A Love Letter to United Methodist Women

I spent this weekend in Nashville Tennessee at a meeting of the United Methodist Women Program Advisory Group.

At our closing worship today we sang “For Everyone Born”. The opening notes of the song transported me to the first time I ever heard it. Assembly 2012- St. Louis. We sang it in a plenary session and the mere memory of thousands of women singing those words, affirming our call, still gives me goose bumps.

This morning, the people in the room began holding hands as we sang. I stood there, clasping the hands of women I name sisters and I felt tears coming to my eyes. I started thinking about all the moments that had brought me to this point.

I was nominated for this position in the spring of 2016. At the time, I believed I was too young and far too inexperienced for the role, but I felt a nudge and decided to say yes. I was elected, to my surprise, that summer. I never expected to be standing in that room.

I am unabashedly a product of United Methodist Women. This organization has educated me, given me so many mentors, nurtured me and provided me with a space to explore and take risks. In this community I found a safe place to venture into leadership, knowing I would benefit from honest advice and criticism as well as infinite encouragement and love. I am blessed to have grown up surrounded by strong, bold, loving and passionate women who saw things in me I didn’t see in myself. Women who pushed me to listen to myself, helped me discover my voice and gave me the courage to say “yes” to God.

As we held hands and sang, I began to look at the faces in that room. I remembered how uncertain I felt entering this group and how quickly these amazing women dispelled my fears with their hospitality, encouragement and love. I thought about all of the passion and knowledge these women bring to their work every single day and the inspiring pieces of their stories they have shared with me. I thought about all that these past eight months have shown me about myself, the ways that I have grown. I realized how much richer my life is because of the relationships that I have formed here. I am blessed to know them and I love them with all of my heart.

That morning, I sang with my sisters and reflected on the legacy of this organization- the brave, persistent women who paved my way to that room. I thought about the work being done for women, children and youth around the world, the relationships being formed as I type. It affirmed that just like our foremothers we are called for such a time as this. We must continue to comfort the marginalized, to push the boundaries, to make space at the table, to lift our voices for justice and to boldly answer God’s call. We must continue to say “yes”.


Selena Ruth Smith posted on March 5, 2017 at 6:26 pm

Love and you’re awesomeness Denise.

Shannon Priddy posted on March 5, 2017 at 7:08 pm

You are more than you know- more awesome, more loving, more kind, more open to the world. You are not alone, sister!

Deborah C.Jenkins posted on March 6, 2017 at 4:25 pm

It is for young women such as yourself that I serve in this great organization. May God bless and keep you safe always.Ing Bold.

Denise Snyder posted on March 7, 2017 at 7:58 am

Denise…you are an amazing young woman and I am proud to call you Sister. Working with you in United Methodist Women has brought a renewed joy and purpose to my life. That song brings me to tears every time I hear it, for the words we sing are not merely words…they are our truth. Our purpose from God…to be sure that everyone born has a place at the table! Keep being exactly who you are…one of the beloved.

Fawn posted on September 5, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Wow. This is exactly how I feel when I’m at a LDD or any UMW event. Thank you for putting it in print. blessings to you

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