Women Division UPDATES



Women’s Division of the

United Methodist Board of Global Ministries

475 Riverside Drive

New York, NY 10115




Contact: Yvette Moore, 212-870-3822, ymoore@gbgm-umc.org


Contact: Leigh Rogers, Public Relations Executive

Women’s Division, General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church


Phone: (212) 870-3696

Email: lrogers@gbgm-umc.org



April 29, 2009—For Immediate Release



Division Directors to Explore New Relationship with General Board of Global Ministries





Women’s Division directors voted to explore a new model of partnership with the General Board of Global Ministries that would transfer oversight of United Methodist Women-supported national mission institutions, relationships with international partners and regional missionaries to the Women’s Division. The 43-2 vote came as directors wrapped up their spring board meeting in Stamford, Conn., April 24-27.


United Methodist women have not had direct oversight of work they support since 1964 when, during the church merger process, the then Board of Missions was restructured and Woman’s Division of Christian Service’s home and foreign field operations were transferred to the board’s national and world mission divisions.


The plan will also be discussed at the Global Ministries board meeting later this week. To move forward, Women’s Division and Global Ministries staff would present a plan detailing how the proposed changes could be implemented when the directors convene for their annual meeting in October.


The action culminated a meeting focused on long-range strategic planning for the division and United Methodist Women. While long-range strategic planning is an ongoing process in the division.


The executive cabinets of both the Women’s Division and Global Ministries endorsed the proposed board structure changes now being explored.


“In 1963-64 when these structures were put into place, the staff was larger, the needs of people we serve were different and the world was different,” said Women’s Division chief executive Harriett Jane Olson. “The Agreements of ’64 were important in their time for their vision of working together as a whole church while protecting the interests of women. We have inherited both their vision and their limitations.”


Ms. Olson said direct oversight of United Methodist Women-supported mission would strengthen connections between local women and mission partners.


“I am firmly convinced that if we are to continue meeting, and perhaps exceeding, our Pledge to Mission, we will need to be clearer and clearer that our giving makes a difference in people’s lives,” Ms. Olson said. “We have always carefully allocated these funds…. However, the level of complexity and detail has grown to the point that it can obscure our purpose rather than illuminate it. We end up talking about small amounts of money given through a variety of different persons, partners and places, rather than focusing on the education being offered to women in Africa, or leadership development accomplishments in the Philippines, or women and children fed at the Bethlehem Center in Nashville.”


Ms. Olson explained that Women’s Division and Global Ministries would continue to share administrative costs and work together on mission initiatives. Prior to the vote, Ms. Olson fielded questions from directors concerning the financial responsibilities associated with the proposed changes and the nature of a revised relationship with mission institutions.


Division directors were cautiously optimistic about the possibility of closer ties linking United Methodist Women and mission institutions and partners.


“This has been a very difficult question for me,” said Women’s Division Director Maggie Jackson, head of the division’s Christian Social Action section. “I have prayed about it, thought about it and talked with people about it. But this morning I’ve heard comments that have moved me to a comfort level. We have a responsibility to care for the people we serve. Getting direct information will help us better care for the conditions of our national mission institutions.”


Women’s Division Director Joyce Miller was also encouraged by the possibility of more direct contact with mission institutions.


“I remember when I was on jurisdictional core planning group, and we talked about the two feet of mission: charity and justice,” Ms. Miller said.  “By bringing the mission institutions back to us, we have a better feel for the charity part of our work, not to say mission institutions are not also working on the justice part. I think it will bring more back to us in direct knowledge that we can pass on to United Methodist Women members.”

For Immediate Release


New Women’s Division directors set for service


By Yvette Moore*


Fifty United Methodist Women members will begin their four-year terms as directors of the Women’s Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries with an orientation and organizational meeting at Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 4-7.

            United Methodist Women members elected 45 of the new directors at meetings convened in the denomination’s five jurisdictional regions this spring. Five of those women also serve as United Methodist Women jurisdictional presidents. Women’s Division officers and Committee on Nominations elected five women as well.

