The new team includes: Marilyn Williams (President), Waleska Acevedo (Vice President), Pernella Shortie, Shandra Yost, Soo Yun, Denise Turner, Lori Tapia, Wende Bristow Barrett, Martine Saint-Vil, and Cheryl Cloar (Absent due to prior commitment), Sheila Spencer (DHM representative), Chesla Nickelson (Staff), Pat Donahoo(Staff).
By Rev. Dr. Patricia Donahoo, executive director
The 2018 Executive Committee of Disciples Women began their work at their first meeting in September. Work began with the 2014 and 2018 teams sharing information about work done and work in progress. Lonna Owens (former DHM representative) reported the financial state of Disciples Women and explained current budget. Pat Donahoo (Executive Director) shared open items that needed discussion and decisions as well as offering education pieces to equip and prepare new team.
The new committee continues to be committed to interregional gatherings that occur once each quadrennium to educate, inform and network women within each group. Plans are being made to expand these gatherings to include more women leaders. The team will also be working with the Disciples Women Leadership Council (DWLC) to find ways to work together and network on a more regular basis finding ways to enhance the combined ministry.
The Principles of Mutuality, agreed to between Disciples Home Missions (DHM) and Disciples Women (DW), has completed its first four-year-cycle with DW being self-determining. As part of the covenant the two groups will have discussion about how this covenant will continue to be lived out.
The team decided to find more effective ways to meet by shortening face-to-face meetings and setting up midyear times of meeting through technology. This will be helpful to the current team but also will set up practices to allow a wider range of women the opportunity to serve in this capacity.
As part of preparation for GA2015, DW is asking the DOC to fold peace cranes, write a prayer request on it and add it to those being accumulated. Reflecting the Japanese legend, our goal is to accumulate at least 1,000 peace cranes to be displayed at GA2015. The legend says if you fold 1,000 cranes you will get your wish. As people of faith we are looking to have a minimum of 1,000 prayer requests/peace cranes around which we will gather for prayer and thanksgiving. The team also made plans for the DW luncheon planned for Wednesday of that week. We will also be celebrating ‘Disciples Women on the move’ at GA15 and are asking women to post pictures on social media of Disciples women doing mission and ministry as part of the movement for wholeness with #DWSOAR so we can identify them. These pictures and information will be used at the assembly as well as throughout the year.
A review/evaluation of Quadrennial Assembly 2014 was done noting the high points of celebration and the areas of struggle. The new team is in the process of discerning what the next QA might look like taking the time to re-create the event where necessary.
Time was spent in determining what information needed to be shared and what training needed to be done with DWLC in January. This annual meeting of regional women’s representatives is a time to network and learn together and we want to make the best use of the time together.
Human Trafficking continues to be a social action emphasis and the team agreed to create a portfolio of projects supported and endorsed to help guide DW in the future but also to provide to DW groups for their information on suggestions to support this justice issue.
The team plans to expand DW YouTube channel to include information for leaders on resources, programs and procedures used
The team celebrated a renewed understanding of the purpose of Disciples Women’s Ministries to support and encourage the diverse ministries that are moving in healthy ways throughout the Church rather than limiting those ministries to a traditional format.