Assembly Generates Major Support for Mission
At the May 2006 Assembly in Anaheim, Calif., close to 7,000 United Methodist Women came to be inspired, and left passionate about mission.
Besides the daily Bible Studies, workshops, speakers, music and performances, the women at the event made a statement. They did it with their gifts, saying loudly and clearly that mission with women and children is empowering, life-changing and important.
- On Saturday, May 6, women in Anaheim "walked for mission" – raising more than $30,000 for programs and projects that support women and children in the U.S. and globally. United Methodist Women are being encouraged to have "walks for mission" throughout the year to raise funds and awareness for mission. (Go to http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/walkathon.cfm)
- Scattered throughout the halls of Assembly were World Thank Offering bags. While giving thanks for something, women dropped almost $26,000 worth of coins and dollars into the bags! In United Methodist Women’s lingo, "World Thank Offerings are spontaneous additional gifts given out of gratitude for God’s abundance and in celebration for the joys of life."
- As of June 1, the Assembly Offering – which conferences will keep sending until December 2006 – totaled $105,950.66. This offering will fund organizations and projects that address issues of and access to nutrition, transportation, and safe homes through education, advocacy and direct services on behalf of women, children and youth. Grants will focus on projects that have some or all of the following:
- Women leaders
- Diversity as a component
- A grassroots base from a non-profit, church or school
- Involvement in strengthening the local community
- Sustainable sources of income
- Empowerment of women and/or youth and children to know their rights as a component
- Goals to increase access to nutrition, transportation and/or safe homes
- Work to remove barriers and systems that prevent access to healthcare, nutrition, or housing
- Programs to create health options for the poor
- What began as a thought -- to leave a small gift of love to women, children and youth served by mission institutions in the Western Jurisdiction, United Methodist Women’s Assembly host – expanded into a full-fledged mission project. It happened when United Methodist Women made more than 2,000 prayer shawls, all on display at the Assembly. The Call for Prayer shawls tapped into a well deep that became overflowing for compassionate crafters. Now, institutions, ministries and individuals nationwide will be touched by their prayerful works. The Division is distributing shawls to the five United Methodist jurisdictions in the United States. They are going to health-related organizations, mission institutions, children of deployed military, prison ministries and mission personnel, including retired missionaries at Brooks-Howell Home in Asheville, N.C. The shawls are colorful and diverse. Some are crocheted, some knitted, some quilted. Others are sewn soft fleeces, even elegant dupioni. Each has an individual prayer with it.