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Spring Board Meeting 2012

At Last Meeting of the Quadrennium, Women’s Division Directors Set Mission Budget, Welcome New Staff

By Leigh Rogers

For many directors, the semiannual Women’s Division board of directors meeting in Plano, Texas, would be their last, as they served the maximum of their full two terms of eight years. Yet there was ample time for this configuration of directors to celebrate and reminisce the past four years.

In addition to a quadrennial celebration, directors heard from former Women’s Division president Genie Bank, of the Detroit Annual Conference, on “Life After Women’s Division.” Also presenting with her was former vice president Brenda Brown, of the North Carolina Conference. They shared how they transitioned out of their roles on the Women’s Division board and advised directors to use skills they learned from their tenure to advance their careers or cultivate leadership opportunities elsewhere.

Thomas Kemper, general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries, gave words of encouragement to directors about the legacy of United Methodist Women to directors and how their impact will make a difference in the future.

Mission Budget and Grants Allocated

The board took several actions addressing the budget, personnel and grants for property improvements and mission projects.


Directors approved a 2013 national ministries budget of $2.6 million and an international ministries budget of $2.4 million. They approved one-time grants for National Mission Institutions, and internationally, for the Ryan Epps Home for Children in Michaud, Haiti. The grant of $27,200 would go toward their “Healthy Bodies, Working Hands” project to support staff, program, materials and classes.

The Ryan Epps Home has previously provided basic needs for 20 orphaned children, opened a school for 125 students and built a community well in Michaud. Now, “Healthy Bodies, Working Hands” is to expand their ministry to provide health care services and vocational classes for women.

Personnel Changes

The board welcomed new staff as it appreciated the work of those leaving the Women’s Division.


The board accepted the resignations of Leslie Nedderman, assistant controller (5 years) and Rosangela Oliveira, regional missionary for Latin America (10 years), in addition to the retirements of elmira Nazombe, executive for racial justice (7 years); Lorraine Webster-Sharper, controller (5 years); and Esmeralda Brown, executive for global justice (31 years).

There were approvals of added staff, as well. Halina Mui, formerly the controller for United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), was welcomed as the new controller, replacing Ms. Webster-Sharper.

Other Actions

The board approved to expand requirements for admission to Brooks Howell Home in order to guarantee 100 percent capacity. The new categories for entry include Women’s Division directors, Women’s Division staff, retired staff of National Mission Institutions and home missioners.


Schools of Christian Mission will change its name to “Mission U!: Learning Together for the Transformation of the World,” after an approved vote by directors.


Directors were updated on “Voices,” a leadership event organized by United Methodist Women that took place in St. Louis, Mo., March 2-4, 2012. A total of 67 people gathered to participate in the event, which focuses on the work and growth with women whose primary or preferred language is other than English. General topics discussed included:


  • Creating worship experiences for different cultural contexts.
  • United Methodist Women: Why we are who we are.
  • Living into the future.

Directors also heard a report from fellow director Nichea Guy who attended the Global Forum on Migration and Development, which took place Nov. 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland. Policymakers and stakeholders from countries worldwide participated in various settings to gain deeper knowledge of the realities of global migration and their link to poverty, development, peace and human rights.

The board meeting was held from March 15-19, 2012.

Leigh Rogers is public relations staff for the Women’s Division.

Last Updated: 04/09/2014

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