Responsively Yours: As Year Moves On to Year
- As Year Moves On to Year: Audio version (MP3, 3.9MB)
- Cover of Response, June 2008 (PDF, 114k)
- Content of Response, June 2008 (PDF, 37K)
- Harriett Jane Olson is deputy general secretary for the Women's Division.
We have so many interesting ways in English to speak about the way time moves forward. Time flies, it marches, it crawls, it drags. We budget annually. We look at strategic plans. We evaluate work completed and assess work yet to be assayed. We make new pledges yearly, and in the Wesleyan pattern, some of us participate in the Covenant Service each year.
In this year, in the life of the Women’s Division, you were ably served by interim leader Lois Dauway. You elected a new deputy general secretary. You came closer to meeting the pledged budget than you have in many years. And you prayed.
You also continued to join United Methodist Women’s Online Community, and support our outreach to college and young adult women. You spoke out for peace. You took action supporting immigrants. You supported higher education for women through scholarships and support of educational institutions. And you prayed.
We’ve shared reports of the work being done to analyze and draw attention to the risk that mercury in inoculations and other drugs poses to children. Did you notice that the federal government has appointed a special master to adjudicate claims being brought on this basis and has settled several cases with awards to families? We will continue to keep these children and families in prayer.
We continued to support processed chlorine-free paper because of the links between dioxin and incidence of breast cancer. We also continue to support work on creation care through our Green Teams — joining concerned citizens around the world. And we prayed.
Many of you contacted legislators, and spoke in support of extending and improving health care for children, but we were not able to move the U.S. government to increase funding for SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program), so significant gaps in coverage remain. And you prayed.
United Methodist Women’s Mission Giving supported projects around the world that are making a difference — sometimes one woman or one child at a time. You extended the hands of Jesus to places near and far — from the 10-block radius of one of our community centers to the president of a Christian college in China whose scholarship we supported. You are making a difference because you are both praying and acting.
We are moving forward in our planning to extend our networks, update our communications, and provide more points of entry for women and girls who are potential members of United Methodist Women. We continue to update resources for members and potential members. Remembering the accomplishments of the past, we look to the future, with the intention of continuing to make the world more attentive to the needs of women and girls. And we will keep on praying.
The United Nations has affirmed that women are a crucial part of economic development. If women are provided access and training, they will work in a way that benefits their whole family — often their entire community. These are our entry points in rural, urban and far-away places. These women can change the world.
Your prayers, your action, your willingness to listen to the call of God and to honor each other’s voices, and your commitment to be present with the hurts of women, children and youth — these are the things that are moving us forward. Thanks be to God for a chance to look back at 2007 and to celebrate God’s challenge and God’s blessing. May it help us plan, act and evaluate as we move into the future.
Harriett Jane Olson
Deputy General Secretary
Date posted : Aug. 05, 2008