Where’s Horizons? • Come to the Waters resource flier • Last-minute Gathering information • Elba Rico en Español • USAME application • Invitation from the Stated Clerk • Updated Honorary Life Membership form • Awards and blogs and gifts and donors • and lots more!
Call 866.802.3635 to subscribe to Horizons magazine.
Call 844.PW.PCUSA (844.797.2872) to reach the national offices of Presbyterian Women.
Presbyterian Women Churchwide
Spring CCT meeting highlights
At its spring 2015 meeting, February 26–March 1 in Minneapolis, the Churchwide Coordinating Team (CCT) of Presbyterian Women thanked 24 members who are rotating off the board in July—Pat Angle, Wanda Beauman, Katie Blume, Virginia Champlin, Sung Yeon Choi-Morrow, Gloria Chough, Mary Danforth, Amy Frimpong, Jeanette Huie, Lucy Janjigian, Karene Jones, Mary Jorgenson, Alice Koerner, Carole Koi, Sheila Louder, Margaret Marks, Cathryn Piekarski, Elizabeth Potter, Lisiann Rodriguez, Jayne Sneed, Pam Snyder, Carolyn Sprinkle and Dahlia Vela.
Debbie Esselman and Carol Winkler held a light-hearted send-off for them. All 40 CCT members and staff in attendance learned some fun but little-known facts about those leaving. Did you know that Alice Koerner has two pythons in her home? (She also has two sons at home, which explains a lot!) Or that the FBI has a file on Katie Blume, and Mary Jorgenson can curse in Latin? Sheila Louder buys shoes she likes in more than one color (which explains why she ended up wearing one color on one foot and another on the other, once!). Wanda Beauman played Rahab in a church play, and Dahlia Vela was selected from an audience to dance with a Tyrolean performer who threw her over his shoulder to return her to her seat. Karene Jones won a fishing boat in a raffle, sold it and took a trip! There are dancers, swimmers, equestrians, adventurers, gastronomes and more among them. Who knew?
Presbyterian Women thanks all 24 for their generous and faithful service to PW, and urges them to join the alumnae network!
<photo 1>CCT members at the spring 2015 meeting in Minneapolis
Mary Jorgenson, chair
• A draft budget was approved for the upcoming triennium. Adoption is a decision of the representatives to the 2015 Business Meeting.
• The CCT structure task group met and offered considerations for the 2015–2018 CCT to respond to or refer. Considerations include improved orientation and mentoring for CCT members, enhanced communication and networking, and review of the Sisters Stand and Walk Together program. The Racial/Ethnic Dialog task group will meet by conference call.
Antiracism Committee (ARC)
Katie Blume, chair
• ARC proposed that Racial Ethnic Dialog be continued, but in a more cost-effective manner in the upcoming triennium, and that a member of ARC be added to the task group. Because CCT was tasked in 2000 and in each subsequent business meeting with becoming an antiracist organization at all levels, Racial Ethnic Dialog remains important to this effort.
• ARC requests content for its Manna for the March blog page. Email items of relevance, including ideas for building inclusive, caring communities, talking about racism, breaking down barriers, and more, plus reflections, inspiration, stories of courage, thoughtful information pieces, and more, to Katie Blume (email@example.com), or Yvonne Hileman (firstname.lastname@example.org). The blog is available at http://pwpcusa.typepad.com/racialjustice. Please read the blog and share with others. And don’t forget to check out Racial Justice Allies on Facebook.
• ARC is developing a list of liturgical supplements to PC(USA) resources published by the office of Racial Ethnic/Women’s Ministries, and is discussing other areas of collaboration with REWM.
• ARC members Judy Wellington and Tanya Denley are developing a resource that addresses, in a pastoral way, inclusive language needs, and encourages sisters who are developing cultural proficiency to learn language that reflects that proficiency.
• ARC is continuing work on an adult education/Sunday school curriculum, and planning a release of the curriculum to coincide with Racial Justice Sunday and Black History Month next year.
