United Methodist Women Connection for May 2021

United Methodist Women Connection for May 2021

May 19, 2021

Vol. XXXI, No. 2     |     May 2021  


Words Matter

I have been working hard as your President these past five months on communication. My goal is that all communication that comes out from the United Methodist Women in Iowa is guided with our Purpose in mind. That our communication be open, available to all, honest but respectful and framed in “Knowing God”.

I have realized that Words Matter; whether they are spoken, written, or left unsaid for a variety of reasons. 

Words that are spoken cannot be unspoken. My mother used to tell us that God gave us two ears and one mouth so we could listen twice as much as we speak. I also think it is so we can listen to the feedback given to us regarding the words we have just spoken which may not have been well thought out or received in the manner we intended the message. The only way we can grow is if we are open to listening to another’s perspective on a multitude of issues.

Words that are written should be carefully re-read to ensure they are honest but respectful. These words also must be our own words, or if using another’s work properly credited with quotes and citations. As United Methodist Women we are charged with being a “community of women…to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ, to develop a creative supportive community” through our messaging, written or action, regarding United Methodist Women. I have wondered many times if I am open to exploring what experiencing freedom as whole persons means.  It is plural as in “persons”, not singular as in “person”, so this is not about one person (me), or one race/ethnicity, but “persons”; reminding me Jesus Christ came for everyone. We must ensure that we are honest but respectful in our messaging; not harsh and judgmental or we may lose the chance of our message being heard regarding the outstanding mission, learning and spiritual growth opportunities offered through United Methodist Women.

Words that are left unsaid for a variety of reasons are the toughest types of words for me. They are tough because we often are not aware there was a message left unsaid.  Did you know that most communication is not achieved through verbal communication but non-verbal? At times, we believe that a person who does not say anything has no opinion, or they agree with what was said/happening, or we make a judgement based on that person’s physical appearance. This is a two-way street, as all communication is. If we are offended or uncomfortable by what was said, let it slide and do not come back to it, then we are not being open in our communications. We are not taking the opportunity to grow ourselves or to allow the other person to grow in our relationships and understanding of one another. We are not building a community of women who develop a creative, supportive fellowship.

I challenge each of us to remember in all our messaging: Words Matter; whether they are spoken, written, or left unsaid for a variety of reasons. 

Gladys Alvarez, President
Gkna2001@aol.com phone: 515-277-7337

Vice Presidents
Happy Spring to all our UMW Sisters!  
We hope you are enjoying the sights of spring from the buds and leaves bursting forth to the return of goldfinches and other birds finding their way to our area. God’s nature is so beautiful as we see the newness of life and feel the warmer temperatures. The hymn “This Is My Father’s World” always springs to mind at this time of year!
This is the year that the conference provides a program of some sort for the district annual meetings to be held in the fall. We are sooooo pleased to announce that this year Friends of the Groom Theater Company will be making a video for the district meetings followed by a second video for the Iowa Conference Annual Meeting! We have commissioned these videos and they will be based on the theme of Mission u which is “Ignited For Justice” with the theme scripture verse of Amos 5:24 “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”  We have also told them about our two social priorities to give them additional insight into what our UMW group is all about. 
Friends of the Groom performed at the National UMW Assembly in 2018 at Columbus, Ohio. Those of us that saw them there thought they were wonderful and we know they will provide meaningful videos for us. Because of the pandemic, they have entered the arena of YouTube videos since performing live became difficult, if not impossible. Whether your district has the annual meeting virtually or in person, access to the video will be easy. The district video will deal with some of the injustices we see in our world around us. The second video for the conference meeting will have more of a restorative theme about it. After the annual meetings are over, the videos will be put on our UMW website and Facebook page for any UMW unit to use whenever they wish.  
If you want to read more about the theater group or look at a couple of their videos online, their website is: www.friendsofthegroom.org. Again, we are very excited about this opportunity to provide this program and we encourage you to put the date of your district annual meeting, as well as the conference annual meeting, on your calendar and plan to attend in one way or another. May God continue to bless the efforts of United Methodist Women in helping women, children, and youth here and around the world!! 
Myra Bowman, Co-Vice President  Barb Trulson, Co-Vice President
911 Golfview Ave. 667 6th St. SW
Britt, IA 50423 Britt, IA 50423
641-843-4086  641-843-3387



