UMW purpose personified at annual meeting

INDIANAPOLIS (e-HUM) – During the United Methodists Women of Indiana’s third annual meeting Oct. 15 at Old Bethel United Methodist Church, Carolyn Maxey of Chesterton was elected president of the state-wide group for a two-year term. She formerly served as the group’s communicator.

Other top officers include: Vice President Sue Shafer of Richmond, Secretary Barbara King of Indianapolis and Treasurer Sherry Ralston of Newburgh.

The 219 women present, heard and saw a slide presentation about a mission trip to Haiti by Conference Volunteer in Mission Coordinator Bonnie Albert of Chesterton, who was accompanied by Stephanie Need (wife of pastor Mark Need of Winchester) and Anne Bunch of Terre Haute. The three women served at the Thomas Methodist School in Haiti helping build concrete latrines. Need put it well, when she told the women present, “The project isn’t the project; the project is being vulnerable to people who want to love you.” All three women agreed the most important aspect of any mission experience is building relationships.

Pillow dresses

Keeping true to the UMW PURPOSE, the event included inspirational moments that drew participants closer to God through Jesus Christ, where bonds of supportive community were visibly evident. During the meeting, more than 1,300 pillowcase dresses and heaps of women’s and children’s underwear, socks and stuffed toys represented an outpouring of love in response to God’s great love for us. The majority of dresses will be sent to Haiti and some to Africa. Mounds of new underwear and toys were divided eleven ways.Each district took items to mission sites within the district. The Henderson Settlement in Kentucky received the eleventh portion.

Coyner on leadership

Keynote speaker, Bishop Mike Coyner, reminded participants that all are leaders in some way. He challenged the newly elected officers and the membership to apply five principles of leadership:

  • Lead with a servant heart;
  • Know how to listen well;
  • Hear with spiritual attentiveness;
  • Lead the leader; allow others to lead the leader; and
  • Lead by loving, exemplify God’s love and care, love those whom we lead.

During the day-long meeting, Lucille Raines Residence Director Carolyn Marshall put out a plea to assist the UMW-owned residence replace two roofs costing more than $54,000.

Women attending the meeting affirmed a 2012 budget of $189,825 and $400,000 in pledges to mission.


More than 1,300 pillowcase dresses were made by Hoosier UMW members to be given to children in Haiti and Africa.