Gathering Activities of ARC
• ARC will hold a silent witness during the upcoming Gathering to bring attention to racial profiling. This one will highlight, in particular, discrimination against Muslims. Other forms of racial profiling may also be represented.
Bible Study Committee
Margaret Marks, chair
• CCT approved a change in the way topics are chosen for future Bible studies. The committee will select authors, then ask the author to propose a topic about which they are knowledgeable and enthused.
• Judy Siker is writing the 2016–2017 study, Who Is Jesus?
• Melissa Bane Sevier will write the 2017–2018 study on Hebrews.
• Amy Poling Sutherlun was chosen to write the 2018–2019 study on God’s promises.
Carole Koi, chair
Remember, good communication is important for building community; it’s a powerful connectional tool. Speaking of communication, be sure to promote, promote, promote—promote PW, its work, its programs, its mission and its giving opportunities! Particularly:
• Promote the Mission Pledge, which underpins the structure of Presbyterian Women at every level and makes possible the combined efforts of all PW.
• Continue to promote the use of PW’s new toll-free number—844.PW.PCUSA (844.797.2872).
PW’s communications strategy
• An updated communications strategy will encompass printed material, online resources, the PW website, and the CCT/PW exhibit at the Churchwide Gathering. The strategy is aligned with the Purpose of Presbyterian Women and organizes PW’s work into seven main focus areas:
• The areas are symbolized by the seven sawblades in the PW logo, and will be visually represented by seven colors, a collection of high quality images and seven banners used at the Gathering. Those banners feature photos of work in all seven areas, and list the primary programs through which PW accomplishes that work. The banner designs will be carried into updated resources that interpret and promote the work of PW.
• All PW are asked to gather and share stories of effective funds development strategies, leadership tips and strategies, mission stories and ideas, stories of Offering recipients in their areas, examples of working for justice and peace, building community, dismantling racism, and so forth, all for dissemination in PW communication channels including the magazine, quarterly newsletter, website and PW blogs (see more on page 5).
• As always, access all PW communications through the website, www.presbyterianwomen.org.
Creative Ministries Offering Committee
Judith Jerry, chair
• The Creative Ministries Offering Committee reviewed 62 proposals submitted for grants from the 2014 Thank Offering. After careful deliberation, 32 projects were selected for funding. The grants total $710,000. Of the 32 projects funded, 23 are national, 9 are international (Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Sudan, Malawi, Israel, India, Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda). These recipients are announced in the 2015 Offering promotional materials and in the July/August issue of Horizons magazine.
• The theme of the 2015 Offering is “For it is God who is at work in you,” based on Philippians 2:13. The number and amount of grants issued in 2016 will depend on the amount raised for the offering in 2015.
• A second payment was approved for the 2014 Birthday Offering recipient, Blue Corn Mothers Alliance in Albuquerque.
Funds Development Committee
Jeanette Huie, chair
• Women, individuals, presbyteries and synods were encouraged to give gifts for the silent auction at the Gathering as well as bring $10 Target gift cards for the offering at the Gathering.
• All PW are asked to gather and share stories of effective funds development strategies to share with the committee and the national office.
• Promote the Mission Pledge, which underpins the structure of Presbyterian Women at every level and makes possible the combined efforts of all PW. New materials will be available at the Gathering and will be mailed in July. If your group does not receive the Mission Pledge promotional booklet by August 1, call PDS at 800.524.2612 to request item PWR15011. Email email@example.com to be sure you are in our database.
Justice and Peace Committee
Sheila Louder, chair
• A March for Justice and Peace will be held on Saturday, June 20 from 5–6 pm in conjunction with the Churchwide Gathering, June 18–21, 2015. This march will benefit CARE and Presbyterian Ministry at the UN. A pledge form may be downloaded at www.presbyterianwomen.org/gathering. Gifts will be accepted after the Gathering, as well.
• CCT approved sending a letter to Shoshana Johnson, author of I’m Still Standing, in support of her service in Iraq and recognizing her sacrifice as the first African American woman prisoner of war.