I’ve been spending most of my days lately in the cab of a John Deere tractor pulling the 23-row bean planter. I pay close attention to the two monitors, especially the one “painting” blue where I’ve planted and showing me if I’m leaving gaps or planting where I’ve already been. When my dad started farming with horses in 1930, there is no way he could have imagined that some day I’d be planting that same field using satellite technology! How things have changed!
Changes are also happening in our United Methodist Women life. The use of technology has certainly altered the work of a treasurer. One of the biggest recent changes is that National is no longer printing the certificates for the Special Mission Recognition Pins. This has just happened, and to be totally honest I don’t know exactly how it works now. If you have an email address, be sure it is on your remittance form so the district treasurer can forward you the link for printing the certificate. In any case, if you have questions about getting a pin with no certificate, contact your district treasurer.
Changes in our world are also happening with problems seeming to escalate on every front. This is where we can apply our faith the best. We know that the one who does not change is our wonderful God, creator of all. He is the constant, His love for us is ever-lasting, and we can always depend on Him to be with us in all things.  May God bless you this spring and throughout the days ahead.
Helen Pollock
34167 Rains Ave, Malvern, IA 51551
A Note from our NCJ Secretary
"John Newton, clerk, once an infidel and Libertine, 
a servant of slavers in Africa, 
was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 
preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed 
to preach the faith he had so long labored to destroy."
--written by John Newton and engraved on his tombstone
Greetings from the North Central Jurisdiction!
Our website has been updated. Check out https://www.umwncj.org for developing information about Assembly 2022. There's even a Zoom "group photo" of the Jurisdiction leadership team. We plan to include highlights from each Conference in the spring newsletter, so send me news about the cool happenings around Iowa.
In my ongoing tribute to the 3rd verses of favorite hymns, I have found this one to be comforting during the long months of stress and unrest. Our world needs grace now more than ever. And our Savior, Jesus Christ, is just a prayer away!
"Amazing Grace", by Rev. John Newton
The United Methodist Hymnal #378 (verse 3):
"Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come, 
'tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home."
Becky Heeren, NCJ Secretary
Committee on Nominations

We know that all things work together for good, for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

Nomination has been busy getting new officers for the conference and are meeting with presidents and nomination members of all five districts to explain the order for new officer nomination.

I would like to remind all chapters that you need a president, secretary, treasurer and a chairman of nominations.  The other officers—vice president, mission coordinator for spiritual growth, mission coordinator for social action, mission coordinator for education and interpretation, mission coordinator for membership nurture and outreach, secretary of program resources and communications coordinator are not required if your unit is small.  All officers are elected for two two year terms, except treasurer is three two year terms.

They are elected as follows: even years—President, Secretary, Education and interpretation, social action, and program resources secretary. Odd years—vice president, treasurer, membership nurture and outreach, spiritual growth, communications coordinator and the chairman for nominations. Clear as mud--right? If you have questions, call me and I'll try to answer them.

Sandy Oswald
612 Grand Ave, C-3
Creston, IA 50801

Program Resources


PROVERBS 18:15 An understanding mind gains knowledge; the ear of the wise is knowledge. (CEB)
Blessings! I want to thank you for your interest in UMW and all of its facets. Like a diamond, we shine best when we are polished and in the proper setting.

Reading is an excellent way to polish the mind. And there is so many ways that we can read. In looking for a scripture for this article,I found 30 for learning just alone.  We are commanded to search the Scriptures. We are instructed to learn.

I am just about finished with A Road Called Down on both Sides: Growing up in Ethiopia and America. The author is Caroline Kurtz. She is one of five children of a Presbyterian missionary to Ethiopia. Her growing up years were during the rule of Haile Selassie and following. She talks of the land and the people of the time, the revolution and killings, the dissonance of going to the USA as a young adult. The stories are filled with powerful descriptions and emotions. She talks of finding faith in the midst of depression. Excellent! EDUCATION FOR MISSION

My next read is Women Rise Up: Sacred Stories of Resistance for Today’s Revolution.  by Katey Zeh.

