by Marty Allison
This was my 9th Assembly since 1985! And my first one was in 1962 while I was still in high school. Each one has been special is its own way.
Some times it has been a family affair with my mother, sister, and cousins. But this time it was with two special friends, Mary Ann Watson and Hermine Ngnomire. And always with thousands of committed fellow United Methodist Women from all around the world!
The inclusivity was very apparent this year. There were women from Africa, Fiji, Philippines and many other countries. Their beautiful national dresses were stunning. Besides this visual display, there was always a person signing for those who experience hearing loss. Songs were sung in Spanish, French, Fiji, Cambodian and English.
It was exciting to see all the women Bishops – including our own Bishop Karen – attending and participating in the consecration of the deaconess (females) and the home missioners (males).
I was most impressed with the Theologian in Resident, Rev. Janet Wolf. I was aware of her years ago and most impressed with her social justice work and emphasis. Except for the normal aging she had not changed one iota. She was just as passionate and forceful as I had remembered her. She said we have to do more than just pray for individuals…..we must ACT out our faith.
Another outstanding artist was Rev YaNi, a poet and public theologian, who shared with us her
faith thru Hip Hop. She is a pastor, visionary, leader and activist. She looks at everything thru a Womanist lens and the lens of global liberation. She graduated from Claremont School of Theology and many other schools.
I could go on and on but I won’t except to say that I was brought to tears at times with the music and dancing, the speakers and the fellowship of my two roommates. I love them deeper than ever.