• J&P recommends I’m Still Standing, as well as the following: The Michael Erick Dyson Reader by Michael Erick Dyson, Teach a Woman to Fish by Ritu Sharma, Falling Into Place by Hattie Kauffman, Beyond the Beautiful Forever by Katherine Boo, A Call to Action by Jimmy Carter, and I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai.
• The J&P Committee is moving ahead with a PW-sponsored event focused on the issue of violence against women and girls (VAWG) at the Carter Center in Atlanta. Two possible dates have been chosen, contingent upon availability of the center—September 23–25, 2016 and October 7–9, 2016.
• A national event for Native American women was held May 30, 2015, on the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho. Hattie Kauffman, author of Falling Into Place: A Memoir of Overcoming, was the keynote speaker.
• Please continue to support maternal and child nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life through Bread for the World’s Women of Faith for the 1,000 Days Movement and through the 2015 Offering of Letters. See www.bread.org for more.
• Committee member Lisiann Rodriguez is working with the athletic director at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, on a program for athletes that addresses issues of violence against women, particularly in the context of sports culture and campus life.
• The J&P Committee hosted a second J&P Roundtable conference call on January 19, 2015. Presbyterian Men (PM) (moderator and volunteer) joined the call to talk with participants about how men can work as partners with women to end all forms of violence against women, including human trafficking. That work continues. Both PW and PM sit on the PC(USA)’s End Violence Against Women roundtable and are collaborating with the PC(USA) on the Courageous Conversations initiative. See page 2 for details. A third call in early June will focus on forming coalitions to enact principles of CEDAW at the municipal level.
Jayne Sneed, chair
• The adaptive leadership training undertaken in 2013 and discussions at subsequent CCT meetings continue to identify the need for intergenerational mentoring. It is important for the future of Presbyterian Women to invite women of all ages to be a part of the mission of an inclusive, caring community. The development of the alumnae network should offer new opportunities for leadership development through mentorship.
• LEC will focus on developing easily accessible resources such as web-inars for use in congregations at the grassroots level.
• LEC will make the letter that accompanies the PW Manual (stating that the manual is only a guideline for the organization, that groups may be flexible in their structure), available on the PW website.
• LEC members have made final suggestions for changes in the PW Manual. The revision will take place following the 2015 Churchwide Gathering. LEC is looking to make the manual more approachable and a reference guideline. The manual will be available electronically, with print-on-demand capability.
• LEC will continue developing a CCT alumnae leadership network. Members of the network are asked to identify ways they would be willing to share their experience, including as mentors, volunteer speakers, presenters, and more. This effort will result in a valuable network of talented leaders to call upon.
• LEC now has a blog called PW Leads the Way. A link to all PW blogs is on PW’s main web page, www.presbyterianwomen.org.
Mission Relationships (MRC)
Pam Snyder, chair
USA Mission Experience (USAME)
• CCT approved holding the next USA Mission Experience September 22–30, 2016. The theme is “Out of the Darkness . . . into the Light,” based on John 1:5. A group of Presbyterian Women will visit the San Francisco Bay Area, September 22–30, 2016. Please begin sharing the application with women in your synod so that the committee has a good slate of candidates to choose from at our USAME planning committee meeting in September. The application is available on the PW website at www.presbyterianwomen.org/missionmatters. Send completed applications to your PW in the Synod (PWS) moderator by July 15, 2015. PWS moderators should have applications in to the committee, c/o Kathy Reeves, Presbyterian Women in the PC(USA), 100 Witherspoon St., Louisville, KY 40202-1396, by September 1, 2015. Call PDS at 800.524.2612 to order bookmarks (item PWR15230).
• CCT approved a recommendation that, in the next triennium, there will be a change in the way the Global Exchange works. The CCT will provide an international partnership experience with a PC(USA) partner church. PW participants will spend a week in the host country, then the host country’s participants will travel back with the PW group to spend a week in the U.S. This option replaces the traditional Global Exchange, which has been tied to the Churchwide Gathering and costs associated with bringing guests over at PW’s expense. Current financial and global realities dictated a change, and this is seen as a fairer exchange. MRC used results from a survey designed by CCT member Jane McGookey to help inform their decisions.