I must admit that this may be rougher on my stone as it polishes some of the hard edges down. It tells the stories of 10 women of the Bible in the context of today’s issues that women deal with. It is scriptural and personal. From the Introduction: “This book is an exploration and an affirmation of women’s live—yours and mine, ancient and new, near and distant. It is an invitation to connect, commune and converse with the foremothers of our faith. These women are complex figures deserving of our attention, sometimes our admiration, and other times our critique. Oftentimes all three at once.” I am looking forward to it. SOCIAL ACTION

I would suggest that if you have a computer that you look up this website. It is a letter from National about the changes in the reading program starting this year.  Reading Program 2021: Letter from Andris Salter (unitedmethodistwomen.org)

One major change is the addition of Faith Talk podcasts and Movies to the reading program. Three Faith Talk podcasts count as a Bonus Book in Spiritual Growth. The movies Just Mercy, The Hate U Give, and Pushout will also count toward the reading program. I am working on Just Mercy on my own in reading form and am overwhelmed at times.  The Hate U Give is on the reading program and Pushout is a Mission u book. 

One more topic: Recognition. It too has changed. You can participate in a one year or two-year program. Continue to send your information to your District representative of Program Resources. You may send it in at the usual deadline of June 30. The books you read this year may be added to next year as a two-year certificate. Any book from the 2015 through the 2022 year may be used.

Summer is coming. Grab a book and read!

Much love and blessings,
Marilyn Burch

Social Action

Think Outside the Box

Hallelujah!! I have seen quite a few different approaches to UMW recently. There is no one right way. Each circle can have a different goal or purpose within their group.

  1. Book discussion groups are great ways to read UMW books to explore different topics, explore the Bible, or learn about leadership and action.  
  2. I have seen a young mom's group and they emphasized specific activities to support young mothers and babies by pairing with an organization that assisted young moms and babies. 
  3. I started a teenage group (12-16 years of age) along with mothers.
    Meeting ideas:
    1. Getting to know each other
    2. Making tie blankets for young mothers
    3. Toured the above facility and collected needed items
    4. Talked about drug and alcohol addictions
    5. Or any topic of their choice
  4. I have seen a cooking group. The circle could recognize church staff by cooking a noon meal for all the staff at the church. Or they could help prepare a meal for Mission of Hope. Or
  5. I have seen a sewing group or quilting group. Quilts could be donated for fund raisers or given to shelters. Discussions and Bible studies can be accomplished while quilting.
  6. I have started a group that does justice educaction and action. Topics we have explored and learned about include: Human Trafficking, LGBTQ, Climate Justice, Racism, Immigration, or any topic that interests the group.
  7. Just recently I have started a social action group with people from 3 different churches and ages from 20 -70. One woman is gay and has done three meetings on topics related to LGBTQ.  One is married to an immigrant who has recently become a US citizen. She will tell her story on immigration. Another person has major knowledge on climate justice and minimizing waste. She and I also started an eco-friendly "store". We sell at St. Paul's and UMW events and a few other places. All proceeds go to UMW missions. We are even willing to travel and present. Give us a call. Everyone in the group will eventually "tell their story".

There are very few rules that we are required to follow. Start talking to your friends in and out of the church, Methodist or not. Come together on any interest. Explore. Learn. Get to know the members of the group and support each other. Enjoy and have fun!

Deb Streff
Social Action Coordinator debstreff@gmail.com

Charter for Racial Justice Committee Report
The committee met on January 16th for their first organizational meeting of 2021. We discussed white privilege and several ways we can help educate our UMW sisters. In addition to Social Action articles in the newsletter, there will be additional information from our committee. These articles will include discussion points, videos links, and additional resources. Articles will also appear in the 360 on the UMC website. A virtual event is being planned for May on White Privilege. We choose to be on this continual journey to spread the love of UMW and to help us become antiracists. An antiracist will walk with their fellow sisters on a journey to end racism.

Let's get started!

