Jan Love Calls United Methodist Women to Glorify God
by Dana E. Jones
Top staff executives of the United Methodist Women's Division sing during opening worship at the 2006 United Methodist Women's Assembly in Anaheim, California. From left are: Jan Love, Sung-ok Lee and Andris Salter. Credit: Mike DuBose/UMNS, May 4, 2006
Jan Love, chief executive of the Women's Division, will bring thanks to all the "mission mamas" at Assembly this morning as she challenges them to renew and reenergize their commitment.
"I learned that in Latin America, they call us 'mission mamas' because of our decades of work in mission with women, children and youth; our commitment to spreading the good news of the Gospel in word and deed," Ms. Love will say.
She will ask all at Assembly to:
- Deepen their understanding of their own salvation stories and those of others within their supportive communities.
- This includes witnessing to the love of Christ, thanking those who have lighted the way and praising God.
- Make every day a mission day.
- This means practicing love, mercy, kindness and justice in homes, neighborhoods, our nation and world.
- Recruit new mission mamas and increase pledges to mission.
- "Tell them that even though the world can be a really scary place, you belong to an organization where members surround each other with prayer," she will say. "Tell them that you belong to an organization that for more than 137 years has literally saved and served the lives of millions of women, children and youth, and brought salvation to those who have not yet received the loving grace of Jesus Christ."
- Inspiration for Ms. Love's words comes from the Psalms and Revelation.
- Ms. Love shared similar thoughts when meeting with press at Assembly Friday. She compared Assembly to a family reunion. She shared three of the many conversations she has had while in Anaheim.
- One woman shared her experience of attending Assemblies.
- "She said her first Assembly was 20 years ago here in Anaheim. She came to that Assembly as a teenager, got hooked and has come ever since."
- Another story came from a woman who made a prayer shawl.
- "She described how she was determined to knit a prayer shawl to send to Assembly. She paused in the process to make one for a member of her unit who'd gotten cancer. She wanted to get one here, but the one for the woman in her church was her first priority."
- Women from Southwest Texas told Ms. Love of their trip to Assembly with stops at more than a half dozen mission projects.
"People create an Assembly experience for themselves to deepen their faith journeys." As Ms. Love leads worship this morning, she will call Assembly participants' attention to the many issues of our world from poverty to immigration to the war in Iraq. She will stress the importance of merging personal holiness and social holiness.
The text and video of Ms. Love's speech will be on the Women's Division website: www.umwmission.org.