This is Libby’s tenth year serving as an officer in United Methodist Women, first with Seven Rivers District in Nominations, then Social Action, and now in Nominations for Pacific Northwest Conference. She made time to speak with me while she was on the train to Edmonds, on her way to participate in her ninth Interfaith Advocacy Day in support of justice initiatives. Libby works full time, but takes time off when necessary “to give back. I want to know I am doing everything I can. I would want someone to do that for me if I needed help. Sometimes people are just living in the world. Stop to help, or to get help. I think we’re here to help each other, not hurt each other. I can advocate and share with people what I’m learning. What else am I going to do? Yeah I have a full time job, but this is what I’m passionate about.”
Originally from California, taken from her biological family at the age of four and adopted into an abusive home, she always felt God was with her, watching over her at all times. She cares deeply about racial justice, and worries about educational opportunities for immigrants. Libby feels empowered by the truth, as a part of United Methodist Women, after attending two Assemblies at Anaheim and Saint Louis, learning about issues all over the world, “the truth of what’s going on out there, not just what the news media wants us to know or thinks we can handle.”
In 1996, Diane Conrad was speaking with her about the church family at Trinity United Methodist Church in East Wenatchee, and Libby thought, “I don’t have that in my life.” She asked Diane, “Can the kids and I come?” Shortly after that Eleanor Swaboda started having evening dinner meetings, where Libby met Ron and Lois Hines, and where she got started, before joining the District team.
She has been privileged to witness the Dream Act go into effect, protecting children brought here with their parents. She’s led a class on the Charter for Racial Justice, helped with Mission Madness events, made kits for UMCOR, and served however she could since joining. “It was a great experience getting together with women, and we’re going to accomplish something and really make a difference. That’s my favorite part: all the different women I get to meet, and we encourage each other. 150 years? And we weren't supposed to be doing that, the women said… We’re doing it anyway.”