The Charter for Racial Justice Committee 

How do we live out the Charter for Racial Justice?
On Jan. 6, we witnessed a mob attacking the U.S. Capitol as our Congress worked to complete the Electoral College vote count from the 2020 election. Despite the shock of this attack, law enforcement agencies’ response was mild, especially as contrasted with the response to Black Lives Matter protestors last summer. It’s unlikely BLM protestors would have been given access to the national mall or a federal building.

As Emily Jones, United Methodist Women Executive for Racial Justice, wrote:  “The mob behavior today reflects the extraordinary entitlement of White privilege: violent White protesters stormed the Capitol and threatened democratically elected legislators performing their Constitutional duties as President Trump offered tacit praise and encouragement to the mob.

“If law enforcement can demonstrate this much restraint with wantonly violent gangs when they’re White, then how can we justify as 'inevitable' or 'normal' that people of color — Black and Native people, especially — who have committed far lesser crimes or no offense at all are regularly killed and injured by law enforcement?”

This question reflects the concerns of the United Methodist Charter for Racial Justice. In 1978, this charter was created and adopted by the Women’s Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries. It was adopted by the entire denomination in 1980, and it has been readopted every eight years since. 
This year, our Iowa Conference UMW Committee on the Charter for Racial Justice will be providing opportunities for all of us to learn about how racism and privilege create an unequal society. In addition to some excellent books in our reading program, including our study Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, we’ll be sharing resources and perspectives in this newsletter and developing events exploring race and bias. Our hope is units can use these articles, resources, and events to open conversations about race, prejudice, and privilege. 

Where do we begin?
I suggest we start with Social Action Coordinator Deb Streff’s review of the book White Fragility in this issue of Connections. She recommends we admit we all have biases, giving us much to learn. 

And for the white majority in America, our race means we benefit from systems, i.e., educational, employment, financial, etc., designed to restrict access of those outside the majority. The following short video provides a simple illustration. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffWhWnIH16E.

In this second video, Brandon Leak, spoken word artist from America’s Got Talent, performs his poem on why his mom prays for his safety. It’s a very moving perspective and starts after his intro poem. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie-MEV1XfAA.

Use these resources to start some conversations about racial justice. Read the Charter using the link above and explore the scripture and discussion questions posted with it. And watch for more opportunities to learn and grow.

Committee on the Charter for Racial Justice: Gladys Alvarez, Donna Burkett, Lynn Calvert, Cherie Miner, and Deb Streff
Save the date for May 22 Why Racial Justice? Zoom event
As daily events remind us, we have a lot of racial justice work to do. As this was written, the officer charged with killing George Floyd was on trial in Minneapolis, and each day more attacks on Asian Americans are reported. What precipitates these events and what can we do to interrupt and prevent them? How do we replace fear and hate with love and justice?

In 1978, the United Methodist Charter for Racial Justice was created and adopted by the Women’s Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries. It was adopted by the entire denomination in 1980, and it has been readopted every eight years since. 

As part of our effort to learn about how racism and privilege create an unequal society, our Iowa Conference UMW Committee on the Charter for Racial Justice decided to host an event. We asked Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. to lead this event. His presentation is:

America is Changing: #StayWoke
10-11:30 a.m. CST, Sat., May 22 via Zoom

The session will challenge the audience to examine and explore issues related to bias, privilege, supremacy and #BecomingAntiRacism.

In 1996, Dr. Moore started America & MOORE, LLC to provide comprehensive diversity, privilege and leadership training/workshops. Dr. Moore is recognized as one of the nation’s top speakers and educators. His interview with Wisconsin Public Radio won the 2015 Wisconsin Broadcasters Association's Best Interview in Medium Market Radio, 1st Place, and he is featured in the film “I’m not Racist….Am I?” 

Dr. Moore is also the Founder/Program Director for the White Privilege Conference (WPC). In 2014, Dr. Moore founded The Privilege Institute (TPI) which engages people in research, education, action and leadership through workshops, conferences, publications and strategic partnerships and relationships. He is co-founder of the on-line journal Understanding and Dismantling Privilege, co-editor of:  Everyday White People Confront Racial and Social Injustice: 15 Stories; The Guide for White Women who Teach Black Boys; The Diversity Consultant Cookbook: Preparing for the Challenge (2019); Teaching Beautiful Brilliant Black Girls (forthcoming, 2021); and Lil’ e - The Big Misunderstanding (2020). Dr. Moore received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in Education Leadership. His Ph.D. research is on Black Football Players at Division III Schools in the Midwest. *IDI Qualified Administrator https://idiinventory.com/ 

Please register in advance for this  meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUvfuugqzwpEtB0MZMPQ98dr24GHdyqXcoA

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Education & Interpretation


Spring has sprung – a new day has come!  Thanks be to God for bringing us through a long and challenging winter.  May new possibilities give us renewed energy and commitment to improving life for women, children, and youth at home and around the world!

