Entries by Katy Kiser

Why is UMW Declining?

Bishops preside over a service of Holy Communion during closing worship at the United Methodist Women Assembly 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS. By Katy Kiser – In 1973, Response magazine, the official publication for the United Methodist Women (UMW), claimed the organization had 1.5 million members. Since that time, membership in UMW has declined at an alarming rate. In 2012, the Women’s Division was granted independence from the General Board of Global Mission – and became the United Methodist Women National Office. The staff hoped their independence would bring new vitality and influence, but the organization has failed […]

Women in the Mission and Ministry of Prayer

Founders of Knit-A-Prayer from left to right: Karen Wentzel, Sharon Wainwright, Rev. Dr. Richard Thompson, and Joyce Spetz. Photo courtesy of First United Methodist Church in Bakersfield, California. Thousands of American service men and women have lost their lives in the on-going battle against terrorism. Since 2009, bodies of fallen soldiers, mostly from the war-torn areas of Afghanistan and Iraq, have been flown into Dover Air Force Base. At Dover, these heroes are given a dignified transfer as they are received by their grieving loved ones. And it is here that those loved ones are comforted by the ministry of […]

Are We Really Better Together?

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.

Renew Christmas Newsletter

Renew Christmas Newsletter Dear RENEW Network, I love these words spoken by Gabriel to Mary in the first chapter of Luke, “For with God nothing will be impossible.” This is a remarkable passage of hope. The Christmas Story begins with the Annunciation; Gabriel tells Mary she will give birth to the savior of the world! Mary was an unmarried virgin; she knew that having a baby was impossible for her. She does not doubt that what the angel has proclaimed to her will come about. But she does ask “how.” Christmas brings with it many “how” questions: how will I […]

Now is the Time

“Now is the time of God’s favor, Now is the day of salvation.” – II Corinthians 6:2 Each year, women come to the national conference of the Celebration Women’s Ministry in Houston seeking to grow in Christ and encounter God’s Spirit. Some seek the assurance of salvation; others need forgiveness or desire to be liberated from sin, past and present; still others seek spiritual, emotional, or physical healing. This past March, women experienced all this and more at the Celebration gathering. The Celebration leadership team chose their 2018 conference theme from the above cited verses from Paul’s second letter to […]

August 2017 Newsletter – Monitoring: Nothing New Under the Sun

Dear RENEW Network, I hope you have been enjoying the celebration of the Good News 50 Year Anniversary. Our editor Steve Beard has done an admirable job on the time line and the articles that remind us of why Good News came into being. I was asked to write an article for the July/August magazine, “A Woman’s Voice For Renewal,” which was a brief history of the role RENEW Network played and continues to play in the renewal movement. As I prepared, I was led to reread many of the reports and analyses that chronicled the challenges and concerns faced […]

A Woman’s Voice for Renewal

  Renew leadership, past and present. Liza Kittle (left) and Katy Kiser (right) with Renew founder Faye Short. As Dixie Brewster, spokeswoman for the Local Church Committee of the 2016 General Conference of The United Methodist Church, came to the stage to present legislation prepared by the Renew Network to amend Paragraph 256 of the Book of Discipline, women all over the floor of the conference watched with anticipation. An objection was launched by a delegate who did not want the Discipline amended to recognize and encourage alternative ministry in addition to United Methodist Women. But those who spoke in […]

Rooted in Christ: Women Being the Church

The Rev. Kelly Brumbeloe of Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church. Photo by Donna Lachance.   What should be the business of the church? For the women of the Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta Georgia, it is providing women with the opportunity to become Rooted in Christ. Their women’s ministry places equal emphasis on the spiritual and material needs of women, realizing that a poverty of either can be devastating. They actively make Christ known to those in their own pews, their community, and the world. Their women’s ministry is one of the most successful in The United Methodist […]

Is the Moral Teaching of Christ really “tired Christian lady stuff?

Is the Moral Teaching of Christ really “tired Christian lady stuff?” Good News is celebrating 50 years in the renewal movement of the United Methodist Church. If you haven’t read the magazine’s excellent articles in the last two editions – please do. They informed my deep appreciation for the role Good News has played to bring about renewal and revival of classical Wesleyan doctrine. As our church in the states has become more influenced by secular agendas in our decaying culture, Good News has been faithful to proclaim the gospel and challenge the church to be faithful to the faith […]

New Opportunities for Women’s Ministry

New Opportunities for Women’s Ministry March 20, 2017 “The Lord gives the word of power; the women who bear and publish the news are a great host.” – Psalms 68:11 The 2016 General Conference was good news indeed for women’s ministry in The United Methodist Church. Legislation developed by the Renew Network, the women’s arm of Good News, was adopted to allow ministries to women and men in addition to UMW and UMM. For some, the addition to paragraph 256.7 opens the door for churches to welcome women’s ministry that meets the unique needs and gifts of their particular congregation […]