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2018 Celebrations

2018 Theme:

Reaching For Wholeness

When the Ecumenical Celebrations committee met in Dallas in February, 2017, our first objective was to find a theme that looks forward, considering all the issues that we are dealing with as Christian women: health, aging, denominational differences, and political instability.

We agreed that our motto is our guiding principle: “Agreed to differ, resolved to love, united to serve.” We wanted to encourage all units to search for ways to bring wholeness to our families, our churches, and our communities. We agreed that we are all “Searching for Wholeness.”

“The body is a whole unit, made up of many parts.” (1 Corinthians 12:12) As Church Women United, we need to strive for this kind of wholeness in all that we do.

 

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May Friendship Day 2018

Reaching For Wholeness – In Gratitude for God’s Presence

2018 MFDTraditionally held the first Friday in May

The overall theme for the 2018 celebrations is “God’s Presence,” taken from Colossians 1:17—“And God is before all things, and in and through God the universe is a harmonious whole.” May Friendship Day focuses on our gratitude for God’s presence in all things and especially as we respond to human needs. Childhood hunger is one of the most important needs at the present time, and that is our focus in this program. Schedule this program on a Saturday, if possible, and invite children from the community. Examples: Girl Scouts, children’s Sunday School class, Christian School groups, music groups and after school programs. You could even ask children to read the scriptures and take up the offerings during the program.

May Friendship Day dates back to May, 1933, when two independent groups planned luncheons to focus on “Child Health” and “Children of Migrant Families.” The first event was sponsored by the Women’s Council for Home Missions in New York City, and the second one, called “Dedication Day,” was sponsored by the National Council of Federated Church Women. in order to bring the group’s dream of unity into full expression in each local community. Under a variety of names, this event continued and expanded until 1939, when they merged under the National Council of Church Women, which called for an annual observance “to strengthen a growing sense of unity, the joy of Christian fellowship, and the power of Christianity in the day of need.” In May 1945, a few years after the founding of Church Women United, the celebration was formalized as May Fellowship Day. In 1999, the movement of Church Women United changed the name of the celebration to May Friendship Day, as we continue to celebrate unity in our journey toward wholeness in all communities.

Materials written by:  ~ Sandy Meyer and Jan Sandos

Human Rights Celebration 2018

Reaching For Wholeness – In Gratitude for God’s Presence

2018 HRD any time during the year

“I beg you, sisters and brothers, by the name of Our Lord that all of you agree with each other and not be divided into groups…be completely joined together by having the same purpose.”

The spirit of this celebration is for all participants to understand the meaning of unity. It is our unity that makes the world whole. As we come together for our celebrations. Let us come together forever. Let us create solidarity in the world that reflects God’s creation. In everything that God created he said, “It was good”. While God gave human beings dominion over the land and all that is in it, God made all the creatures to live in unity. This is the world the Lord created. Let us “Reach for Wholeness” and unity “in solidarity with God’s Creation” as we celebrate Human Rights.

We take this time to remember that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms… without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status” (Excerpt taken from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written by the UN in 1948).

These words should be in the forefront of our minds as we support, work towards, and fight for the rights of all humans. This is the same message that Jesus gave while on earth. When he said, “Love one another as I have loved you,” he did not mean for us to love just some people, he truly meant for us to love everyone. This has been the message of CWU since our beginnings in 1943 and will continue to be one of the pillars that supports and drives our movement.

Materials written by: Brenda M. Tillman and Karen Mitchell

 

World Community Day 2018

Reaching For Wholeness – In Harmony With God’s People

2018 WCD

The overall theme of “Reaching Toward Wholeness,” reflects the idea that being wholeness requires feeling safe, cared for, valued and connected within our local community and the larger world. With these aspects present, there is harmony. Like many voices coming together in a chorus, people of many cultures and nations can come together to lift humanity beyond the brokenness of discord, violence, and war. Music and rhythm have been used since primitive times to communicate around times of birth, death, war, and peace. From the individual rhythm of the human body to the more social rhythms of family, community or nation, and the celestial rhythm of the universe, we learn the cadence of cooperation, collaboration and mutual support. Any dissonance, while often useful and provocative, must eventually resolve itself into service toward the whole.

World Community Day began in 1943 from discussions at a meeting of denominational presidents and executive secretaries asking that a day be set aside in the fall for the study of peace by church women. Although many denominations were printing their own studies on the new world order, it was determined at this meeting that their unity would be strengthened on one day of united study.

WCD continues to emphasize peace but has been broadened to include justice, a vital partner of peace. The once clear categories of “domestic” and “foreign” were consciously blurred so the global scope of the wide range of problems could be emphasized on World Community Day.

The 2016 CWU celebrations theme is “Gathered at God’s Table.” WCD will focus on sharing gifts at the table. Although we come with different cultures, family traditions, religious practices, and are of different ages, those differences provide gifts that we can share with one another. Let us honor and rejoice in those differences, and may they unite us in new ways.

Materials written by:

Shirley Atencio and Bettie Durrah

 

Other Resources

Evaluation Form for 2017

Celebration Sign In & Contact Sheet

For information about World Day of Prayer, click HERE.

Past Themes

2017: “Kindling New Fires”

Human Rights Celebration – “Kindling New Fires of Hope”

May Friendship Day – “Kindling New Fires of Love”

World Community Day – “Kindling New Fires for Peace”

2016: “Companions on a Journey”

Human Rights Celebration – ” Experiencing Blessings at the Table”

May Friendship Day – “Finding Grace at the Table”

World Community Day – “Sharing Gifts at the Table”

2015: “Gathering at God’s Table”

Human Rights Celebration – “Journey Toward Peace”

May Friendship Day – “Journey of the Caregiver”

World Community Day – “Our Journey Together”

2014: “We are in God’s hands and we are God’s hands”

Human Rights Celebration – “Through God Our Hands can Protect”

May Friendship Day – “Through God Our Hands Can Serve”

World Community Day – “Through God Our Hands Can Heal”