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United Methodist Women

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Purpose and History

United Methodist Women is a community of women who know God, develop creative and supportive fellowship, and expand concepts of mission. As the largest denominational faith organization for women, UMW has a long history of living this legacy.

Letter from Lynn

UMW_LynnLet all you do
be done in Love.

— 1 Corinthians 16:14

Last year for Christmas, I received a plaque bearing the above verse. I placed it on my kitchen counter to remind myself that if I say that I will do something, I need to do it with love. It is easy to get busy in my daily life and lose sight of what I truly want to express when I do something for another.

In making plans for the 2016 – 2017 UMW year, I find myself in deep appreciation for the love, care, and support given by our “community of women.”

With love, we care about each other.
With love, we open our arms to welcome new members.
With love, we attend our Circles and Luncheons & Programs.
With love, many hours of service are freely given.
With love, we work hard to raise money to support
the needs of women and children.

It is truly with love in my heart that I look forward to furthering the mission of UMW by working with each of you!


Lynn Cockrell

Women with Purpose

UMW is a community of women whose purpose is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church.

It was organized for mission, and its women seek wholeness for themselves as well as others. Here’s how:

  • Centered relationship with God
  • Ministries with women, children, and youth
  • Local and global missions
  • Inclusiveness
  • Mission giving
  • Service, leadership development, and personal growth
  • Work with other organizations

Letter from Phyllis

Phyllis McDougalDear United Methodist Women,

United Methodist Women has played a huge role in my life since I was 18 years old. Through my years of being involved with UMW I began to realize all the mission work that is done locally, nationally, and internationally. Because of women like you, UMW underwrote programs for women, children, and youth in more than 100 countries.

This summer I had the opportunity to participate in an international mission trip to Costa Rica. The team led Vacation Bible School for five different communities with approximately 200 children. The team took medical supplies and continued to build their church facilities. This UMW community helped make this trip possible.

UMW has changed me, and the grace of the Holy Spirit shines forth and warms the world because of all of you. Let us continue to grow in Christ’s love and in our understanding that every woman is our sister, every child is our child, and every youth is our youth.

Thank you for letting me serve as your pastor,


Rev. Phyllis Barren
Pastoral Staff Representative

UMW History 101

Since its start in 1869, UMW has grown from eight women to more than 800,000 members today. Even though its name and leaders have changed over time, its purpose and legacy remains the same. UMW celebrates the wise and wonderful women who took the first steps in this journey so many years ago.

Did You Know?

  • UMW inherits the vision and toil of women’s missionary societies of eight denominations.
  • Its legacy started when the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society first organized in Boston in response to a lack of women’s health in India.
  • During this time in history, women and children were legally classified as “chattel, legally dead, non-persons,” so there was little service to them.
  • The ancient symbols on the UMW emblem, the cross and the flame that suggest change and mobility, also appear on the emblem of The United Methodist Church.

Go to the National UMW website to learn more.

2016 – 2017 Officers


Lynn Cockrell

Assistant to President:
Carol McCarthy

Vice President — Programs:
JonAnna Reidinger

Co-Vice Presidents — Special Event:
Amber Shive
Megan Lewis

Co-Vice Presidents — Membership:
Megan Fahey
Emily Mehta

Sheila White-Stewart

Sheryl Preston

UMW Endowment Fund Chair:
Nancy Bryant

Nominations Committee Chair:
Joy Brandon

Pastoral Staff Representative:
Rev. Phyllis Barren

Diane Dryden
Jean Scott

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