Disciples Women Leadership Council meets and shares
By the Rev. Dr. Patricia Donahoo, executive director, Disciples Women
The Disciples Women Leadership Council (DWLC) met Jan. 21-25, 2015, to learn, share, pray and worship. The Council is made up of either the Disciples Women’s Ministries staff person of each region and ethnic constituency group or their president. In the hope of training and networking a larger number of leaders each region/group was invited to bring a second representative whose cost was covered by their region/group.
Rev. April Johnson, minister of reconciliation for Reconciliation Ministries, led those gathered in pro-reconciliation/anti-racism training asking them to identify who benefits from racist systems and what can be done to continue this work against racism. Rev. Sharon Stanley-Rea, director of Disciples Home Mission’s Refugee and Immigration Ministries, shared how immigration and human trafficking are bound together and recommended ways in which women can continue the struggle against the bondage of human beings.
Rev. Kathy McDowell, study guide writer of Just Women‘s Bible study, facilitated small groups to teach a sample lesson from this Spring’s Women of the New Testament: Finding Their Voices. The leaders from each interregional group gathered to make plans for ways they might work together sharing leadership and resources as well as to begin their plans for their interregional women’s gatherings that take place every four years.
Reports/updates were given from ethnic constituencies and the Church of Christ (Disciples of Christ) representatives. Rev. Pat Donahoo shared that registrations for Quadrennial Assembly (QA) were far below the initial estimates used for planning and that this number, like General Assembly, has been decreasing over the years. As a result of low registration it was necessary to draw on reserve funds. The Executive Committee will be taking the time to re-imagine what a women’s gathering might look like in the future.
New officers were elected to lead the DWLC: Rev. Dr. Christal Williams, President; Teresa Olberding, Vice President; Gloria Gilliard, Secretary-Treasurer; and Sarah Himaya and Maria Martinez, at-large representatives.