United Methodist Women
The Washington United Methodist Women met on March 8, 2013, for a 10 a.m. brunch at the Fellowship Hall of the United Methodist Church. Twenty-two members and one guest, Margie Lasek, were present.
The meeting opened at 10:30 a.m. with prayer followed by the Purpose of the United Methodist Women read in unison. The secretary’s report was read and approved. The treasurer’s report was read and will be filed.
Kay Bennett, membership, welcomed the guest, and thanked all of her callers for reminding members of meeting dates and times.
Marilyn Whitenack, spiritual growth, gave a Scripture reading from Thessalonians 5:16-18. She reported on the upcoming Southeast District UMW Day Apart on April 13 at Wilton United Methodist Church. Registration is at 9 a.m., and guest speaker will be the Rev. Lilian Gallo Seagren. The program will be from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The cost is $7.
Sharon Wagner, social action, reported on Mayors Against Illegal Guns. They released a new PSA that marks a transition in the coalition’s campaign from demanding a plan to demanding that Congress take action to pass legislation to require background checks for all sales, limit military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and make gun trafficking a federal crime. The bipartisan coalition now includes more than 900 mayors from 45 states and more than 1.4 million grassroots supporters. The ad can be viewed at www.DemandAction.org/Mayors or http://www.DmandAction.org/Mayors. She made available other Web sites to contact for more information and expressed the need for members to keep Congress and the Senate in their prayers concerning these issues.
Virginia Tschantz, education and interpretation, read from the March Response magazine on climate change and global warming. Industrialization and the increased use of fossil fuels have led to a buildup of pollutants in the earth’s atmosphere. The adverse impacts of global climate change affect all individuals. UMW therefore supports efforts of all government to require mandatory reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and call on communities to reduce their emissions (the Book of Discipline of the UMC, 2008) — a very interesting, informative and must-read article.
Marilyn Whitenack had the program on Easter and Ellis Island. As for the part of the Easter program, she provided everyone with an official Lenten snack of pretzels. Tradition has it that the snack originated between the first and the seventh centuries, when an Italian monk fashioned leftover dough into the now-familiar shape, mimicking arms crossed in prayer. At that time, Christians prayed with their arms crossed over their chests. The three holes in the most common form of the pretzel may represent the Holy Trinity.
Marilyn then introduced her dolls representing some of the varied types of people who came to Ellis Island. She gave a cute and interesting story on each of the dolls and their experiences in coming from areas such as England, Italy, an Alpine village in Germany, Scotland, and Norway as they walked onto Ellis Island. She read a poem written by one of her ancestors, on the importance of July 4, 1776, and the interesting differences between England and America at the time: taxes, troops, Gen. Cornwallis, Congress and the new immigrant’s rights. She provided all members with an Ellis Island time table — exploring its very origin to its closing.
Ilene Schnicker read about the emphasis for this year’s Call to Prayer and Self Denial that resonates with many today. Financial and stewardship literacy are skills needed by all ages, especially during this time of economic crisis in America and abroad. This year’s offering will go to programs that will enable organizations to train women, children and youth to master skills such as budgeting, establishing or maintaining credit, and any other needed financial skills. She also provided information on statistics on spending and debt in America today.
Placed at the table service was a list of emergency numbers for Scripture reading to turn to in times of crisis. It is a very handy reference — no operator assistance necessary, and all lines to heaven are open 24 hours a day.
The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be on April 12 at 1 p.m.