New Year, New President, New Blog
January 18, 2017, 8:50 AM

We had an awesome Central Texas Conference United Methodist Women Leadership Team meeting on Saturday, January 14. With your permission I’ll shorten that to CTC UMW Leadership Team. We met at my home church- First United Methodist Church of Red Oak. The thing about Leadership Team meetings for the CTC UMW is that no matter where we meet, someone is going to have to drive a LONG way!! But, for this meeting, our first since I became president, it wasn’t me. (I’ll get my turn to drive at the next two meetings in Hillsboro and Burleson.)


At this meeting, we got to know each other. First we simply introduced ourselves and told where we were from and what position we held. 


Our Spiritual Growth Advocate Beth Dorcas shared a response Moment, the Prayer Calendar and a devotional. Beth always inspires me with her ability to bring our Prayer Calendar birthday ladies and gentlemen, mission places and projects to life. In doing that, she enables us to pray even more fervently for each of them.


Then Billie Ray, our Membership Nurture and Outreach Chair, led us in a wonderful team building exercise. Think of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, but instead envision 26 women in pairs massaging lotion into hands- some young and smooth, others older, more wrinkled, even calloused in places. As we anointed each other, we prayed for each other. This was very moving to me. Taking a minute to focus on each other, to experience the closeness of touch and mutual prayer, is often lacking in our busy lives. I recommend it to you!


I shared some “How To’s” for our Leadership Team, encouraging each member to lead by example, to use and promote UMW resources, to communicate with each other, with their district peers and local leaders and members. I asked them to offer the gift of their presence at conference, district and local events and urged them to spend time with God, nurturing their spirits and praying for the work of UMW.


Those of us who attended Leadership Development at St. Louis or Tempe shared our experiences. One of the true gifts to leaders is the opportunity to participate in UMW programs at the national level. We were educated and inspired and hope to be better leaders as a result. Those attending this year were Charlotte Rabbe, Betty Foster, Natalie McKnight, Rebecca Lucas, Billie Ray, Vickie Berry, Rita Handley and me. If you run into one of us, ask about Leadership Development Days. There’s a lot to tell!


The district presidents were asked to share one thing that their district leadership teams will be doing to assist local UMW groups. They also updated us on their spring program plans. I won’t be able to attend all of them, but I hope to see you at least once at one of your district meetings this year! I’ll be at Lighthouse Fellowship with the North District UMW on January 21 for their program on maternal health.


We are SOOO excited to welcome Deaconess Megan Hale to our team! She serves as a member on the National UMW Program Advisory Group and is a delight. She shared her experiences at the training meeting she attended in Houston. She is our liaison to National UMW and welcomes your ideas to share with our national leaders. Contact her at


Planning for 2017 programs is a major part of your CTC UMW Leadership Team’s job. We are excited about the upcoming Charter for Racial Justice Event: Sing-a-Rainbow on February 4, at Action UMC. Our Social Action Chair, Rebecca Lucas has arranged for 3 speakers on the topic of Maternal Child Health- focusing on the extreme needs in Texas. I hope to see you there. Please register online so our hostesses can be prepared.


We spent some time discussing Silent Auctions. We will have 2 silent auctions this year to benefit our mission giving. The first one will be at Sing-a-Rainbow. The second will be at the Autumn Gathering in October. There will not be an auction at the Spiritual Growth Retreat. All of the funds raised by silent auctions go to our mission giving.


Speaking of the Annual Autumn Gathering, the calendar for that event has CHANGED! We will be combining our Leadership Development for district leaders with the Autumn Gathering. Both will be on October 7 at Killeen FUMC. By doing this, the conference will save over $3000 which can be sent to missions instead. The program theme will be on economic justice. We will worship, conduct business and participate in the program in the morning. We will then share lunch, and after lunch we will have break out sessions for District leadership training, and additional program presentations and a hands on mission project for those who are not district leaders. It will be a great day of learning and action. Put it on your calendar NOW!


The great thing about leadership team meetings is the encouragement we give and get. After the meeting, my “To-Do” list is way longer, but I am always excited about the possibilities and the promise that I see in our CTC UMW, our districts and each of our members.


Blessed to serve with you,


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