A group of PAG members in Houston, August 2016.
Who better than our members to speak about United Methodist Women? On the weekend of March 4, United Methodist Women’s Program Advisory Group held its annual meeting at the historic Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville. One of our members had asked what the benefits are of membership in United Methodist Women, and the PAG group gave some very thoughtful answers. Here is what they said:
What are the pros of belonging to United Methodist Women?
“The joy. Our Mission Giving funds help support the work of sister United Methodist Women groups around the world, and they share their deep abiding joy with us. These friendships help you to understand how we are connected as disciples of Jesus Christ, as mothers, wives, single women, and how we are alike. In solidarity, we are inspired to act locally and globally to be advocates for women, children and youth.”
–Cynthia Rivas, North Texas Conference United Methodist Women representative to Program Advisory Group and board of directors
“Why belong to United Methodist Women? Because together we are able to fund ministries with women, children and youth here in the United States at more than 90 national mission institutions and internationally in more than 100 countries.”
–Shannon Priddy, president, United Methodist Women board of directors
“Being a part of the larger organization, you have a bigger impact. Being local alone, you can become ingrown, and you don’t get outside of the box.”
–Betty Helms, president Southeast Jurisdiction United Methodist Women
“United Methodist Women supports my work as a Regional Missionary based in Freetown, Sierra Leone. We do leadership development with young women and men — in the church and beyond the church. We’re training leaders for the church and for society, some in countries that are recovering from years of civil war and conflict. United Methodist Women makes this ministry and that of the other regional missionaries possible.”
–Finda Quida, Regional Missionary, Sierra Leone
“It’s like a plethora of resources; there’s something for everyone, and you can organize for mission however you want. “If you’re from a small community, you are still part of a 800,000-member community nationwide. Everywhere you go, there’s somebody like you. It’s the beauty of always feeling like you belong wherever you are. I recently relocated to another city, and I found a local church with a United Methodist Women unit. “I’m beyond proud of United Methodist Women and our united mission outreach. United Methodist Women is always on the forefront of positive change for women, for our daughters and granddaughters. When women’s lives improve, the whole family benefits. “Sometimes you don’t know about your particular calling until you take that step. Ground yourself in your faith, and you will find your calling, God’s mission for you is to make the world better.
–Shanae Als, young adult member of the Program Advisory Group
“United Methodist Women is interracial. There’s an interconnectedness regardless of color. Everybody’s not black. Everybody’s not white. Everybody’s not Hispanic. If in your community, there are few, say Native Americans, when you come to Assembly, you’ll meet your Native American sisters and others. We listen to one another’s stories and grow in love and respect for one another. I love that about United Methodist Women. Come to Assembly next year and see for yourselves.”
–Selena Ruth Smith, United Methodist Women Deaconess and member of Program Advisory Group and board of directors
“Transformative education. We don’t just learn, we’re transformed as we learn at Mission u, participating in the Reading Program, through opportunities for leadership development, service, advocacy and spiritual growth.”
–Suzanne Hewitt, West Michigan Conference United Methodist Women representative to Program Advisory Group
“I’m new to the wider organization, and I’m so impressed I can’t contain myself! I’m really impressed with the intentionality to live out the principles of United Methodism and the passion for the work and following Jesus.”
–Kathy FitzJefferies, guest, Racial Justice Charter Support Team, Western North Carolina United Methodist Women
“Together, we have the resources, the leadership, the tools to empower women and do amazing ministry. Small religious groups do ministry, but because they are small, their ability to do amazing ministry is limited.”
–Judi Nibblelink, president Southwest Jurisdiction United Methodist Women and representative to the Program Advisory Group
The Program Advisory Group includes representatives from each conference, the Deaconess and Home Missioner community, several denominational agencies, the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women and United Methodist Women Regional Missionaries. United Methodist Women members are automatically members of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women.