It is now three months since my Induction as President of MWiB in the West Yorkshire District, and it is about time that I introduced myself.
I have been a supporter of the work women have been involved with in the Methodist Church for a long time. My interest began in a church Young Wives Group and over the years I have held various positions at church, Circuit and District level, most recently as District MWiB Treasurer for a six year period. I thought that would be my last office, so to be asked to be District President came as something of a surprise, and I do hope that during the next two years I will be able to justify the responsibility that has been entrusted to me.
My chosen theme is “Hands to work, hearts to God”, which was a favourite saying of Mother Ann Lee of the Shaker Community, and she would always add “and a blessing will attend thee”. Since I chose my theme I’ve discovered that William Booth of the Salvation Army was also committed to the principle of “Heart to God and Hand to Man”. Both these people recognised that the work we do is all part and parcel of our worship. We offer both to God, but we do not departmentalise them. Worship is the integral part of the whole of our lives, the part that is necessary to make the whole complete.
For me, the main attraction of MWiB, and its predecessors, is the opportunity it provides to campaign and raise important issues of social concern and global justice. Someone recently gave me a copy of the old NOW magazine dated September 1990. In the middle pages there was a picture of, a much younger, me at the ‘Over the Rainbow Event’ held in London, and arranged by Network, but being involved with doing what I can to make God’s world a better world goes back much further.
That is why I decided to promote the MWiB Dalit Partnership during my time as President. Formerly known as Untouchables, the Dalits are still discriminated against, although the Caste System is now illegal. Women and girls are also discriminated against because of their gender, so MWiB, working with the Church of North India, is committed to improving their lives and giving them hope of a better future. MWiB hopes to raise £50,000 by September 2016 for this work. I have already enjoyed visiting some women’s groups in the West Yorkshire District to talk about this Partnership and have received a generous response. Thank you to everyone who has given.
If you would like to hear more about this Partnership, and my theme, please invite me to your meeting. As I am a Local Preacher, I would also be happy to lead worship in your church.
I look forward to meeting as many women as possible in our District during the following two years, in your churches and circuits and at MWiB District Meetings.
Finally a word of warning, something those who know me well are aware of. Although I do have an email address, and I am getting a little better at mastering it, I prefer (fountain) pen and ink and a telephone conversation! (Thank you to Gillian for putting my article on email and the website)
Judith A Robinson
West Yorkshire District MWiB President.
West Yorkshire District Chair, The Revd Dr. Roger, I. Walton, me and my husband Howard at my Induction