Allowing For Other Women’s Ministries

Local Church Committee Passes RENEW’s Petition Allowing For Other Women’s Ministries

In a historic and decidedly strong majority vote, the Local Church committee has accepted a petition submitted by Liza Kittle, President of RENEW Network, that will allow for other women’s ministry options for women in the local church in addition to United Methodist Women.
For the past 5 General Conferences, RENEW and other women have been trying to get the UMC to officially recognize other women’s ministries.  The Women’s Division, the leadership organization of United Methodist Women, has fought efforts to allow for diversity in women’s ministry options, advocating that UMW was all the local church needed.
Over the past 40 years, the membership of UMW has fallen at a steady rate, losing thousands of members annually.  As the needs of women have changed over time, having a variety of options for women has become essential for reaching new generations of women for Jesus Christ.
In the committee today, the petition submitted by RENEW had to be merged with one submitted by the Women’s Division because they both dealt with the same paragraph in the Book of Discipline.  According to rule 31-2, legislation that deals with the same paragraph must be merged before being presented for adoption in the full plenary session.
Now, the paragraph allowing for other women’s ministry options will be added to the end of the UMW paragraphs and given a sub-division letter (b).
This is an exciting day for women across the UMC, as so many have been seeking the support of the United Methodist Church to officially recognize other women’s ministries in the local church.  It is a historic victory.
We pray that the full plenary will see the importance of this added paragraph to the Book of Discipline and vote to formally adopt next week.
RENEW would so appreciate your prayers for this outcome