Board of Directors

United Methodist Women Board Meets in Nashville

United Methodist Women Board Meets in Nashville
General Secretary Harriett J. Olson and President Yvette Richards at the Program Advisory Group meeting, March 2016.

The United Methodist Women board of directors approved grants and scholarships, heard updates on socially responsible investments and discussed program advisory group recommendations March 5-6, 2016, at Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Directors also finalized director and program advisory group job descriptions, updated United Methodist Women bylaws and deaconess and home missioner policy, approved the 2017 Reading Program list, determined voting delegates for the 2016 gathering of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women and established a United Methodist Women Safe Sanctuary policy.

In addition, subject to New York Attorney General approval, 25 endowment funds were modified to meet mission needs today as intended at the funds’ creation.

“This has been a long process, yet exciting,” said director Nichea VerVeer Guy, finance committee chair. “We went through almost 150 funds, looking at these donations that were made and redesignating them to current, existing ministries in line with the original intent of the donor. Some of these go way back. It’s just amazing the insight these women had for the future.”

Thirteen endowment funds were redirected to international education and scholarships, four for Bible Women programs, three for children and youth in Africa, three for health in Asia, and one each for regional missionaries and Mary Johnston Hospital and School of Nursing in the Philippines.

The board also approved $317,485 in international scholarships, and $73,310 in property grants.

The 2019 and 2020 mission study topics were decided, including, in general terms, the Gospel of Mark and radical discipleship, money, finding peace in the midst of anxiety, mass incarceration, and a special study celebrating our 150th anniversary.

“For two years we’d like to have a study on United Methodist Women to celebrate our 150th anniversary,” said director and governance committee chair Judith Pierre-Okerson, explaining that this would replace the traditional geographic study for 2019-2020. The board approved.

The 2013-2016 board of directors and program advisory group celebrated their service during a Friday night gala with staff and guests. The final board meeting of this quadrennium concluded Sunday March 6.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about who I am. About who I am in this world,” said director Cindy Saufferer. “I am not the same person I was when I showed up this morning. I am not the same person I was 14 years ago when I became a district officer. It was there that countless women lifted me up, encouraged me, influenced me. Hugs. Little tiny whispers in the ear. A good friend said to me, ‘God has big plans for you.’ And I was rocked right out of my socks.”

“Ordering the work is not a barrier but a springboard for mission,” concluded General Secretary Harriett Olson.

Members of the United Methodist Women Board of Directors and Program Advisory Group are elected each quadrennium at United Methodist Women jurisdictional meetings.


Tara Barnes is editor of response.

Posted or updated: 3/21/2016 11:00:00 PM
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