• MRC is looking for two more synods to host itinerating Global Exchange partners. MRC asks that CCT members encourage invitations for itinerating Global Exchange 2014 participants, as well. Email Kathy Reeves if you are interested.
• MRC discussed a request from Sam Atiemo to PW to write a memorandum of understanding between PW and African immigrant women’s groups in order to bring the two organizations into relationship. That memorandum will be formally adopted at the Churchwide Gathering in June. Watch for news here and on the Gathering website.
• The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study will no longer be in print form but will be available on the PC(USA) website. A suggestion for Horizons magazine to include a regular feature similar to the MYB pages will be discussed in the Horizons Editorial Committee.
• Presbyterian Disaster Assistance sponsored disaster response training for congregations in April as part of the partnership between PW and PDA. See article by Beth Snyder, in this newsletter, for more information on the new training program involving Presbyterian Women.
• All PW members are asked to gather and share stories of mission activities, mission trips, mission funding, etc., for dissemination in all PW communication channels, including the magazine, quarterly newsletter and the Mission Matters blog. Send items to Kathy Reeves at firstname.lastname@example.org, along with photos and captions, if possible. Read the Mission Matters blog at http://pwpcusa.typepad.com/pwmm. From any of the PW blogs, you can find others by clicking on Profile, then choosing one from the list on the left.
Working for Justice and Peace
Courageous Conversations, Educate a Child, 1,000 Days: All about PW, PC(USA) working together
1,000 Days and Educate a Child
By Carol Winkler
Aminata Sanogo isn’t paid for teaching nutrition in south Mali’s villages, but she is happy to do so for the maaya-juru (boost to her social life). “I need to visually explain the facts about nutrition to women,” she says, referencing the fact that less than a third of adult women are literate in Mali. “I describe proteins like the bricks needed to build a house—without proteins a child won’t grow.” Her work is part of Bread for the World’s Women of Faith for the 1,000 Days initiative. This initiative encourages education and conversation around the importance of nutrition and health for mothers and their children during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, conception to age two. The thought is if you change a life, you change the future.
For several years now PW has been promoting this initiative. Presbyterian Women helped with an overture to the General Assembly last summer to get the PC(USA) involved and to adopt the 1,000 Days Initiative.
Now there is a logical follow-up to the 1,000 Days Initiative—the PC(USA)’S Educate a Child Initiative, which launched April 17 with the Pentecost Offering. Through this initiative, Presbyterians hope to provide quality education to 1 million children in the U.S. and around the world in the next four years, as a way to alleviate poverty, especially for women and children. Frank Dimmock, PC(USA) mission catalyst, says the tie to the Pentecost Offering is a natural one since 40% of this PC(USA) Special Offering is retained by churches to improve the lives of children in local communities.
Again, Presbyterian Women is taking a leadership role in accomplishing this goal. I have been invited to be the PW representative in the group of staff and other Presbyterians helping to create and promote this initiative. The two initial goals set by this group are
• Strengthen early childhood education
• Decrease the drop-out rate
How can your church or PWP tackle these goals? Do you have a dream of an after-school program that will help kids with homework or improve their reading skills? Could you partner with another church to make a community impact for kids? Give me a call and let’s talk about the potential! 859.781.7662 or email email@example.com.
By Sheila Louder
We are excited to be working with PC(USA) Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons and Shannon Beck, mission catalyst for reconciliation, on the church’s Stop Sexual Violence campaign. Gradye is personally inviting churches to hold “Courageous Conversations” in October focused on ending sexual violence. Gradye and Shannon have been thinking about specific congregations that might be willing to hold these conversations. Noting PW's longstanding activism around the issue of violence against women (informed by its mission and advocacy work, including participation in The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women), PW offered to help. We knew we had a network of women who would be eager for their congregations to be involved!
