United Methodist Women Program Advisory Group hold first meeting of 2021-2024 Quadrennium
May 12, 2021 / By Tara Barnes, Editor, response magazine, United Methodist Women
The 2021-2024 United Methodist Women Program Advisory Group gathered via Zoom for its first annual meeting March 11-13, 2021. This global gathering included national director Valerie Clark representing the Upper New York Conference. The group members met for orientation and preparing for their work throughout the next four years. The program advisory group studies issues and prepares recommendations to the national board regarding mission priorities, mission education work, and program guidance for United Methodist Women. It includes representatives from every United Methodist conference as well as from national and global partners.
Program advisory group members are part of one of five working teams: membership, identity, relationship, technology, and story. Members also serve on United Methodist Women’s editorial board, Reading Program team, Legacy Steering Committee, Eliminating Institutional Racism team, and Assembly team. Valerie serves on the Identity team and Assembly 2022 team. Time was spent during the meeting describing the work of the teams and welcoming members on board.
The meeting’s theme, “Dream It, Believe it, Do it” was reflected in the reports from General Secretary Harriett Jane Olson and National President ‘Ainise ‘Isama’u. ‘Isama’u reminded members that “our foremothers dreamt it so that we - yes, all of us here - could achieve it. It’s now our time to dream bigger dreams and continue the legacy. The dreams we dream today lay the foundation for those women coming behind us. If we dream it, surely, they will achieve it. May it be so.”
Olson called the program advisory group members to the work of this quadrennium saying, “We will look - seeing needs and hearing women’s stories. We will consult with women “on the ground” and in the know. We will plan, believing that we can make a difference. We will raise funds to support the work, believing that this is our calling. And believing that God will use us for good in the world.”
Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Tamara Clark gave a report on giving and shared the ways members’ mission dollars are at work in the world through grants and scholarships, national mission institutions, regional missionaries and the Office of Deaconess and Home Missioner as well as through member empowerment through leadership training, spiritual growth, transformative education and service and advocacy.
“Luke 8:1-3 talks about some bold women who gave out of their own means as an expression of God’s grace while still active in ministry,” Clark said. “As United Methodist Women members, we bring our gifts of not only finances but of time and service so that these offerings might be turned into miracles for women, children and youth.”