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The National Council of Churches

THE CIRCLES OF NAME CAMPAIGN HAS SUCCESSFULLY REACH OUR GOAL OF NAMING OVER 1,000 WOMEN AND RAISING $100,000.00 TO SUPPORT THE NATIONL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES “WOMEN’S MINISTRIES”.  WE ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTING NAMES OR DONATIONS THROUGH THIS WEBSITE.  THE WEBPAGE STANDS AS A HISTORIC RECORD OF THE WOMEN FAITH LEADERS NAMES AND THE SUPPORT GIVEN TO THE ECUMENICAL MOVEMENT FOR GENDER JUSTICE BETWEEN November 2010 and January 2012.

“Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.” Mark 14:9

 


Bearing witness to a broad base of support historically, currently and into the future for gender justice work in and through the faith communities to sustain, corrdinate and extend the work of women’s ministries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twin Cities area Circles of Names event
honors seven mentors of faith

Minneapolis, November 25, 2011 — Ninety persons squeezed into the parsonage of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church here November 17 to honor seven women from diverse backgrounds as mentors of faith.
 
The Twin Cities Area Circles of Names Gathering was one of several local events sponsored by the National Council of Churches Circles of Names campaign, a project of the NCC to create a circle of support for women’s ministries by asking a thousand persons to give $100 in the name of a woman who helped shape their faith.
 
In so doing, the campaign lifts up the stories of a thousand women as sources of inspiration and empowerment of the churches’ witness for gender justice.
 
In addition to scores of mentoring women who were named to the circles as a part of the Twin Cities area gathering, seven special mentors were honored:

 

Dorothea Burns , an active Evangelical Lutheran Church in America laywoman and community center leader; the Rev. Sarah Campbell , team lead minister of Mayflower Community Congregational United Church of Christ in Minneapolis; Rabbi Amy Eilberg, the first woman ordained as a Conservative rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and a leader in interfaith dialogue; the Rev. Alika P. Galloway , co-pastor of Kwanzaa Community Church in Minneapolis (Presbyterian), a womanist theologian and Spiritual Director; Dr. Josie Robinson Johnson , a Roman Catholic laywoman and long-time civil rights leader; Dr. Fatma Reda , a psychiatrist with a doctorate in religious philosophy, a Muslim and an interfaith leader in the Twin Cities area; and Elona Street-Stewart , a Presbyterian elder, chair of the Saint Paul, Minn. School Board, and the first Native American to serve on an urban school board in Minnesota.

Presiding over the event was Lori Sturdevant , a nationally known journalist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and other media, and a member of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church.
 
Several of the honored women expressed hope that the Circles of Name campaign will make visible thousands of women of faith who toiled in the background of many movements – such as the “sandwich women,” said Alika Galloway, who provided essential support for the movement of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but are lost to history.
 
Galloway said she accepted the award “on behalf of women who would never be named but worked behind the scenes, the women praying, the women suffering domestic violence, or living with HIV/AIDS, the mothers, because all of the women who will not be named are leaders in our community.”
 
Elona Street-Stewart, a member of the Delaware Nanticoke nation, said the Thanksgiving holiday reminded her “how some of my friends sometimes ask me, ‘have people ever said I’m sorry for what we did to the Native American people, that we killed your people and stole your land?’”
 
Native American people have offered so much in leadership and spirituality but they are often made to feel invisible in the culture that surrounds them, Street-Stewart suggested. She quoted from the Prophet Jeremiah. As Native Americans, she said, “we were expected to persevere,” despite the challenges. She said wryly that when she told friends that she is a Native American, they replied, “You can’t be an Indian – there are no Indians anymore.”

Dr. Fatma Reda, a psychiatrist and a Muslim, said she had been raised “as a feminist, basically.” That may be contrary to the prevailing image of Islamic women, but she quoted the Prophet Mohammed as saying that when people pontificate around you, put that aside and “consult your heart.”

Dr. Reda said she was motivated to become active in interfaith relations outreach because of her need as a mother to protect her children from the racism they encountered when when her family first moved to the United States. She felt the necessity to help others learn about who she was, who they were as a family and what they believed in order to help break down the barriers and misconceptions about Muslims – and to make her neighborhood a safer environment for her children, she said.
 
Rabbi Amy Ellberg told of how her life was changed when she went on a trip to Israel and when she came back she felt called to devote herself to the relationship between Palestinians and Israelis. She laughed and recalled her reaction to God: “Really?”
 
