Stuart speaks at FUMC women’s luncheon

Published 11:04 pm Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Technology’s importance — and the effect its absence has on remote areas of the world — was the message state Supreme Court justice and Atmore native Lyn Stuart brought before the United Methodist Women Tuesday at a luncheon at Atmore’s First United Methodist Church.

The luncheon held at the FUMC was a part of the church’s annual “Call-to-Prayer and Self-Denial” service.

Stuart, the treasure for the district’s United Methodist Women, gave a lecture on the topic “A Time for Change: Technology” and how her personal experiences with technology have evolved.

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“The purpose of this particular luncheon,” she said. “There’s an offering that is always taken with conjunction with this celebration. The offering this year is designated to go towards technology for people in third-world countries. I wanted to speak about my personal experience with technology and the absence of technology in third-world countries.”

A part of Stuart’s presentation to the group was how technology has changed during her life.

Innovations from the change of television to how cell phones and PDAs keep us in contact make technology keep us moving, Stuart said.

“I grew up with television,” she said. “I grew up with black and white TV, but I remember when I saw my first color television. I learned to type on an old-fashioned typewriter and then learned on an electronic typewriter.”

Technology is an integral part of Stuart’s role on the Alabama Supreme Court, she said. The knowledge she carries of different technologies makes her one of the savvy justices, Stuart said.

“On the court, I’m probably the technology guru,” she said. “I’m not saying I’m the best, but I probably understand it better than anyone else there.  We do everything on our computers, and I don’t know how the court ever functioned without them.”

With the collections being taken up by the United Methodist Women going towards third-world countries, one experience allowed Stuart to give influential insight on the subject.

Stuart saw the effect of lack of communication in remote areas when a woman wanting a job with her had to find means of communication.

“It’s really all about the absence of communication,” she said. “I had a personal experience with someone who was living in a third-world country. She lived so far into Paraguay that she had no communication with anybody, and in order to have communication, she had to hitchhike or catch a ride to a neighboring village. Once she got there, she had to find someone with a telephone or the Internet. She actually interviewed for a job with me via that Internet connection,” she said. “She got the job and worked with me for a year. We are still great friends and are really close. Hearing her speak about what it was like to live there for two years with no communication was interesting.”

With such an interesting cause laid out in front of the United Methodist women, what will come of the offering is unknown to Stuart.

Helping provide the connection is the main goal, so people can reach out from these far away  places, she said.

“I’m not sure how much it will help,” she said. “I’m the district treasurer for our area churches. What they take in will be sent up to me, which I’ll send it up to conference and finally the collection will go to the global missions. The money will go all over the world to help provide a connection via telephone or Internet.”