It is time for our units to look back on what has been accomplished over the past year in spite of our isolation. Mission Today Unit reports are due to your District Chairpersons of Education & Interpretation by June 30. I’ll attach the revised form again so we are sure you have it in hand.  We decided that we would like to have you report anything you were able to do that fulfills the Purpose of United Methodist Women. Therefore, you will see the possible activities divided into four sections: 

  • SPIRITUAL GROWTH – “to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ”
  • MEMBERSHIP, NURTURE & OUTREACH – “develop a creative, supportive fellowship”
  • SOCIAL ACTION – “expand concepts of mission”
  • EDUCATION AND INTERPRETATION – “participation in the Global Ministries of the church”

If you look carefully at the sections, I think you will discover that you HAVE accomplished much even though you thought you were “on hold.” There is no competition for “awards” this year – just tell us how your unit is doing. It’s important that we get a sense of how UMW has stayed alive through our Covid year.
We’re all very excited to be able to offer MISSION U 2021 in a new format in July.  Having the chance to join a virtual 4-week study will give many the opportunity to participate!  Look for the details elsewhere in this letter.  Next year we’ll be able to report on our Mission Studies again!!
“See” you via Zoom over the next few months yet.  

Barb Oakland
319-377-5977 or 563-542-3583 (c)

Mission u

Ignited for Justice – Mission u 2021

“But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (ESV)

—Amos 5:24

Mission u 2021 to be presented by Iowa Conference United Methodist Women offers topics fit our current reality. The public health emergency duration has exceeded 365 days, social distancing had become a common phrase, lives change daily due to another’s own perceived authority, and demonstrators take to the street in solidarity. In a time such as this, we offer a study of finding peace and a study of criminalization. Please join us Tuesday evenings and/or Wednesday evenings  in July 2021 to learn, grow, and share to transform the world. Registration details can be found within this newsletter.
After Mission u 2021, participants are encouraged to host their own small group book club discussion for those who may not have the opportunity to attend in July. Book club groups may be held either virtual format if you have the technology or in-person if conditions allow and are acceptable by those participating. Discussion guides are available if you need starter questions or ideas. If you host a book club, please send details (contact information below) so activity of Iowa Conference can be recorded to National Office. 

Linda Blazek Garvin 
606 Phillips Street, Polk City, IA 50226
Mission u Dean 2021-2022
Iowa Conference United Methodist Women

Mission u, like many activities in our lives, has moved online. While virtual, we are still creating spaces for spiritual community, lifelong friendships, lessons that change us and our communities, and spiritual practices that arrive when we need them most. 

Participants of Mission u 2021 are encouraged to lead small group, book club discussions in your respective district/local area. Please contact Linda Blazek Garvin (lindabg27@aol.com) for website to discussion guide for each study, if needed.

Will you join us?
Our 2021 Mission u will offer the following studies:

Finding Peace in an Anxious World
2021 Spiritual Growth Mission Study

Finding Peace in an Anxious World, the 2021 Spiritual Growth Study by staff of the Urban Village Church, uses the book of Proverbs and “The Serenity Prayer” as a guide to help Christians find their way through anxiety, worry, and fear and move towards God’s peace that surpasses all understanding. Using “The Serenity Prayer” as a scaffold, Finding Peace in an Anxious World explores ways to discover peace through scriptural and spiritual disciplines so that we can be rooted in God and energized to live fully as disciples of Christ.

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools
2021 Issue Mission Study

Despite increased attention to the mass and over-incarceration of black men, the plight of criminalized black women and girls is overlooked, underreported and under analyzed. Monique W. Morris' Pushout shows how even with obstacles, stigmas, stereotypes and despair, black girls still find ways to breathe remarkable dignity into their lives in classrooms, juvenile facilities and beyond, and challenges the rest of us to do the same.

