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UMW mark historic first

First gathering of Michigan UMW celebrates 150

Howell UMC was the scene of the first Annual Celebration of Michigan Conference UMW. They now move ‘together toward tomorrow.’


KATHY FREELAND

Communications, Michigan Conference UMW

October 26, 2019 marked a historic moment in the history of The United Methodist Women in the state. The FIRST Annual Michigan Conference United Methodist Women Celebration was held at the Howell United Methodist Church on that Saturday. The theme was appropriate to the occasion, “Celebrating 150 Years:  Together Toward Tomorrow.”

District officers from all nine of the new districts attended their respective officer counterpart training Friday afternoon. Participants then celebrated 150 years of United Methodist Women that evening. Songs were sung. Accounts of several well-known women in our history were read, including Fanny Crosby (American mission worker, poet and composer), Belle Harris Bennett (founder of Scarritt College for Christian workers and Susan Bennett College), and Francis Willard (president of the Women’s Christan Temperance Union, one of the forerunners of United Methodist Women).  Updates about what is happening today were shared. Cheers of joy were expressed for future possibilities. United Methodist Women are BOLD and diligent and relentless.

Emphasis was placed on the reality that United Methodist Women is “in it for the long haul!” Women have been organized for mission around the world for the past 150 years, putting their faith, hope, and love into action for women, youth and children. And women intend to continue doing this for at least the next 150 years.

Diana Miller at mic
Diana Spitnale Miller was just one of many presenters going to the microphone during the 2019 Annual Celebration of the Michigan United Methodist Women held at Howell First UMC on October 26th. ~ Facebook photo

Approximately 250 women and a few good men shared in an exciting day Saturday. Honored guests included: Bishop David and Julie Bard; District Superintendents the Rev. Dr. Jerry DeVine, the Rev. Scott Harmon with wife Bron, and the Rev. Dr. Charles Boayue, Jr.; United Methodist Men President, Don Archambeau; eight Past Conference Presidents; Genie Bank, past National UMW President; the Rev. Kennetha Bigham-Tsai from the Connectional Table of The United Methodist Church; Randy Hildebrant from God’s Country Cooperative Parish in the upper peninsula; and United Methodist Community House representatives, Eric Williams and Carla Moore.

Michigan’s current National UMW representatives — Ruby Anderson, Taylorie Bailey, and Suzanne Hewitt — were also in attendance.

The day was led by Conference Vice President, Pat Bostic.  As always, it was a pleasure to have Bishop David Bard bring us greetings. He thanked the UMW for the opportunity to teach at several 2019 Mission u events. By request, Bishop Bard led the gathering through the body prayer that he had introduced at Mission u.

Keynote speaker, the Rev. Dr. Jill Zundel, Senior Pastor at Central United Methodist Church in Detroit shared an inspirational message, “For such a time as this.” 

Keynoter Rev. Jill Zundel
The Rev. Jill Zundel (center), Senior Pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Detroit, was the keynote speaker. Her message came from the Book of Esther, “For such a time as this.” ~ Facebook photo

The offering raised $3,353.65 for the Legacy Fund Endowment Campaign. The ingathering was generous as well, benefitting the Connection Youth Services of Livingston Family Center.

Conference President Linda Darrow led the Business Session. Members voted for the slate of officers for 2020, revised the Standing Rules, and approved the 2020 budget and Pledge to Mission. Other items on the agenda include district reports on 2020 pledges, honoring those who passed this past year and recognizing those who concluded their term of office. 

We were honored to have Genie Bank, past National UMW President, lead the Installation of 2020 officers. The afternoon concluded with communion, the host pastor, the Rev. George Lewis, presiding. 

Michigan Conference United Methodist Women look forward to next year’s Annual Celebration to be held at Kalamazoo First United Methodist Church on Oct. 23-24, 2020.

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