On Sept. 29, Yellowstone Legacy Conference United Methodist Women (UMW) held its annual meeting in two locations: Roberts United Methodist Church in Roberts, Montana and First United Methodist Church in Missoula, Montana. There were 38 and 35 members in attendance, respectively. With technology, the two groups were able to share devotions, sessions, and business.
The budget was approved, with a total pledge to mission of $39,000 and $11,000 to other channels, totaling $50,000.
Elections also took place at the annual meeting, with the following results:
- President: Stacey King
- Vice President: Karen Smith
- Secretary: Kay Duffield
- Treasurer: Roxanne Roehl
- Coordinator for Spiritual Nurture and Outreach: Tish Herries
- Coordinator for Mission, Education, and Action: Teresa Henry
- Chair of Nomination Committee: Cherie Mondragon
- Committee on Nominations: Becky Messman, Elouise Rossler, and Molly King, need one more
- Mission u Dean: Cathy Speich-Ferguson
- Asst. Mission u Dean: Vacant
View a full list of the leadership team online
Mission, Education, and Action Coordinator, Teresa Henry, spoke on the national four area of focus:
- Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Climate Justice)
- Interrupt the School-to-prison Pipeline (Criminalization of Communities of Color/Mass Incarceration)
- Living Wage for All (Economic Inequality)
- Create and Strengthen Maternal Mortality Review Committees (Maternal Health)
Mission u Dean, Cathy Speich-Ferguson, reported the two upcoming studies:
- Spiritual Growth, Practicing Resurrection: The Gospel of Mark and Radical Discipleship
- Geographic Study, Women United for Change: 150 years in Mission
Dates and locations will soon be announced for the Mission u 2019.
Molly King shared her deaconess experience that began in 2008 when she witnessed the consecration of deaconesses at Assembly. Touched by the stories these deaconesses shared, she started on the path to explore - and eventually pursue - becoming a deaconess. The Yellowstone Legacy Conference has only had two deaconesses: one in the 1920s and another in the 1970s. Molly has received wonderful support from UMW members, her mentor Teresa Henry, Bishop Karen Oliveto, and Robin Ridenour (deaconness). An offering was taken to support Molly as she takes time off from work to attend two weeks of training twice a year.
Laurie Ball of the Western Mountains District and Ellen Hill of the Big Horn District presented the memorial service. Laurie and Ellen read the list of women who have passed on in 2018. They handed out wildflower seeds, that will eventually grow and bloom, as a remembrance of those who have passed. Malcolm Horn, of Rimrock Treatment Center in Billings, Montana gave the morning presentation, with statistics of addiction and treatment in Montana. Though very few people seek counseling in Montana, it is available statewide online. Meth is a more prevalent problem in Montana than opioids. Malcolm gave tips for helping friends and family grappling with addiction.
Dr. Marcia Prather spoke on the role drugs have played in the history of care, and the effect they have on the brain. She also explained the risk of overdose due to inconsistent strength of drugs based on their origin. As an emergency room doctor, she has seen many cases that lead to permanent damage or even death.
Hazel Smith spoke as a family member and counselor dealing with addiction. Addiction runs in her family, and she lost a son to a drug overdose. Hazel's granddaughter is now struggling to control her addiction. She also spoke on boundaries, saying that they are necessary, but you must continue to show love and support.
Tammy Wieweck has been clean for 13.5 years. She told of her story of addiction and the road to recovery. It was a long and tumultuous journey, but she survived. Tammy stressed this difficult transition, saying addiction will change you, and you will always face challenges. She closed saying her church family has been a great support to her.
Following a shoulder injury, Pastor Jason Cox became addicted to his prescription pain medicine, which eventually led to experimenting with other pills. In this addiction, he realized it was time to stop before he hurt himself or others. He spoke of his treatment, and has now been clean for six years. While most addicts do not receive treatment, the key is finding a support group to guide and walk alongside you on the recovery journey.
Both meeting sites closed with worship and communion. The hope of the UMW is to continue to improve technology capabilities to make multiple meeting sites more accessible.
If you have any questions about the annual meeting, please email Stacey King at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about the United Methodist Women of the Mountain Sky Conference at mtnskyumc.org/unitedmethodistwomen