RSVP:  Email Sally Barrett, Mission u Registrar, with the following information: (barretts@mchsi.com)
Name, mailing address, and local church
Name(s) of class wish to attend
Link to Zoom platform will be sent closer to start of class via email.
UPDATE: Virtual Mission u has no registration fee to attend.

Legacy Fund


During the Legacy Fund Endowment Campaign’s six-year history, United Methodist Women across the globe, raised over $34 million dollars, surpassing 56% of the $60 million goal in December 2020! That campaign phase ended in December 2020.  
A new fundraising space under the heading of a Sustaining Phase, Building on Our Success, began in January 2021.  Additional gifts received during 2021 and beyond will allow United Methodist Women to have access to financial resources used to expand our mission and transform the lives of women, children, and youth.  
How can you participate in this campaign, you ask?  By choosing one of several options listed below.  Further information about planned giving will be included in explained in later Connections. 
Donate Online - Make a secure gift by credit card. Your gift can be made in honor or in memory of someone special.  An e-card is available for your use.  www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/150/give
Give by Mail
 your donation to United Methodist National Office
475 Riverside Drive 15th Floor 
New York, NY 10115
Become a Legacy Builder
A Legacy Builder commits to make a monthly gift of $18.69 or more to the Legacy Fund Endowment in honor of United Methodist Women’s 150 anniversary. 

Marcia Young Legacy Fund Liaison


In our last issue, I asked these four questions.  I received few answers, so I assume no one has the answers.  But I’ll ask the questions again:

  1. Does anyone remember having a historian previously?  If so, who and when?
  2. Does anyone have anything called Archives?  If so, where?
  3. Does anyone save materials that might be useful?  If so, what?
  4. What is important to save?

My first goal is to collect Directories, going back as far as we can.  Since then, I’ve received all Directories from 1997 on, thanks to Jean Sheets, Jan Yungbluth, Barb Oakland, Sharon Boen, and Becky Herron.  And Mary Morris and Sandy Oswald have promised to meet with me soon to exchange older materials.

But I really want more older things.  A collection going back to 1997 isn’t really history.  What might YOU have that you’d be willing to give me?  Let me know, and we’ll connect!

Judy Marnin
1100 Brookridge Circle, Apt. 3B
Atlantic, IA  50022

National UMW Program Advisory Board

Keep on Moving Forward . . . Never Turning Back
Most recently national United Methodist Women held a Federal Legislative Day on April 14th with almost 40 states across the nation discussing climate justice issues in Zoom meetings with Senators and Representatives. These were the primary asks of the sessions:

  1. economy-wide strategies for reaching 70% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050 (based on 2010 levels),
  2. legislation that modernizes crumbling infrastructure and that supports the de-carbonization of transportation, and 
  3. legislation that supports a just transition for disproportionately impacted workers and communities (especially Tribal and Indigenous, Black, low-wealth, rural, and women within these communities).

Ten Iowa UMW members organized and attended three Zoom meetings with staff from offices of Sen. Ernst and Rep. Axne. An additional meeting was held on Earth Day (4/22) with two staffers from Sen. Grassley’s office, one of who is a member of an Iowa UMC. 

National UMW Board members approved signing the Net-Zero Emissions pledge “to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 across ministries, operations, and investments and to leverage the gifts of our connection putting equity and justice at the center as we build a net-zero emission economy by 2050.”
Are you using the United Methodist website, program book, Prayer Calendar, Reading List books, and response magazine for your personal education, programs for units and districts? There is a wealth of excellent materials for you and UMW members to explore! 
In addition, be sure to connect with Faith Talks on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month hosted by Jennifer R. Farmer with a wide variety of topics and diverse presenters. The last one was on Gun Violence Solutions. Did you know that these now count as items for your Reading List report? (Also at least three films—Just Mercy, The Hate U Give, and Pushout—will count.)
Have you been to Africa or Arizona or Tennessee this past year to meet the women who are leading and working in the programs UMW funds? You can if you take part in Voices from the Field online events. Another session is planned for May 10th, 9-10:30 a.m. Register here.  Previous recordings are viewable at www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/voices-from-the-field.      

