A Letter from Lynne
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March 26, 2017, 1:53 PM

Finding our Voices

When last I wrote- Wow! It’s been a month ago!-  I was on the way to attend “Voices” at Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville. I seem to have been going non-stop since then, and have several things to share with you. But, I don’t want to make this so long that you won’t want to read it! So I’ll try to add a little something every other day or so until I get all caught up.

“Voices” was an amazing event. National UMW holds the event annually to develop leaders who serve as Conference UMW language coordinators. Conference Presidents are invited to attend on a rotating basis. We spent time together learning about how we can support and include people of all languages, cultures, and ages. Working together to create liturgy for our Sunday communion service in many languages, learning and singing some of our favorite hymns in other languages, hearing stories of faith, challenge, and service from our Regional Missionaries was inspiring and enlightening. (Read some of their amazing stories at http://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/missionaries)  

I came away even more convinced of the vital role language coordinators could play in our conference UMW. As your president, it is my responsibility to appoint language coordinators. I need your help. I know that there are groups in our conference that speak other languages- Tongan, Spanish, Korean, and French for sure. There may be others as well.

Some people have expressed that coordinators are not needed if the ladies also speak English. I disagree. The role of the person is not only to interpret for their group of ladies, but also to communicate their cultural practices, customs and ideas to the leadership team. This will allow us to design our programs in a culturally rich way for everyone involved.

The job of the language coordinators would also be to help their groups connect to UMW. They would interpret as needed at meetings, and assist with written interpretation of the newsletter, this blog, and other communication. Even more importantly, the language coordinator would be present at our team leadership meetings to assist the leadership team in understanding our sisters and providing programs and projects that would be meaningful and relevant to them.

So, once again, I need your help! Do you know someone who is bilingual in Spanish, Tongan, Korean or French? Are there other language groups in your district? Are there ethnic ministries in your district that we could work with to find coordinators? Please help me connect with all of these women. My goal is to appoint language coordinators- "Voices"- to serve with us before the end of this year. Please call or email me to share your thoughts about this.

The next Cross Ties newsletter is in the works. Please watch for it and read about all the exciting opportunities to connect, grow and serve in the coming months.

Blessed to serve with you,

Lynne

 


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