GCSRW launches blog series celebrating women bishops

Williamston, Merrill and Wilson hug after being elected bishops during the South Central Jurisdictional Conference. Photo by Louisiana Annual Conference.

General Commission on the Status and Role of Women
The United Methodist Church

For Immediate Release
March 7, 2023

GCSRW launches blog series celebrating women bishops

Chicago, Il. – In honor of Women’s Appreciation Month, the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW) has announced a new blog series that highlights The United Methodist Church’s newly elected women bishops.

The eight profile articles, written by the Rev. Emily Nelms Chastain, in order of release will be:

  • Bishop Delores “Dee” Williamston (South Central Jurisdiction)
  • Bishop Dottie Escobedo-Frank (Western Jurisdiction)
  • Bishop Kennetha Bigham-Tsai (North Central Jurisdiction)
  • Bishop Robin Dease (Southeastern Jurisdiction)
  • Bishop Laura Merrill (South Central Jurisdiction)
  • Bishop Connie Shelton (Southeastern Jurisdiction)
  • Bishop Lanette Plambeck (North Central Jurisdiction)
  • Bishoo Ruby-Nell Estrella (Philippines)

For the series, GCSRW embraced the national month’s theme of “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.”

"We’re excited to get to celebrate these dynamic female bishops that will leave behind a legacy of faith to inspire future generations," said chief executive Dawn Wiggins Hare. "We also encourage other women to document their own celebrations of women in leadership during National Women’s History Month and beyond.”

Anyone wishing to celebrate a woman leader are invited to post their stories on social media using #GCSRW. They’re also encouraged to share the story with the recognized individual’s annual conference to offer them additional recognition.

The “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories” themed blog series is available on the GCSRW website.

This series is in keeping with GCSRW’s role of advocating for women in the UMC. They are responsible for monitoring conferences for gender inclusion and reporting findings back to the conferences and to The United Methodist Church. Most recently they released the 2022 Jurisdictional and Central Conferences Compiled Monitoring Report. They also published an Episcopal Percentages by Gender 2022 report looking at the breakdown of female and male bishops elected to serve in The United Methodist Church after the 2016 elections and those newly elected in 2022.


About the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women

The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women advocates for full participation of women in the total life of The United Methodist Church. GCSRW helps the church recognize every person – clergy and lay, women and men, adults and children – as full and equal parts of God’s human family. They believe that a fully engaged and empowered membership is vital to The United Methodist Church’s mission "to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Learn more at GCSRW.org.

Media contact:
Aileen Delgado
Email: [email protected] 

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