New Wineskins for Growth: A Summary

By Bonnie Home, Almaden Hills UMW

Dear UMW people ~ I’ve just finished reading the September/October 2021 issue of the UMW magazine, “Response,” which I always enjoy.  The article that grabbed my attention is “New Wineskins for Growth” (on pages 36-39).  It was written by Yvette Moore, director of public relations and marketing for United Methodist Women.  In some other way you may have already received the information that she included in her article, but this was all new to me.  I thought you would be interested in a summary of the article, below. You can read the entire article at https://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/news/new-wineskins-for-growth

If you don’t already subscribe to “Response” you can do so at https://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/response

NEW WINESKINS FOR GROWTH

Exciting new programs are coming to United Methodist Women!  Here’s why.

Original article by Yvette Moore
Summary by Bonnie Home, Almaden Hills UMW

Tonya Lanier, UMW leader

Tonya Lanier once thought United Methodist Women was only for older women. Now she’s a longtime leader in the organization. Photo by Kristina Krug, United Methodist Women.

Beginning the year of our 150th UMW anniversary, research was begun using surveys, focus groups and interviews with 24,000 UMW members and other Christian women respondents.   They were asked what they knew about UMW and what they thought about the organization.  They were asked what they were looking for in a faith-based organization, what appealed to them, how they preferred to gather, and how they preferred to give.

UMW also looked at research following national trends in the United States.  We often say that we need to attract more young women to UMW, but millennials age 18-24 are less interested in church at this stage of their lives.  Adults 35-59 are the “young women” who are more receptive to religion and spiritual development and are more likely to join our ranks. 

To expand our base, we also need to attract women over the age of 60 by asking them to share their talents and time, and we need to welcome Christian women of other traditions.  A large percentage of people of color identify as Christian, and UMW must provide a place where all feel welcome.

The concept of “new wineskins” (from Mark 2:21-22) describes new ways we can expand concepts of mission to a wider community of women.

Some of the “new wineskins” are:

  • New programs are being planned such as Soul Care Retreats.
  • For those who do not have a local UMW unit, a new “national membership” option will be available.
  • UMW will be refreshing our brand, our logo, our messages, and our visuals.

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