“Bodies, Oppression, and Gospel” is the theme for the 2017 edition of WellSprings Journal. Our theme verse, “The Word became flesh and lived among us” (John 1:14a), calls us to embrace the embodiment of God’s grace through Christ. How have we as a church lived out that call? What is the gospel, the good news, of our physical bodies? In what ways do the power dynamics of oppression negate the embodiment of Christ? Where is gospel reflected and celebrated in our human relationships? Where is gospel denied in our sexuality, our politics, and our economics? This edition offers insights and stories from across the connection that challenge us to look clearly at the incarnational nature of our faith.

01 Cristian de La Rosa

Mujer: A Body of Dangerous Memories

Rev. Cristian de la Rosa, of the Baltimore-Washington area of the United Methodist Church, takes a critical look at how many of the violent practices and processes that have led to the marginalization of women of color are intrinsically related to the introduction (as Catholicism) and re-introduction (as Protestantism) of Christianity in the Americas.
09 Stephanie Anna Hixon

The Body Re-Members

Stephanie Anna Hixon, of the Susquehanna Area of the United Methodist Church, focuses on reconciliation and restoration. She says how the body knows and remembers reminds us that responses to traumatic events, violence, harm, or oppression are matters not experienced solely in cognitive ways.
08 Courtney McHill

God in Flesh Is Just Like Me

Courtney McHill, of the Oregon-Idaho Area of the United Methodist Church, shares how many of her male clergy contemporaries were surprised to hear about some of the challenges that clergywomen still face today, and how she deals with them by remembering that God created her in God’s image, as good and whole, in female flesh.
06 Beauty Rosebery Maenzanise

“Come and See Harare”

In 1984, there were only two ordained clergywomen in the Zimbabwe Annual Conference. Today, Africa has more than 300 clergywomen. Beauty Rosebery Maenzanise, of the East Zimbabwe Area of the United Methodist Church, shares the struggles of the Rev. Anne-Grace Chingonzo, one of the first Zimbabwe clergywomen, and her struggle to gain acceptance, and how the words in a dream provided the inspiration to persevere.
03 Anita Phillips

Release to the Captives

The Rev. Anita Phillips executive director of the Native American Comprehensive Plan of the United Methodist Church, shares her perspective as a Native American clergywoman on the matter of bodies, oppression, and the Gospel. She responds to the oppression visited upon indigenous people, and particularly Native American women, by proclaiming release to the captives.


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



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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