Friday, September 15th & Saturday, September 16th, 2023
Church Street United Methodist Church
900 Henley Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37902
Introducing Our Featured Guest ~ Newly elected ~ Sally Vonner,
General Secretary & Chief Executive Officer, United Women in Faith
Ms. Vonner joined the national staff in 2010 as Assistant General Secretary of Membership and Leadership Development. With reorganization in 2018, she became the Transformation Officer, coordinating the organization’s visioning and strategic development to positively impact the lives of women, children, and youth.
In accepting the new post, Ms. Vonner said: “My primary focus is to expand the mission and reach of United Women in Faith as we put our love and faith in action to improve the lives of women, children, and youth around the world. My pledge to you is to lead with faith and trust in God, the support of the directors, the Program Advisory Group, my colleagues, and most of all, the members of United Women in Faith.”
Join the Conference United Women in Faith Leadership Team for two in-person events as we celebrate fifty years of existence in the Holston Annual Conference. Register for the Mission Giving Event for an evening focusing on the Who, What, Why, and How of the Mission work done by, with, and through the money and efforts of individual members and other givers to United Women in Faith. Women who achieved Five Star Women status in 2022 will be recognized during the banquet dinner. All are welcome to attend.
Calling all delegates, women who are a part of the legacy of mission work in the Holston Conference and interested others are asked to join us during the Annual Business Meeting. The business of the organization will be conducted, reports given, and we will celebration the Then, Now, and Future of the organization.
United Women in Faith shall be 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.
We seek to connect and nurture women through Christian spiritual formation, leadership development, creative fellowship and education so that they can inspire, influence and impact local and global communities.
We are a powerful, fearless force driven by God's love and united in sisterhood. With a focus on women, children and youth, we act for justice and transform communities.
We face the realities we see in the world, even when they are not the ones we would like to see. However, our goal is not to bear witness simply to harms but also to God's love by acting boldly to change those harms.
Bold action, like faith, takes courage. Our bravery is inspired by God's love and our powerful commitment to improve the lives of women, children and youth. United Women in Faith works for justice through compassionate service and advocacy to change unfair policies and systems that harm women, children and youth- from racial and gender injustice to economic inequality, climate issues and more.
United Methodist Women is Now
United Women in Faith
March 7, 2022, NEW YORK, N.Y.
United Methodist Women is now United Women in Faith! The move is part of a refreshing of the organization that includes a new logo and an array of new and improved programs to nurture current members and welcome new women to join to put their love in action on behalf of women, children, and youth.
The organization announced the new operating name in the March-April edition of response, its bimonthly magazine for members, and is launching the rebrand with a new website and Face Book event March 3 at 1 pm ET.
The new programs are fruits of research conducted over the past five years with more than 24,000 United Methodists and women of other Christian traditions participating in the surveys, focus groups and interviews. This input informed the prayerful discernment of staff and elected leaders.
The changes are designed to address the different needs and life stages of current members and new women and expand options for membership and engagement. The new name also aims to welcome current members whose local churches may choose to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church as well as women of other faith traditions who want to join.
New and innovative programs will be rolled out throughout 2022, including:
A new, easier to navigate website with a homepage designed to pique new women’s interest in United Women in Faith and a special portal set to come online later this year where members can log in to access additional resources.
A new “All-Access” National Membership Option enabling women to join United Women in Faith via the new website and participate online or in person at local units or larger events
Soul Care Retreats, a pilot recruitment program for members and their nonmember friends and new women focused on nurturing women’s bodies, minds, and spirits.
Innovations to Mission u, the organization’s longtime spiritual growth and transformative education program. Beginning in spring 2022, Mission u will introduce new curricula each year—one for children, one for youth and one for adults—all focused on a shared biblical theme. The new Mission u curricula will be more adaptable for use in small groups, local churches, vacation Bible schools, retreats, and other settings. Through these vibrant, relevant, justice-oriented, and biblically centered curricula, Mission u will continue its commitment to learning together for the transformation of the world and expand its impact.
“This is an exciting time for our organization!” said Harriett Jane Olson, CEO of United Women in Faith. “Looking back, we see the through lines for our organization—faith in God, love for each other and commitment to putting our faith into action supporting women, children, and youth. These commitments have been expressed in different ways at different times using different names, always calling women to world changing action. This combination of a new look, more accessible resources for members and new ways to participate, positions us for impact in our own journeys and in how we engage the world that God so loves.”
‘Ainise ‘Isama’u, United Women in Faith board president, said the changes express the organization’s core values in ways that will excite current members and invite new women to join us.
“I’m confident our members will be excited about these changes,” she said. “Together we are creating more opportunities for engagement with more women through new programs and updates of long-standing programs that embody our core values. Things change. People change. But God remains, and that continues to be the purpose behind everything that we do in this organization.”
