THE CREATING SPIRIT

Poetry, music, photography, and other art forms that express the theme.

Rosanna Panizo

Empowered to Go!

Rosanna C. Panizo shares how at a gathering of Peruvian Methodist women in October, she realized the Holy Spirit keeps moving beyond our imagination and perspectives. “We learned again that we, as part of the people of God, can have different and even opposite experiences of life. If we are willing to listen with the purpose of understanding each other, and not first reacting to what we are listening to, then the Holy Spirit will work in us and through us.”
kang featured

Interfaith Spirit of Justice

At a time when anti-immigrant stories are dominating the news, Rev. Dr. Youngsook Charlene Kang, of the Rocky Mountain area of the United Methodist Church, shares how the interfaith community is bringing comfort and hope to the marginalized. She expresses hope for good pathways for undocumented migrants, because “God is a God of hope and God's mandate for humanity is to live in peace and hope.”
eastin featured

Journey to Standing Rock

Carol Lakota Eastin, of the Illinois Great Rivers Area of the United Methodist Church, shares memories of the 2016 Peg-Leg Flamingo youth pilgrimage to the Standing Rock Reservation, where these young Native American students joined protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline and gained a greater understanding of their proud heritage.
06 Valle-Ruiz Hawthorne

Collaborative Energy: An Opening to a World of Possibility

By Lis E. Valle-Ruiz and Nancy Hawthorne. Birthing a global church may look like the anxiety of a teenage mother hosting the Savior of the world in her womb: preparing with openness, creating collaboratively, and finally sharing the Word with the world. These three actions reflect the process of the Advent Collective, an experiment in collaborative preaching through artistic means that embodies what global church means to us.
06 Anna Gillette

Vital Signs

By Anna Gillette. Clergy are among the unhealthiest professionals. As women clergy, we tend not only to our parishioners; we also care for our parents, our spouses, our children, our siblings, and our friends. By the nature of our calling, we are caregivers at work and at home, but we all too often forget to care for ourselves. By God’s grace eight clergywomen in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference have come together to form a covenant group as part of the Clergywomen’s Health Initiative.
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…

A Call to the Creating Spirit

By Billie Nowabbi. The 2012 General Conference left its connectional members with challenges for uncovering creative possibilities; it also created new situations. The question is, how have these challenges and situations changed our ethical and theological consciousness? Our relationships and motivation? Specifically, is our compassion toward socially marginalized people an act of charity, or an act of justice?
09 Allyson C. Talbert

Occupying the Call of the Deacon: What’s Next?

By Allyson C. Talbert. In biblical times, the responsibilities of the distinctive office of the deacon were to attend to those without resources and to handle the material needs of the congregation. In the early church, deaconesses were women whose main duties were to minister to the poor, to widows, and to orphans, and to teach religious doctrine to women preparing for baptism. As the priesthood and episcopacy increased, so did the clerical duties of the diaconate. “The sick and poor were gathered into hospitals, or looked after by the novitiates and other pious workers, and the deacon eventually became…
06 Susan W. N. Ruach

Creativity and Learning

By Susan W. N. Ruach. In a recent conversation, a friend shared that he has started taking a class in watercolor painting. “I’m learning patience,” he said, “because you have to wait for the paint to get really dry between each color.” Later he acknowledged that he suspected it would also help him with patience in other areas of his life. That conversation got me thinking about what I have learned from my own creative endeavors.
08 Donna Fado Ivery

Spirit Brush Arts

By Donna Fado Ivery. In 1994, a disabling brain injury dramatically changed how I form each thought and motion, throwing me out of the pastoral ministry, my beloved vocation. With compromised speech, memory, vision, balance, left-side facility, and endurance, and through five years of rehab and chronic pain, I learned how to shadow the Spirit’s creative movement in order to get “through it all.”
07 Tweedy Sombrero

Believing!

By Tweedy Sombrero. One of the hardest things to do is to believe in yourself, especially when it seems that others do not believe in you or your work, do not believe in your ability to do the work, and do not believe that you can be the leader you are called to be.
06 Bishop Beverly J. Shamana

Tools for Change and a Whacking Wardrobe

By Bishop Beverly J. Shamana, Retired. Speaking the truth in love demands creativity. A straightforward whack at harmful, entrenched belief is sometimes best, but not every time. Diversity in speaking the truth in love is what counts, especially since we live in a time that still calls us to break open the Church’s frozen imagination. Filled with images rooted in the past of who is qualified to lead the Church, most members still doubt whether clergywomen have the requisite skills to lead the denomination. Even after fifty-five years of witnessing their competence and grace and their transmission of the good…

THEMES

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

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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