Dear United Methodist Women,
Oh my! On the phone this morning my sister said, “Everything is upside down.” Yes, it is. Since big (Jurisdiction), medium (conference and district), and small (local church/UMW) meetings have been postponed or cancelled, I have time to ponder important things. What do I need for self care? How do I stay connected with friends and loved ones? What am I called to do to continue building relationships in the United Methodist Women and the United Methodist Church? As United Methodist Women, we have a PURPOSE that exhorts us to develop a creative, supportive fellowship. We carry in our hearts a mandate to minister to women, children, and youth. That becomes all the more important during troubling times. We can begin and end with prayer and find new ways to take care of ourselves and others – and to stay connected.
· My mornings include quiet time, devotional readings, and prayer. I access the free Upper Room on line (https://www.upperroom.org/devotionals), follow the instructions (click here to read), and begin reading. Today’s reading (of scripture) expands when you click on the link. I also receive a daily devotional reading by email from Richard Rohr (https://cac.org/ - click the box for Daily Meditations). The daily readings from this man have sustained me and helped me grow for years.
· I actually enjoy gardening and cleaning. This gift of time allows for more gardening and cleaning – times for pondering, for seeing something accomplished inside or enjoying the beauty of creative weeding and planting outside. With my aging body, I have to pace myself, but my soul is being fed.
Staying Connected with Friends and Family
· Local friends and family are getting phone calls from me. Most of them are not connected by email. Many were not getting out much even before this forced separation.
· In the past month my 97-year-old mother has suffered multiple compression fractures of her spine and numerous visits to the Emergency Room, physicians, and strong meds. She was finally hospitalized last week and after four days was transferred to the Sugar Creek Station Nursing home on Thursday, for physical therapy and medication control. On Saturday the Nursing Home was locked down – no visitors, no volunteers. Thank goodness we got a phone installed in her room on Friday. Who can you call in a nursing home?
· Staying connected to children and grandchildren happens for me through phone calls, group texts and “duo” (a free smart phone app that enables us to see each other while talking).
· The deadline for completion of the census is now April 30. This is an excellent opportunity. We can expand our phone calls and offers to actually fill out the census for units needing our help. Let me know when things aren’t working.
· I’m not on Facebook, but many of you are. Use Facebook to stay connected, to share positive thoughts/stories, accurate information, maybe even to create a closed group for group discussions based on a book, devotional reading, or starter paragraph.
· Emails are the wonderful, no-cost way I connect with United Methodist Women – and we can all accept the challenge of staying connected. Our challenge is to think of all the small groups to which we belong and check on each other.
· When you call someone, start with, “I’ve been thinking about you.” Proceed to, “How are you doing?” – then Listen. Continue with, “Do you need anything?” and try to find a way to help them get what they need. Finally, you might ask, “What are you most concerned or fearful about? Listen knowing that you don’t have answers for what’s happening, but sometimes having someone willing to listen takes the sting out of the fears.
If you got this far, let me know how you’re doing. How can I assist you? I’d love to hear how you take care of yourself – how you stay connected with friends and family – how you build and deepen relationships in UMW and your local church.
WPA UMW Membership Nurture and Outreach Coordinator
814-498-2308 or firstname.lastname@example.org