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On March 23, 1869, in Boston, Massachusetts, Clementina Butler and Lois Parker informed six women members of the Methodist Episcopal Church about the desperate health care and educational needs of women in India. Their Call to Action raised funds to send Isabella Thoburn, a teacher, and Clara Swain, a doctor, to India. The meeting in March led to the formation of the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society, the first of many Methodist women’s mission organizations to address the injustices imposed on women and girls in the 19th century.
United Methodist Women continues to build upon the foundation set forth by our founders almost 150 years ago. Yet the difficulties encountered by women, children and youth around the world continue to sustain separation from life affirming compassionate care and support that heals, restores and empowers. Imagine what is achievable, what is possible, if United Methodist Women had the resources to deepen and expand its mission to transform lives and ignite change in places near and far.