Category Archives: Social Action

Missionary Katherine Parker to speak at Annual Conference UMW Breakfast

We are honored to have missionary Katherine Parker be the guest speaker at the CA-NV Conference UMW breakfast to be held Saturday, June 25, 2016, at 7am, at Fale Hufanga Tongan United Methodist Church in San Carlos, CA.

Katherine has served for 12 years with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. She is now part of the Health Team of the United Mission to Nepal, focusing on water, sanitation, and hygiene. Come hear her speak about her experiences in mission around the world.

If you will be attending Annual Conference, note that shuttle transportation will be available from the Hyatt Hotel at 6:30am.

Get the registration flyer here.  Registration deadline is Wednesday, June 22.

The Umbrella Defense

by Bonnie Home, Almaden Hills UMW

Beth EdmondsWomen from all over El Camino Real District were sure to put their umbrellas in the car before they drove to Gilroy for the United Methodist Women’s Leadership Training Event on February 6.  Rain was not in the forecast, but they knew that keynote speaker Beth Edmonds (at right), an ambassador for Shared Hope International, would be addressing the campaign against human trafficking, and the symbol for that campaign is the umbrella.

Why an umbrella?  The “umbrella” defense was a football play created by the New York Giants coach in 1950 to shut out the then-formidable Cleveland Browns.  The umbrella reminds us that it is society’s job to shut down traffickers and embrace the survivors, and to name it a crime to control and coerce people through fraud and force.  In January and February 2016, United Methodist Women all over Northern California opened their umbrellas to raise awareness of human trafficking.

Speaker Beth Edmonds dabbed her eyes as she spoke about the sixteen trafficked girls the organization had rescued in that month alone.  She told how vulnerable girls are targeted by older men, and at first are treated like pampered girlfriends, but then are forced to work and raise money for their exploiters.  Beth explained the signs that someone is being used.  She urged us not to believe that it cannot happen in our comfortable neighborhoods.  Because these young girls are not prostitutes but instead are children who are exploited,  “Shared Hope” works to keep them from being sent to juvenile hall or jail.  Instead, each is paired with a trafficking survivor and housed at a victims’ center.

In the afternoon after lunch Cari, another “Shared Hope” ambassador who was once trafficked herself, told her own story, letting her audience see again how this could happen to someone.

Trafficked people may …

  • Not be free to go where they please.
  • Be in a work place with opaque, barred or boarded up windows, barbed wire.
  • Exhibit fearful, anxious behavior.
  • Avoid eye contact.
  • Appear malnourished.
  • Not be allowed to speak for themselves.  A third party may insist on being present.
  • Be unable to say where they are staying.  May not know which city they are in.
  • Have burn marks, bruises or cuts.
  • Have a recent tattoo, “branded” by their exploiter.
  • Be very young people continuously accompanied by much older men.

Umbrella Defense by El Camino Real District UMW at Gilroy UMC

At the Feb. 6, 2016 Leadership Event of El Camino Real District UMW, we opened our umbrellas and displayed signs in support of anti-trafficking efforts around the world.  A passing motorist honked in approval. Photos by Bonnie Home.

CA/NV UMW Conference Leadership opens umbrellas to intercept traffickers

The CA/NV UMW Conference Leadership Team paused in their meeting on January 9,2016 to open their umbrellas. Why? They join interfaith and secular allies on January 11 to observe National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. “We are United Methodist Women opening umbrellas to intercept human trafficking”. Go to: for more information.

How does your local group support Charter for Racial Justice?

From Judy Church, CA/NV Conference UMW Social Action Mission Coordinator:

While we don’t give out “awards” for racial justice work, CA/NV United Methodist Women want to recognize and encourage local groups who learn and grow in their ability to recognize and erase barriers to racial inclusion. In this letter we have specific ideas for ways your group can support the Charter for Racial Justice. Let us know what you’re doing – we want to hear from everyone!

Please send your local group’s 2015 work for racial justice to Donna Furuta, El Camino Real District UMW’s Mission Coordinator for Social Action, by end of August, for publication/presentation at the Conference Annual Celebration in October.

National Justice for our Neighbors: March 2015 Update

National Justice For Our Neighbors is a United Methodist Immigration Ministry. Check out their March 2015 Update, featuring these articles:

“Keep Calm and Carry On!” – About the temporary block of President Obama’s immigration actions by a federal district court in Texas.

“Strengthening the Ties that Bind us” – About a $50,000 grant by United Methodist Women to National Justice For Our Neighbors.

“Trè Bon Gou: Lessons in Creole” – About the visit made by members of the NJFON board of directors to a clinic in Homestead, Florida, supporting immigrants, migrant workers, and others needing assistance.

Link to the March 2015 Update