UMW gather in Warner Robins for annual meeting
By Kara Witherow, Editor
A hundred or so United Methodist Women gathered in Trinity United Methodist Church’s sanctuary Oct. 20 to join with their sisters and hear an encouraging word about being women of service, faith, and persistence.
“We are treading on holy ground,” South Georgia United Methodist Women president Carol Banks, who had just recently returned from a UMW Unbuntu Journey to Peru, said to the women gathered in Warner Robins.
Meeting under the theme, “Sacred Spaces of Service,” UMW from each South Georgia district met to celebrate 149 years of mission and ministry.
During her address, Banks celebrated the accomplishments and service work of South Georgia United Methodist Women and spoke about the purpose of the organization.
“Sacred spaces are anywhere we meet with God,” she said, “We are women of faith, and our love of God, Christ, and others compels us to be in mission.”
She outlined the ways United Methodist Women in South Georgia are learning about, fighting for, and advocating for social justice issues and growing as disciples of Jesus Christ.
“The sacred spaces you have created are may,” Banks said. “Sacred spaces are being created every day and everywhere, and you are a part of that.”
During their business session, South Georgia United Methodist Women pledged $150,000 to missions giving in 2019 and approved a $91,213 budget for the coming year.
During the installation of officers led by Charlcie Jones, three were installed into leadership positions: Ellen Jeter, mission coordinator of spiritual growth; Vicki Vickers, nominations committee member; and Paula Shaw-Powell, nominations committee member.
Love and appreciation were expressed to outgoing officers Dell Daniels and Betty Flynn.
Rev. Doreen Smalls, superintendent of the Southwest District, shared a message of inspiration and encouragement.
“We United Methodist Women know a little something about ‘not yet’ and not being good enough,” Rev. Smalls said, reading about the Syrophoenician woman’s faith in Mark 7.
“But we will keep on asking. We will keep on seeking. We will keep on knocking. And the door will be opened,” she said. “We are women of faith. We are women of persistence. We are the bold, courageous, and tenacious United Methodist Women.”
God is central to all that the United Methodist Women do, she said.
“Without God, we’re just another women’s group. Without God, we’re just another social club. But with God, all things are possible.”
During the day’s worship service, attendees sang hymns and were treated to special music by soloist Grace Pham, a local eighth-grade student and singer.
Rev. Craig Hutto, senior pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church; Rev. Smalls; Rev. Chris Ramsey, superintendent of the Northeast District; and Dr. Buddy Cooper, superintendent of the Northwest District, led worshippers in a service of Holy Communion.
The annual meeting is an important day to come together as United Methodist Women, says Nancy Hudson, president of the North Central District’s United Methodist Women and a member of Centerville United Methodist Church.
“We remember our legacy, we enjoy fellowshipping together, and honor and worship God, and that is our mission,” she said.
Banks, in her address to the women gathered, expressed gratitude for their service to others and God’s grace.
“We are part of something important, and my prayer is that God will help us claim it and continue it.”