Skip Navigation

United Methodist Clergywomen Gather in Chicago

United Methodist Communications
Office of Public Information
810 12 th Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37203

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 8, 2006

Contact: Vicki Brown, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry
Office (615) 340-7380
Cell (615) 944-4621

United Methodist Clergywomen Gather in Chicago

CHICAGO - Some 1,500 United Methodist clergywomen from around the world gather in Chicago this month to celebrate the advancements women have made in the 50 years since they gained the same clergy rights as men and to look at how women in leadership influence the global church.

Sermons by women bishops, a banquet celebrating the 50th anniversary of full clergy rights for women, and a media luncheon featuring the first Hispanic woman bishop, the first woman president of the Council of Bishops, the first woman bishop from outside the United States, and the current president of the Council of Bishops are among the highlights of the Aug. 13-17 International Clergywomen's Consultation.

"The consultation is an affirmation of women's leadership in a religious arena that tends to be more male dominated," said the Rev. HiRho Park, coordinator of the meeting and director of Continuing Formation for Ministry at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, which sponsored the gathering. "The gathering shows hope for a truly integrated or inclusive human society. It's a celebration of what faith can do in a person."

Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, the first woman bishop elected outside the United States, will preach Wednesday. Sunday's sermon will be delivered by Bishop Hope Morgan Ward of the Mississippi Episcopal Area. Bishop Judith Craig, bishop in residence and visiting professor of leadership at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, will preach Monday. Bishop Minerva Carcaño, the first Latina bishop, will preach at Thursday's closing worship service and Bishop Janice Riggle Huie, president of the Council of Bishops, will be the celebrant. Bishop Leontine T.C. Kelly, the first African-American woman bishop, will send greetings.

A banquet Tuesday night celebrates the historic 1956 General Conference vote on that gave full clergy rights to women.

While most are from the U.S., clergywomen are also attending the conference from Sierra Leone, the Philippines, Congo, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Katanza, Angola, Germany, India, South Korea, and Liberia.

On Wednesday, a multiethnic panel of theologians will look at the question of how the church and the academy can be in partnership in the twenty-first century, specifically how women leaders can impact the direction of the global church.

"The focus of the day is the future, and we want some reflection to occur around the issues related to the future of the church, and women's place in leadership in the church. Our hope is that participants walk away with the understanding that the church of the future will be multiethnic, multigenerational, multinational and multifaceted in the ways it sees itself. Additionally, the church of the future will need the academy to inform it mission and ministry, even as the academy needs the church to stay grounded in the practicalities of ministry," said the Rev. Cynthia Belt, an elder in the Baltimore-Washington Conference who organized the panel.

Visit www.gbhem.org/clergywomen/home.aspfor more details about the consultation.

###

Highlights of the International United Methodist Clergywomen's Consultation:

Sunday, Aug. 13
7:30 p.m., opening worship service, Grand Ballroom, McCormick Convention Center, Bishop Hope Morgan Ward preaching.

9:30 p.m., Bishops' reception and book signing, Regency Foyer, second floor.

Monday, Aug. 14
10 a.m. to noon, Plenary, Grand Ballroom, McCormick Convention Center.

7:30 p.m., Memorial Worship Service, Grand Ballroom, McCormick Convention Center, Bishop Judith Craig preaching.

Tuesday, Aug. 15
12:30 p.m to 2 p.m., media luncheon, Room CC11A. Participants include Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, the first woman bishop elected outside the United States; Bishop Minerva Carcaño, the first Latina bishop; Bishop Sharon Brown Christopher, the first woman president of the Council of Bishops, Bishop Janice Riggle Huie, current president of the Council of Bishops, and Bishop Beverly Shamana.

7 p.m. to 10 p.m., 50th anniversary of full clergy rights for women banquet and concert, Grand Ballroom, McCormick Convention Center.

Wednesday, Aug. 16
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Bishops' Plenary, multiethnic panel of five theologians look at the question of how the church and the academy can be in partnership in the twenty-first century, specifically how women leaders can impact the direction of the global church. Grand Ballroom, McCormick Convention Center.

7:30 p.m., worship, Grand Ballroom, McCormick Convention Center, Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, the first woman elected to the episcopate outside the United States, preaches.

Thursday, Aug. 17
9 a.m., closing worship, Grand Ballroom, McCormick Convention Center, Bishop Minerva Carcaño, the first Latina bishop, will preach, and Bishop Janice Riggle Huie, president of the Council of Bishops, will be the celebrant.