A Moment for Mission
"My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth." — Psalm 121:2, NRSV
The status and role of women has been a focal point here in the United States for the past several months. During March, as we honor Women's History Month, our attention naturally turns again toward women.
While our nation is divided regarding women and their roles among us, The United Methodist Church recognizes women, and all people, to be created in the image of God. In the United Methodist Book of Discipline, we make a "commitment to the full and equal responsibility and participation of women in the total life and mission of the church." This includes women participating as laypersons, clergy and in legislative roles of the church.
Women have always been influential in The United Methodist Church beginning with the spiritual guidance of Susanna Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley. As the church, we continue to make progress toward full participation of women. This past year, seven women were elected bishops, demonstrating that women truly do have a place in all areas of the church.
One of the ways we ensure this is accomplished is through our apportionment giving to the World Service Fund, which supports the work of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. The commission works to raise awareness, educate and develop guidelines that will foster greater inclusivity across the church.
Creator of all, in whose image we are all made, open our eyes that we might see your image in our brothers and sisters as we live together in this world you created. Open our hearts that we might make room for all to have a place and voice in our churches and in our communities. Amen.
From Discipleship Resources: Second Sunday in Lent - (Girl Scout Sunday) - Holy God, you delight in creating life and beauty. Thank you for the abundant grace that you freely give. Let our church be a community that lives by this good news: even our faith in Jesus Christ is a gift we receive. Use these offerings to further our church's mission, providing opportunities for people to grow in wisdom and to spread the harmony of your peace. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen. (Romans 4:1-17)
In March, we observe Women's History Month. We celebrate women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton who championed for the ability to have a voice and a vote. We celebrate women such as Dorothy Day whose faith inspired her to serve the poor and work to improve working and living conditions for all. We also celebrate women like Alma Matthews, a Methodist who made it her mission to welcome and care for immigrants in the late 1800s.
It was the 1960s before women were granted full clergy rights in The United Methodist Church, but it was the countless women serving the church as laypersons who helped make this possible. The United Methodist Church today affirms the full participation of women in the church. We are able to continue journeying toward full participation for women thanks to the work of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, which is supported by apportionment giving to the World Service Fund.