DALLAS— The board of directors of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW) met in Dallas from March 16-18, 2017 at First United Methodist Church.
The board continues their commitment to be good stewards of Church funds by having its meetings in local churches. Rev. Holly Gotelli preached at opening worship with Bishop Michael McKee, Bishop Tracy Malone, Bishop Samuel Quire and Rev. Dr. Andrew Stoker participating in worship. The board also was greeted by the Rev. Camille Gaston, district superintendent of the Metro District of Dallas, who shared she has 50% female clergy in her district. As the board travels throughout the country, they continue to meet people who are supporting women’s leadership in the Church across the connection.
“We are blessed to have an inter-generational, racially and culturally diverse board made up of members who bring a variety of skills, experiences and perspectives to support and resource the work of the Commission,” GCSRW board president Bishop Tracy Malone stated. “This proved helpful as we helped to clarify the goals and priorities for the quadrennium.”
The GCSRW board set the priorities and goals for 2017-2020. The importance of these goals being applied across the connection (throughout the United States and Central Conferences) was a great concern. Board members recognized similarities within the area of sexual ethics that United Methodists face in the United States as well as the Central Conferences. Board members representing Mozambique, Liberia, Norway and the Philippines affirmed those sentiments.
The board reviewed and affirmed GCSRW’s Book of Discipline and Book of Resolutions mandates. The goals directing GCSRW for 2017-2020 are:
- The Commission shall gather facts about women in leadership in The UMC, identify systems that enable or deter women in leadership roles, and raise awareness by publishing findings throughout the connection.
- The Commission shall equip judicatory and congregational leaders with training and resources for prevention of, response to, and healing from sexual misconduct and sexual harassment within the Church.
- The Commission shall work toward the passage of the amendment of The United Methodist Constitution Paragraph 4, Article IV.
- The Commission shall equip the connectional structure with biblical, theological, and practical resources to ensure women are equitably participating in leading at all levels of the church.
“Our board worked through a grueling process of examining the mandates that the GCSRW received from General Conference, together with identifying the priorities for our ministry this quadrennium given the reality of our capacity, based on our quadrennial budget,” General Secretary Dawn Wiggins Hare stated. “Opportunities this quadrennium for creativity from staff, being ever mindful of stewardship, abound through the goals lifted up by our President and Board of Directors that encompass the passionate ministry for the full inclusion of women.”
The board will reconvene in Chicago during September.
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.