General Commission on the Status and Role of Women
The United Methodist Church
For Immediate Release
March 15, 2023
Chicago, Illinois - The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW) held its spring board meeting March 10-11, 2023 in a hybrid session with attendees joining both online and in-person in Chicago, Illinois. At this, the board continued to celebrate the commission's work during the extended quadrennium.
GCSRW’s top executive, Dawn Wiggins Hare, noted that “the pandemic has allowed us to focus on denominational needs and has allowed us to find creative ways to increase accessibility to our resources for The Church.”
During the State of the Church Report presentation, Wiggins Hare:
- Highlighted the commission’s preparation, legislation and responsibilities to the postponed General Conference 2020, to be hosted in Charlotte, NC next year;
- Celebrated the election of eight new women bishops during last year’s Jurisdictional Conferences, and Central Conferences.
- Confirmed GCSRW’s 2023 spending plan was approved by GCFA while noting anticipated changes in the World Service Fund budget rate.
The General Secretary later offered an update on the commission’s accomplishments in Q4 of 2022 and Q1 of 2023, and individual teams provided detailed reporting.
The Sexual Ethics and Advocacy Team shared testimonials on the positive impact of GCSRW’s resources and services and offered an interagency taskforce update on shared guidelines for the protection of children.
The Resource Development Team has updated and created new resources, utilizing the Articulate platform and recommended a learning management hosting system.
The Communications Team gave an update on their communication channels analytics and shared ongoing projects to promote GCSRW’s resources to amplify the work of the commission and increase engagement with key people, such as church leadership, seminary students and Annual Conference COSROWs.
Wiggins Hare reported on Leadership and Accountability, a department that will soon welcome a new director, talking about Jurisdictional and Central Conference Monitoring reports and facilitated a discussion where monitors shared their first-hand experiences.
The Mission and Evaluation Committee, Human Resources Committee, Financial Committee, Board of Governance Committee and Executive Committee also provided updates.
During the board meeting, upon consensus, GCSRW's Executive Committee decided to respectfully request inclusion for monitoring of the processes underway during Bishop Minerva Carcaño’s suspension. Going forward they formally offer their services to assist in seeking a just resolution including the provision of mediation and healing resources for all parties involved. The agency’s board of directors has since issued a full statement on the matter.
Each day, GCSRW centered attendees in reflection and prayer. Day one focused on Psalm 137, in which the rivers of Babylon remind us that God remains with us even through difficult times. Day two offered a challenge to the board to examine how to be a vessel for the work of women’s leadership and a conduit of equality for women in the world. A video of ministries celebrating women and women’s history month in Maputo, Mozambique was also presented by board member Hortência Americo Langa Bacela.
The commission will reconvene July 26-28th at the Northern Illinois Annual Conference office in Chicago, Illinois which will mark its first full in-person meeting since 2019. The location also serves as an on-site meeting space for commission staff while in the Chicagoland area.
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.
Email: [email protected]