Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Yes, I Have Been Busy

My amazingly busy 70th decade continues.  Praise God with me for providing all I need.  All I am allowed to experience continues to fill my heart with praises.  It is not, “do I see my life as half-full or half-empty,” it is totally full and overflowing!  I have started setting an alarm to ring at 9: PM.   I am disciplining myself to stop whatever I am doing. That keeps life from overflowing into my evening prayers and planned 8 hours of sleep.

Keep Making Peace

In April, I traveled to Lansing and attended, Keep Making Peace put on by the Wesley Foundation at Michigan State University.  

It was titled, Mass Incarceration: Locked In, Locked Up, and Locked Out.  Mass Incarceration is one of the focus social justice actions identified by United Methodist Women for 2016-2017.  I hope more of my UMW sisters will join with me next year at Keep Making Peace.

My Learning Delight

I am taking courses in order to become a Certified Lay Speaker.  I took a Wesley Heritage course.  It was fun learning about Wesley and historic Methodism.  I also continue to learn from and through my responsibilities as United Methodist Women’s Social Action Coordinator for W. Michigan.  God is giving many circumstances for my “learning delight.”  I pulled the photo below from the Internet.

Attending Events

I had the opportunity to travel to Lansing in May to attend Older Michiganian Day.  This event was sponsored by Area Agency on Aging.  It gave everyone the opportunity to meet directly with their state elected officials and advocate for the needs of the elderly.  I hope more of my UMW sisters will join with me next year.

I could fill this entire update with news of all the United Methodist Women Events I have had the joy of attending.  

In June, I attended the North Central Jurisdictional Quadrennial Meeting. It was fun and a heart-filling event with UMW from eleven different conferences.  We gathered for a W. Michigan Conference UMW picture.

I also had the joy of reconnecting with part of the team from the UMW Ubuntu Journey I took to Sierra Leone in 2012.  UMW Sisterhood is amazing!

You Are Invited

Living in Travers City it is fun to have visitors.  I welcomed Sally from Jordan.  We made a journey to Sleeping Bear National Lake Shore.  Yes, I can still climb the Sleeping Bear Dune.  You are invited!  Let me know when you will be in this area and I will be a tourist with you. 

West Michigan Annual Conference

I took another trip to Lansing, in June for the West Michigan Annual Conference.  It was fun and heart filling.  I love connected with friends from the past!  I had a chance to tell about my service with World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Program Palestine Israel.

I spent the evening after with my son, Ed, and daughter in law, Gale.  The following morning Gale gave me some lessons about horses.  For the first time in my life, I liked a horse.  When I was not looking this horse came up behind me and showed he liked me.  At least that is what Gale said this kind of attention meant.

UMW Mission U and the Green Scarf

Mission U held every year is a special event for learning.  The courses I took this year were Climate Justice A call to Hope and Action and The Bible and Human Sexuality Claiming God’s Good Gifts taught by the author Ellen A Brubaker. 

At the silent auction, I fell in love with a green scarf.  I set a final amount that I would bid at five times my usual limit. I really liked this scarf!  Someone else was also bidding on it countering my every bid.  My limit came and so I ended my quest to own the green paisley print scarf.  I felt a bit sad, but comforted myself with the fact that the money went to a good cause, United Methodist Community House in Grand Rapids,

You can only imagine my surprise and joy later when Rev. Sueann Hagen, the high bidder, presented me with the green scarf!  Needless to say, I have a favorite new scarf.  My heart is “strangely warmed” and tears flow even just telling you about this gift of kindness.  UMW sisterhood is so VERY special!

Action in Traverse City

Through contacts at my UMW unit, at Central UMC in Traverse City, action is being taken to create opportunities to bring justice and healing to the incarcerated and previously incarcerated their families and friends.  We will be holding our first event this month.

Central UMC is also involved with Our Neighbor’s Garden.  All the products go to the local food pantries and community meals.  No green thumb is needed to help in this garden. 

Mission and Social Action

I am not sure where my mission and social action will take me next.  I hope like Queen Ester, I am willing to face death and counter government policies if it means justice for people God loves.

Wesley’s Three Rules:

Do No Harm, Do Good, Stay in Love with God