Readings for Julia Chester Emery, Lay Leader and Missionary (9 January 1922)
“Let your ways be known upon earth, your saving health among all nations.” (Psalm 67:2)
Surely these words were imbedded in the heart of Julia Chester Emery whom we remember today. She “was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, on September 24, 1852. In 1876 she succeeded her sister, Mary, as Secretary of the Woman’s Auxiliary of the Board of Missions, which had been established by the General Convention in 1871. During the forty years she served as Secretary, Julia helped the Church to recognize its call to proclaim the gospel both at home and overseas. Her faith, her courage, her spirit of adventure, and her ability to inspire others combined to make her a leader respected and valued by the whole Church.” (Great Cloud of Witnesses for January 9, 2020)
We never know what our Christian dedication will amount to as we live into letting God’s ways being known upon the earth. “Through her leadership a network of branches of the Woman’s Auxiliary was established which shared a vision of and a commitment to the Church’s mission. An emphasis on educational programs, a growing recognition of social issues, development of leadership among women, and the creation of the United Thank Offering are a further part of the legacy Julia left to the Church when she retired in 1916. In 1921, the year before she died, on January 9, 1922, the following appeared in the Spirit of Missions: “In all these enterprises of the Church, no single agency has done so much in the last half-century to further the Church’s Mission as the Woman’s Auxiliary.” Much of that accomplishment was due to the creative spirit of its Secretary for forty of those fifty years, Julia Chester Emery.” (Great Cloud of Witnesses for January 9, 2020)
So those little blue UTO boxes were brought into existence from the heart Julia Emery. I doubt this is what she set out to do. She just allowed the Holy Spirit to lead her. The same is true for all of us. We don’t have to be from a strong religious biological family. If we are Christian, we are members of a strong spiritual family. All we need to do is listen and follow. And you too can make this world a better place.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John