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Two United Methodists Honored for Ecumenical Service

Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 12, 2009--Lois Dauway, an executive of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, was honored for outstanding service to ecumenism at the 2009 General Assembly of the National Council of Churches and Church World Service.

She received the J. Irwin Miller Award at the assembly in Minneapolis on November 11. Ms. Dauway is interim deputy general secretary for mission and evangelism with Global Ministries, the international mission agency of the denomination. She was named to that position last summer and was previously with the organization's Women's Division for 11 years, working in the area of Christian social responsibility.

Rev. Katherine Austin Mahle, a prominent United Methodist and noted ecumenical leader in Minnesota, was honored at the assembly with an award of excellence. Rev. Mahle is a member of the Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church.

Ms. Dauway has served the ecumenical community over many years and in multiple capacities. She is currently a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches. Before joining Global Ministries, she worked for the National Council of Churches. Her distinguished career has been marked by deep commitment to racial and gender inclusiveness in the church.

The award she received is named for an Indiana industrialist, J. Irwin Miller, who was the first lay president of the National Council of Churches in the 1960s. Mr. Miller, a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) died in 2004 at the age of 95. The award is given to a lay person who has been a witness, through action in the world, to justice and other values affirmed by Christian faith, and who has demonstrated a commitment to church unity.

Her ecumenical work makes her "nimble," Ms. Dauway said in accepting the Miller Award. She recalled her experience in "dodging rocks in South Boston during school desegregation in the '70s, helping to lead the ecumenical response to the violence there--or in dodging a variety of ideological and theological projectiles over the year sin our ongoing struggle for justice."

She said that the things she most treasures are "the folk--the ecumenical icons--that I have been privileged to encounter along the journey."

Rev. Mahle has been involved in local and national ecumenism for more than two decades. She has served as pastor, teacher, church executive, and foundation directors, all with a sense of ecumenical engagement. She has served on the boards of seminaries and universities, the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation, and the Girl Scouts of Greater Minneapolis. In 2008, she received the United Methodist Church's Francis Asbury Award for support of higher education ministries.

The J. Irwin Miller Award was established in 2004, and the first went to Dr. Dorothy Height, another United Methodist woman with a long history in social justice work. In 2008, it was presented to Byrd Bonner, a United Methodist layman and executive director of the United Methodist Church Foundation, for his work for racial justice in San Antonio, Texas and his involvement in the General Commission on Christian Unity and Inter-religious Concerns.

Ms. Dauway and Rev. Mahle were two of several individuals and organizations honored at the 2009 assembly of the National Council and Church World Service. The council is comprised of some 35 Protestant, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox communions in the United States. The United Methodist Church is among the members. Church World Service is an international relief and rehabilitation organization that often works in partnership with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).

Other recipients for ecumenical service included:

  • Dr. Lewis S. Mudge (posthumously), a Presbyterian leader
  • David A. Leslie, Presbyterian
  • The Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches
  • Dean James Kalustian, Armenian
  • Joan Leof, a United Church of Christ member and leader of CROP Walk.

Date posted: Nov 12, 2009

Last Updated: 02/04/2013

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