Among other initiatives, social issues top the agenda for the United Methodist Women (UMW). At this year’s Gathering of the Women held on October 9, 2018, the UMW invited Susan Burkholder from Ransomed Life to talk about a Healing Community for Sexually Exploited Girls. According to the Center on Poverty and Inequality, “Violence against girls…is a crisis of national proportions that cuts across every divide of race, class, and ethnicity. The facts are staggering: one in four American girls will experience some form of sexual violence by the age of 18. Fifteen percent of sexual assault and rape victims are under the age of 12. Girls between the ages of 16 and 19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. In a perverse twist of justice, many girls who experience sexual abuse are routed into the juvenile justice system because of their victimization. A particularly glaring example is when girls who are victims of sex trafficking are arrested on prostitution charges — punished as perpetrators rather than served and supported as victims and survivors.” As Christians we are called to educate in order to prevent this from happening and then help those in need should this happen to them. Susan Burkholder will presented facts, stories, and ways to help.

Addressing social issues is just one mission of the UMW. The UMW has over 800,000 members and is the largest denominational faith organization for women. Their mission is to foster spiritual growth, develop leaders and advocate for justice.

Across the entire UMW organization, members raise up to $20 million each year for programs and projects related to women, children and youth in the United States and in more than 100 countries around the world. The Coker UMW also raises funds to support various mission efforts.

During the Gathering of the Women, the UMW Recognized several within the Coker Congregation with Special Mission Recognition Awards for their work with women, children, and students. We congratulate the following people: Judy Garrett, Sherry Hatcher, Barbara Keeper, Ken McAdams, Jim & Debbie Sullivan, and Carolyn Smith.

Upcoming UMW Events include: Cokerfest November 3rd.
Photo Credit: Ransomed Life