A Letter from Lynne
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January 7, 2013, 5:11 PM

A letter from Linda: "Leaping Into the New Year!"


A Letter from Linda: “Leaping Into the New Year!”

 

I love the promise each New Year holds -- a time for us to renew, reinvigorate, set goals and plan for a great year ahead.  These plans should include practices for a happy, fruitful and healthy life, including faithful attendance to Bible study, prayer, service, exercising, eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of rest.  Also remember to include time for your family, United Methodist Women and your church.  Before the New Year begins I always look forward to a quiet evening filling out my calendar for the year.  It gives me a sense of order and security knowing what’s happening when -- plus I’m now able to look forward to wonderful days ahead, many of which involve United Methodist Women.

 

Hebrews 10:23-25 offers words of wisdom and perseverance for us.

“Let us constantly be holding fast the confession of our hope without

wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us be considering

how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking

our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging,

[one another]; and so much the more as you are seeing the day

drawing near.”

 

This is my first letter to you as the 2013 Central Texas Conference United Methodist Women’s President.  I’d like to offer some personal background information.  My husband, Billy, and I live in south Fort Worth and this spring we’ll celebrate 50 years of marriage.  We attend the First UMC of Crowley and are very involved with the Crowley House of Hope, an emergency assistant center, which has a free medical clinic for those without insurance in our area of service.  Billy is the Chief Operating Officer and I look forward to volunteering there each Thursday.  In another life I was an elementary school teacher.  We are blessed with two lovely daughters, two terrific sons-in-law and five amazing grandchildren. 

I was privileged to serve on the CTC UMW teams with presidents Edna Davis, Myrtis Parker and Cynthia Rives.  Each led our conference with grace, strength of character and vision.  I thank them, their predecessors and all the United Methodist Women of Central Texas Conference for all you have done and continue to do turning faith, hope and love into action on behalf of women, children and youth around the world.

Blessings for continued growth and service as you live the vision of United Methodist Women.

 

Linda Hutchings

CTC UMW President

817-293-3393

billyhutchings@sbcglobal.net

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December 28, 2012, 3:31 PM

That Light!

                                                                                                                   

That Light
Eleanor Cowles
 
How shines that light,
that Bethlehem star light
which brought the world
into being, then came
to walk among us. 
 
How shines that light,
yet we don't see, know,
or want that light.
How it glows and waits
for our hands to open
to receive it.
 
How shines that light
through us now, so we
can show another the way.
How shines that light,
our lives we hold up
high and strong,
a lamp for every path,
a beacon for the world.
 
How shines, how shines
that light!
                                                                                                                                                    from Alive Now
 
Greetings to all,
 
A very merry 4th day of Christmas!  I pray that you are celebrating Christ’s birth in powerful and meaningful ways.  Please don’t take down the tree or turn out the lights.  We need to embrace our Christian traditions.  The culture is done with Christmas as soon as Santa has come and gone, but we are people of faith and we need to be different from “the world”.  Advent is a time of waiting and preparation for the birth of Christ in our lives anew each year.  Christmastide is when we celebrate.  Christmastide is where we get the “Twelve days of Christmas”.  Epiphany is January 6 - the 12th day of Christmas when we celebrate the coming of the Magi. We don’t turn off the lights until the three kings find the place where Jesus lay. Our lights symbolize the star guiding them to the stable. Keep your lights burning!  Maybe you’ll have neighbors and friends ask why you still have your Christmas up and lights burning.  That would be a great way to begin a conversation about your faith and the meaning of Christmas and the coming of the Light. 
 
I’m celebrating Christmas and the end of my tenure as president of the Central Texas Conference United Methodist Women.  It has been a thrill and privilege to serve in this position and I thank you for trusting me with this job and for your support and kindness. I consider you as part of my “UMW family” forever! I’ve been so greatly blessed by you and all the adventures of the past four years. Thank you so much for loving me through the years!
Please join me in welcoming Linda Hutchings as our new president.  She is already a fantastic blessing to this conference and will continue to bless us as president.  I know you will support and love her in a powerful way.



December 13, 2012, 9:54 PM

Cookies, Cookies, Cookie!

Wow, it was a fun party on Tuesday night at the Christmas party for the United Community Centers’ ACT III teens given by the CTC UMW at the Poly Center.  A big thanks goes to all the women who came to celebrate with us and those who sent cookies.  I mean lots of cookies!! The Acton UMW came in a bus filled with women and cookies.  Together with cookies brought by the conference officers and their friends, we had a ton of cookies! But the cookies were saved to the end, so first we enjoyed a supper of pizza, wings, and salad.  Then we played our “traditional” Fruit Basket circle game with lots of laughs and smiles.  Next we got to work on a variety of crafts.  The Acton women taught them how to make duct tape and parachute bracelets.  The youth had fun with a wide variety on crafts.  Finally, it was time for the “Cookie Walk”!  Each youth got a gallon bag and walked around the table filling a bag.  I talked to one girl who was excited about sharing her cookies at school the next day.  I hope they lasted that long! This was a very SWEET way for the UMW to show our love for these youth.  Great job Acton UMW and all who came!!

