Purpose of the United Methodist Women

The organized unit of United Methodist Women shall be a community of women whose purpose is:

  • To know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ.
  • To develop a creative supportive fellowship.
  • To expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church.
  • The four mission focal points of the UMW are:

    • To be a community of women.
    • To know God.
    • To develop a creative and supportive fellowship.
    • To expand concepts of mission.
    • Each focus relates to the mission initiatives and priorities of United Methodist Women.

      United Methodist Women History

      The United Methodist Women began at St. Mark's as the Women's Society of Christian Service. They were officially chartered on October 23, 1968. On May 17, 1972, a Certificate of Celebration was given to St. Mark's United Methodist Women in honor of their 10th anniversary. There are currently 3 active circles named in honor of women who had an impact on the lives of members but who are no longer with us.

      United Methodist Women is the largest denominational faith organization for women with approximately 800,000 members whose mission is fostering spiritual growth, developing leaders and advocating for justice. Being a connectional organization, United Methodist Women are organized from the National level, to Jurisdictional, Conference, and District levels and finally the local unit.

      It is through this connectional organization that members raise up to $20 million each year for programs and projects related to women, children and youth in the United States and in more than 100 countries around the world.

      UMW Circles at St. Mark's

      Circles provide a way for women to meet regularly in smaller groups to worship, study, and be in fellowship with each other.

      Manie Hamilton Circle - Martha Rowe, Circle Chair. Meets the first Thursday at 7:00 PM.

      Manie was a Charter Member of St. Mark's, joining in November 1960, transferring from Barton Heights, and remaining a member until her death September 13, 1966. Her sister, Bess Agnew, and the other circle members renamed the group in her honor.

      Mary Reid Circle - Jo Curtis/Joan Bollenbacher, Circle Chairs. Meets the first Tuesday at 10:00 AM.

      Mary Stevenson Reid and her husband Harry joined St. Mark's on May 28, 1967, transferring from First UMC in Hampton. Harry remained a member until his passing in 1972. Due to failing health, Mary moved to Chrisfield, MD to live with her niece, but she remained a member of St. Mark's until her death on April 5, 1998. Mary wrote "My Youth on Smith Island, Memories by Mary Stevenson Reid". All proceeds were donated to H.E.L.P. and St. Mark's UMC.

      Vera Hodge Circle - Sandy Guthrie, Circle Chair. Meets the first Monday at 7:00 PM.

      Vera and her husband Milton joined St. Mark's on February 12, 1961 by Profession of Faith. She remained a member until her death on February 25, 1972.

      Missions and Activities of the St. Mark's UMW

      • Lenten Prayer Breakfast during Lent in March or April.
      • Provide UMCOR Kits for Annual Conference in June.
      • Summer Splash and Ice Cream Social in July.
      • Fall Rummage Sale in September.
      • Welcome Back Luncheon in September.
      • Hosts UMW program in conjunction with the Children's Defense Fund's Children's Sabbath Program in October.
      • World Thanks Offering/Pledge Service in November.
      • Hosts the Angel Tree, a local mission program, in December.