Church Women United in Austin
2016 Annual Report
I bring you greetings friends and fellow workers of Church Women United of Austin. As we pause at this time to reflect on the year that has just passed, please know how appreciative we are for your time, energy, intelligence, and offerings in which you have given so willingly.
Executive Board: Our Executive Board met 10 times during the year at Crestview United Methodist Church to plan our monthly celebrations and to carry out our areas of responsibilities. This new year (2017) our Executive Committee meetings will be held at University Presbyterian Church.
The end of last year brought the end of my tenure as president, and we welcomed our new President, Johnnie Overton in January. We also ushered in our new Class I officers whom we elect and install in even years.
2016 was a very busy and productive year for our unit: We had an average attendance at our monthly gatherings in the mid 60’s.
We celebrated four special occasions the first Fridays of March, May, October and November showing our solidarity with Christian women everywhere.
The Celebrations of:
1. World Day of Prayer was held in March @ St. John’s United Methodist.
The theme “Receive Children, Receive Me”’ was written by the women of Cuba and it directed us to accept the invitation to receive God as a little child.
2. May Friendship Day Celebration was held at Berkeley United Methodist, where we focused on coming to the table to find the grace necessary to do God’s work of reconciliation in family, church, and community.
3. Human rights Celebration @ North West Hills United Methodist in October
Here we “Experienced Blessings at the Table” and heard from Florence’s Comfort House. Comfort House provides a safe place in the Montopolis Neighborhood where children can spend their after school time. Florence also provides meals, snacks, clothes, shoes, and school supplies.
4. Our World Community Day Celebration was held at Emmanuel United Methodist in November. On this day we “Shared Gifts at the Table” where paralegal, Susan Dixon shared some of her experiences working with immigrants to gain legal status in the United States.
Each Celebration program was presented again in an abbreviated format by our Jail Ministry for the women at the Travis County Correctional Facility in Del Valle, Tx. There were approximately 60 total participants at each one.
Ecumenical Development/Outreach: our April Forum, theme was “Economic Justice” and was held at the Austin Mennonite Church with two featured speakers from Austin Interfaith, Maria Emerson and Ofelia Zapata.
Ecumenical Action/Outreach: September forum was titled “Building Bridges: Austin’s Response to the Racial Divide” and held at Immanuel Lutheran. We had a panel discussion on the Charter for Compassion and Interfaith Action of Central Texas work with the community and the Austin Police Department.
Wellspring Bible Study: was our last gathering before taking a break for the Summer. We met at Memorial United Methodist with the theme “Be Not Afraid” under the leadership of Dr. Cynthia Rigby, Professor of theology at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
Charitable needs and requests from local charities were fulfilled through our practice of donating specifically requested items at each meeting. Last year we gave to Montopolis Friendship Community Center, St. David’s Trinity Center, Austin State Hospital, Street Youth Ministry of Austin, the Food Pantry of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Florence’s Comfort House, the Volunteer Healthcare Clinic.
The Blankets Plus offering for Church World Service in the amount of $1,195.
Our other community involvement and Global Outreach included: the Inter Faith Action of Central Texas, CROP Walk, Casa Marianella, Texas IMPACT, and the Austin Children’s Center. Our offering this year to the Lest Coin was $631.71.
Our issue of concern this past year was the lack of women willing to serve as officers and this was with the election of the Class I officers just around the Corner. A special Nominations Task Force put into place consisted of seven women. During the summer they nominated a slate of officers which were elected in the fall.
Honors held last year were during our Friendship Celebration: Valiant Woman Award was given to Johnnie Overton and Dorothy Kraemer. The Young Church Women awards were awarded for service to their church and community to: Iliana Gonzales, Shantel Simms, Courtney Williams and Dixie Yoder.
We were Honored that the Church Women United Sewing Group: from Tarrytown United Methodist Church made a total of 81 quits as well as 10 baby quilts. These quilts were distributed to: Sister Ann - Capital Ideas, Safe Place and Casa Marianella.
We were Honored by our Courtesy Chairperson, Mary Terrell .
She sent out 10 sympathy cards and 6 get well cards this year to our group.
Mary is a very special committee person who feels she has been called to this ministry and I can truly report the Lord has equipped her with a big heart.
The year 2016 has been a good year. All expenses were paid with a slight increase in membership.
On a personal note: Thank you for all of your support, love and friendship while I served as your President. It was indeed an honor.