Susanna Wesley Award Honors Outstanding Women
Last December, The General Commission on UM Men created an award for women who emulate Susanna Wesley. In April, Hope Community UMC in Pasadena presented this honor to charter member Maxine Baker. Who might deserve this special award in your congregation?
Few women suffered as many hardships as Susanna Wesley, and even fewer women have contributed as much to the faith community. After marrying 26-year-old Samuel Wesley at age 19, Susanna became the mother of 19 children, including nine that died in infancy and two who became the founders of the Methodist movement. To recognize women who continue Susanna’s tradition of providing spiritual nurture to their family and who make contributions to the United Methodist Church and its witness around the world, the UM Men recently created the Susanna Wesley Award of Excellence. It is intended for local churches to present as a special honor to women in their congregation who have served Jesus Christ in a manner similar to the “Mother of Methodism.”
Hope Community Pastor Jack Womack is thankful for Maxine’s loyalty and service. Notes Jack, “Ask anyone and they will tell you that Maxine is active in many of the church ministries as well as outside the local church, and she and her husband Ron are also active in United Methodist Campers.”
“Maxine is a fantastic recipient for an award like this,” says Sue Stacy. “She is one of those people who is always willing to help, always has a smile on her face and really walks the walk.” Jean Martin agrees. “Maxine is a talented seamstress, making banners for the school and quilts for the sick, and even taught us to make infant diapers, burp pads and skull caps out of t-shirts that she then sends to Guatamala. She mentors elementary students, works in the Auxiliary shop, the pumpkin patch every year – always serving with a cheerful heart.”
Maxine had no idea she would get an award on Sunday, April 6. Maxine’s husband, daughter, two grandchildren and four great grandchildren were equally excited to be a part of the presentation of this award. “I was speechless for the first time in my life,” she says. “I did not know much about Susanna Wesley, and now that I have researched her, I have a new infatuation for her. The women in the 1600-1700s had a hard life. I was so inspired by her story, I led a devotion on her life the weekend after I received the award.”
An Added Bonus
To obtain this award, individuals or congregations make a gift of $500 to support the worldwide ministries of the General Commission on United Methodist Men. Dawn Wiggins Hare, top staff executive of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women said, “I am incredibly excited to hear about the Susanna Wesley Award to recognize the achievement of women! United Methodist Men rock.”
Consider Your Congregation
Who will be the first woman to receive this award in your local church? It could be the wife of one of your members, your pastor or the wife of your pastor, your lay leader or an outstanding Sunday school teacher.
See details about the presentation of the Susanna Wesley Award of Excellence in the resource section of the GCUMM.org website (resources are in alphabetical order). Download a brochure that describes the award and the application form at http://www.iaumc.org/console/files/oImage_Library_FQADXU/Susanna_Wesley_Brochure_K6TYXGPR.pdf Call 615-340-7145 with questions.