UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
2004 QUADRENNIAL MEETING
MARCH 5 – 7
THE BALTIMORE CONVENTION CENTER
INNER HARBOR, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND
We are the vessels
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the excellency of the power may be of God,
and not of us.
Filling Our Vessels
But this precious treasure—this light and power
that now shine within us—is held in a perishable container,
that is, in our weak bodies.
Everyone can see that the glorious power within
must be from God and is not our own.
Emptying our vessels
We carry this precious message around
in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives.
That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s
incomparable power with us.
As it is, there’s not much chance of that.
_ _ _
Women’s Division Directors were elected for the coming quadrennium and the Core
Planning Group was put in place. This latter group will plan the next quadrennial meeting.
It was impressive to see how orderly this group of over 1300 women could be.
The program was excellent – much wonderful music, including several selections by The Deaf Sign Choir from Christ United Methodist Church of the Deaf, and also by The Combined Korean UMW Choir who were in very colorful attire.
In keeping with the theme VESSELS FOR MISSION, Nancy Sue Foltz was present who
demonstrated her skill with pottery. She works with the Shalom Family Life Center of Grace Urban Ministries and attends the United Methodist Church in North Chili.
TO THINK ABOUT
A water bearer had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to her house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.
“I am ashamed of myself and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path and not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path. Every day while we walk back you have watered them. For two years I have been able to pick beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”
MORAL: Each of us have our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots. But it is the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.
Blessed are the flexible,
for they shall not be bent out of shape.
Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life!
And remember that every vessel can be used for good in God’s World!
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