News Archives

Giving remains strong among United Methodist Women

10/21/2003 News media contact: Linda Bloom · (646) 369-3759 · New York

For a related report on churchwide giving, see UMNS story #489.

By Linda Bloom*

LINK: Click to open full size version of image
Photo number W03054, Accompanies UMNS#502

LINK: Click to open full size version of image
United Methodist Women. Photo number W03055, Accompanies UMNS#502
STAMFORD, Conn. (UMNS) - Giving by members of United Methodist Women has remained strong in 2003, despite a general dip in donations throughout the denomination.

Directors of the Women's Division of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, which serves as United Methodist Women's administrative body, received that news during their Oct. 17-20 annual meeting.

Connie Takamine, division treasurer, reported that undesignated giving had increased by 7.6 percent through August compared to the same eight-month period in 2002. "There is an increase in giving in every channel," she added. Undesignated giving in five different funds was at about $6.4 million.

On a denomination-wide level, the amount of apportioned funds sent from annual (regional) conferences to the general church has decreased by about $3 million, or 5 percent, for the first three quarters of 2003 compared to that period the year before.

The Women's Division increase, Takamine explained later to United Methodist News Service, brings the 2003 giving totals in line with 2001. In 2002, undesignated giving had dropped as it traditionally does during a year when the organization holds its quadrennial Women's Assembly and members divert funds to assembly participation and related offerings.

However, she noted that it is not unusual for United Methodist Women giving to remain steady during declines in general church income.

"Many of our members are on fixed incomes, but they do have a real faith and commitment to the organization," she said.

Genie Banks, Women's Division president, believes the spike in undesignated giving is a response to the telling of the mission story. "As long as we interpret the need, the giving will continue," she said.

In items for action, directors approved the division becoming an organizational co-sponsor of an April 25 march in Washington supporting reproductive rights, including access to birth control and abortion. They also approved a $5,000 donation toward expenses of the event, titled "Save Women's Lives: March for Freedom of Choice."

Directors adopted a policy statement on police brutality that will become part of the Women's Division's policy manual. Expressing concern about cases of overzealousness by police and particularly harassment of ethnic minorities, the policy advocates that the church become a refuge "for anyone beaten by one or more police officers." It also calls for police officers suspected of brutality to not be protected but "treated like any other citizen," and it advocates creating civilian police review boards empowered to investigate and end abuses.

On an international level, directors urged United Methodist Women members to get their congregations involved with efforts to promote peace on the Korean peninsula and to urge Congress and President Bush to find multilateral and diplomatic solutions to the current crisis with North Korea.

The women also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Church Center for the United Nations, owned by the Women's Division and built in 1963 to reaffirm religious support of the United Nations. The event included remarks by Cora Weiss, a tenant of the building who was recently named the first recipient of the William Sloan Coffin Award for Peace With Justice from Yale Divinity School.

Weiss, a longtime activist who has worked for years with United Methodists on U.N. and peace-related issues, talked about the need for peace education in the schools and lauded the awarding of this year's Nobel Peace Prize to Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi. "She should be a role model, a heroine, for all who seek justice through nonviolence," she said.

War, Weiss declared, "must be rejected as a means of settling disputes, and we're going to see how women can make that happen."

She pointed to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 as a tool women can use to achieve that goal. Her organization, the Hague Appeal for Peace, was one of five that pressed the council for a resolution calling for gender sensitivity in all U.N. missions, including peacekeeping.

Passed unanimously Oct. 31, 2000, the resolution supports the equal participation of women at negotiating tables and the protection of women and girls during armed conflict. Information about the resolution and ideas for implementation can be found at, the home page of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security.

# # #

*Bloom is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in New York.

Back : News Archives 2003 Main

Contact Us

This will not reach a local church, district or conference office. InfoServ* staff will answer your question, or direct it to someone who can provide information and/or resources.


*InfoServ ( about ) is a ministry of United Methodist Communications located in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. 1-800-251-8140

Not receiving a reply?
Your Spam Blocker might not recognize our email address. Add to your list of approved senders.