The California-Nevada chapter of United Methodist Women (UMW) gathered for its annual celebration Oct. 20, 2018 at Campbell UMC, with national UMW President Shannon Priddy as keynote speaker. Officers were elected at the business meeting, including first-time officers for the Cal-Nev Annual Conference’s newly created fifth district, the Bay District, that came into being in July of last year.
The following is a report on the keynote address, by UMW member Bonnie Holmes of San Jose.
Keynote speaker Shannon Priddy suggested this thought from the story of Esther: “Perhaps you were born for just such a time as this!”
Shannon Priddy, our fresh-faced National UMW President, arrived from Indianapolis in October with her colorful “Legacy 150” scarf around her neck, and many a story to tell. Shannon (at left in photo below, shown
here with Juliet Maliksi, a member of the National Board of Directors of UMW and a member of the California-Nevada conference) encouraged us to tell our own
stories to people we meet for the first time. It is astonishing how quickly we will discover mutual interests, mutual backgrounds, and even mutual acquaintances, she said, and these strangers will be strangers no more.
Shannon’s mother invited her to “Mission u” six times before she finally agreed to go. With that in mind, Shannon urged us to find that young, 20-something woman who wants to be mentored and comforted by one of us. Young women today are starved for community; if you aren’t a sister to her, she will seek support elsewhere, Shannon reminded.
In July Shannon and her mother traveled to Korea for the World Methodist Council in Seoul. It was the hottest summer in years! Their hosts took them to an English-language worship service, and then on a tour of Ewha University, founded in 1886 by American missionary Mary Scranton. The students there knew the history of their school, and thanked Shannon warmly for her visit. United Methodist Women have made huge differences all around the world, and Shannon’s participation in the Council meeting continues that tradition.
Each of us is a leader in our own community, whether we have an official title or not, Shannon pointed out. However, she cautioned, there is no need to be a one-woman show, doing all of the work single-handedly! We should invite others to help with our projects, especially the inexperienced ones who have never been involved before. Jesus didn’t work alone, and neither should we, she said.
Shannon’s job allows her to work remotely, away from the office, and she suggested that we do some of our UMW work remotely. Cell phones are everywhere: in fact, Third World countries skipped over the process of stringing telephone wires and went directly to cell phones. We can utilize this technology to do our work, also.
As UMW members we speak for the marginalized. We hear their voices “calling in the night.” Make UMW Sunday an important day on your church’s calendar, and let your congregation know what an impact UMW is making in this world. Celebrate the weekend of March 23, 2019, which is the 150th anniversary of UMW, too. There has never been a more important time to stand up and be counted – so celebrate, celebrate, celebrate!
Shannon pointed out that while the love of money may be a bad thing, raising
money for the work and future of UMW is not
a bad thing. The Legacy Fund endowment is crucial: The fund we establish now will ensure that our work will continue after we are gone.
Shannon’s visit was a delight. She engaged us in one-on-one conversations, listened attentively, and posed for selfies. It was invigorating to spend a bit of time with her.
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