Bishop Ward is traveling to Seneca Falls, NY this week with other clergy to explore the history of women’s rights by visiting the site of the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
This week, I’m on an adventure with 20 women from our annual conference – lay and clergy. We are in Seneca Falls, NY exploring the history of women’s suffrage, expansive rights for women and the history of the Methodist Church. With us are Dawn Hare who is the General Secretary of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, and Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson from the North Georgia Annual Conference.
Our purpose in going to Seneca Falls is to learn more about the Seneca Falls Convention and the remarkable events that unfolded there. A hundred women and like-minded men gathered and expressed “sentiments” as they were called at that time: desires, goals, hopes, for more expansive rights for women at a time when rights for women were very limited. The right to vote, the right to speak in court, the right to own property, the right to inherit, on and on, twenty eight “sentiments” were passed by the Seneca Falls Convention. This was the first public demand for voting rights for all women in the United States.
We who are United Methodists know our deep history of personal holiness and social holiness. We long to be holy of heart and holy in relationship. We long to create heaven on earth even as we pray regularly that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Thank you for all the ways that you are learning and growing, expanding your horizons, understanding the history of your community and of our state and of our nation. Even as we live forward toward God, we give thanks for those who went before. We’re deeply grateful for the inspiration we gain in these ways.