NASHVILLE, Tenn.––The General Commission on UM Men has created an award for women who emulate Susanna Wesley.
Few women suffered as many hardships as Susanna Wesley, and even fewer women have contributed as much to the faith community.
Marrying 26-year-old Samuel Wesley at age 19, Susanna became the mother of 19 children, nine of whom died in infancy.
Her rectory home was burned down twice and Samuel once left her and the children for over a year because of a minor dispute. On two occasions, Samuel spent time in jail due to his inability to pay his bills. The lack of money was a continual struggle for Susanna.
Yet, Susanna made certain her children were well educated and trained in the classics and the faith. At one point, while her husband was in London, some 250 people attended her afternoon Sunday school class.
Two of her sons, John Wesley and Charles Wesley, became the founders of the Methodist movement, and she is revered as the mother of Methodism.
Women who continue the tradition of providing spiritual nurture to their family and who make contributions to the United Methodist Church and its witness around the world may be presented the Susanna Wesley Award of Excellence.
Local churches and organizations may now present the award to women who have served Jesus Christ in a manner similar to Susanna Wesley. An awardee must possess a distinctive intellect, a nurturing spirit, unwavering devotion and perseverance in the faith.
A candidate must:
1. Have given faithful service to the church by serving in a leadership position
2. Have helped others in their Christian walk
3. Have demonstrated devotion, witness and instruction that lead others into a deeper understanding of the faith and service to Jesus Christ.
Suggestions of who might be recognized:
• A leader of United Methodist Women
• A bishop
• A pastor or a district superintendent.
• A conference leader
• A lay leader
• A Christian educator
• A leader of youth
• A woman who helps others in their Christian walk
A gift of $500 enables a woman to receive the Susanna Wesley Award of Excellence. The gift underwrites costs associated with the award and the pin; the balance is used to support the world-wide ministries of the General Commission on United Methodist Men.
In addition to ministries to and with men, the commission supports the Society of St. Andrew, The Upper Room Prayer Line and scouting ministries including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire, 4-H, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
The gift may come from an individual a United Methodist Church organization or a fund-raising activity in the honoree’s name.
The recipient of the Susanna Wesley Award of Excellence will receive an embossed plaque.
Please provide a suitable ceremony for the presentation of the award.
A brochure and entry form is available in the resource section of this website.