Welcome to 2019 and the yearlong celebration of the 150th Anniversary of The United Methodist Women!

On March 23, 1869, eight women gathered at Tremont Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, Massachusetts, and organized the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society, what would become United Methodist Women. Those women raised money to send a doctor, Clara Swain, and a teacher, Isabella Thoburn, to India as missionaries to serve the women of that nation. In 2019, we continue to celebrate the dedication and vision of our foremothers in mission.

In 2019, our local unit of United Methodist Women will be focusing on the Sisterhood of Grace and celebrating 150 years of global service through United Methodist Women. We will also be changing things up a bit. General meetings will be held every other month on the first Tuesday at 11:00 a.m.  starting in February. The Executive Team will meet every other month on the second Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. starting in January.

The UMW General Meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 2, at 11 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Carol Craig will lead us in the Call to Prayer and Self-Denial program. Sign up for lunch at the Hospitality Hall desk. The cost is $6 per person. Everyone is invited. For more information about UMW, contact Pat Anderson at panderson105@hotmail.com.

The UMW first quarter social action project is a diaper drive for our own St. Luke’s food pantry and other organizations. Did you know that the average newborn baby goes through about 6-10 diapers on a daily basis? That’s about 70 diapers a week, 280 diapers a month, and 3,360 diapers a year. And diapers are expensive. Store brands go for about $9 for a box of 50, while name-brand diapers can cost about $12.50 for a box of 40, meaning charges can run from $56 to more than $100 a month or more.

Lack of diapers can have far-reaching implications beyond the rashes and urinary tract infections suffered by children who are not changed often enough.

Parents living in poverty may reuse wet and soiled disposable diapers, causing uncomfortable children to fuss and cry. That in turn can incite child abuse.

Also, most child-care facilities won’t allow parents to drop off children without an accompanying supply of disposable diapers. That can preclude mothers from working or going to school, compelling families to remain mired in poverty.

Recent research shows that a lack of diapers causes mothers to become depressed.

“We don’t talk about diapers enough in this country,” said Megan Smith, a psychiatric epidemiologist at the Yale School of Medicine and co-author, with Goldblum, of the only peer-reviewed study on so-called diaper need, which appeared in the medical journal Pediatrics in July 2013. “But diapers are crucial to getting poor families to work.”