A Letter from Lynne
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October 22, 2013, 10:55 PM

President's Report for 2013

Central Texas Conference

United Methodist Women

President’s Report for 2013

“Faith, Hope, Love in Action”

 

     Albert Schwitzer once said, “Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being.  Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light.”  I always thank God for you, sisters in Christ, United Methodist Women of Central Texas Conference, for your encouragement, creativity, inspiration and involvement in mission during this past year. All accomplished in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior.

     The District Leadership Development event was held Oct. 5 at First UMC of Temple.  Josephine Lopez Paul and Mahlon Hight from Allied Communities of Tarrant (ACT) led the group session.  Also, Mary Weathers led an abc “all things wonderful about UMW” group activity.  Then individual Leadership Development classes were held.

     The gracious ladies of First UMC in Temple also hosted the 2012 Annual Autumn Gathering on Oct. 6. Jerri Savuto was the guest speaker.  A Korean   choir provided special music and three past CTC UMW presidents installed the CTC UMW officers.  After lunch we had several presentations, liturgical dancers, letter writing to those in the military plus a grand time of fellowship.

     McCurdy Ministries in Espanola, NM provided a fantastic mission opportunity one week in October for 20 missioners from our conference.  Everyone enjoyed learning about McCurdy, their history and their present ministries in Espanola.  There was work to be done on the grounds, in the kitchen, the dormitory, the office complex, their museum plus some construction for able hands.  The experience was so great that plans are underway to go to McCurdy again in October of 2014.  Won’t you consider joining the group?

     Under the leadership of Katey Zeh a Healthy Families, Healthy Planet Seminar was held in early November at Arlington Heights UMC.  Thanks to everyone who helped with this event.

     Several conference officers, including the district presidents, attended the Leadership Develop Days in St. Louis led by UMW National staff in November.  We experienced inspiring worship and informative small group sessions.  Our women’s missionary heritage was reviewed.  We had a preview of the 2013-2016 UMW Handbook and learned about upcoming changes as we  better prepare for the future in mission.

     The United Community Centers ACT lll Youth Christmas party was held December 11 at Poly Center.  The youth enjoyed chicken wings and pizza, group games, a multitude of crafts and a grand cookie walk of homemade cookies to end the evening.  Special thanks go to the leadership of Acton’s Mary-Martha Circle, conference officers and other United Methodist Women who helped to make the evening a success.  The collection of needed items for United Community Centers has been the UMW conference project for 2013 and will continue as the conference project for 2014.

     The Legislative Event was held at a new venue January 27 – 29 with Harriet Jane Olson as one of the featured speakers.  The Legislative Priorities set for this year are: 1. Water – To address Texas’ long-term water needs and to plan for Texas’ water and energy future.  2. Education – To increase funding to provide a high quality public education and to explore alternatives to testing.  3. Medicaid – To extend Medicaid.  4. Predatory Lending – To increase regulation of pay day and car title loan companies and to allow partial payments of loans.  5. Criminal Justice and Mental Health – Guarantee humane treatment of those in the criminal justice system, to increase access to mental health professionals and to limit prolonged administrative segregation (solitary confinement).  On the last day Legislative visits were organized for all participants so we could share these UMW priorities with our legislators.

     Sing-a-Rainbow, the Charter for Racial Justice event, took place at Joshua UMC February 16.  The Joshua UMW did an amazing job preparing for and hosting us.  Willie Bennett from Dallas Area Interfaith and Josephine Lopez Paul from Allied Communities of Tarrant gave the morning presentation, “Pressures on Families: Is the Family at Risk?” Table discussion followed as well as feed back on the topic.  The afternoon session emphasized the Legislative Priorities followed by a closing meditation by Rev. Shannon Murray.  And of course, we did enjoy singing at Sing-a-Rainbow.  The music was led by Mary Rarden and accompanied by Jeanette Burns.  We were glad to welcome UMW from the North Central Texas Conference into the leadership of this event for the first time this year.

     The Spiritual Growth Retreat, “Unplug, Unwind, and Retool Our Spiritual Lives,” led by Deaconess Pat Hoerth was held March 15 – 16 at Lakeview Camp and Conference Center.  Pat is a deaconess from Turtle Rock Farm, OK.  We were excited to celebrate with Pat the 125th Anniversary of the Deaconess program.  Judy Holloway blessed us by serving as the worship leader.

     May 18 was the Workday at United Community Centers.  15 women went to the Poly and Bethlehem Centers to clean and help prepare for the summer enrichment program.  Pablo Calderon, the program director for UCC, met us before we started to work and gave an update on the building projects and summer enrichment activities planned for the students at UCC.

     325 attended the UMW Luncheon at Annual Conference at Arborlawn UMC on June 10.  Linda Cox explained the Storybook Project.  Many children’s books decorated the tables and were collected to be sent to incarcerated mothers to be read and recorded by them for their children.  This way the children can hear mother’s voice as they turn the pages of the book.  Retiring missionary Susie Canafax was also available to bring greetings.  Special thanks go to Lynne Grandstaff, Susan Adcock, Debbie Wood, the UMW of Arborlawn UMC and others for planning the luncheon.  Great job!

     CTC UMW hosted a mission trip in June to the Sager-Brown UMCOR Depot in Baldwin, LA.  18 of us truly were blessed to be able to serve and worship for a few days there.  Our ages ranged from early twenties to eightyish.  Much was accomplished in a seemingly short amount of time.  Plan on attending the CTC Mission trip to Cookson Hills, OK next summer!

     Mission u was held at 3 locations in early August – Genesis UMC, Glen Lake and First UMC in Temple.  The new studies for this year are The Roma of Europe and Living Sacramentally, Walking Justly.  The third study was Poverty.  The study leaders and studies were outstanding as was the hospitality at all three locations.

     September 4 many from our conference attended the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Societies evening event at TCU with Congresswoman Kay Granger as well an earlier get-acquainted coffee.

     Let me encourage you to register for Assembly in Louisville, KY April 25 – 27.

     Let’s “Make it Happen!”  Also be inspired to participate in your local, district and conference events, mission activities and spiritual growth opportunities.  They’re planned with you in mind.  You will be blessed by using your Prayer Calendar.  Read response magazine and see where your mission dollars are at work in the world.  Remind your local group to send funds to all five areas of giving.  Participate in the Reading Program.  Challenge yourself to do something new this year.  Volunteer to serve as an officer and support the other officers.  Become or continue to be a Charter Club member.  Encourage your local UMW organization to be a Mission Today unit and celebrate each step along the way.

     Call on your district and conference officers for clarification or for help on programming.  Remember we’re here to serve you.

     Heartfelt thanks go out to the inspired and creative efforts of the Conference, District and Local organizations of United Methodist Women.  Thanks also for the support of Bishop Mike Lowry, Dr. Don Scott, pastors, and the supportive families of UMW.  We appreciate Karla Rodriguez and her work as webmaster and Heidi Careaga as the Spanish language coordinator.  Great job, girls!  Check out our web site at ctcumw.org.  Blessings for energy, vitality, and growth as we strive to make a positive difference in the lives of women, children and youth worldwide.  In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, go forth.

 

Linda Hutchings

CTC UMW President

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