered used.
-Please remove all packaging except as noted.
-All emergency kits are carefully planned to make them usable in the greatest number of situations. Since strict rules often govern product entry into international countries, it is important that kits contain only the requested items—nothing more.
-DO NOT include any personal notes, money or additional material in the kits. These things must be painstakingly removed and will delay the shipment.

-UMCOR is now purchasing toothpaste in bulk to be added to health kits before shipping to ensure that the product does not expire before being sent. Do not put single dollar bills in each kit. Collect all monies for toothpaste and shipping, place it in a separate envelope and send along with the kit donations.

Packing Kits
Box Weight. Each packed box cannot exceed 66 pounds.

Shipping Kits
1.Complete two packing lists—one for your records and one to put on the shipping box. If you are sending a complete health kit/s, you may simply indicate how many kits at the value declared on this sheet.
2.Paste the shipping label/packing list on the outside of each box you send. The shipping list helps the depot to quickly process kits.
3. Processing & Shipping Costs: Please enclose an envelope containing at least $1 for each kit you send. This donation enables UMCOR to send kits without administrative costs.