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January 2012 Issue

Praise God for United Methodist Women!

2009 Pacific Regional School of Christian Mission.
United Methodist Women members enjoy singing during a plenary session of the 2009 Pacific Regional School of Christian Mission. (Author is half in the picture - front left.)

By Leanne Nakanishi

A supportive fellowship of women is key to spiritual growth for a California woman.

Praise God for United Methodist Women! What a blessing it has been for strengthening my relationship with God and following in Christ’s path toward healing and wholeness.

Relatively new to United Methodist Women, I am serving my second year as president of the California-Pacific Conference United Methodist Women, and I served four years as conference secretary and two years as district secretary.

After graduating from UCLA, I was baptized and joined my first church, Westwood United Methodist Church in Westwood, Calif.. I was engaged, worked two jobs, exercised seven days a week, completed my first marathon, and had everything I wanted!

Instantly, my life changed! I received the shocking news of being diagnosed with breast cancer. As I lay in the pre-op room, my blood pressure was sky high. I began to pray, and my blood pressure came down. I had the first of three surgeries, followed by a year of chemotherapy and radiation, five years of tamoxifen, and I am now in remission!

So, why United Methodist Women? There was a good friend at church who sent cards and called every week while I battled cancer. She was starting a new unit at our church and shared all the amazing stories of lives changed because of United Methodist Women. My life was changed because of God working through her, so I completely understood.

Excited about all the things happening in the Cal-Pac Conference, our goals were to deepen our relationship with God, reeducate ourselves about United Methodist Women and to work as a team. We developed two amazing “United Methodist Women 101” PowerPoint presentations, which have been translated for our five language ministries in English, Korean, Samoan, Spanish and Tongan. We have conference and district liaisons visiting all of the churches. The response has been incredible, and new people are joining! We are a Green Team in Mission and distribute all reports via e-mail. At meetings, we learn about different cultures, about the four national mission institutions and three local missions in our conference, share each officer’s monthly timelines and stories, develop fun events and do outreach.

Great future plans include adding new mission coordinators and collaborating with other groups for outreach projects. We are inspired and energized by working with youth!

Our dreams are big! We love to think outside of the box. Stepping out in faith, we seek to make changes that are vital for revitalizing United Methodist Women. We are excited over the recent Women’s Division board decisions! Change is great!

Dreams are big as we believe United Methodist Women is the way to build the church. We love the theme “All Things Made New.” Because of the resurrection, we are given new life, renewed faith, new relationships and the love and grace of God. Allow the Holy Spirit to continue to work within you and through you as you make a difference in the lives of others. Reach out to us when you need support, and United Methodist Women will always be there for you. Let God’s words enter your heart and be renewed. Together, we will continue to grow and transform others! God bless!

Leanne Nakanishi is president of California-Pacific Conference United Methodist Women.

Last Updated: 03/19/2014
 
 

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