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United Methodist Women have always played a big role at Epworth Methodist Church.  They raised $36,000 to be paid towards the debt of the church building and on May 11, 1980 the mortgage to the church was burned.

The Bible Verse for September 2021 is Luke 12:34 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  (NIV)

We will have our General Meeting on Thursday, September 2nd at 6:30.  As mentioned before we will have the Salad Supper, hosted by the Board.  Again I am urging all members who can attend please be there.  We have a lot to discuss.  What do we want to do regarding our fund raisers?

This month I want to talk about Deborah.  While women leaders were uncommon in Israelite society, they were not unheard of.  In this time of the judges, when Israel was spiritually malnourished, in civic disorder and oppressed by its enemies, Deborah stepped up to the challenge.  Her leadership role probably evolved gradually, as her wisdom in making judgements became known.  When God spoke to Deborah, she immediately responded by calling to Barak, the son of Abinoam of Kedesh, to lead the people in a battle against their oppressor of twenty years.  She said to Barak “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go take with you ten thousand men…I will lure Sisera…and give him into your hands.’”  Barak said to Deborah, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me I won’t go.”  Deborah said “I will go with you.  But because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will hand Sisera over to a woman.” Barak’s reluctance to go without Deborah starkly revealed Israel’s lack of strong male leadership. Barak did lead an Israelite army of 10,000 men against Sisera, commander of King Jabin’s Canaanite army, all the troops of Sisera fell by the sword; not a man was left.

Deborah was the only female to hold the position of judge in Israel, but she was not the only female prophet.  Scripture describes Deborah as “a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth.”  When Deborah described herself, she didn’t use terms like prophet or wife or judge or general or leader or any other term of influence and power.  She described herself as “a mother in Israel”.  Her position was one of mother not only to her own children, but mother to all the children of Israel.  Though they had forgotten not only who they were but also whom they served their mother Deborah reminded them and led them in a victory procession to peace.

Deborah in the Bible doesn’t question God’s voice or wonder what others will say or think, she simply has the faith to do what God tells her. Whether people follow or not is not her concern. Her only concern is doing what the Lord has called her to, and not letting anything get in the way of that.

Deborah was courageous. She was called by God to lead at a difficult time. Deborah served with wisdom and knowledge, she supported the people God called to lead, she was trusted, she was direct, she was confident, and she was humble.

Linda Kessinger, President

Epworth UMW