Board of Directors

United Methodist Women Board Meets in New York City

United Methodist Women Board Meets in New York City

United Methodist Women directors adopted a 2016 budget, heard financial reports and approved more than $1 million in U.S. and international grants and scholarships during their semiannual board meeting at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City, Oct. 3-4.

In a related action prior to the meeting, United Methodist Women’s new regional missionary for Latin America, the Rev. Andrea Reily Rocha Soares of The Methodist Church of Brazil, was commissioned along with seven new General Board of Global Ministries missionaries in a service during that agency’s board meeting, also in New York City, Oct. 1.

United Methodist Women directors approved a $17.77 million 2016 budget for the organization from Mission Giving funds. The budget includes $3.94 million for national and international programs administered by United Methodist Women mission partners and $8.5 million for program services administered by United Methodist Women. Programs administered by United Methodist Women include national mission institutions’ insurance; repairs and management; membership and leadership development; mission education; program resources; the Deaconess and Home Missioner Office and other membership services.

In her address to the directors, Harriett Jane Olson, United Methodist Women chief executive officer, called the board’s strategic planning and other work over the past quadrennium examples of “hope in action.”

Board President Yvette Kim Richards also addressed the directors, sharing lessons learned in her quest to visit as many of the 96 United Methodist Women-related national mission institutions as possible while in office.  

“Awesome. Loving. Outstanding. Bold. Gracious,” Ms. Richards said, after telling a story of United Methodist Women’s support for a national mission institution’s day care program that had fallen on hard times. “The doors were about to close, but thanks to the dedication of the board and a new director, children are able to play, are able to be safe.”

“It’s all about your spirit and compassion that you show as United Methodist Women,” Ms. Richards said.

In other business, the directors approved more than $1 million in grants to U.S. and international organizations, including:

Years of research and legal consultation came to fruition when board members voted to modify the use of 27 endowments left by United Methodist Women predecessor bodies for hospitals, orphanages and schools in India that no longer exist. Board members redesignated the funds for current work in India that aligns with the donors’ initial intents. Three of the funds were redesignated for health work, 20 for education and four for children and youth.

The Attorney General of the State of New York, where United Methodist Women is incorporated, approved the board’s redesignation of the endowments funds, as required by law.

United Methodist Women board of directors closed their fall meeting in a worship service in the chapel at the Church Center for the United Nations. Speaking at the service, New York’s Metropolitan District Superintendent the Rev. Denise Smartt Sears called United Methodist Women “the backbone of the church” and “mission-minded foot soldiers.” She urged the women to continue to reach out to younger women who have no time for business meetings but desperately want to help and connect.


Mary Beth Coudal is interim managing editor of response, the magazine of United Methodist Women. Yvette Moore is director of communications for United Methodist Women.

Posted or updated: 10/13/2015 11:00:00 PM
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