Clinton salutes long-running mission work in New York

November 06, 2013

by United Methodist News Service

A daring group of 19th century Methodist women who ventured into the most notorious slum in New York to change the lives of children set an example that all United Methodists can follow, says Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The founders of what is now the United Methodist City Society were responding to injustice, but “also motivated by a vision of what could be,” she pointed out.

Clinton was the keynote speaker Nov. 3 for the City Society’s celebration of “175 Years of Mission in the City” at Terrace in the Park in Queens. The estimated 680 participants reflected the diverse New York immigrant communities the society has supported throughout its existence.

During the same weekend, Clinton’s former colleague, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, was urging her publically to run for president in 2016. But politics was not the topic for this event, where the recently retired U.S. secretary of state was warmly welcomed as a fellow United Methodist who is candid about her faith and about her own concerns about the world’s women and children.

She was invited by the Rev. William Shillady, the City Society’s executive director, who served as a co-officiant at daughter Chelsea Clinton’s wedding, and took part in the memorial service for Hillary Clinton’s mother, Dorothy Rodham, two years ago.

Chelsea Clinton, who attended Park Avenue United Methodist Church in Manhattan when Shillady was pastor there, was in Norway with her father, Bill, on Clinton Foundation business and not present at the celebration.

In a video introduction for her mother, she called the Methodist women who worked in the tenement slums of lower Manhattan, “an inspiration to me and so many others” and said their dedication also reminded her of her mother’s devotion to the empowerment of women and children.

Read the full UMNS story HERE.