You don’t have to read very far in the gospel stories of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John before discovering that women played an important part in Jesus’ ministry. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, was a central figure in the announcement of the birth of Christ. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, bore the Savior of the world. Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, were the ones who got word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick and then later when he died, played an important part in Jesus raising him from the dead. And, of course, Mary Magdalene and several other women were the first to discover the empty tomb.
Women have always been key leaders in the Christian movement. Although for many years they were prohibited from ordination and holding positions of leadership in the Church, they still led. Thank you God, the Church understands that issue more clearly and today we are fortunate to have women who are both clergy and lay leaders.
One of the ways women have always led is through the United Methodist Women. Here at Dunwoody UMC, the UMW began as the Women’s Missionary Society in 1933. It started with 11 charter members. Since that time, it has grown to approximately 300 members, with nine different circles and is one of the largest chapters in the entire United Methodist Church.
Last year their special Lenten project provided three carloads of bedding, food, clothing and gift cards to the Family Haven Domestic Violence Shelter. They also provided assistance to the Mary Hall Freedom House, Murphy Harpst and Wellroot (formerly known as the United Methodist Children’s Home). One circle regularly provides lunch to the marginalized at the Women’s Community Kitchen.
In addition to the mission activities, they are deeply committed to spiritual growth and are regularly involved in various studies.
Earlier this month, the DUMC United Methodist Women hosted United Methodist Women from all across the North Georgia Conference. I shared this publicly, but it is worth saying again. Based on the wonderful way they hosted the event and the way our United Methodist Women stepped in to meet every need with a smile on their faces and an attitude of love, I have never been more proud of our church.
This Sunday, we are highlighting our United Methodist Women. Members of the UMW will be serving as ushers, greeters and participating in various aspects of the worship services.
If you are not currently involved with the UMW, but would like to be, I encourage you to contact Mary Batson, Membership Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, you can call the church office at 770-394-0675 and ask one of the members of the clergy.
I am so grateful for the United Methodist Women of this church and I know you are as well!