Advocates…. Justice-focused…. Action-takers….. Radical Disciples….These are just a few words that describe the women I encountered a few weeks ago at the United Methodist Women (UMW) Mission u training in St. Louis. I will be leading the youth section on the Book of Mark at Mission u in Marshalltown in July. I am excited to be a part of some amazing teaching by amazing women. I was skeptical at first, not knowing really what UMW was really about. What I learned though, is that this organization is making an impact globally and nationally to effect positive changes in policy and practice in order to benefit women, children and youth.
There are four focus areas that women (and men) in the local churches are called to focus some attention and energy:
- Climate Justice: Just Energy for All– being stewards of God’s creation by working toward clean renewable energy for all.
- Criminalization of Communities of Color and Mass Incarceration: Interrupt the School-to-Prison Pipeline- Move local decision makers to address criminalization of children and youth of color.
- Economic Inequality: A Living Wage for All- Advocate for municipal and state legislation that builds the base for a living wage for everyone.
- Maternal and Child Health: End Maternal Mortality- Call on health care workers and lawmakers to implement best practices for maternal health.
I am passionate about working with people, women and men, children and youth, who desire to make the world a better place. It starts in our own homes and in the local church. YOU can make a positive difference in the lives of those living on the margins of society. Check out the display in the Narthex that deals with one use items that are negatively impacting the environment and are posing health risks to the poor. YOU can make just one change to impact the world. How about you write to your congress women and men to work for legislation that provides education, wages, and opportunities for all. Check out the information poster in the Narthex that gives websites to address the four areas of focus found above.
Jesus calls us all to radical discipleship by putting others first over our own needs. Mark 10: 43-45- “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” What will you do to be radical in your call to be a disciple Jesus Christ? Let’s all be radical in our discipleship and not settle for the status quo, but instead follow Jesus and make a difference for ALL people, especially those living on the margins.
It is a blessing to be in ministry with you all! I invite you to consider joining me at the Mission u event in July or October. You will find more information on page YY or get a paper flier on the table by the office.
Blessings in Christ, Pastor Jenny