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By Cathy Smith

Reproduced from archived materials.

Preparation ahead of time: In each of 3 coffee mugs, put

  • One Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • One quartered and squeezed lemon(or lemon juice)
  • One mint tea bag

Fill each mug halfway with boiling water. Cover with a screw on top, or a saucer. Have the 3 mugs, 3 spoons, and more boiling water available.

Arrange for soft music(keyboard, recorded, etc.) to be played at your direction.

Assign 3 Bible readings to members of the unit:

I Corinthians 12:4-11
I Corinthians 12:12-21
I Corinthians 12:22-26

Open in prayer.

Leader: I would like to try an explore one of Paul's letters in a different way. If you want, close your eyes, but think about what memories the first smell brings to mind. We'll discuss our thoughts later.

Leader tops off Cup 1 Cinnamon with boiling water(to create rising steam), stirs, and walks to each member letting them take a wiff. For a group larger than about 2 dozen, ask for a helper to continue taking around the cup. When finished, cover Cup 1. (Soft music plays.)

Leader shares her own goodmemories of perhaps the people in the unit, or the church, or the town.

Leader: I have good memories of ____________________ and am honored to be here.

I would like to share with you how I envision the organization of United Methodist Women.

But first, the second of three familiar smells.

Leader tops off Cup 2 Lemon with boiling water, stirs and again walks to each member. Soft music plays. Cover Cup 2.

Reader #1 I Corinthians 12:4-11

Leader: Paul is saying that we all have different gifts, but through the action of the Holy Spirit we can use them for the good of the group.

I will be installing UMW officers who have different gifts, that they are offering to be used for the good of the _________________ unit . . . and through outreach to the community, country and the whole world as they fulfill their duties.

Paul continues by listing the members of the body...

Reader #2 I Corinthians 12:12-21

Leader: Paul is saying that the body of Christ is made of many necessary members(such as a hand or ear or eye) with many talents. I see many members of the body here. While I prepare the last aroma, think of how you fit in.

Leader tops off Cup 3 Mint with boiling water, stirs and walks to each member. Soft music plays. Cover Cup 3.

Now let the group identify the 3 smells and memories they evoked. Perhaps of childhood or family.

Leader: Did you have a favorite smell? (Cinnamon could remind them of their grandmother baking cookies. Mint could be for healing. Lemon could be lemon meringue.)

Leader: What about [name a smell that wasn't chosen.] What is it good for? (For instance, lemon is tart, but it enhances flavor.)

Leader: All are needed.

Reader #3 I Corinthians 12:22-26

Leader: Paul is saying that even the weak member is important and should be respected. Share your sorrows and your joys.

Encourage discussion based on these three questions?

  1. Do you care for each other?
  2. Do you discuss problems to minimize dissension?
  3. How can you use your gifts?

Just like the aromas we sampled,

You are all different
But I pray that you will make a lasting impression.


Call officers forward. Instruct them to answer "I will".

Leader: Will you, as an officer of _________________________ use your gifts for the good of the group?

Officers: I will.

Leader: As you fulfill your duties, will you try to work for good in the community, your country, and the world?

Officers: I will.

Leader: Will you care for each other, especially those that are weak?

Officers: I will.

Leader: Will you work with each other so that there "may be no dissension within the body"?

Officers: I will.

Leader: Will you make available to yourself all training and reading help for your office?

Officers: I will.

Leader: (Turning to members of United Methodist Women) And now to you, the members of ________________: will you sustain these officers with daily prayer, and will you offer your help when you see an opportunity?

Answer: We will.

Leader: I present to you your new mission team. May the Holy Spirit help them to use their gifts to work together.


Closing Hymn: They'll Know We are Christians by our Love" (The Faith We Sing #2223)

Last Updated: 03/30/2014

© 2014 United Methodist Women