UMW Turns 150: A UMW Legacy
September 4, 2019
Our last highlight for UMW’s 150th celebration showcases the longevity and dedication of UMW at FirstChurch. Veta Boswell and her daughters Brianna and Kama have made UMW a family affair. Below, they talk about serving from a young age and the role UMW has played in their lives.
How has UMW membership and activities influenced or impacted you personally? How has UMW impacted/affected you as a family unit?
Kama– As children and youth, my sisters and I never questioned why our mom was so involved with UMW – it was just what you did as a woman in the Methodist Church. We followed along on many service projects and spent many days in west Dallas at Wesley Rankin Community Center and the Westerfeld Center. It made a huge impact on us. As years went by, we followed the example of these women, and started a new circle – The Sarah Circle – so that we could keep our mom’s legacy of mission work and global awareness through UMW alive!
Brianna – I watched my mom, and she taught me by example what it means to be a United Methodist Woman. To work alongside fellow church members, and conference members in service with women and children through UMW mission opportunities is fulfilling and rewarding. We have met so many new friends with whom we have served, served alongside, and learned from. We would not have known about most of these volunteer opportunities had it not been for UMW. It’s fun to be in service with multiple generations of your faith community and family. Now my daughter has joined UMW.
What UMW activity have you participated in that had the most effect on you/changed your perspective?
Veta – UMW introduced me to the various local missions that I hadn’t known before, and that got me heavily involved. Wesley Rankin Community Center is a good example. I became involved and served on the “working board” for six years.This included women from many local churches in our Conference. One memory is working with the ladies at the center to have a fundraiser fashion show. The women at the center made dresses in a sewing class and wore them at the fashion show. Elizabeth Peabody, Director of the Creative Arts Building at the State Fair of Texas was the emcee. We had so much fun and raised a lot of money for Wesley Rankin.
Brianna – It’s difficult to choose one activity…My involvement in Wesley Rankin, Methodist Hospital Auxiliary, Project Transformation, Bethlehem Center, and the C.C. Young Auxiliary through UMW has given me countless opportunities to meet people from all over Dallas and beyond. I really love that UMW connects me to service for, and with, people across the city and conference. Whatever the activity, it’s the relationships that make service and outreach humbling, heartwarming, and so worthwhile. If I had to choose one “UMW” activity (that’s had the most impact for me), I would go with First Gifts, since it’s in that setting that the five local UMW missions are highlighted and supported by all generations of the entire church.
Kama – Through my mom’s service at Wesley Rankin Community Center through UMW, my sisters and I became involved in outreach there. I have continued my passion for serving the west Dallas Community through Wesley Rankin-sponsored Community Garage Sales, the after school reading program, and Saturday Shelton Scholars tutoring.
When we look back in another 150 years, what do you hope the UMW has accomplished?
To keep younger women involved- even if it looks different, and doesn’t have all the complexities of the current UMW. We hope that it continues.
What is the one thing you’d say to convince a young woman or woman new to the UMC to join UMW?
You will learn about ministries and mission opportunities that you may not have learned about through your church, and you will form lasting friendships that you may not have otherwise had the opportunity to foster.
Be sure and join us after 11 a.m. service this Sunday for our UMW 150th Anniversary Celebration!