Sisters of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women, I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ as we celebrate World Federation Day 2017. On the 26 October each year, we remember how the vision given to Helen Kim of Korea of a world-wide movement of Methodist women became a reality in 1939 at the signing of the first constitution by representatives of 27 nations. The number of Units has now grown considerably as we continue to work within our nine geographical Areas to bring justice and peace and improved living conditions for women and children across the world. We do so in the name of Jesus and for his kingdom’s sake. We do so as ‘chosen people, called to proclaim’ the mighty acts of God. (1 Peter 2:9). We do so inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit. We do so because we know Christ personally and want to make him known to others.
Many of our number are currently experiencing enormous challenges, national, local and personal, facing crisis situations of political, economic, health and environmental issues. Many of you are living in places of conflict and religious persecution. Some have lost homes and loved ones through extreme weather conditions. Some of you struggle to feed your families or access education and health provision. Paul writes that when one part (of the body) suffers, every part suffers with it (1 Corinthians 12:26). So we share in each other’s burdens and support each other in prayer. I know that many of you are responding to the call of those who suffer and are finding ways of bringing them healing and hope.
Women in many Units will gather during the next few days to celebrate our annual World Federation Day and raise awareness about one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals that provide a focus for our efforts. I commend the Study Day Material prepared this year by Ann Connan on behalf of the South Pacific Area, focusing on Climate Change and how we can care for the environment. This is a valuable resource for group or personal use and is available on our website.
I pray that as you remember Helen Kim our founder, and give thanks in prayer for each other, you will know the comforting and strengthening presence of our risen Lord and Saviour, and find you are empowered and equipped to tell others of the mighty acts of God.