Thursday, August 25, 2011

World Means World

 Deputy General Secretary Harriett Jane Olson gave the closing message. She spoke of our week together and reminded us that God calls us to give of our whole selves, our imperfect, wounded, Spirit-filled selves to our work, using Ephesians 4:1-7 as a guide. (Photo by Felipe Castillo)

I am in Johannesburg, South Africa, attending the 12th Assembly of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women (WFMUCW). And "world," here, means world. And "Methodist" means all Methodist churches: United Methodist, Methodist, African Methodist Episcopal (AME), AME Zion, United Church of Canada, Methodist Church of the Caribbean and the Americas, among others.

As Bishop Joaquina Filipe Nhanala, United Methodist bishop for Mozambique and the first female United Methodist bishop in Africa, said this morning, "We are a diverse and complicated group of women." She also said, "We find common ground in the knowledge that we are bound by faith." So far, I agree with both statements.

A highly social and very full event, fellowship takes first priority, as it is not often women can gather in this manner just to be together and hear one another's voices. In fact, WFMUCW meets only once every five years. I am reminded here that taking the time to get to know one another is a very important part of working together on common goals, of understanding what goals need to be set and how to achieve them. Constructive fellowship, I'll call it. Ubuntu also applies. I am glad to be here.

Tara Barnes, staff editor for the Women’s Division, recently returned from the world assembly in South Africa. You can read more of Tara's blogs on the United Methodist Women's social network at

Learn more about the world community of Methodist Women at

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