[God] rounded you up from all over the place, from the four winds, from the seven seas. (Ps. 107:3 msg)

Tradition is like an envelope that shapes our path for the journey. United Methodist clergywomen have formed a tradition of gathering in the United States since 1975 and internationally since 2006. The plan for a global gathering of UM clergywomen in 2014 has been on hold due to budgetary reasons, however, this should not mean that UM clergywomen’s supportive system will be weakened. The 2014 WellSprings was dedicated to reflections on what physical gatherings mean to UM clergywomen in a global context and to exploration of creative ways of connecting and communicating among UM clergywomen and supporting each other as a global community.

12 Ingrid Wang

Deep, Powerful, and Magnificent

By Ingrid Wang. “Deep, Powerful, and Magnificent!” Don’t these words move your heart and make you want to find out more about whatever they are referring to? As a pastor, I often seek to have a deep relationship with my parishioners, yet this goal seems to be very difficult to achieve. Oftentimes, people are reluctant to open their hearts to deal with deeper issues. It may be fear of being vulnerable, or it may be a trust issue.
11 Jasmine Rose Smothers

But I’m Just a Girl . . .

By Jasmine Rose Smothers. After many years of struggling with my call to ordained ministry, I finally responded to the call of God in my life when I was a senior in college. Even though I had served during most of my teen years as a leader in my church, schools, and annual conference, I felt woefully out of place when it was time for me to take active leadership roles as a church staff person and in conference roles as an adult. There were many days that I begged God to release me from this call. I had a…

How Beautiful Are the Feet of Those Who Bring Good News!

By Valentina Stavrova. In January 2013 I arrived at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., to do additional theological study to enhance my future ministry. I had served for six years in ministry in churches in the Russian Federation as part of the Eurasian Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church and was a graduate of the Moscow Theological Seminary of the United Methodist Church. I
08 Lydia E. Muñoz

Power to Be Witnesses

By Lydia E. Muñoz. I’ll never forget that day. It was a Sunday like any Sunday, but not. I had prepared the Communion elements for worship that morning in our small, new church start fellowship. It is my commitment to develop this new faith community rooted and grounded in the practice of weekly Eucharist, but this Sunday I decided to take my time with each of the rubrics and explain them to these mostly new people in the faith, seekers who are still unsure and people who had been pushed away by the church for one reason or another. I…
Kim Cape

UM Clergywomen: Fifty Years of Living Out Our Call to Pastoral Leadership

By Kim Cape. I accepted the invitation to write this piece on women’s leadership because it gave me a chance to reflect more intentionally on this rather fluid topic. I entered Perkins School of Theology at SMU in 1975, graduating in 1979. I joined The United Methodist Church in 1972. Women were perhaps 10 percent of the Perkins student body at that time. There were two women on the faculty. One in Hebrew Bible and one in Pastoral Care. Period. Some of the male students made a pact not to date any of us because it was clear to them…
06 Sandra L. Steiner Ball

Empowering Women for Leadership

By Sandra L. Steiner Ball, Bishop, West Virginia Conference. “God rounded you up from all over the place, from the four winds, from the seven seas” (Ps. 107:3 MSG). God has been rounding people up since the beginning of time, calling them, and empowering them to be God’s change agents in this world. Clearly this calling is not, and has never been, limited to men. Both the Old and New Testaments include women. The recorders of biblical history have shared their stories habitually from the perspective of the dominant culture, and most often from a distinctly male perspective and understanding…

Do You Have a Complex?

By Aida Irizarry-Fernández, New England Conference. Many years ago, when I was in supervision for my LICSW, my supervisor at the Great Brook Valley Health Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, said to me, “Aida, you must get rid of your Messiah complex; otherwise you will not be able to truly fulfill your call.” Jackie was a former Roman Catholic nun, a very skillful clinician, and an intuitive woman of faith. Her statement took me by surprise; I remember that the word that made me most uncomfortable was complex. I immediately lifted my guard and deployed my defenses: “I have no complex;…
04 Ouida F. Lee

The Uniqueness of Diversity: Psalm 107:3

By Ouida F. Lee, North Texas Annual Conference. While waiting to board an American Airline flight one day, I noticed the slogan painted near the open door that read, “One World Alliance.” Uncertain of the airline’s interpretation of this sign, it still spoke very openly to me: we are connected. Though American is an individual company with its own values and goals, it is simultaneously connected with all other transporters, sharing the same airspace and being guided by the same air traffic controllers, unique and diverse.
03 Ellen Blue

Beans and Rice: A Theological Reflection on “Empowerment for All”

By Ellen Blue, Louisiana Annual Conference. In an issue of WellSprings published a dozen years ago, I wrote about a group of my female colleagues in seminary.[1] We met each week, initially as a study group but soon as a support group for processing what it meant to be second-career women preparing for ministry. One of us compared our time together with the necessary escape for steam when cooking beans. “If you don’t let that steam off, you wind up with beans on the ceiling,” she said, and we became the Bean Group.
02 Hee An Choi

United Methodist Clergywomen Retention Study II

By Choi Hee An and Jacqueline Beatrice Blue. Over the twenty-year period, dramatic changes related to clergywomen’s participation in local church ministry regardless of their race, marital status, clergy partners, or denominational backgrounds has occurred. Our current research shows that the retention rates in local church ministry of clergywomen have increased, and that many clergywomen are actively participating in local church ministry. However, the primary reason for leaving the local church ministry for clergywomen has not changed over the past two decades.
01 HiRho Park

“But then we will see face-to-face” . . . and be empowered!

By HiRho Park. In spite of the overwhelming success of the 2006 United Methodist Clergywomen Consultation celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of full clergy rights for women in the Methodist tradition, the need for an in-depth, regional level of discussions about contextual issues related to clergywomen and substantial participation of central conference representatives had been identified.


2019 – Unity in the Church

2018 – Claim Who We Are in Christ

2017 – Bodies, Oppression, and Gospel

2016 – Birthing a Worldwide Church

2015 – Clergywomen Lead Vital Congregations

2014 – Empowerment for All

2013 – What Next?

2012 – What Does the Lord Require of Us?

2011 – See, I am Doing a New Thing

2010 – Voicing Truth With Grace

PDF archive – 1987 to 2009



Subscribe to have new episodes delivered to your mobile device.


WellSprings, A Journal of United Methodist Clergywomen, is published by the Division of Ordained Ministry, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

Editor: HiRho Y. Park

Managing Editor: Barbara A. Dick

Editorial Circle: Patricia Bonilla, Neelley Hicks, Anita Phillips, Jacqui Rose-Tucker, Trudy Hawkins Stringer