From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
UMNS# 04438-Church needs advocacy work by women's agency,
Mon, 27 Sep 2004 16:37:10 -0500
Church needs advocacy work by women's agency, speakers say
Sep. 27, 2004 News media contact: Linda Bloom * (646) 3693759* New
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By Bonny Stalnaker Roth*
EVANSTON, Ill. (UMNS) - The United Methodist Church needs advocacy on behalf
of women as much as ever, according to the Rev. Carolyn Henninger Oehler.
"Who will benefit from your work on behalf of women in the church? Everyone,"
she said, addressing members of the United Methodist Commission on the Status
and Role of Women.
Oehler, president of Scarritt-Bennett Center, spoke during the commission's
Sept. 23-26 organizing meeting at Sherman United Methodist Church in
A former president - serving from 1978 to 1984 - she offered an overview of
commission history from its beginning in 1972 as well as a vision for the
future. "It may take us a while, but we will become an inclusive church," she
Members elected M. Garlinda Burton as the commission's chief executive,
effective Jan. 1. Burton had serve as interim top staff executive since
November 2003, following the commission's decision not to re-nominate the
Raponzil "Ra" Drake and the Rev. Soomee Kim for 2004.
Elected as officers for the 2005-08 quadrennium are South Carolina Bishop
Virginia "Dindy" Taylor, president; Eva Thai, Cerritos, Calif., vice
president; and Dianne Spencer, Decatur, Ga., secretary.
Recently retired Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Rader convened the meeting until the
election of officers. Rader reminded the commission: "No matter how many
bishops, district superintendents, pastors, chairs of boards of ordained
ministry and other women leaders the church has, your work is not over.
is alive in the United Methodist Church."
The agency's plans include conducting a U.S.-wide sexual harassment survey of
lay and clergy, employees and parishioners, lay leaders, and seminary staff
and students this year. Members are also proposing a second training for
annual (regional) conference response teams, which serve congregations whose
pastors have been removed because of clergy sexual misconduct.
The commission formed a task force on racism-sexism-globalism to work in
conjunction with the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race and the
United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. It also formed a task force to
increase funds in the Advocacy for Women Endowment Fund, established by the
commission to support emerging ministries related to advocacy for women.
Using the commission's meeting theme "Drawing from the Well," the Rev. Judy
Loehr, a pastor from Alexandria, Va., led worship services each day,
accompanied by Jorge Lockward, with the United Methodist Board of Global
Currently comprising 40 members, the commission ranges in age from high
youth to older adults, represents 32 U. S. annual conferences and one central
conference, includes 19 racial ethnic persons, and has 15 clergy and 25 lay
members. Following the fall meetings of the central conferences, the
commission will receive three additional members to bring its total to 43.
*Roth is communications director for the United Methodist Commission on the
Status and Role of Women in Evanston, Ill.
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or
United Methodist News Service
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