The organization remains incorporated in New York as United Methodist Women and is doing business as United Women in Faith.
United Women in Faith seeks to connect and nurture women through Christian spiritual formation, leadership development, creative fellowship, and education so that they can inspire, influence and impact local and global communities.
National Mission Institutes
National mission institutions are community centers, colleges and residences providing vital services in vulnerable communities—empowering women, caring for children, supporting seniors, educating youth, providing housing for domestic violence survivors, and offering residences for special needs children and youth. National mission institutions also advocate for the women, children, youth and families in the communities they serve.
United Women in Faith assists nearly 90 organizations across the United States through grants, technical support, and member involvement. National Mission Institutes in Holston Conference include:
As a permanently invested endowment, the Legacy Fund will be an ongoing source of income, providing the assurance that our important work can always continue.
Giving to the Legacy Fund will support United Women in Faith in perpetuity. That’s why gifts to the endowment fund are such a vital way to sustain and grow our capacity to serve and advocate.
In 2014, the Legacy Endowment Fund Campaign was created and set a bold goal of raising $60 million for the endowment. Through the generosity and efforts of women like you, we are confident this goal can be reached!
With every gift received in 2022 and beyond, we will secure the financial resources needed to deepen and expand our mission. Consider joining your legacy with ours and making a gift today.
Mosby elected first Black president by Holston United Methodist Women
October 07, 2020
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. -- When MaKenzie Mosby learned about her mother’s latest election, she surprised her with a celebratory spray of confetti.
"In case you haven’t heard, my mama was just elected as the FIRST BLACK president of Holston Conference’s United Methodist Women," the proud daughter wrote on her Facebook page. "So I just had to bring out the confetti."
Hundreds of Facebook viewers not only delighted in the video showing Donna Mosby’s shocked reaction when her daughter caught her off guard. Mosby was also congratulated by many for breaking new ground in Holston Conference.
“Within the 47-year history of Holston Conference United Methodist Women, I am honored to be the first Black woman elected to serve as president,” Mosby said in a written statement. “My being elected to lead is a very gratifying experience and serving as a Black woman will offer diversity to the leadership team.”
Mosby, age 64, accepts the president’s title in the same year she serves as a Holston delegate to General Conference. Elected in June 2019, Mosby was scheduled to participate in General Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May 2020. The pandemic caused the denomination’s top legislative assembly to delay until Aug. 29-Sept. 7, 2021 in Minneapolis.
“I anticipate there to be an increased demand on my time, and I have given considerable thought to that reality,” Mosby stated. “While I enjoy all the work I do with the various organizations, groups, and within the church, I plan to remain faithful to only those things that bring me joy and are dear to my heart.”
Mosby said she came to United Methodism as an adult, after growing up in an African Methodist Episcopal Church in Knoxville. She joined Haven Chapel in 2009 after participating in a new members’ class led by the Rev. Leah Burns.
“During one of the sessions, I learned of the United Methodist Social Principles and Social Creed,” she wrote. “Gaining that knowledge was a moment of epiphany and transformation which led me to eventually join the church and become involved in United Methodist Women.”
Mosby said her passions include religion and race and “building bridges across issues and barriers that separate and divide God’s people.” She is also committed to small congregations, “particularly the Black churches across the Holston Conference.”
One of her first objectives is for Holston United Methodist Women to build on the international organization’s “150-year legacy of racial justice,” she said.
“I definitely would like the leadership team to look at issues of race as it relates to them personally, in our church and in our communities, using the United Methodist Women Racial Justice Charter as a guide which was adopted by the general church in 1980,” Mosby said.
The incoming president also wants to reconsider following the same schedule with the same events, year after year.
“I wonder if we miss opportunities to grow and learn and future our mission,” she said. Activities she hopes to focus on include peace and justice advocacy, education, and human rights for all, especially children and farm workers.
Former president Haerr said she has witnessed Mosby’s support of United Methodist Women social action initiatives, especially ending systemic racism. “She isn’t afraid to speak out about the issues that impact women, children and youth in our communities, country and worldwide.”
Mosby retired as director of an early-learning child care center in 2009, and again in 2019 as Habitat for Humanity staff working with low-income families.
She was elected president by 119 voting delegates attending the Sept. 26 annual meeting, representing a total Holston United Methodist Women membership of 7,392, according to Lori Sluder, secretary. In all, 176 joined the meeting, including 32 first-timers. Membership of Holston UMW members based on race is not available.
“Our conference leadership should represent the diversity of The United Methodist Church,” Mosby stated. “I am hopeful that my election will start the process of deconstructing the systemic racial disenfranchisement that limits diversity and inclusion.”
United Methodist Women is the largest denominational faith organization for women with approximately 800,000 members whose mission is fostering spiritual growth, developing leaders and advocating for justice.
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Holston Conference includes 853 United Methodist congregations in East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and North Georgia.