Day of Giving on March 23, 2019, was celebrated around the country by United Methodist Women commemorating our 150th Anniversary. With over 3,500 individual gifts received, Day of Giving shattered all preceding giving records by raising $496,451! That is 84 percent more than was given in 2018!
These generous donations to The Legacy Fund Endowment Campaign bring our campaign total to $26,543,021. That means 43 percent of the targeted $60,000,000 has now been raised! We are on the way to reaching our half-way mark, which will propel us even further toward achieving the campaign’s goal by the end of 2020!
So how did Day of Giving generate almost half a million dollars in 2019? It was done by you, whether it was a local unit tea, a district mission project, a conference sponsored at a National Mission Institution event, a Legacy Fun-Raiser or just a good old-fashioned party. Each member found their own special way to celebrate the 150th Birthday of United Methodist Women and to contribute to The Legacy Fund Endowment Campaign.
In Boston, the New England Conference sponsored a celebration event just three miles from Tremont Methodist Episcopal Church, where the mission work of United Methodist Women began 150 years ago. The event was attended by people from 16 states, as well as a missionary from Brazil. The festivities were live-streamed, so viewers from the United States, Mongolia, the Philippines and Japan could watch. As Dean Mary Elizabeth Moore stated in her welcoming remarks, “The founding women were not asked to change the world—they, because of their deep faith commitments, chose to change the world." This event alone raised over $10,700 for The Legacy Fund Endowment Campaign.
The New Mexico Conference in Albuquerque Women performed the skit A Dark and Stormy Night about the evening in 1869 when eight women gathered, marking the origins of United Methodist Women. Peggy Arensdorf, Conference Legacy Liaison, stated, “In the middle of the event the lights went out because of a storm in the Sacramento Mountains. We went right on celebrating and performed the skit by candlelight and lanterns; it was truly a ‘dark and stormy night.’”
The Rocky Mountain Conference Legacy Liaison Myrna Prentice reported, “It wasn’t a dark and stormy night, but it was a cold and snowy day.” There were unit and district celebrations throughout Colorado, including a performance of the skit A Legacy Carol.
In Alaska, members of the Sitka United Methodist Women conducted the worship service and preached United Methodist Women’s history from the pulpit. The day included a pot-luck dinner and the Legacy Trivia Game, where children and church members had fun and learned about our foremothers. Conference Legacy Liaison Julia Smith noted, “It was a joyous time, with our whole church celebrating together.”
In Atlanta, Georgia, United Methodist Women celebrated not only the organization’s 150th anniversary, but also the 150th anniversary of their church, Bethel United Methodist Church. The day included a service project where over 1,500 pill bottles were collected for a mission project for the Good Shepherd Clinic. Bethel Unit President Catherine Lemons shared this Bible verse to sum up our shared experience: “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” (Psalm 145:4)
These anniversary celebrations are just a sample of the gatherings that brought together United Methodist Women members as they worked, prayed and served in meaningful, inspiring and creative ways. With the $496,451 raised on Day of Giving 2019 and added to the gifts already received and directed to The Legacy Fund Endowment Campaign, United Methodist Women is positioned to do even more mission-focused work in service with and for women, children and youth in the years and decades to come.
Thank you to all who celebrated and contributed to Day of Giving 2019. Thank you for the celebrations yet to come and for the support provided and yet to be provided to The Legacy Fund Endowment Campaign.
Happy Anniversary, United Methodist Women!