How the United Methodist Women Can Teach Us the Art of Confrontation

By Lauren Borders (Communications Intern for Water@Work)

I’m not one for confrontation. Some people thrive off the thrill of accusation, but I’m not one of them. I’m more for passing comments and seemingly obvious attempts at telepathy. These, to me, are methods through which I can avoid the kind of dramatic finger pointing that belongs only on courtroom dramas. Looking someone in the face and telling them they’re wrong is hard.

Looking at the world and saying it’s wrong is also hard. We can nod our heads when presented with facts on global inequality all day, but making a stand against the prevalence of unclean water is a whole new level of confrontation. A whole a new level of finger pointing.

It’s hard because the water in our bathrooms runs clear. Hard because replacing a Brita filter is all it takes to not worry. It’s hard because a funny tasting water fountain is cause enough to go thirsty.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Water is life. Literally and figuratively. Figuratively in the sense that the Word of God is often likened to the healing powers of water. And literally in the sense that, without it, one literally cannot truly live. Those without clean water exist in an unbreakable cycle of poverty due inevitable health risks, the burden of worry. Crops do not yield and hope dwindles. Without clean water, children die. Children with worlds of possibilities in their minds, mothers kissing bloated bellies to sleep at night.

On May 16th, Water@Work joined dozens of United Methodist Church organizations and hundreds of Christians in a deliberate act of confrontation. Along with the United Methodist Women, Water at Work Ministries participated in a rally at the UMC General Conference to offer support to international defenders of human rights and to promote the prioritization of both domestic and international clean water sources.



This rally was an act of integration between activists from the crisis in Flint, Michigan and those who see too many similarities in conditions abroad, including the water crisis in the Dominican Republic. Those involved feel that the poor are our neighbors and, therefore, do not deserve to be deprived of a basic human right: water. Life-giving water.

The United Methodist Women used this event to celebrate their 150 year anniversary. 150 years of making an impact for the glory of God. Despite research in modern medicine that states otherwise, I will most likely never live to be a 150. In fact, I sincerely hope that I do not. But no matter how old I live, I want my life to be a celebration of just that: an impact for the glory of God.

As one born at the tail-end of millennials, I pose this question to my peers. We are often trapped by a superimposed label of apathy. We are the ones “consumed by technology” and its resulting “laziness.” And yet, we are the ones who have gifted the world with a new level of racial tolerance and equality. The ones who I know, in my heart, are mislabeled, misinterpreted.

What will our lives be a celebration of?  In 150 years, once we’ve demonstrated what we could do, what will the new label of our generation be?”