ZIONSVILLE, Ind. – “The Day of New Beginnings” for United Methodist Women of Indiana was indeed a memorable day. Saturday, Oct.17 marked the inauguration of the conference-wide organization as 441 women gathered to commemorate this historic event.

Indiana Bishop Michael Coyner and Harriett Jane Olson, general deputy secretary of Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries, were on hand to celebrate the occasion.

New Indiana United Methodist Women Officers for 2010

President  -  Jeanie Park of LaGrange

Vice President - Sue Shafer of Richmond

Secretary - Linda Welch of Freedom

Treasurer - Elle Rhoades of Fort Wayne

Christian Social Action - Alicia Harrison of Indianapolis

Spiritual Growth - Cheryl Cole of Yorktown

Member Nurture Outreach - Anne Bunch of Terre Haute

Education/Interpretation - Mary Duffy Lewis of Indianapolis

Communications – Carolyn Maxey of Chesterton

Set Program Resources – LaDonna Weber of Forth Wayne

Chair Nominations - Mary Etta Yoho of Muncie

Historian - Kath White of Brazil

Webmaster - Victoria Keaton of Indianapolis

Young Women’s Coordinator - Charity Lumpkin of Losantville

Olson spoke to women from across Indiana saying, “Today we have the chance to participate in the creation of the Indiana Conference United Methodist Women and pronounce it ‘good.’ – just as God did at the creation of the world.”

She likened the creation story to the work of the steering committee who worked for months paving the way for the new conference and district organizations – “creating a new space for United Methodist Women in Indiana to flourish.” As God’s power created a habitat in which all of creation can flourish, Olson reminded those gathered that “this is what organizing does – it creates a habitat and a set of relationships within which we can flourish.”

A spirit of celebration filled the Zionsville United Methodist Church as women rejoiced in all God continues to do through United Methodist Women. As women of faith, hope and love in action, Olson reminded those gathered that they are “resurrection women” engaged in “transformative education geared to make a difference in our lives, our organization, our church, our communities and our world.”

Coyner and Olson installed newly elected conference and district officers – an impressive group of nearly 2,000 women, and together celebrated Holy Communion to all assembled.

The celebration continued as UMW members departed the sanctuary singing the African song “We Are Marching in the Light of God,” and knowing it is through God’s grace United Methodist Women will continue to create a habitat in which children, youth and women will flourish through God’s redemptive love.

Carolyn Maxey serves as the UMW Communications Coordinator