Assembly 2014: response daily

Limitless Women Gather for Reunion

Limitless Women Gather for Reunion
Lyda Barr, left, and Meghan Waddle embrace during the Limitless: Redefine Tomorrow Reunion.

Young women and mentors celebrated two years of organizing for mission in their conferences at a pre-Assembly reunion of United Methodist Women’s 2012 Limitless: Redefine Tomorrow participants. United Methodist Women Chief Executive Officer Harriett Jane Olson and board president Yvette Kim Richards addressed the gathering facilitated by young women leaders.

The reunion was an opportunity for the women to reflect on their experiences, successes, challenges and explore ways to move forward in introducing yet another generation to United Methodist Women. It was also an opportunity to affirm themselves as United Methodist Women leaders.

“On behalf of United Methodist Women, we want to thank you for your commitment over the last two years to better the lives of women, children, domestically and around the world,” Megan Waddle, a member of United Methodist Women program advisory group and young women’s consultant team, told the gathering. “We want to thank you for taking on the task of growing membership among young adults and youth, growing spiritually and taking social justice issues head on in your local communities.”

Following the Assembly Timeline model, the young women created a “Limitless Living Celebration” with posters, photos, flyers and announcements documenting their organizing work in their conferences since the national Limitless event. Many conferences and districts convened retreats and Limitless events for teen and college age women in their areas and are now in the process of evaluating their events and ways to build on them.

The women played “musical sharing” in which they danced a few minutes, then exchanged stories with the nearest person when the music stopped.

In the midst of the evening’s fun, the women shared real joys and real struggles, including their top five challenges:

  • Not being heard
  • Being the token young women
  • No resources or support/mentorship
  • Little or no interest
  • Conference leaders doing it their way.

“So our work isn’t easy,” said Rebecca Proctor, a young women's consultant team member. “We have and will continue to find roadblocks along the way. Tonight’s facilitation is to help us work through some of those roadblocks, to problem solve with colleagues and help the national office understand our struggles along the way.”

The women also learned more about the national Limitless Initiative and future of the work.

Marva Usher-Kerr is United Methodist Women executive for membership. She coordinated the Limitless pre-Assembly reunion and 2012 Limitless: Redefine Tomorrow event in Durham, N.C.

Posted or updated: 4/25/2014 11:00:00 PM