United Methodist Women Board Convenes Annual Meeting in New York City

United Methodist Women Board Convenes Annual Meeting in New York City
Shannon Priddy addresses the board of directors.

United Methodist Women’s board of directors adopted a 2018 budget of $18.6 million, including more than $10 million for national mission institutions and programs, international ministries and scholarships, and membership development programs during its fall annual meeting in New York City, Oct. 6-8.

The board allocated $301,963 in grants for international and national emerging ministries and emergencies, property improvements at national mission institutions and scholarships. Prior to the meeting more than $30,000 in emergency grants were given to mission institutions damaged by and/or serving communities hit by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. 

The board affirmed the establishment of a supplementary project for donations designated for hurricane relief for national mission institutions. These funds will be earmarked to support grants that assist in direct service to the communities, as well as property grants to repair the buildings as needed. 

The link to donate to the new project is on the United Methodist Women donation page, where you can designate your gift to the Hurricane Relief Fund. 

Learning for a Lifetime

The 2018 Call to Prayer and Self-Denial Offering theme of “Learning for a Lifetime” was announced during the meeting. The offering supports national and international programs that develop leaders of all ages. Grants from the offering will go to national and international partners for child development, after-school, and General Education Diploma and English as a Second Language programs.

The meeting included a worship service honoring the ongoing Acts of Repentance and reconciliation journey of The United Methodist Church with Native American peoples. In her greeting to the board, Cynthia Kent, chair of the Greater New Jersey Conference Committee on Native American Ministries, said the General Conference 2012 Acts of Repentance had to be more than a service during the church’s quadrennial legislative meeting.

“If that’s all it was going to be, we didn’t want that,” Ms. Kent said, noting that every conference is charged with doing the work of reconciliations with Native American communities. “United Methodist Women, you did Giving Our Hearts Away, a study that helped lead the church, and you have continued in this work.” 

Board members received “Environmental Justice with Indigenous Peoples,” a resource from Creation Justice Ministries that United Methodist Women helped to fund.

Commission on the Way Forward

Board members also heard from representatives of the Commission on the Way Forward and its work concerning LGBTQ inclusion in the denomination. Commission members Dr. Scott Johnson and Myungrae Kim Lee, a United Methodist Women member and past board member, said the Commission will design a way for being a church that maximizes the denomination’s witness in as many places and contexts as possible, and that balances different theological understandings of human sexuality with a desire for as much unity as possible.

“We should consider new ways of being in relationship across cultures and jurisdictions, in understandings of episcopacy, in contextual definitions of autonomy for annual conferences,” Ms. Lee said. “The United Methodist Church is not just in the United States.”

In her address to the board, President Shannon Priddy urged the directors to strengthen and cherish the value of being a part of a connectional organization within a connectional church. 

“It takes work to create and maintain connections. It takes a little risk to ask for help or work with someone new. But the rewards make it worth the risk,” Ms. Priddy said. “The rewards make the world a little less scary, a little more manageable. We have districts and conferences doing great work with other conferences needing a little help. This is the work, this is the roll up the sleeves and have the conversations work. Our local units and churches need the information, and we are the messengers.”

Yvette Moore is director of communications for United Methodist Women.

Posted or updated: 10/17/2017 12:00:00 AM

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*Give to the Hurricane Relief Fund
Select "Hurricane Relief Fund" for your gift designation.

Learn More:

*Read the story: "Olson Says United Methodist Women Serves While Under Construction"

*Board of Directors and Program Advisory Group

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.Fall 2017 Reports Available

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