Early Morning Mission Walk Raises $20,000 Plus
by Erik Alsgaard
More than 300 walkers attending the United Methodist Women's Assembly in Anaheim, Calif., set out on a 5-kilometer Walk for Mission to raise money for Mission Giving that funds ministries with women, children and youth. Credit: Mike DuBose/UMNS, May 6, 2006
Fourteen-year-old Taylor Briggs was not fully awake at 7:20 a.m. on a cool, gray Saturday morning though she had been up about an hour and walked several kilometers with hundreds of other women around hotels near the Convention Center.
"I need Starbucks," she said matter of factly.
Instead, what she held was a cup of cold water. Ms. Briggs sipped on the water after completing part of the Walk for Mission at Assembly. Why did she walk? "It sounded like fun," she said.
Ms. Briggs, from Creighton United Methodist Church in Creighton, Mo., was one of more than 300 walkers raising money for mission in a first-of-its-kind event at Assembly. Ms. Briggs' mother, Margie Briggs, also from Creighton, urged her daughter to keep going. It's their fourth Assembly together.
People from their 63-member church and from around the Missouri Conference had sponsored Taylor's walk.
Mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, all joined together for one cause - to raise money for Mission Giving. Event organizers said that more than $21,000 had been raised.
A.R. Pointer, from California-Nevada Conference was at the walk, supporting her sister, Delores Spano, from South Bend, Ind.
"I always walk," Ms. Spano said. "This is a great opportunity to make money for mission. My Sunday School and United Methodist Women's unit have sponsored my walking here."
Women's Division executive Paul-ette Kim was an organizer of the walk.
"This is the first time we've done something like this," she said. "We want to raise money for mission in creative and new ways. Walking promotes health, it's fun, and it gives people back home a chance to show support and feel connected."
Kyung Za Yim, president of the Women's Division, led the opening paces of the walk with Jan Love, the division's chief executive.
"This is an historic moment," Ms. Yim said. "Women of all ages, ethnicities, from all around the country have come together for mission. It's very exciting."
Marie Batiste, a first-time attendee at Assembly, was walking with a small group from her home church, Elston United Methodist Church in Chicago.
"I'm walking because it is a human thing to do," she said. "We all have love together, and we are showing it here. We are all created to serve God, and that is what we're doing here."
Before the walk, a small group of women from the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference gathered. Two from their group, Joyce Deere and Becky Thompson, were warming up for the walk.
"This is what United Methodist Women is all about," said Ms. Deere, from Fife Memorial United Methodist Church in Mukogee, Okla."It's a good way to start the day and to support women, children and youth around the world."