Moment for Mission
"There were women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses and Salome." — Mark 14:40, NRSV
Women were an important part of Jesus' ministry. Women followed Jesus and provided for him during his ministry. Women opened their homes and lives to Jesus. In the story of the passion, women are present all the way through. It was the women that stuck with Jesus until the bitter end. It was the women who sought to care for Jesus' broken body and found the empty tomb. It was women who first proclaimed the news of Jesus' resurrection.
Women continue to play important roles in ministry in The United Methodist Church. This has not always been the case. Women had limited roles in the early days of the church. It wasn't until 1956 that the Methodist Church granted full clergy rights to women. Even with these rights, there are still places where the church must make room for women.
The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women does that work. It is the work of ensuring that we have made room for women throughout all levels of the church.
The tradition of women involved in ministry started with those who were a part of Jesus' own ministry. In order to ensure that we are carrying this tradition forward, we must also continue to support the work of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women by giving our apportionments to the World Service Fund.
Creator God, who created us in your very image. Let us be reminded that we equally bear your image, men and women. Make room in our hearts for one another that we may respond with generosity with our gifts toward making your church continue to grow to resemble your kingdom. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Passion / Palm Sunday – O Lord, our God, your faithful goodness is beyond our understanding! You fulfill your promises at the right time. You sent the crowd of angels to sing of your glory when Jesus was born. At the height of Jesus' ministry, people honored him and shouted your praises. Like them, we want to contribute to your kingdom coming on earth. It is a privilege to share in your mission in the world through this congregation. Accept our offerings as a sign of our love and gratitude. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen. (Mark 11:1-11)
How do we to respond to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements?
The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, alongside the Council of Bishops, issued a statement responding to the stories of maltreatment of women in workplaces.
The statement reminded us of our United Methodist Social Principles, which clearly reveal sexual harassment as "an exploitation of a power relationship" and one that "interferes with the moral mission of the Church."
As we celebrate Women's History Month, we are reminded that it is celebrated because women have not always been celebrated, honored or included.
As United Methodists, we must remember, from our Book of Resolutions, that we "reject the erroneous notion" that "one gender is superior to another."
It is the Commission on the Status and Role of Women that upholds our commitment to ensuring a safe space for women at all levels of the church. With our generous apportionment giving to the World Service Fund, we are able to continue this important work.