Women's Divison News
This area of the website will keep you up to date on activities of the Women's Division and where the resources raised by United Methodist Women are being spent.
A Feminist Tsunami at the United Nations (9/27/2010)
A super-agency called UN Women, has been formed at the United Nations and is expected to have a major impact on promoting a feminist, pro-abortion agenda around the world. The agency was formed by the merger of four existing "gender entities" at the UN. This "tsunami" of radical feminism will surely leave devastation in its path. The Women's Division, the governing body of United Methodist Women, will undoubtedly be swept up in the work of UN Women, due to their prominent involvement with feminist groups through the Church Center for the United Nations. This 12-story building, owned and operated by the Division, is a hot-bed of political and social activism and the cornerstone for the international mission work of UMW. While advocating for the rights of women and girls is an important mission, promoting a feminist worldview that includes "sexual and reproductive health and rights" to achieve these goals causes great concern among grassroots United Methodists and Christian leaders in other nations.
Girl Scout Controversy Rocks the UN (March 2010)
The Church Center for the United Nations (CCUN), owned and operated by the leadership of United Methodist Women, was the site of over 70 satellite events held March 1-12, in conjunction with the annual UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Opening worship took place in the Tillman Chapel where the chaplain of CCUN, Rev. Kathleen Stone, emphasized the need for women to develop a collective voice saying that "this is serious business". A delegation of eight executives from the Women's Divison participated in the two week event, sponsoring two workshops and providing hospitality and in-kind services for a plethora of feminist groups.
Shockingly, one such workshop held at the Church Center, the World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides hosted a no-adults-allowed panel where the International Planned Parenthood Federation (www.ippf.org) was allowed to distribute a brochure entitled "Healthy, Happy, and Hot". Aimed at young people with HIV, the brochure contains explicit details on sex, graphic language, and the promotion of masturbation as a means of "improving your sex life by getting to know your own body". The IPPF description of the brochure states it was designed "for young people living with HIV to help them understand their rights, and live healthy, happy, and sexually fulfilling lives".
Please read the full article released by C-FAM, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, an agency that closely monitors the international advocacy taking place at the United Nations. http://www.c-fam.org/publications/id.1589/pub_detail.asp
Would United Methodist Women at the local level be pleased that their mission giving is used to provide hospitality for groups promoting such a radical viewpoint in the name of "reproductive freedom"? Would the supporters of the Girl Scouts approve of this resource being handed out and the public policy/advocacy taking place at the United Nations?
"The Ties That Bind", a detailed report of the Women's Division's work and associations at the United Nations. Report Here.
(Originally published in 2006, it remains relevant today.)
United Methodist Women present at Global Forum on Migration in Athens, Greece (11/4/09)
Mission giving of UMW pays for Women's Division staff and directors to travel to international gatherings on many issues. With immigration policy at the forefront of Women's Division activism, it is no surprise that they are participating in this meeting of 200 delegates from around the world to discuss "the links of migration and development", and "to build a global voice in defense of migrants rights". Carol Barton, executive for community action and lead staff for the Immigrant/Civil Rights Initiative is representing United Methodist Women at five day event.
Their activism is supported by a new 2008 General Conference resolution, Global Migration and the Quest for Justice, which states that, "Christ calls us as Christians to drop barriers of tribe and nation and to embrace all as children of God". The General Board of Global Ministries and the United Methodist Task Force developed the resolution.
Participation is this gathering at the expense of United Methodist Women is another example of the global political advocacy of the Women's Division. First of all, the Division and many of the groups participating frame the immigration debate as just a part of "global migration" and that we are just a "one world, move wherever you wish" society, where national sovereignty and borders have no meaning. They chastise "the growing rejection of migrants by nations of the global North" in Europe and how we in the U.S. might learn from "current European migration policies". Secondly, by passing these wordy resolutions at General Conference, a few of our boards and agencies use them as justification for speaking for United Methodists all over the world. Read the article here.
