Entries by Katy Kiser


Authors of Renovation Core Group Study – (l-r) Rachel Knight, Lauren Shirley, Denise Beckman. By Katy Kiser Last summer, I took a friend who lives on the East Coast to Waco, Texas, on a tour inspired by the popular show “Fixer Upper” with Chip and Joanna Gaines. The show is about what families go through to fix up a house. Not all remodeling is about building something new; it can also include tearing down what needs to come out so the house can reach its in- tended potential. For the families that embark on this process it can be scary. […]

Renew 2018 Christmas Letter

Dear RENEW Network, It is December and literally everywhere we go are reminders that “Tis the Season.” For Christians, it is the season of Advent, the coming of the Christ Child, the Emmanuel, the arrival of God with us, God Incarnate. The incarnation of God is a great mystery. Jesus leaves heaven and allows Himself to be born a baby, a fully human baby. The birth of a baby is generally a happy thing, a blessed event. But in the case of the birth of Jesus, it is a miracle, and one which cannot happen in the normal course 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.

Welcome to Renew

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 […]

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 […]

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

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 favor had the more cogent arguments. The petition had been fiercely debated in committee yet had passed overwhelmingly […]