A Letter from Lynne
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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


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