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United Methodist Women

United Methodist Women (UMW) evolved out of a history of more than a century of women whose primary concern has been mission.


United Methodist Women is a community of women whose purpose is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ, to develop a creative supportive fellowship and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church.

Who are the United Methodist Women?

Membership is open to any woman with a desire to belong and to participate in the global mission of the church.  In the United States, 800,000 lay women have chosen to be members of this special organization.

Members are women of diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds; employed and unemployed, women with disabilities; homemakers and career women; single, married, widowed and divorced women; teen, young, middle-aged and older women.

What Does UMW Offer?

A Community of Women  United Methodist Women strives to follow Christ’s teachings and serve one another on an equal basis.  A community emerges through worship, sharing, praying, studying, working and serving together.

Knowing God  Through Bible studies, retreats and inspirational events, United Methodist Women strive to know God.  We each seek to find our own way to walk with God and search within ourselves for spiritual growth and understanding.

Creative and Supportive Community  Leadership creates a supportive community to accomplish goals and fulfill our Purpose.  Leadership training, conducted by the District and Conference mission teams (elected officers), offer women the opportunity to realize their full potential and to participate in the life of the church.

Expanding Concepts of Mission  UMW supports both global and local ministries that benefit women, children and youth. Local units “pledge” to support these ministries through individual giving and fund raisers. Programs by the local unit provide opportunities for mission education and hands-on projects, as well as advocacy on a range of topics from education to women’s health to the rights of children.

How are we organized?

Overall organization and funds are administered by the Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries.  Our church is part of the Chicago Northwest District and the Northern Illinois Conference.  Most of the UMW membership is in units based in local churches.

Our President:  Ellie VandenBrink

Our Treasurer:  Dorothy Silver

Our Program: Dorothy Silver

Within a local unit, the membership usually forms circles made up of smaller groups of women. At FUMC we have five circles:

Esther-Priscilla Circle meets the 4th Tuesday morning at the church.

Alice Crawford & Dorothy Silver, Coordinators

Lydia Circle meets in homes on the 4th Thursday evening at church.

Dorothy Silver, Chair

Martha Circle meets quarterly in various places.

Various Chairpersons

Miriam Circle meets in homes the 4th Wednesday evening.

Connie Bruce & Marilynn Fisher, Chair

Susanna Circle meets in homes the 4th Tuesday evening.

Leah Cozad & Lisa Shewfelt, Co-Chairs

For further information about UMW at FUMC, contact Andrea Thomas, Membership Chair, at 847-823-9114.