World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Christian Women - Observation Day 2011
Observation Day On the beautiful and brisk morning of March 12 about 90 women met to worship and learn together at the Woodlawn African Methodist Episcopal Church in Chicago. This unique gathering brought together women representing the African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, Christian Methodist Episcopal and United Methodist Churches, all participants in the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Christian Women. We come together for an annual "Observation Day" on the second Saturday in March to learn together, worship together and then are called to act on the behalf of women and children in the United States and around the world.
Northern Illinois Conference was well represented in this annual gathering.
This year's theme "Serving and Preserving the Earth" based on Genesis 2:15 was written by the women of the Europe-Continental Area. We are part of the North American and Caribbean area. The program dealt with the four basic elements that make up the earth: water, fire, earth and wind.
Water: We were reminded that as people of faith, we affirm that water is a public trust and global public good. It is a misuse of God's creation to deny or improperly restrict access to clean water. Governments have a duty to ensure that all individuals have affordable, equitable access to water and that no one is cut off from sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use. Read Isaiah 41:17-18.
Fire: We affirm fire as a benefit and civilizing power but also a destructive and terrifying force. Fire, often a symbol of divine judgment in the Bible, at Pentecost becomes a symbol of the descending spirit. Churches are called to have a burning desire for healing when God's creation is in danger. Acts 2:3
Earth: As people of faith, we affirm that the earth is a gift of God. We are asked to serve and preserve it, not to own it. It is a misuse of God's creation to deny or wrongly restrict access to sufficient living area. We call upon governments to strengthen their focus on the growing urban crisis and improving the lives of slum dwellers. Read Isaiah 24:2-6
Wind: As people of faith we affirm that energy is a living giving power. It is a misuse of God's creation as our energy supply attacks the quality of the air we breathe and the environment we live in. The air we breathe is not commodity, but a global public good.
One of the highlights of the morning was the interpretive dance performed by two young women from Woodlawn AME church. We are called to action. Contact your legislators and ask them to ensure the availability of clean water for all. Be careful as they approve new technology which will pollute the air even more and the ground on which our food is grown and cultivated. Read, read, read the books in our reading program that deal with ecology.
Put this date on your calendar for 2012 - Second Saturday of March = March 10. Judith Siaba, reporting