We’ve been doing this party for four years now and it’s become part of my Advent celebration.  Being with these neat teens is an important way I prepare for the coming of the Christ. I give thanks for the gift of all who helped with the party.  I give thanks for the gift of the ACT III program at UCC- the teens and their leaders. 

Let’s continue to find ways to connect with UCC.  Remember the Mission Sparks you are doing in your district to support these community centers and please join me in praying for this ministry.  




December 3, 2012, 1:15 PM

My Tomatoes!

My Tomatoes!

I just picked a big handful of tomatoes.  Yes, on December 3!  These aren’t the tomatoes I planted back in the spring.  These plants are volunteers that came up in the late summer and now are full of fruit.  The thing about these tomatoes is they came up where they wanted to and their shape is different from any I’ve ever seen.  So I guess I can have tomatoes in December if I let them grow where they want to grow and take the shape I get.  It doesn’t really matter if they are growing in straight rows or if these produce in the spring or the fall.  I don’t care what they look like.  They are delicious!  And by the way, you know those tomatoes I bought and planted in the spring; those plants didn’t do well at all.  I hardly got any tomatoes and they suffered with spider mites.  I’m just thankful for my bumper crop.  I’m so glad I let that little plant grow and as for the different shape, I’ve grown to really like it.  The taste of fresh tomatoes is a blessing to me.

As we think about growing as the organization of United Methodist Women, I think we need to keep “watering the garden” and letting those “volunteers” grow.  We need to let the odd shaped fruit develop.  Let’s not worry about doing everything the “right way” at the “right time” as far as procedures, programs, and officers go; let’s just let those young “tomatoes” who want to try something different take on a “new shape”.  We don’t need to be threatened. The ability to change gives evidence that we are still alive. So be looking for “new sprouts” of women interested in mission. What “volunteer” do you see in your garden?  Make sure you give her space and support to do a new thing. 

Those of us who have years of experience and a continued passion for mission aren’t supposed to  go away, but we do have to let the young women find their way.  We need to be an organization of “yes and”, not “this way or else”.  So I challenge you to recruit young women continually.  Put “getting young women in UMW” on your prayer list.  Make sure there is a UMW group that meets at a time when working women can attend your local organization.  Mentor a young woman. Search your heart and find ways you can create “a way” for new places and shapes for UMW.  Stepping aside doesn’t mean we aren’t needed.  If we stand behind the new leaders, we are in a good position to help guide, support, and give plenty of “pats of the back”!

Be on the lookout for “volunteers”.  Be ready for the new shape of things.  Water and weed carefully.  Let them grow! The harvest just might be bountiful and a blessing for all!

Blessings,

Cynthia




November 26, 2012, 8:34 PM

Faithful

Bennie White's funeral was yesterday afternoon.  She was 80 years old when she died, but the church was filled.  I'm thinking that says a lot about Bennie.  She was such a loving and kind person we all wanted to be there for the celebration of her life. You see Bennie was faithful.  She was a United Methodist Woman and so faithful to come to all the meetings, studies, and fund raisers.  You could always count on Bennie to be there.  She was a quiet worker and didn't need to be the star, but she was special because she "showed up".  She was calm, quiet, loving, and kind.  And you knew she was going to there when you needed her.  Bennie was faithful

My granddaughter and I visited Bennie before Thanksgiving and even though I know she wasn't feeling well, she seemed delighted to see us and had a sucker for Shae. As I thnk about that visit I know I'm going to miss her gentle voice and beautiful smile.  And oh, I pray I can remember the lessons Bennie taught me- to be gentle and kind, to keep studying and working, and to always be faithful! 

Bennie was very proud of her family.  Her daughter Janna Elliott is a powerful and gifted United Methodist Woman who has served in many capacities.  And Bennie's granddaughter Addison is a former CTC UMW Youth Representative. I think they have UMW in their blood! I know Bennie was proud of both of them!

Bennie was blessed to have a loving family and wonderful friends.  Pearl Carpenter, former Brownwood District President and CTC officer, was a faithful friend. People would ask Pearl if she was Bennie's sister.  She wasn't her biological sister, but she was her sister in Christ.  Pearl was always there,even to the very end. Pearl and Bennie are a perfect example of the "creative, supportive fellowship" that UMW is called to be.  May we all be a friend like Pearl was to Bennie. May we all have a friend like Bennie.

I thank God for Bennie While.  I thank God for Pearl Carpenter.  Faithful! May we all be so faithful!


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