“The Power of Bold” will be the theme of the 19th quadrennial Assembly of United Methodist Women in Columbus, Ohio, May 18-20, 2018. This Assembly is particularly momentous in that it marks both the official celebration of the organization’s 150th anniversary and a return to the location of the first Assembly in 1942. Throughout the action-filled weekend, participants will revisit the journey of Mary, who boldly risked safety and security to answer yes to God’s call to service, and likewise affirm their own commitment to mission with women, children and youth as United Methodist Women in the 21st century.
When women unite, bold and courageous actions occur. In 1869, eight women came together to send a woman doctor and woman teacher to India and formed the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society. One hundred and fifty years later, that society is the largest faith-based women’s mission organization in the world, changing lives for women, children, youth and families down the street and around the globe. United Methodist Women has, is and will be a unique movement for transformation in our church and our world.
“Our movement was launched by the bold action of women who saw a need and claimed their power as disciples of Jesus Christ to address it,” said Harriett J. Olson, chief executive officer of United Methodist Women. “They sent women leaders—Isabella Thoburn, an educator, and Dr. Clara Swain, a doctor—to India to serve women and children in 1869. This daring continued when leaders took a bold stand for racial justice and moved their first Assembly in 1942 to Columbus, where African-American women were welcomed at hotels and other public accommodations.”
Assembly 2018 will be a forum for United Methodist Women members, new friends and partners to gather, worship and learn about the needs of women, children and youth in the 21st century. They will be claiming their 150-year history as women who know how to organize and serve and are willing to be challenged to grow in their faith as they build deeper connections with one another, church leaders and partners in the work of justice for all God’s children.
“The Power of Bold will be evident again at Assembly 2018, when 8,000 women come together in faith to address priority challenges of their day: mass incarceration, economic inequality, maternal and child health and climate justice,” Olson said.
The Assembly website will officially launch in March of 2017 with regular updates on the event. Registration for the event will open Sept. 1, 2017.