So, we are asking: Do you know clergy who you think would be willing to preach, teach, or have a service of healing this October (Domestic Violence awareness month)? Gradye and Shannon hope to have at 100 churches on the roster—and at least one in every state. Can you suggest clergy/churches you think would respond to this call? If so, please send the following information to Shannon Beck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Pastor name and title
2. Physical address
3. Church and presbytery
Rachel’s Law passes Georgia legislature
Rachel’s Law is a Safe Harbor law that extends protection and services to human trafficking victims. It also establishes a Safe Harbor fund that will be used to provide care, rehabilitative services, residential housing, health services, and social services to sexually exploited children. Presbyterian women in Georgia worked for its passage. Sheila Louder, PW Churchwide Vice Moderator for Justice and Peace, pictured third from left in the second row behind the governor, said, “It took six years to get the bill passed.” Rachel, for whom the law is named, is standing in the first row behind Governor Deal, second from right. Georgia Senator Rene Unterman and Georgia Representative Andy Welch, sponsors of the bill, are to the governor's immediate right and left. Rachel is a trafficking survivor who has been accompanied on her healing journey by Living Water for Girls, a 2012 Birthday Offering recipient! Learn more about Living Water for Girls at www.cofcl.org. Learn more about the Birthday Offering of Presbyterian Women at www.presbyterianwomen.org/birthday.
Advocates witness Georgia Governor Nathan Deal's signing of Rachel's Law (Senate Bill 8) Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at the Georgia State Capitol.
Together in Action program on human trafficking gets attention of local media in southern Ohio
By Louise Davidson
Late last year, I had sent information to PW groups in the presbytery about the Trafficking Awareness Day held annually in January at the Ohio Statehouse. Evelyn Baker and the PW at First Presbyterian Church, Waverly, Ohio, were among those who received my notice. Evelyn could not attend, but asked that I send information from the event.
For one of her PW group’s Fifth Wednesday programs, Evelyn put together a panel on human trafficking. She asked the police to participate, even though the general perception was that human trafficking would not be going on in a small, rural Ohio town. The police were interested, and the rest is history. Over 70 people attended the presentation. Here are excerpts from the story that was published by the local newspaper, the News Watchman, on May 9, 2015. (For the entire article, see www.newswatchman.com/news/article_d4f8e959-d86f-51aa-9caa-b206ea96b5fe.html.)
Modern slavery: Growing problem of human trafficking discussed during recent presentation
By Stephanie Stanley
Recently, locals attended an informational meeting to learn about the dangers and signs of human trafficking, how to report a suspected case, and how to find hope in the midst of the growing issue. The presentation, titled “Human Trafficking Awareness,” was held on April 29 at First Presbyterian Church in Waverly. “Over 70 people from area churches, agencies, and the community at large attended the program to learn about human trafficking, an estimated $32-billion-per-year industry,” said Nel Huck, of First Presbyterian Church. “The Presbyterian women from the Waverly church hosted this program as part of their Fifth Wednesday program series.”
Major Timothy Dickerson of the Pike County Sheriff’s Office presented information about human trafficking and was joined by a panel which included Brent Currence (coordinator of the Missing Persons Unit, Outreach and Education, Ohio Attorney General’s office), Robin Riddle (program coordinator for Pike County Partnership Against Domestic Violence), and Terra Tackett (detective at the Pike County sheriff’s office). “We discovered that human trafficking is happening in Pike County and has been for a lot longer than we realized,” said Huck.
During the presentation, Robin Riddle [said] “Make sure the men in your families understand this problem. Simple ways to make a difference include raising awareness and uplifting children, especially girls, in any way possible,” said Riddle. “It is important to understand that up to 92 percent of women involved in prostitution would qualify as victims. Offer a kind gesture, listen and be caring to someone you might suspect is a victim of human trafficking. Asking the simple question ‘Are you OK or do you need help’ might make a big difference.”
Riddle also [said] “Almost all human trafficking can be linked back to drug use. Either the human trafficking victim is addicted to drugs and the pimp will use this to control her, or the victim is a child who is being molested or raped in order to pay for his or her parents’ drugs. . . . Many times the pimp is a boyfriend or husband who is selling his significant other in order to maintain substances for drug use.”
To report a suspected case of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline 888. 373.7888, and Homeland Security at 866.347.2423.