Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Women cheer for mission connections


Photo by Jane Bond
At the UMW Annual Meeting, missionary Meri Whitaker signs copies of her book, "My Sister the Father." Her collection of stories was chosen for the 2011 UMW Reading Program. The book is available through Cookson Hills Center.

Photo by Thomasena Allen

The United Methodist Women of OKC-Quayle Church chartered a bus to transport 35 of their members to the Annual Meeting. From left are Fannie Kaye, Jeni Jackson, and Clara Davis.

By Thomasena Allen, OKC-Quayle UMW

The celebration of mission began with a festival of music and finger-food feast on Friday night, as the United Methodist Women (UMW) of Oklahoma Conference held their 37th Annual Meeting.

From across the state, 319 women registered for the Oct. 1-2 gathering, held at Tulsa-Asbury UMC.

Friday evening featured intergenerational talent and musical selections that ranged from traditional spirituals to secular songs. Saturday’s program also began with song. Performers included Hands of Love, an Asbury choir of special-needs adults, ministering through sign language.

The celebration that day spotlighted the women’s total giving of $345,000 to the Church’s missions in 2009, and their Pledge of $310,000 for 2011. Other special channels of giving combine with the Pledge to achieve each year’s total.

In a testimony about the impact of that giving, Nancy Koplowitz shared how she was blessed by the opportunity to see God in action because she received a UMW scholarship to attend the 2010 Assembly, in St. Louis, Mo.

Keynote speaker Yvette Richards challenged the women to be thirsty to serve and to reclaim the UMW mission focus.

Gift cards valued at $8,400 were given to Cookson Hills Center and Neighborhood Services Organization (NSO). The cards again will be collected in 2011. NSO has a DVD about its ministry available for check-out. Cookson Hills Director Meri Whitaker said the center recently received six pottery kilns and many ceramic molds; they are praying for volunteer potters.

Upcoming hands-on service opportunities:

  • Tool Tyme, Nov. 12-14, at Cookson Hills Center, south of Tahlequah

  • Neighborhood Santa Operation, Dec. 4, at NSO in Oklahoma City

Goals for 2011:

  • Increase attendance of district officers by 10 percent at all 2011 Conference events.

  • 75 percent of districts will scholarship a young woman and a district officer to all Conference events.

  • 90 percent of local units will submit reports by Feb. 1 to district coordinators.

2011 Conference officers:

President Kathy Caldron of Ponca City; Vice President Jo Ellen Reed of Oklahoma City; Secretary Coe Ann Patton of Tulsa; Treasurer Betty Prentice of Pryor; Secretary of Program Resources Becky Brown of Madill; Communications Coordinator Julie Wood of Yukon; Nominating Committee Chairwoman Flo Conklin of Stigler; Mission coordinators—Nancy Whittaker of Madill, Annette Loos of Collinsville, and Jacci Freno and Janice Bryan, both of Oklahoma City.


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