response: Message From the President (March 2013)

Enjoy United Methodist Women President Yvette Richards’s column from the March 2013 issue from response

Message From the President

Board President Yvette Richards (right) and General Secretary and CEO Harriett Olson (left) at United Methodist Women Board of Directors Meeting, October 2012, at Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tenn. Photo by Kristina Krug.

Board President Yvette Richards (right) and General Secretary and CEO Harriett Olson (left) at United Methodist Women Board of Directors Meeting, October 2012, at Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tenn. Photo by Kristina Krug.

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise.
Psalm 138:1

This month we celebrate Women’s History Month. United Methodist Women’s history is filled with women who have led the way toward justice. Let’s use this month to honor the sheroes in our life. As this wonderful and forward-thinking organization continues to prepare leaders to carry us beyond the 21st century we must be ready for all the challenges and excitement coming our way. United Methodist Women is ready with tools and resources to make everyone feel comfortable and valued for the gifts and talents they bring to the table.

How do I become a leader in United Methodist Women?

As a membership organization, you are invited to be involved in United Methodist Women leadership at the local, district, conference, jurisdiction or national level. Accepting a leadership role requires a commitment of time, energy and effort. But in return, you develop a deeper understanding of mission, grow spiritually and make a difference in the lives of women, children and youth. United Methodist Women is a laywomen’s organization, and only laywomen serve as elected leaders.

Let’s make this an organization that inspires, encourages and motivates its future leaders. Think outside the box of ways to give everyone an equal opportunity to gain the needed insight and skills to be a leader. If we provide these opportunities, we will soon begin to witness the fruits of our labor.

I have been guided on my journey by attending mission education events, district meetings, retreats, conference meetings, jurisdictional meeting and Assembly. The new structure of Leadership Development Days, regional mission training events sponsored by the national office, expands the focus on who is receiving leadership training, all the way to the local United Methodist Women member. We can hold training at such places as college campuses to increase opportunities for younger women to participate. We can be a presence at community centers. We can start a United Methodist Women group at local fitness centers, or one can be born at a National Mission Institution.

Lean forward, ladies. Dream your dream for members of this organization to be the difference makers and the leaders who will continue to stand up for the rights of women, children and youth. We are the change agents leading the way on women’s rights, global justice and peace, ensuring racial justice, advocating for immigrant rights, and ending human trafficking and domestic violence. You have the power to make it happen for everyone involved in turning faith, hope and love into action on behalf of women, children and youth around the world.

YVETTE RICHARDS
President
United Methodist Women

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