Please plan to participate in the Iowa Charter for Racial Justice Committee’s “Why Racial Justice” event on Saturday, May 22nd, 10-11:30 a.m. featuring Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. In addition, I encourage you to consider joining Let Our Children Learn: A UMW Virtual Bible Study on Interrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline on Thursdays, May 20 & 27 and June 3 & 10 at 5-6:30 p.m.  Register here.      

Let me know if you have questions or comments. I’m here to connect with you about UMW!

Rita Carter, ritaac@mchsi.com, 515-979-0605,
7218 El Rancho Ave, Windsor Heights, IA 50324

Church Women United in Iowa

Church Women United in Iowa and World Day of Prayer USA   May 2021

Church Women United Inc. Agreed to Differ – Resolved to Love – United to Serve. Since 1941, the women of the Church Women United movement have held a vision of Christian unity and prayerful action. CWU was founded as a racially, culturally, theologically, inclusive Christian women’s movement to celebrate  unity and diversity and work for peace in the world.

CWU 2021 celebration materials available on www.churchwomenunited.net planning November World Community Day on November 5 and Human Rights Day to be celebrated at any date during the year.

Needed: Donations of tabs from beverages, cat food cans and other aluminum tabs to fund personal items for survivors of human trafficking. Tabs will provide support to current residents in the 3 Safe Houses in Iowa: WINGS of REFUGE of Ames area; LILA MAE’S HOUSE of Sioux City area; DOROTHY’S HOUSE of the Des Moines area. Thank you!

Virtual 2021 Vanuatu Service may be viewed at: YOUTUBE.COM WORLD DAY OF PRAYER USA VIRTUAL SERVICE VANUATU 2021. It is led by the current national WPD USA board members. Other virtual 2021 Vanuatu services held globally may also be viewed on YOUTUBE.COM and Facebook. Learn about this beautiful country. Pray for solidarity to support its women, children and families.

Sue Hattel 
Dubuque, IA CWU in Iowa liaison to Iowa United Methodist Women World Day of Prayer USA National Board

International Women’s Day 2021        “Ring the Bell”               Dubuque, Iowa
St. Luke’s United Methodist Women(Sue Hattel, Marcia Young), Rockdale/Grand View United Methodist Women (Helen Schaub) and Dubuque Church Women United planned  International Women’s Day(IWD)) 2021 observance at Rockdale United Methodist Church. 2021 international  theme is  #Choose to Challenge.

What is International Women’s Day (IWD), held annually on March 8?

  • Globally celebrate - women’s social, economic, cultural & political achievements 
  • Global day of action - a calling to accelerate women’s equality

Dubuque 2020 IWD event featured women and girl speakers:  international women students from U of Dubuque; young Girl Scouts; a worker assists human trafficking survivors; a member of P.E.O. Sisterhood; and a Presentation Lantern volunteer teaches English to immigrant women. Each impacts lives of females!

Dubuque 2021 IWD was held noon until 2: 00 p.m. as a “come & go” event with masks and social distancing required due to COVID precautions. Attendees completed a “self-guided reflection” and prior to departure, rang the tower bell committing to supporting solidarity of women and girls.  The tolling of the large bell was heard throughout the community every 10 minutes.                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Why does International Women’s Day Matter?
On IWD we remember, that as long as one woman faces discrimination, inequality or oppression - we all do.  Yes, IWD matters - we have come a long way—but we have much more to accomplish.  Summary of compiled global challenges:

  • 2.7 billion women - legally restricted from having same job choices as men
  • 45 countries do not have specific laws against domestic violence
  • 35% of women globally have experienced sexual or physical violence
  • 1 in 3 women experience gender-based violence
  • 18.1% is the gender pay gap in the United States

As women, as United Methodist Women, we are called to

  • recognize social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
  • inspire commitment to challenge inequality, call out bias, question stereotypes and help create a more inclusive and gender-equal world.
  • work with sisters, throughout our world, for economic & physical healing.

