“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15 At the services this weekend, we’ll celebrate the mission and ministry of United Methodist Women! It began in the year 1869, when eight women boldly traveled through a terrible storm to their church to hear the story by two wives of missionaries to India. Upon hearing their story about the desperate spiritual and physical needs of women in India, the explanation that a male doctor could not give medical treatment to women and that schooling for little girls was almost non-existent, these eight women took action and organized the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society. Through this society they were able to raise the necessary funds to send two women, one a teacher and the other a doctor, as missionaries to help the women and children in India. The teacher, Ms. Isabelle Thoburn, and the doctor, Dr. Clara Swain, boldly left family, friends, home and country to answer God’s call to care for the women and children in a land unknown to them—India. From the bold actions of those women, almost 150 years of ministry to women, children and youth have taken place and continues to this day! Throughout the years the organization has gone through a few name changes, but today you will recognize it as United Methodist Women! Just as God called those women so long ago, He continues to call each of us today, and equips all of us with “gifts and talents,” not only women, but men, youth and children! AND God will provide each of us an opportunity to share them! When he provides you your opportunity, will you boldly go forth? Looking forward to seeing you in church!