Message From the Vice President of the South Carolina Conference at the Columbia District United Methodist Women Installation Service
I don't know about you, but when I was a little girl everyone wore hats. Men wore fedoras or golf caps; women wore wonderful summer hats with wide brims or pretty Easter bonnets. And who could forget the pillbox hat? In fact, when I went off to college I took 14 hatboxes and way more than 14 hats. Sadly, I no longer wear hats as often—I sing in the choir at church, and hat hair is not conducive to looking great in the choir loft.
Hats have woven their way into society. The phrases "toss your hat into the ring" or "keep it under your hat" are instantly understood. When someone does something significant we give a "tip of the hat" to that person. Some professionals are immediately recognized because of the hats they wear: a nurse's hat, a hard hat, a chef's chapeau, a football helmet and even a cowboy hat says something about the person wearing it. A general's hat, for instance, elicits an immediate salute.
When someone is involved in many activities we like to say she or he "wears many hats." As members of United Methodist Women we certainly wear a lot of different hats—we're partners, mothers, chauffeurs, doctors and nurses, accountants, teachers, students, volunteers and leaders.
As an officer in United Methodist Women you have chosen to be in service to our PURPOSE. To lead, you must follow the example that Christ set. Now that you're a member of the Columbia District mission team, be present and visible at district and conference events. Visit local units, read books from the Reading Program, subscribe to response magazine, attend mission team meetings, and support mission projects. Lead by example. It is a big job, but one that you can do. You have been called to service. God doesn't always call the qualified, but God always qualifies the called.
I have decorated a small doll hat for each of you to take with you and to put where you can see it often and be reminded of your calling to your office.
The president's hat has been decorated with a multitude of colors. The president knows not only the PURPOSE of United Methodist Women but also its vision and outcomes. The president represents her district throughout the state and on the conference executive committee. The ribbon is purple, long a symbol of leadership.
The vice president's hat is trimmed in pink. Pink has a calming influence, and as the vice president organizes and plans programs for the district she'll need this calm confidence. As the backup to the president, the vice president's hat also has a touch of the variegated ribbon, symbolizing her commitment to being ready to lead should she need to.
The secretary's hat is trimmed in blue. Blue stands for honesty and truthfulness, and the secretary's minutes and correspondences are an honest and truthful record of the meetings and work of her district.
For the treasurer's hat the colors of copper, gold, silver and green are used. These symbolize the money or funds that are entrusted to the treasurer's office. The ribbon is blue, signifying the treasurer's honest handling of the money that flows through her.
The communications director's hat is black and white, symbolizing the printed page. The words she writes and the publicity she puts out will be read all over!
The secretary for program resources' hat is green. Green stands for go and for growth. Go read! The secretary for program resources helps the members of her district grow spiritually and in their knowledge of the programs of United Methodist Women and mission. The books and other materials that she provides are a vital resource for growth of members of United Methodist Women.
The mission coordinator for social action's hat is red. Red stands for courage. Hurting people and unjust institutions are all around us; the mission coordinator for social action's position demands courage to speak out against injustice and to help the women of her district be involved in the social issues of today.
The hat of the spiritual growth mission coordinator is trimmed in white. In Western culture the color white stands for reverence, purity, simplicity and peace—all attributes that should be shared as the spiritual growth mission coordinator ministers to the needs of her sisters in her district.
The color of the education and interpretation officer's hat is orange. It is a vibrant color, full of energy and warmth. This is perfect for the education and interpretation officer as she seeks opportunities for the women of her district to learn more about the work and service that is at the heart of United Methodist Women.
The mission coordinator for membership nurture and outreach's hat is yellow. Yellow is associated with sunshine, joy and optimism. The membership and outreach coordinator seeks to nurture the women of her district in a supportive and nurturing community, letting the sun shine through her. Sunlight is vital for growth of plants, and a sunny disposition and approach to seeking out new members is vital to bringing them into community with the other members of her district.
The historian's hat is black and white with splashes of other colors and a big blue bow, signifying the importance of keeping a truthful and accurate record of past events through the written word and collecting programs and pictures that show the growth and progress of the district.
The chair of the committee on nominations' hat is turquoise. This color also symbolizes calm, but it is a unique color, not quite like any other color, and the chair of committee on nominations job is not quite like any other. She is charged with understanding the function of all of the offices and finding potential leaders for her district. Her job is not an easy one, but she is not in it alone.
Members of the committee on nominations also have a small hat the color of turquoise but with hints of other colors tossed in. Along with the chairwoman, committee on nominations members must understand all of the roles of the offices in her district United Methodist Women. The future of our organization depends on their faithfulness.
Cluster leaders' hats are lavender, a blend of the purity of white and the royal purple. Cluster leaders are a vital connection between the local units and the district executive committee. They are the face and voice of their district United Methodist Women.
You have all received the hat that symbolizes your office. Will you faithfully carry out the duties of that office in the Columbia District? If you will, please answer, "With God's Help I will."
Go forth to serve. Spread the good news of Faith ? Hope ? Love by your actions. Don't keep it under your hat!
Linda J. DuRant is the president of the South Carolina Conference United Methodist Women