United Methodist Women’s Day at General Conference
Saturday, April 28, 2012, Tampa
Greetings! We would like to invite United Methodist Women in the Tampa area (and beyond) to join us for United Methodist Women Day at General Conference on Saturday, April 28. You will have an opportunity to meet our president and staff and to participate in a rally on detention and prison issues related to our Immigrant/Civil Rights initiative, as well as to visit the prayer ministry and observe legislative committee deliberations.
General Conference takes place at the 333 South Franklin Street, Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 274-8511. Call the Convention Center about parking. The Sail Pavilion, where some of our activities will take place, is across from the main entrance on South Franklin Street.
What to Bring:
We suggest that you bring a bag lunch as there can be long lines at lunch stands and there is little time for a lunch break. Also bring sun visors, sun screen and comfortable shoes. Bring conference UMW banners for rally.
Visitors are not required to register, but you are welcome to register if you wish. That will give you a General Conference name tag and program book. Look for signs for General Conference registration when you enter. Visitors are welcome to sit in the visitor gallery in the legislative committee rooms on a first come-first serve space available basis whether you have a name tag or not. It is not necessary, but it would be helpful if you could let your district or conference president know if you are coming (perhaps with a carload!).
10:30 UMW gathering near the "Channel Entry" to the 1st Floor, Tampa Convention Center
· Meet UMW President Inelda Gonzalez and UMW national staff
· Briefing: Women’s Division petitions at General Conference; Other issues of importance to UMW on the General Conference agenda
· Group Photo
11:30 Options include:
· Observe Legislative Committees (Rooms listed in GC Program Book)
· Preparation for Rally volunteers (Sail Pavilion)
· Visit Prayer stations
· Lunch (suggested to bring bag lunches)
12:30 Rally: “Profit from Pain is Inhumane: Dignity, Not Detention” – United Methodist Task Force on Immigration, Sail Pavilion, co-organized by United Methodist Women. We encourage all of you to join us in this important public witness challenging prison privatization, mass incarceration and immigration detention. Bishop Whittaker and Bishop Leland have been invited to participate.
[See link to flyer below.]
1:30 Meeting with leaders of the UMC Task Force on Immigration to discuss action for immigrant rights in Florida conferences
· Visit Prayer stations
· Observe Legislative Committees
Depart as needed
Other ways UMW will be active at General Conference:
· UMW Gatherings: Throughout General Conference Emily Miller will be texting/tweeting delegates about brief UMW opportunities for prayer, education and action. Contact Emily [email@example.com] to receive her alerts.
· Prayer Ministry: Glory Dharmaraj and Becky Louter, UMW national staff, are working on the prayer ministry at General Conference. UMW and the deaconesses/home missioners will be working together at prayer stations focused on mending ministry. We are planning to have pieces of fabric where people can write their pain, anger, need, brokenness, prayer needs including joys and concerns. We will be then stitching these pieces together into a quilt. We need volunteers who will be praying at this station and stitching. This is not a sophisticated quilt. Anyone who could hand-stitch can participate in it. Guidance and directions will be given by a coordinator of this quilt project. We also have an adjacent anointing station where persons can anoint themselves with olive oil. We need volunteers who will pray and anoint persons also. Prayer cards with written prayers will be provided. Volunteers can use these prayers or pray spontaneously. Volunteers can offer a day or two during the entire 2 weeks of the General Conference starting from April 24 to May 3 for this important ministry. This is the first time we have been asked to be part of this. We want UMW to be visible!
· Prayer for Arizona:
On April 25, during General Conference, the Supreme Court will be hearing arguments about Arizona SB 1070, the immigration legislation that criminalizes immigrants in Arizona and has led to numerous “copy-cat” laws.
United Methodists across the country are being invited by the General Board of Church and Society to open their churches for prayer on that day.
The United Methodist Task Force on Immigration will convene interested delegates in prayer at General Conference early on Tuesday morning.
Contact Bill Mefford (firstname.lastname@example.org
) for details on how to participate.
· Volunteers for UMC Task Force on Immigration Rally, April 28
We welcome United Methodist Women volunteers to help at the rally on April 28. You will be asked to
a) help escort people from the Conference Center to the rally
b) circulate a petition and give out stickers
c) circulate hand outs
You will need to meet at the Sail Pavilion at 11:30 for instructions. Your responsibilities will be over by 12:30. If you can volunteer, please contact Jen Tyler, MFSA at email@example.com