Josie Robinson Johnson, 81, has been active in civil rights all her life. She said her favorite bible passage is from Esther.

 

“My mother lived the biblical Esther story,” she said. “That’s been my role all my life. Esther means more to me every day, because she is about people called ‘for a time such as this,’” she said.

 

The Circles of Names campaign seeks to build a foundation towards long-term sustainability of women’s ministries and gender justice in the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC, the 37 member communions of the NCC, and its ecumenical partners).

Participants are invited to give or pledge $100 in the name of a woman who was or is important in his or her faith. The names will be added to the ever-growing circle of names; (see http://circlesofnames.org/who-has-been-named/

), incorporated in a work of art commissioned for the campaign, and listed on a plaque in the NCC offices in The Interchurch Center.

 

The circles campaign has increased in urgency since it was started, said the Rev. Ann Tiemeyer, Director for Women’s Ministries for the National Council of Churches.

“The future of women’s ministries programs and gender justice work is at stake in many of our denominations,” Tiemeyer said. “The activities that support women’s ministries — women’s desks, commissions and programs – are being severely reduced or eliminated as NCC member communions face economic challenges. In this context, funding the NCC Women’s Ministries program has never been more important.”
 
The four current NCC priorities in gender justice ministries are: human trafficking, domestic violence, inclusive and expansive language, and poverty among women and girls. 



NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell), pjenks@ncccusa.org  

 


Circles of Names gatherings in New York City, Cleveland
support women’s ministries by honoring special mentors

New York, June 15, 2011 — Circles of Names receptions in Cleveland June 9 and in New York June 14 have raised thousands of dollars to support women’s ministries by honoring special mentors who have changed individual lives.

circlescollage2

The receptions were among several local events sponsored by the National Council of Churches Circles of Names campaign , a project of the NCC to create a circle of support for women’s ministries by asking a thousand persons to give $100 in the name of a woman who helped shape their faith. In so doing, the campaign will lift up the stories of a thousand women as sources of inspiration and empowerment of the churches’ witness for gender justice.   

Read the details of the Cleveland reception here .

Read the details of the New York reception here .

Women who received special recognition in Cleveland (see picture 1 above) were: Bishop Judy Craig , United Methodist Church; Edith Guffey , associate general minister, United Church of Christ; the Hon. Jane Campbell , former mayor of Cleveland and chief of staff to Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.); the Very Rev. Tracey Lind , Dean, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral; and the Rev. Georgina Thornton , pastor Grace African Methodist Episcopal Church, Warren, Ohio. Bishop Elizabeth Eaton , Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (Northeast Ohio), not pictured, was also honored.  

Three women received special recognition in New York City Tuesday: Marge Christie , an Episcopal educator and communicator from Newark, N.J.; Lois McCullough Dauway , a Methodist activist, leader in the UMC’s Division of Women’s Ministries, and former assistant general secretary of the National Council of Churches for justice and liberation; and Peggy L. Shriver, a Presbyterian writer, researcher and former National Council of Churches staff member.

Persons lined up in picture 2  above are Pastor Ann Tiemeyer, director of the NCC program for Womens Ministries; Christie; Shriver; Ann Hale Johnson, chair of the Circles campaign; and the Rev. Deborah DeWinter, NCC director of donor relations.

Dauway, who did not attend the meeting, made a video appearance (left in picture 4).  

In New York, representatives from Aetna (picture 3) presented a check for $25,000 to help create tools NCC member communions can use to generate ideas and implement action plans to promote racial and ethnic health care equity in communities around the U.S. These tools will target maternal health issues.  

The Circles of Names campaign seeks to build a foundation towards long-term sustainability of women’s ministries and gender justice in the National Council of Churches, the 37 member communions of the NCC, and its ecumenical partners. The names will be added to the ever-growing circle of names (see http://circlesofnames.org/who-has-been-named/ ), incorporated in a work of art commissioned for the campaign, and listed on a plaque in the NCC offices in The Interchurch Center.

“The future of Women’s Ministries and gender justice work is at stake in many of our denominations as they grapple with the impact of the economic recession,” Tiemeyer said. “History is repeating itself: women’s desks, commissions, and programs are being severely reduced or eliminated. Women’s Ministries at the National Council of Churches USA benefits all 37 member communions, and provides resources to galvanize collective energy and commitment for the ministry of gender justice across a broad constituency.”


Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC’s 37 member communions — from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches — include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.
NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell), pjenks@ncccusa.org

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