By Katy Kiser, Team Leader of the Renew Network
The Renew Network new website comes just in time for an important year in the history of Renew and in the life of the church. In 2019, Renew Network will celebrate thirty years of faithful service to the women of the United Methodist Church. Renew continues to be a network of women and women’s groups in the United Methodist Church that are faithfully seeking to grow in the knowledge of Jesus as we seek and serve Him. Renew began as the women’s ministry arm of Good News and continues to be a part of their vital ministry to the United Methodist Church.
2019 will be critical years to the future of the Methodist Church and the Wesleyan expression of our faith. The decisions made at the February called General Conference will realign us with the Faith “once delivered to the saints” or entrench our church further into the demands of a culture, which has lost its way. We will choose a path in the name of “unity” which will not only compromise our witness, but also lead to further decline. Or we will “stand firm” in the historic faith that has prevailed over the last two-thousand plus years.
Vital ministry will be especially important in the life of the church during the next many months. It is important that we continue to address the spiritual needs of women to grow in knowledge and understanding of Christ and the Gospel. It is also important to understand the challenges both within and without our beloved church if we are to go forward in faithful witness and service.
With this in mind, let me draw your attention to some new resources on our site for your consideration.
On this site and our Facebook page you will find many resources to help you and your women’s group. I serve as Team Leader of an amazing group of Wesleyan women – some with whom you may already be familiar. Learn more about our team and contributors under the “ABOUT RENEW” tab at the top of our Home page. Under the “START A MINISTRY” tab, you will find help for starting or expanding a women’s ministry in your church. The Ministry Survey is designed to target the specific needs in your context and reach the younger women in your church.
Also in the “START A MINISTRY” section of the website you will find examples of women and women’s groups who are reaching out to their own communities and to the world with the love of Christ. These inspirational stories are meant to help you and your women’s group find the projects that will motivate Christian service rooted in the Great Commission and the mission of the church to make disciples of Christ.
We are excited that there are many clergy and lay-women who are providing Bible studies from a Wesleyan perspective. As Rob Renfroe says, when Methodist do it right, no one does it better. Be sure to check out the Devotionals, Renew Writings and Recommended Books and Bible Studies under “MINISTRY RESOURCES.”
There you will find “Ascending the Mountain,” a 30 day devotional challenge by Renew Steering Committee member and WCA secretary, Rev. Madeline C. Henners. The book is a journey of excitement, surrender, and learning to hear God’s voice. It will deepen your understanding of the Christian’s call to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength as you grow your relationship with Him. It is perfect for small or large group study as well as your personal time with the Lord.
You will also find a book titled, “Adventure of Surrender” by long time friend of Renew, Marilyn Andress. Many of our supporters will remember Marilyn’s column in Good News Magazine. This book teaches the reader how to let go and let God – in a word Surrender – through the words of Jesus found in John 15. See Jesus’ teaching on abiding in the vine in a new light; discover the key to a fruitful life; and deepen your knowledge of the fruit of the Spirit.
Reverends Rob Renfroe and Walter Fenton give an evangelical perspective on the division in the UMC in their book, “Are We Really Better Together?” This book gives the most comprehensive yet succinct understanding of the issues that divide the UMC. This book tackles why we are divided over the authority of Scripture, the biblical understanding of human sexuality, the meaning of mission, and the division over the best way forward. This book is a great resource for starting or continuing a conversation in your local church about the crisis in the United Methodist Church. This book is perfect for helping your church or your ministry group understand the deeper issues that have caused division in the United Methodist Church.
Also under the ““MINISTRY RESOURCES” tab you will find some thought provoking devotionals. The wisdom of clergy woman, BJ Funk is just right for starting your daily time with the Lord; or beginning your women’s meetings. Mary Lambrecht offers insight on building healthy families, spiritual growth and healing from trauma and loss. We are very excited about the women in the United Methodist Church who are writing from a Wesleyan perspective.
If you did not see the article on Why UMW is Declining in the July/August edition of the Good News Magazine, you will find it on the home page of the Renew Network website. Women from various parts of the country have called or emailed to thank Renew for giving voice to the issues that have been concerning them for decades. Others have been prompted to call for ministry ideas that will meet the needs of the unreached women in their congregations. Still others look to Renew for analysis of issues and denominational happenings.
A hearty thanks to all who have made Renew’s ministry possible through your prayers and gifts. Your continued support is vital to our work in the mission of Good News to lead United Methodists to a faithful future. Team Renew appreciates each donation however large or small. If you have not made a contribution lately, please consider making one today. But most importantly, join Team Renew as we contend for the United Methodist Church by faithfully praying for our denomination’s called General Conference scheduled for February 23-25, 2019 in St Louis, MO.
Stand with us by going on the Renew Website and printing the Donations Form. Or you may designate a check to Renew Network and send to:
P.O. Box 132076
The Woodlands, TX 77393-2076
In His Service,
Renew Network Team Leader