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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    ministries

    Conference Commission on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW)

    Mission Statement

    The mission of the Upper New York Annual Conference Commission on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW) is to advocate the full and equal participation of women in the total life of the church (including ordained ministry, lay ministry and policy-making) within the Upper New York Annual Conference and its component Districts, Charges and Churches, by educating and monitoring their progress toward that goal, recognizing that Jesus, in his ministry and teaching, called men and women equally as children of God.

    Who is COSROW?

    COSROW is the Annual Conference Commission on the Status and Role of Women that is made up of women and men, Lay and Clergy.

    Why does it exist?

    Its work, the pursuit of justice, particularly for women within the Annual Conference, is mandated by the Book of Discipline. To that end, COSROW observes, listens, records, reports, and educates.

    Why is its work important?

    The Bible overwhelmingly reports the importance of justice to God, so we can’t help but wonder:

    • why God's Church continues to portray primarily a male God, when God is a Spirit and spirits have no gender.
    • why some people in God's Church so often set more rigorous standards for women who are mothers than for men who are fathers.
    • why many churches still think that the ability of a pastor to care for a church has to do with their gender.
    • why most "tall steeple" churches are pastored by men, most district superintendents are men (76% in the US, 67% in the Upper New York Conference), and most church administrators are men, despite the fact that women comprise around 60% of active United Methodists.
    • what it is about the Church that leads some Christian men to assume they are brighter and more qualified to speak to issues than Christian women, particularly at Annual Conference Session, where 67% of speakers at the Uniting Session of the Upper New York Conference were male.

    The question before us is how to help the whole Church be more faithful to the God of justice and mercy. The discrepancies between what is and what should be clearly illustrate the need for the work of COSROW.

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    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 867 local churches and 65 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."