Sue Hattel   
Church Women United Representative to IA Conference United Methodist Women
Board member National WDP-USA.

Circuit Ministry

By now, you have hopefully heard about the Iowa Annual Conference transitioning to circuit ministry.  While this does not directly affect United Methodist Women, it does impact us as members of a United Methodist church.  

The plan is that all churches in our Conference will be part of a circuit by July 1, 2021.  A circuit is made up of 5-8 churches and the clergy from those churches plus one lay member.  

This is a way for the churches in any given circuit to share resources and an opportunity to do mission together.  Each circuit will look a little different depending on needs and circumstances of each one.

I am so excited about circuit ministry.  This is a way for us to be truly connectional and for laity to have a real voice in mission.  You can find more about circuit ministry on the Iowa Conference web- site or I will be happy to answer questions or direct you to someone who can. I am praying we can all embrace and encourage this ministry.
Lynn Calvert United Methodist Women connection to Director of Clergy Excellence and Leadership slmdean70@gmail.com


Youth In Ministry

Let Our Children Learn:
A UMW Virtual Bible Study on Interrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline


May 20, May 27, June 3, June 10

6-7:30PM ET / 5-6:30PM CT / 4-5:30PM MT / 3-4:30PM PT

Register here

You are invited to join United Methodist Women members and friends for a four-part Bible study on the sacred place of children and youth in God's eyes, antiracism and interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. 
What can I expect?
This study includes four 90-minute sessions: 

  • Embracing New Life (Colossians 3:1-17; Romans 12:1-2)
  • Embracing the Gifts and Leadership of Children (Acts 16:16 19, Matthew 19:13–15, Luke 2:39-52, Jeremiah 31:15-17 and Matthew 2:16-18)
  • Reimagining the Role of Women in Society (Numbers 27:1–8, Matthew 15:21–28 and Luke 18:1–8)
  • Unfamiliar Identities: Embodying New Possibilities for Interaction with All Women (Luke 15 + Ephesians 6:10-17)

Each session will build on the previous session. We encourage you to register for and attend the full series.
We believe that God is presently active in the world. The Bible is not just a story we read about the past; rather, the Bible points to a Gospel story that is alive and at work in the present, as well. God seeks justice and liberation for all people. God's love flows freely towards children and youth. The school-to-prison pipeline is contrary to God's vision for creation.

A variety of gifts are needed in the work of interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. Just as there are many parts to the body and many varieties of spiritual gifts, so there are many ways of being an "interrupter."
We invite you to:

  • consider and explore additional lenses for engaging with Scripture; 
  • dive deep into Biblical wisdom that supports the liberation, wellbeing and wholeness of all people, especially children and youth;
  • reflect and discern in community, seeking clarity about your own call to interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline.

You can expect opportunities to participate and interact with other study members in small groups. Participation in small groups is voluntary but highly encouraged. Your experience of this study will be enriched if you are able to participate via video on a computer or cell phone using the free Zoom application. However, there will also be a Zoom call-in option for phone-only participation if you do not have access to participate by video. There is no cost to participate. Sessions will be live/interactive and will not be recorded. No prior knowledge is required. All are welcome.
About Your Lead Facilitator: 
Neomi Fletcher holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Policy Studies with a concentration on urban and social policy from Rice University in Houston, TX. Neomi is the founder of Peace Ground LLC.- a household management organization dedicated to supporting families in establishing healthy family ecosystems. Neomi is pursuing ordination as a Deacon in the UMC and is a member of the Texas Annual Conference. Neomi will complete her Master of Divinity in May 2021 from Emory University. Neomi currently serves as a board member for Bishop's Retreat and as the grant manager on the Strategic Management Team for the Nett Church in Atlanta, GA. Finally, she is the UMC Young Adult Delegate for the Churches United in Christ. She brings a commitment to empower others, a strong awareness of the various social structures hindering individuals opportunities to choose their course in life and a deep hope that God’s love is powerful enough to unite humanity.
Pre-registration is required and capacity is limited. Registrations are approved on a first-come, first-served basis.

Register here

* If the registration link does not work for you, please copy and paste this text into your browser window: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0vcOispzwtGdfoRKaSO_pwfAUJtgpDZuIP