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March/April response: Responsively Yours

A Time of Celebration

by Sally Vonner

Greetings in faith, hope, and love. Can you believe it’s already March and we are in the midst of Lent, journeying with Jesus to the cross and resurrection on Easter morning? This year sailed in and is picking up speed every month. Keep up your new year intentions to exercise and be healthier, because we will need our strength to soar throughout 2024. This year is a busy one for United Women in Faith.

Sally Vonner
General Secretary and CEO
United Women in Faith

March is Women’s History Month, an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women. United Women in Faith is blessed to celebrate the legacy of bold, faithful, spiritual women who have given their lives past and present to uplifting women, children, and youth locally and globally.

This issue of response celebrates international and national grants and our National Mission Institutions. Their presence in communities from the early westward territories to the mountains of Appalachia to cities across the United States is a testament to the women who dedicated their lives and resources to ensure women, children, and youth had access to education, child care, health care, job skills, spiritual formation, etc. I can testify that volunteering at Dallas Bethlehem Center over 30 years ago led me to a lifetime commitment with United Women in Faith bringing me to the present as an 1869 Society (planned gift) member. I had the honor of visiting 10 NMIs from June to November 2023. My heart melts when I remember each one and the ways they are a beacon of light and hope in their communities.

I am especially grateful for the deaconess movement, for helping fuel the NMI mission and reach. Laywomen of all professions and skills strengthened our community presence even more. Thanks to them, many lives have been transformed. Join me in celebrating not only our NMIs but our deaconesses this month. If you have deaconesses active or retired in your annual conference, choose at least two to send a note of appreciation. Or you can choose two from the Prayer Guide. What a wonderful way to celebrate Women’s History Month!

Beginning from April to June, our legacy and history celebration continues. I hope to meet you at the upcoming Jurisdiction Get Together conferences. Our Jurisdiction Leadership teams have planned amazing opportunities for fellowship, worship, service, and celebration as directors for the 2024-2028 quadrennium are elected. Don’t come alone, grab a family member or friend who is not a member, and I will see you at your Get Together.

Our work continues in April as we participate in the rescheduled 2020 General Conference, April 22-May 3. Pray that our legislation passes and our United Women in Faith presentation and consecration of new deaconess and home missioners represents all of who we are and how we put our love into action to change the world. You can find our legislation in this response issue.

Lastly, remember that Earth Day is April 22. United Women in Faith has been championing concern for God’s creation for many years through our Climate Justice priority. We have equipped members to be leaders and champions of our Just Energy for All campaign in hopes of reducing gas emissions that harm us all, especially children. Thanks to all who participate in the trainings, webinars, calls to action or applied for a seed grant to act in your context. Plan a fellowship with your local unit to celebrate Earth Day. By doing so you are furthering our strategic priority goal 4: mobilize members to inspire, influence, and impact their communities and the world.

Thank you for all you do on behalf of United Women in Faith; I see you and praise God for you.

General Secretary and CEO
United Women in Faith

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