The last thing I ever expected, happened.  GC2012 is inspiring me.   This is what started it.  A photo of simple, green sign posted in the booth space assigned to the United Methodist Women. It reads:

In 600 square feet,
it is impossible to show
143 years of women in mission,
the work our members are doing
in their churches and communities
every day.
the lives transformed through
the global ministries of the Church,
and all the ways United Methodist Women
will movie into the next 143 years.

So, instead, we used the money to
fully fund the seminary education
of two female local pastors in Cameroon.

Turning faith, hope and love into action.

Yes!  YES!  I was inspired by the act AND by the messaging of it.  Simple, clear, powerful, head-turning.

I reposted the photo on facebook and it wasn’t just church-going folk who responded and applauded. One woman I talked to yesterday said, “that’s the kind of church I could be interested in. I stopped going a long time ago, because that’s not what church was.  I sometimes think about going on Easter, but then I look at the expensive colored flowery Easter ads churches put in the newspaper and I think, nothing’s changed.”

That simple sign had this woman rethinking what she thought she knew about church; she’s considering giving it another try.  It had me rethinking what I thought I knew about General Conference; I even woke early today to livestream the proceedings.  Their sign stirred something deep in me.

Kudo’s to the United Methodist Women for their decision and then messaging it brilliantly.


  1. Mary, Your enthusiasm for this statement is shared by many, but not all. Some of the people who market different aspects of the denomination are not pleased. Does that deter the UM Women behind this statement? Nope. Makes em strut their stuff a little assertively today. All power to them.

    • Paul, that possibility hadn’t even crossed my mind. Makes sense but I suspect the good people throughout the denomination will find it in there hearts to forgive… 🙂 IMHO, this was win for the UMW though it may be one of those things you can only do once.

  2. Say more about what you’re hearing from the “not pleased” people. Are they feeling like they’ve gotten slapped?

  3. And that’s UMW for you. Proud to be a United Methodist Woman. Such good work for so many years and the future that lies ahead of us…..I too am curious about the detractors, Paul. Can you elaborate?

  4. I won’t elaborate. Sorry. Let’s just leave it at this: in this case, no marketing was the best marketing. A few months from now, no one will remember any of the exhibits. Except the one that wasn’t there.

  5. This reminds me of the old question…if it meant closing your church doors for good to achieve the purpose of your church would you do it?

    • Many years ago, I worked with a tiny Disciples of Christ church that made that very decision, Matt. It was a holy thing to witness.

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