New Program Advisory Group Meets
United Methodist Women’s new program advisory group gathered for its first annual meeting at the Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tenn., Mar. 7-9.
The 85-member group is a part of the organization’s new national structure governed by a smaller 25-member board of directors, which convened immediately following the program advisory group Mar.9-10, also at Scarritt-Bennett. The advisory group, which includes the board of directors, provides input from each conference United Methodist Women to the organization’s programs and mission initiatives. Members also interpret these programs to members in their home conferences.
“You are in the right place!” United Methodist Women board president Yvette Richards told program advisory group members in her opening address. “It is a privilege and honor to represent an organization who stands out front and not on the back row for women, children and youth, an organization that speaks out about injustice, an organization whose Purpose is to Know God! So, yes, you are in the right place.
“The time is now to prepare ourselves for the work ahead in finding new ways to be the leaders not only for United Methodist Women, but to bring followers of Jesus Christ back to the church.”
Much of the meeting focused on bringing group members up to speed on United Methodist Women national programs and mission initiatives including the 2012 Limitless: Redefine Tomorrow event for young women last August; the Voices training event for conference language coordinators, Mar. 1-3; the Ubuntu eXplorer Journey trips; Leadership Development Days, training previously reserved for newly elected United Methodist Women conference officers but now, under the new structure, convened regionally and open to conference, district and local members; and the deaconess and home missioner program, with a celebration of the deaconesses’ 125th anniversary.
Terry Kefeher of the Applied Research Center’s Midwest operations led the group’s training on how to counter institutional racism. The meeting also included a rally against violence against women on International Women’s Day, Mar. 8. The action coincided with a similar rally in New York City as part of the United National Commission on the Status of Women.
After mission reports on global migration and domestic violence, the group divided by jurisdiction for planning and feedback. Group members later divided again into issue teams to offer input on programing related to spiritual growth, leadership development, fund development, education, U.S. service and advocacy, and international service and advocacy.
Yvette Moore is editor of response, the magazine of United Methodist Women.