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UMW Assembly 2018

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Report by the Wesley staff
United Methodist Women Assembly 2018
8 participants (7 students and 1 teacher)
Period: May 17 to 22, 2018

Having fellowship with students from Korea over lunch
DSC09073.JPGUnited Methodist Women Assembly was held in Columbus, Ohio from May 18 through 20. Wesley Zaidan (Wesley Foundation) sent seven students and a teacher to attend it. (Their universities were Aoyama Gakuin Women's Junior College, Aoyama Gakuin University, Kwassui Women's University, and Fukuoka Jo Gakuin University.)



A huge number of Christians women gather from all over the world, especially from the States, for the international quadrennial assembly. They have fellowship with one another during the services, lectures and workshops.

UMW is the biggest organization of Christians Women in the world, which has 800,000 members. With the vision of putting faith, hope and love into practice for the sake of women, children and youths, it has worked in 100 countries around the world and will mark 150th anniversary next year. It has sent a number of evangelists all over the world with Christians women' prayers and offering which themselves are the action based on faith, hope and love.

The seven students sent by Wesley Foundation have studied at universities founded by women missionaries dispatched by UMW. The assembly enabled them to recognize that they are placed in the 150-year history of love and that it still lasts.

With Ms. Harriet Jane Olson
(CEO/General Secretary of United Methodist Women)
DSC09023.JPGUMW focuses especially on the field of social justice, in which Christians approach these four kinds of social issues now: maternal & child health services, climate justice, mass incarceration, and economic inequality. In the assembly, workshops regarding the four fields were conducted in between morning/evening services and lectures, with the aim of enabling each single participant to equip herself with knowledge and practical skills as the preparation for them to take action and change the world for the better.

The participants from Japan had linguistic and cultural barriers. However, they could get aware of the existence of countless number of issues in the world, and they saw many women who not only have taken those problems serious and but also have taken positive actions for them. This experience became great encouragement for them to broaden their perspectives and to foster motivation to learn.

During the lecture given by Ms. Leymah Gbowee,
a Nobel Peace Prize-winner
DSC08978.JPGIn the services held in the mornings and evenings, a worship leader and a band led the worship and brought a lot of excitement to it. It was impressive that the verses treated in the Bible reading were expressed in a drama and a tap dance so as to make the verses take root in the participants' lives. Well-known women activists gave talks every day during the assembly. They let the audience remember the facts that working at the grassroots level leads to a movement to impact the society and that each one of Christians women is required to take action for social change with responsibility.

The international assembly was held with the theme "the Power of Bold" this time. UMW believes that when each one of us boldly takes action, no matter how small and weak the power an individual has, it becomes dynamis to make the society just, as Mary, the mother of Jesus, boldly responded to God's call and many Christians women boldly lived and made the 150-year history.

DSC09061.JPGWesley Zaidan (Wesley Foundation) sent seven young women to the international assembly this time. We expect that all of them will consider what they themselves can do and take action no matter how small the step will be.
We will continue to develop the true leadership in women to change the society better.

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