The 40th Annual Meeting of the Nebraska Conference UMW was held at Omaha First Church on October 12 & 13, 2012.
Before the opening of the meeting all members were invited to share in the Mission Experience Event. Members participating in this event participated in one or more of the following:
Lunch was served in Cary Hall at noon with a recap of the Mission Experience Events.
Gathering Music was led by Mary Spurgeon and accompanied by Marie Meyers, for our enjoyment.
We were welcomed to Omaha First Church by Rev. Dr. Jane Florence, Pastor of First Church and Nancy Coziahr, President of the UMW of First Church.
Dressing of the altar was led by Dolores Rader, Spiritual Growth Coordinator. Her devotion was based on the Beatitudes from Matthew 5, and focused on the six focus areas from the 2012 year: immigration, peace and world leadership, earth stewardship, health care and poverty, education and human trafficking. Each area was symbolized on the altar by an appropriate object. The central idea of urgently needed and requested prayer for each of the topics was symbolized by a pair of praying hands. She was assisted by Jenelle Erb in placing the symbols on the altar.
Nancy Purintun, Conference UMW Treasurer presented the Dedicated Light in honor of Louise Niemann. The candle burned for 4 hours and 46 minutes to represent the money donated for Missions in memory or honor of persons from all over the Nebraska Conference.
President, Louise Niemann convened the 40th Annual Meeting of the Nebraska Conference UMW. Louise introduced the following persons and they were presented Corsage for Missions as they stood at their seats.
Former Conference Presidents: Charlotte Reed (1987-1990), Marilyn Zehring (2000-2004) and Dixie Allbery (2004-2008).
Deaconess: Mary Ellen Kilmer
Church & Community Worker: Lisa Maupin
Vice President, Kansas East Conference UMW: Jackie Helms
General Board of Church & Society: Michelle Whittaker
Pastors present were asked to please stand and be recognized.
District Superintendent: Harold Backus, Prairie Rivers District
Nancy Purintun, Conference UMW Treasurer; presented the Budget for 2013 as printed on page 14 in our Program Book. The budget was accepted as printed.
Doris Whitacre, Chairperson of Committee on Nominations introduced the nominees to be elected and appointed for 2013. They were as follows:
Elected Officers: Esther Hay, President; Jenelle Erb, Secretary; Dolores Rader, Mission Coordinator for Spiritual Growth; Jamie Snyder, Mission Coordinator for Social Action; Tish Naprstek, Mission Coordinator for Membership, Nurture and Outreach; Nancy Olson, Secretary of Program Resources; Lisa Maupin, Communications Coordinator; Sandy Johnson, Committee on Nominations, Class of 2015; Mickey Aruffo, CON, Class of 2016 and Joyce Jacobson, CON, Class of 2016.
Appointed Officers: Mary Ann Bede, Librarian; Renae Graham, Annual Report Editor; Rogene Silletto, Historian and Peggy Walters, Information Technology Resource Person.
Doris moved that the nomination ballot be the election ballot. Motion carried.
President Louise read the slate of officers to be elected and asked for nominations from the floor. There being none. Louise called for a vote. Election of Officers followed. All nominees were elected.
Lisa Maupin held the ceremony of retirement for the following officers: Louise Niemann, June Ethridge, Paula Latas, Susan Schoen, Ruby Eschen, Jamie Snyder and Dixie Allbery. Judy Dangler was unable to be present.
Lisa also honored Marilyn Zehring for her retirement from Women’s Division as a Director. Tom McBride assisted in the presentation of a quilt from Epworth; representing her devotion to Epworth Village. Marilyn was also presented a scarf from the UMW representing Fair Trade. Marilyn thanked everyone for their support while serving as Women’s Division Director.
Dixie Allbery held the installation ceremony for the newly elected officers, newly appointed officers and those returning as officers for 2013. The newly elected officers are: Esther Hay, President; Jenelle Erb, Secretary; Dolores Rader, Mission Coordinator for Spiritual Growth; Jamie Snyder, Mission Coordinator for Social Action; Tish Naprstek, Mission Coordinator for Membership, Nurture and Outreach; Nancy Olson, Secretary of Program Resources; Lisa Maupin, Communications Coordinator; Sandy Johnson, Committee on Nominations – Class of 2015; Mickey Aruffo, CON – Class of 2016; and Joyce Jacobson, CON– Class of 2016. The newly appointed officers are: Mary Ann Bede, Librarian; Renae Graham, Annual Report Editor; Rogene Silletto, Historian; and Peggy Walters, Information Technology Resource Person. Returning Officers are: Rena Conner, Vice President; Nancy Purintun, Treasurer; Mary Ellen Kilmer, Mission Coordinator for Education & Interpretation; Doris Whitacre, Chairperson of Committee on Nominations; Virginia White, CON – Class of 2013; Sandy Scheef, CON– Class of 2014 and Barb Skeen, CON– Class of 2015. Dixie’s theme for the installation of officers was hearts and love.
Tom McBride, CEO of Epworth Village; brought us greetings from Epworth Village and gave us information about their work. He was presented a Special Recognition Pin by Nancy Purintun, Conference UMW Treasurer; for his many years of service to Epworth Village in recognition of his upcoming retirement.