Women's Division defends its ties with ACORN (10/30/09)
The Women's Division has released a rather defensive statement regarding their association with ACORN, the much embattled Association of Community Organization for Reform Now, which has been in the news concerning charges of vast corruption. Congress has recently ceased taxpayer funding to this gigantic organization which some have called "the largest radical group in America". The Division featured ACORN on the cover of its January 2009 issue of RESPONSE magazine entitled, their monthly publication for United Methodist Women. The Division has long supported ACORN's work in regards to voter registration, housing for low income families, and the stopping of foreclosures. While specific monies to ACORN include a $2000.00 grant given in 2000, other organizations such as the National Council of Churches (which receives substantial funds from the Women's Division and the United Methodist Church) does support projects of ACORN. Having this organization featured on the cover of its primary information source for United Methodist Women shows their support for the work and goals of ACORN.
Read the Women's Division full statement here.
Read article on ACORN in World Magazine here.
United Methodist Women included with leftist groups in letter to President Obama (10/3/09)
The Women's Division has included United Methodist Women as one of 500 signees to a politically partisan letter to President Barak Obama calling for an end to specific powers given to local authorities to enforce national immigration laws. In rare agreement with policies of the Bush administration, the Obama administration seems to concur with the Department of Homeland Security that these measures provide valuable tools for combatting this national crisis.
The list of signees is a "who's who" of leftist national, regional, state, and local organizations. The Center for New Community, Center for Constitutional Rights, Foundations for Our New Afrikan Millenium, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Ruckus Society, ACORN, Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition, CODEPINK, and Young Democratic Socialists are just a few of the groups on the letter.
While immigration reform is an important issue to United Methodists, a diversity of political opinions exists among our congregation concerning appropriate solutions. Taking partisan stands in the public arena on such politically sensitve issues have created much discontent among United Methodist Women and caused many to leave the organization. New membership figures from the General Council on Finance and Administration report that over 2007, United Methodist Women lost over 22,000 members and 452 units. The Women's Division continues to advocate its one-sided political agenda with little regard to its effect on this once fruitful ministry. Read the full letter with 14 page signatures here.
Women's Division signs United Methodist Women to an international declaration on "human migration"(10/03/09)The leadership of UMW has endorsed a statement shared with the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva regarding the rights of "migrants" in detention center. The declaration seems to point to the United States as the intended culprit of this supposed sin against humanity. A UMW partner, the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR) helped prepare the document and was endorsed by 136 (mostly liberal) groups. NNIRR will also share information from its HURRICANE (The Human Rights Immigrant Community Action Network) project, a program supported by UMW and the General Board of Global Ministries. This program documents "the systemic violation of human rights...in the US by law enforcement agencies". The progam trains "community members" to collect data on human rights abuses.
Again, this initiative is another part of the Women's Division's priority focus on Immigrant/Civil Rights, with United Methodist Women funding this partisan political advocacy. The Division considers immigrants (legal or illegal) as "migrants", who are entitled to move wherever they wish and receive whatever benefits are allowed by the nation they take up resident. All of this advocacy is supported by the Division's success at General Conference of getting resolutions passed that support their positions such as "Global Migration: A Quest for Justice", passed in 2008. Enforcement of established laws of sovereign nations bears little justification for the radical immigration agenda of the Women's Division. To read the article and see signatories, click here.
ANOTHER VIEW: For an excellent article on immigration policy from a biblical perspective, please read this article by James R. Edwards, Jr., Ph.D., a fellow with the Center for Immigration Studies. It gives a reasoned overview of biblical history and polity and how scripture has been taken so out of context in the immigration debate. Worth the time to read it--here.Women's Division seeks separation from General Board of Global Ministries(10/1/09)
The Board of Directors of the Women's Division (the governing body of United Methodist Women) voted to allow a process to begin that would propose "a new strategic direction" for their work in relation the the General Board of Global Ministries. This new proposal would essentially bring most of the current funding and mission work currently done together back under the control of the Women's Division.
Read a RENEW analysis of this historic proposed change here.