            “Conference United Methodist Women members nominate three people to serve as Women’s Division directors, and the elections take place at the jurisdictional meetings,” explained Dorothy Edmonds, outgoing Women’s Division director from Atlanta, Ga., and chair of the division’s nominations committee. “Delegates to the jurisdictional meetings are elected by United Methodist Women in their conferences. The process is the fairest I’ve seen. The women aren’t handpicked, but they are anointed by the Holy Spirit.”

            In May a special nominations committee comprised of six current Women’s Division directors, five newly elected directors and two Women’s Division staff resource persons without vote presented a slate for new corporate officers for the division and chairs for its committees on national and international ministries with women children and youth. The newly elected directors will vote on the slate during the September organizational meeting in Nashville.

            “The process was prayerful, honest and fair,” Ms. Edmond said of the special nominations committee’s work. “There was a trust level that I thought was absolutely great. People trusted each other enough to say what they wanted to say, to be honest. I think everyone left feeling we had done the best job that we could do. We have for the first time a person from the Pacific Islands and a person from Haiti. Diversity on the division will expand our horizons and expose more people throughout the country to United Methodist Women. It will make the division better.”


The newly elected directors are:


North Central Jurisdiction

Jacqueline Euper, Owosso First United Methodist Church, Owosso, Mich. Detroit Conference


Beverly Nichea VerVeer Guy, Trinity United Methodist Church, Grand Rapids, Mich., West Michigan Conference


**Maggie Jackson, Werner United Methodist Church, Cleveland, Ohio, East Ohio Conference -- Nominee for Vice President/Chair, Christian Social Responsibility


**Jeanette Kraus, Asbury-Delaware United Methodist Church, Delaware, Ohio, East Ohio Conference


Angela Michelle Lauver, St. James United Methodist Church, Miamisburg, Ohio, West Ohio Conference


Olivia Dee Pleggenkuhle, Hawkeye United Methodist Church, Hawkeye, Iowa, Iowa Conference


**Carol Kay Rieke, Fairfax United Methodist Church, Fairfax, Minn., Minnesota Conference


Marta Rodriguez, Humboldt Park United Methodist Church, Chicago, Ill., Northern Illinois Conference


Lois Travillion, Kelly-Woodlawn United Methodist Church, Chicago, Ill., Northern Illinois Conference – North Central Jurisdiction President


Chue Vang, Hmong Community United Methodist Church, Milwaukee, Wis., Wisconsin Conference


Carolyn Yockey, First United Methodist Church, Normal, Ill., Illinois Great Rivers Conference


Kyung Yu, Dayton Korean United Methodist Church, Dayton, Ohio, West Ohio Conference


Northeastern Jurisdiction

Elizabeth Conklin, Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Troy Conference


**Yuland Daley, Trinity United Methodist Church, Springfield, Mass., New England Conference -- Nominee for Vice President/Chair, Membership and Organizational Development


*Courtney Harvey, Bethlehem Stonepile United Methodist Church, Red Lion, Pa., Central Pennsylvania Conference -- Nominee for Chair of Committee on International Ministries with Women, Children and Youth


Myungrae Kim Lee, The United Methodist Korean Church of Astoria, Astoria, N.Y., New York Conference


Melissa Martinez, First United Methodist Church, Dover, N.J., Greater New Jersey Conference


**Joyce Miller, First United Methodist Church, Oneonta, N.Y., Wyoming Conference – Nominee for Vice President/Chair, Finance


**Lisa Swett, First United Methodist Church, Bangor, Maine, New England Conference


Carmen Faye-Sanford Vianese, Nunda United Methodist Church, Nunda, N.Y., Western New York Conference


Sabrina White, Gwynn Oak United Methodist Church, Gwynn Oak, Md., Baltimore-Washington Conference – Northeastern Jurisdiction President




