Ada-First UMC hosted 266 people Oct. 3-4 for the Annual Meeting of Oklahoma Conference United Methodist Women.
Among those present were six women who have led as Conference UMW president. They included keynote speaker Judy Benson and Mona Mae Waymire, who officiated for the 2015 officer installation.
The youngest attendee was 25; the oldest, age 92. For 23 women, Annual Meeting was a new experience.
Providing mission updates were:
• Donna Pewo, who ministers among Native American children in Clinton;
• Fuxia Wang, who leads Wesley International Chinese Fellowship in Norman;
• Meri Whitaker, director of Cookson Hills Center;
• Stacey Ninness, director of Neighborhood Services Organization (NSO) in Oklahoma City; and
• Derrek Belase, dean of Mission U and pastor at Prague and Arlington churches.
During the year, UMW members had collected gift cards for Cookson Hills and NSO. Their donations were dedicated by Donna Dodson, Enid District superintendent. Each mission received more than $8,000 in cards.
On Friday evening, Ardmore District President Jackie Matthews and Ada-First President Anna Faye Nanney welcomed the women and guests. Entertainment included a comical fashion show and music by Conference UMW Musician Judy Horne, Ann Clayton, Janet Wilburn, Rozzie Purdy, and Jane Johnston.
The meeting concluded Saturday afternoon with Communion, led by Bishop Robert Hayes Jr. and assisted by David Daniel and Roberto Escamilla, Ada-First pastors; Revs. Whitaker and Belase; and deaconesses Jerrie Lindsey and Elaine Parrent.
Plan for district changes
Conference President Cindy Hull recently explained the UMW strategy for the Oklahoma Annual Conference’s missional realignment of all districts.
On June 1, Oklahoma’s churches will officially transition from 12 to eight districts. However, all UMW groups operate on a calendar year, Hull said, even the national leadership.
Throughout 2015, Oklahoma’s UMW will continue with leadership in 12 districts. The change to eight districts will apply to the 2016 calendar year, Hull said.
Theme for 2015 is F.R.O.G. (Fully Relying on God: Leaping Into UMW’s Future). The women pledged $290,000 for mission. Next year’s Annual Meeting will be in Woodward.
In 2016, Oklahoma City will host the South Central Jurisdiction Quadrennial Meeting of United Methodist Women.
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Current and former Conference UMW presidents pose at the 2014 Annual Meeting. From left are Cindy Hull, Kathy Caldron, Ann Needham Bower, Mona Mae Waymire, and Donna Roberts. Judy Benson, also a past president, was keynote speaker.
The Conference UMW leadership team for 2015 includes: President Cindy Hull, Secretary Ramona Paine, Treasurer Sue Helms; and chairpersons Jacci Freno (programming), Glenda Gilpin (membership), Joyce Alfred (missions), and Marilyn Quinn (nominations). The Committee on Racial Justice consists of Sue Helms, Eursey Lenoir, Jerrie Lindsey, Marsha Lyons, Shirley Franklin, Jo Ellen Reed, Hull, Helms, and Quinn. Other Nominating Committee members are Phyllis Hallett, Carla Garrison, Marlene Jones, Betty Prentice, Helen Reid, Janice Bryan, and Moylene Davis. Appointees are: Nancy Koplowitz (program resources), Kelly McKindley (newspaper editor), Donna Roberts (Standing Rules), Judy Horne (musician), and Lenoir (historian). Photo, above; not all team members are pictured.
Conference UMW leaders gather around President Cindy Hull, center front, in Ada on Oct. 4.