International Women's Day

How Clergywomen Are Transforming Communities

How Clergywomen Are Transforming Communities
Marva Usher-Kerr

As part of a Women’s History Month celebration sponsored by the Interchurch Center in New York City, a panel of Black Clergywomen discussed their work to better their communities in the Bronx in New York, focusing especially on improving the lives of women and young girls. The conversation focused on how women can transform their communities and engage others in community development work in their faith communities and beyond. The panel included United Methodist Women executive for membership—and senior pastor at Willis Avenue United Methodist Church in Mott Haven—Marva Usher-Kerr.
Rev. Dionne Boissière, the United Methodist Women’s Chaplin at the Center, opened the program with an interactive invocation. Rev. (Dr.) Valerie Oliver-Durrah, who was one of the organizers, discussed how she used the Community Development Model of the Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic to assist these Black Clergywomen to transform three neighborhoods in the Bronx—Castle Hill, Morrisania and Mott Haven—at a time when resources are scare. Rev. Durrah said, “Within the methodology of social salvation as transformation, the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit and the evidence of the Spirit’s gifts and fruit is an essential asset for capacity-building.”
The panel took place March 6, 2014, at the Interchurch Center, home of the United Methodist Women National Office, in partnership with Neighborhood Technical Assistance, The Interchurch Center and the New York Theological Seminary, and the Eleanor Moody Shepherd Resource Center for Women in Ministry.

Posted or updated: 3/8/2014 11:00:00 PM
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