Monthly Archives: September 2013

United Methodist Women in New York for PGA!! Today is Sunday and we went to a worship service at the Church of the Village in Lower Manhattan. What a great worship service! We liked the liturgical dance by talented twins, the welcoming atmosphere, the amazing sermon by the young (!) woman minister, the encouraging words of the senior pastor Alton Johnson, a retired bishop for our week’s activity and the mission interpretation of a new Church and Community Worker in West Virginia–Holston Annual Conference. I met a native of Council Bluffs who will be marrying his partner in a couple of weeks. The pastor announced that anyone who was interested could join a group spending the afternoon strategizing on the need for changes in the church’s attitude toward LGBT folks so that all the doors of the church could be truly open! What a great worship service for inspiring us for the week to come. Those of us who introduced ourselves as members of the UMW delegation to the People’s Global Action on Migration, Development and Human Rights were thanked, encouraged and commended by several different folks, including the retired bishop and the pastor. There were also visiting students from South Africa and a couple from the seminary in Monterrey, Mexico, one of whom knew our own Edgar Solis in Muscatine. It was an amazing feeling to think of the global connections of the United Methodist Church and have those acknowledged by folks in the congregation!

More about the weekend: The Saturday meeting at the Church Center for the United Nations gave us all time to get acquainted. I had met Betty Gittens and Carol Barton before. They work for UMW at CCUN here in New York. Carol gave us quite an introduction to some of the economic issues that are important to this week of dialogue at the People’s Global Action for Migration, Development and Human Rights. After our orientation, getting to know each other and doing an ice breaker to get to thinking about migration in our own personal context, we had some afternoon time to walk around. Satruday evening, after a delicious ethnic meal, we were amazed and awed by a presentation of a mini-opera about immigration. The site was the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul (I think without looking). We were awe struck by the performance, with lyrics taken from various Bible passages, Old and New Testament. We UMW members were familiar with these from our spiritual growth study entitled “Immigration and the Bible” by Rev. Joan Maruskin. The choir was directed by Jorge Lockward, another name UMW might know from the Global Praise books which we have used in School of Christian Mission. Our day was full and is good preparation for the many meetings of the coming week.