Sermons and speeches related to the theme.

Grace Cajiuat

Identities: Fibers of a Sacred Yarn

Grace Cajiuat, of the Wisconsin Area of the United Methodist Church, shares how when we learn of and from our identities, we can better develop and practice humility, curiosity, and empathy: the three traits that can hold together our integrity in the tapestry we are trying to weave. When we take the time to discover the fibers/identities that make the yarn, we align love with truth that makes the weaving that is the “kin-dom” of God.
mary council austin featured

Still Claiming Our Identity in Christ

The Rev. Mary Council-Austin, of the Wisconsin area of the United Methodist Church, is a second-generation clergywoman. Her mother turned 90 and has been an ordained minister for more than 60 years. The Rev. Council-Austin recounts the journey of women in ministry – and the triumphs and challenges over the years – while offering encouragement that God stands ready to bless us.
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.
04 Patricia Bonilla

Transformational Solidarity

By Patricia Bonilla. When I first started attending a United Methodist church in the near south side of Chicago, after finishing my Bachelor’s degree in a small private liberal arts college, I was very idealistic. I wanted to transform my neighborhood, and the world for that matter, by being involved in social justice work. I wanted to make changes that would better the quality of life of people in my neighborhood and create opportunities for empowerment and inclusion.

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 Mariellen Yoshino

From Imagining To . . .

By Mariellen Yoshino. How humbling it is to imagine seeing clearly, being face-to-face with God, and knowing everything perfectly. How awe-inspiring to imagine such perfection. And, how daunting to glimpse into that full and perfect knowledge, knowing that with such knowledge comes responsive action. As I watched the video feed and as I read about the process of our General Conference, I wondered if The United Methodist Church was humbly imagining God’s perfection. Did our Church find itself awe-inspired, and so daunted by the task of acting accordingly?
01 Cristian de La Rosa

Courage to Join a New Leadership Dance: Reflections on the 2012 General Conference of the UMC

By Cristian De La Rosa. Inherent to life is a dynamic process of ongoing change that pressures against stagnation and death and so constantly transforms every element in creation. This change dynamic was omnipresent at the 2012 General Conference of The United Methodist Church in Tampa, Florida. Everything and everyone was thinking about change in an attempt to grasp the potential that our denomination has at this critical time to communicate meaningfully to a very diverse constituency. And yet, pressured by diverse contextual ministry experiences in very different places and spaces around the world, the delegates at the 2012 General…
10 Libba Stinson

Sister Strength: Grace, Growth, and Wit

By Libba Stinson. Over the centuries Native peoples have planted, eaten, and revered squash, corn, and beans as nature’s life-sustaining gifts. They are known throughout traditional teachings as the “Three Sisters.” Native American legends tell of the spirits of the Three Sisters safeguarding and blessing the harvests of these three crops. The sisters are said to be inseparable, a blessing to be planted, eaten, and celebrated together.
09 Wendy J. Deichmann

Renewal: A New Thing of God in an Age of Decline

By Wendy J. Deichmann. United Methodists in the United States are tired of Church decline. We have begun our fifth decade of an historic slide toward extinction. This is not an exaggeration; it is the biggest elephant in the United Methodist room, and many of us would prefer not to talk about it. Inquiring minds may wonder, where is God, and what is God doing in the midst of this discouraging movement in a direction we really do not want to go?
04 Jacqueline M. Burgess

Prophet or Pastor?

By Jacqueline M. Burgess. I have learned that it is fine to speak and act prophetically about the social, economic, and political systems and structures beyond the local church and be pastoral too. It is hard to be the one whom people seek out for counsel, healing, confession, and grace when you take on the systems and structures within that congregation. How can I become “Pastor Jackie” to the flock whom God has called me to serve without compromising my deepest convictions or keeping them to myself? How can I mediate grace and speak the truth at the same time?…
03 Delana Taylor McNac

Creating with Words: Using Our Voices With Vision

By Delana Taylor McNac. As a woman of Native American heritage, I have been taught from childhood to respect my elders and listen to their teachings. In my experience, lessons are sometimes shared via story or metaphor, while at other times they are conveyed through correcting or modeling behaviors. One of the most profound lessons I learned from my elders relates to the power of words and the need to choose carefully when and where to use my voice.


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