Rev. Stephanie Ahlschwede, Executive Director of United Methodist Ministries gave us a report about the work they are doing. She also told us about the goals and mission of United Methodist Ministries.
An offering was taken for the support of United Methodist Ministries.
A half hour break was taken for everyone to stretch, look at the displays and have a snack.
The Theme of our Annual Meeting: Journey to Wholeness Thru Reconciliation was presented by the attendees of National Seminar - Marilyn Zehring, Joyce Solomon and Jamie Snyder. Their first presentation was on Brokenness. There were four issues presented at National Seminar and they are focusing on Human Trafficking for our meeting. It was a very enlightening presentation.
Rev. Lyle Schoen gave us an invitation to join him on a trip to Israel that he is planning for January 2014. Anyone interested should contact him for more information.
Louise Niemann introduced Teresa Whitehead the winner of the Eunice Harrington Award. This award was presented at Annual Conference in June. Teresa shared a few words of thanks and her appreciation for being given this honor. She also asked the members to remember our meeting registrar, Carrie Hellbusch with prayers of get well. She was unable to attend because of health issues and had been hospitalized overnight.
Louise Niemann was honored for her service to the UMW the past 4 years and it was explained that she would step down as President at the end of this meeting to begin her appointment to the Program Advisory Group of National United Methodist Women. The information about this transition can be found on page 29 of our Program Booklet.
Carol Windrum, Director of RTMJ presented a style show entitled: “Play It Again Samantha”. Several members from all districts participated in the show. They modeled outfits they had purchased at Thrift Stores run or supported by churches in the Conference.
Bishop Scott Jones, Great Plains Area gave the blessing for the evening meal.
Brokenness Ritual: As the attendees filed out of the sanctuary; they were asked to break a broken plate or tile to represent our brokenness.
The evening Banquet was served in Cary Hall by a committee of persons from First Church. We were given small recipe books featuring the recipes from the food served to us during our 2 day meeting.
The meeting reconvened in the sanctuary after the banquet with gathering music.
Dolores Rader, Spiritual Growth Coordinator led us in a Memorial Service using a scripture from Hebrews 12: 1 – 2 for her focus. The service concluded with a PowerPower presentation honoring the UMW members of the conference that have passed away during the past year. This presentation was created by Peggy Walters, Information Technology Resource Person.
Louise Niemann introduced the new Bishop for our Conference, Scott Jones. He introduced his wife, Mary Lou Reese; and let her tell about herself and her UMW experiences. Bishop Jones then gave us his remarks and thanked us for the invitation to attend our Annual Meeting.
The evening ended with Communion being served by Bishop Scott Jones, his wife, Mary Lou Reese; Rev. Dr. Jane Florence and Diane Jensen, President of Missouri River District.
The Saturday session of the Annual Meeting reconvened at First Church Sanctuary with Gathering Music at 8:30 a.m.
The second presentation on our theme entitled Healing was presented by the team from National Seminar. Joyce Solomon opened the presentation by giving her thanks to the musicians for their beautiful gathering music. She also thanked the members for the prayers received since her husband’s illness. Several members participated reading various bible verses about healing to start the presentation. Marilyn Zehring introduced Rev. Dr. Jane Florence. She gave us a talk about Healing based on Psalm 41.
Deanna Holland reminded us that the communion service, used the previous evening was specifically for UMW and was written by Rev. Lyle Schoen. It is available thru Rev. Schoen or the Vice Presidents of the Districts have a copy.
Rena Connor, Vice President; thanked Nancy Coziahr and her committee for their fabulous meals and snacks served to us during our meeting. Rena also thanked the Missouri River District for their fantastic hospitality.
A break time was held for us to refresh ourselves and to move to Cary Hall for the remainder of our meeting.
We reconvened in Cary Hall at tables to create our mosaic tiles from the plates broken during the presentation on Friday afternoon. While at each table we were led in a discussion about brokenness and healing. Each person was given a sheet with a Journey To Wholeness Thru Reconciliation Personal Covenant to be filled out and signed. The Healing time continued with a Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition and singing the hymn The Summons.
Two of the attendees to the Limitless Conference; Lisa Maupin and Caryn Vincent gave us their impressions and talked about their experiences from the Conference. They are now committed to helping the Conference UMW create new programs to attract young women to become members of UMW. Their enthusiasm was contagious.
Lunch was served.
Paula Latas, Secretary of Program Resources; held the drawings from the Program Resource Room:
A UMW Bible was given to one of the Reading Program Participants that completed Plan 4: The winner was Lola Staab.
Books were presented to persons that visited the Program Resource Room and registered: Winners were: Shirley Johnson and Becky Schelm.
Jenelle Erb, Conference Secretary announced the number of persons attending the event: 192
Nancy Purintun, Conference Treasurer announced that the offering taken for the United Methodist Ministries was $ 1,451.00. Corsage for Missions & Mission Cards sold totaled $ 309.00. World Thank Offering received from the table boxes was $ 282.25.
Marilyn Zehring introduced our outgoing President, Louise Niemann. She gave her closing remarks entitled “I Love Those Shoes”.
Louise declared the meeting adjourned after her remarks.
Jenelle Erb________________ Louise Niemann____________
Jenelle Erb, Conf Secretary Louise Niemann, Conf President