response: Message From the President (April 2013)

Spirit of the Living God, Fall Afresh on Us!

United Methodist Women member Anne Bunch of Indiana Conference spreads the word about human trafficking at a crossroad to the 2013 Super Bowl outside the comfort zone.

Living the vision of United Methodist Women is a spiritual journey, and United Methodist Women sisters are committed to traveling this road together. Still, this is not something we can do alone. Our prayer echoes the song: “Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us!” When we study God’s message in our private devotions, in our circle meetings, in our districts and conferences, we not only find words that encourage us when we are down but challenges that push us out of comfort zones and assumptions and into a world in need of faith, hope and love in action. We need the Holy Spirit to answer this call to mission.

United Methodist Women offers many opportunities and venues for us to receive this refreshing from God, to grow spiritually and to prepare to serve. The Reading Program, mission education events, leadership training workshops and materials for spiritual growth are among the many resources and oc-casions available to United Methodist Women members seeking to prepare for Christian service and discipleship.

For example, the new Leadership Development Days are particularly exciting to me. District and local women can now attend this training that was once only available to newly elected conference officers. For me, this training was a life-changing, Spirit-filled experience when I served as a conference officer.

We need the Holy Spirit to engage in mission that pushes beyond our comfort zones and assumptions to serve. United Methodist Women’s ongoing campaign to stop human trafficking is such a mission area. Using resources available online, United Methodist Women can highlight the issue at meetings or reach out to the local women’s domestic violence shelter (where trafficked women often seek refuge), learn what’s needed and help to meet that need. Groups can also offer to facilitate or arrange spiritually uplifting workshops or worship services for shelter residents.

The possibilities for spiritual growth and service through United Methodist Women are nearly endless. Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us for growth and service!

Mission u, the next generation of United Methodist Women’s Schools of Christian Mission, is an upcoming opportunity for spiritual growth and preparation for service. This year, invite a woman you know who has never attended a mission study to join us at Mission u. If you’ve never been to a United Methodist Women mission education event, this is your year to do so!

““For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

Blessings!

YVETTE RICHARDS
President United Methodist Women

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