South Central Jurisdiction

**Kathleen Conrad, St. Mark United Methodist Church, Opelousas, La., Louisiana Conference


**Edna Davis, Eureka United Methodist Church, Corsicana, Texas, Central Texas Conference


**Inelda Z. González, Lyford First United Methodist Church, Lyford, Texas, Southwest Texas Conference -- Nominee for Women’s Division President



Betty Jean Hodson, Wichita First United Methodist Church, Wichita, Kan., Kansas West Conference


Vivian Ellen Lipsey, First United Methodist Church of Van Horn, Van Horn, Texas, New Mexico Conference


Karen Mann, Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, Little Rock, Ark., Arkansas Conference


Yvette Kim Richards, St. James United Methodist Church, Kansas City, Mo., Missouri Conference


Becky Ruth Thompson, Tulsa Indian United Methodist Church, Tulsa, Okla., Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference


**Ilda G. Vásquez, Weslaco First United Methodist Church, Weslaco, Texas, Southwest Texas Conference – South Central Jurisdiction President


**Jeanette Westerfield, Gateway United Methodist Church, Louisville, Ky., Kentucky Conference


**Marilyn Zehring, Columbus First United Methodist Church, Columbus, Neb., Nebraska Conference -- Nominee for Chair of Committee on National Ministries with Women, Children and Youth



Southeastern Jurisdiction

**Lisa Archer, Germantown United Methodist Church, Germantown, Tenn., Memphis Conference


Emily Booker, Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church, Nashville, Tenn., Tennessee Conference – Southeastern Jurisdiction President


**Carol Gaston, First United Methodist Church, Salem, Va., Virginia Conference


Mary Lynne Gilbert, West Market Street United Methodist Church, Greensboro, N.C., Western North Carolina Conference


Gloria Gilmore, Asbury United Methodist Church, Savannah, Ga., South Georgia Conference


**Earlene Gladney, Centenary United Methodist Church, Memphis, Tenn., Memphis Conference


**Frances “Lynn” Hamric, Centreville United Methodist Church, Alabama-West Florida Conference


**Nancy Bearden Hudson, Centerville First United Methodist Church, Centerville, Ga., South Georgia Conference


**Emily Innes, Millbrook United Methodist Church, Raleigh, N.C., North Carolina Conference – Nominee for Vice President


Tonya Davis Murphy, Grace United Methodist Church, Atlanta, Ga., North Georgia Conference


Marie Judith Pierre-Okerson, Norland United Methodist Church, Miami, Fla., Florida Conference – Nominee for Chair of Committee on Nominations


Grace Pyen, Dunwoody United Methodist Church, Dunwoody, Ga., North Georgia Conference


Western Jurisdiction

Jo Anne Kay (Alter) Hayden, Anchor Park United Methodist Church, Anchorage, Alaska, Alaska Missionary Conference


Tupou Seini Kelemeni, First United Methodist Church, Honolulu, Hawaii, California-Pacific Conference


Katherine Oknam Kim, Korean United Methodist Church of Santa Clara Valley, San Jose, Calif., California-Nevada Conference


Kumja Lim, Asbury Korean United Methodist Church, Centennial, Colo., Rocky Mountain Conference – Nominee for Recording Secretary


Bonnie Jean McOmber, First United Methodist Church, Boise, Idaho, Oregon-Idaho Conference – Western Jurisdiction President


Judi Nibbelink, Vista de la Montaña United Methodist Church, Tucson, Ariz., Desert Southwest Conference


The Women’s Division is the national policymaking arm of United Methodist Women, a nearly 800,000-member organization whose purpose is to foster spiritual growth, develop leaders and advocate for justice. United Methodist Women members raise nearly $20 million each year for programs and projects that improve the lives of women, children and youth in the United States and in more than 100 countries around the world. The Women’s Division is part of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries.


*Yvette Moore is an executive secretary for communications with the Women’s Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries.


** Returning to second term as a Women’s Division director.









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