Camp Wisdom UMC: UWF Launch Provides Opportunity For Growth

Camp Wisdom board

Camp Wisdom UMC's UWF officers are (from left) Judy Jackson, Mission Coordinator for Member Nurture and Outreach; Pat Wilson, Mission Coordinator for Spiritual Growth; Jacqueline Rolling, Mission Coordinator for Spiritual Growth; Trish Jones, Communication Coordinator; Lisa Cooper, Communication Coordinator; Minnie Beasley, Treasurer; Latricia Manning, Secretary; and Crystal Hall, President.

"I would encourage every woman to use her gifts and talents to serve the community," said Crystal Hall, president 

With the global relaunch of United Methodist Women as United Women of Faith (UWF), the lay women of Camp Wisdom UMC took the opportunity to reinvigorate their ministry and presence in the community.

In worship on April 3, 2022, the church installed new UWF officers and coordinators and asked for God’s blessing on their work and the Oak Cliff community they are building. With a sermon by scholar and preacher Shandon Klein of First UMC Richardson and prayers woven together from the “Rainbows for Mission” litany and the Installation Service from UWF, the group officially joined the United Women in Faith sisterhood.

“We have designated the First Sunday in April as United Women in Faith Sunday so that annually we may celebrate our love in action and all that we learn,” said Camp Wisdom UWF President Crystal Hall.

Hall reflected on how meaningful it was to share the installation with the whole congregation. “It meant a lot sharing the joy,” Hall said. “We’re reinforcing our individual and collective commitment to our relationship with Christ and that we’re willing to put our love into action.”

UWF at Camp Wisdom has been able to engage young adults through seniors in the community and are taking this first year to work in different areas of the community and establish a rhythm of annual events that will become traditions for their church.

“We are a small church that has dealt with declining participation in programs,” Hall said. “I would say to churches that are struggling — it’s about fellowship. The participation will follow. Just continue to serve God. As Matthew 18:20 says, ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them.’ "

At a recent prayer discussion and meal event they named “Saying Grace,” the UWF community listened to a Faith Talks podcast on prayer and followed it with a discussion. 

Camp Wisdom UMC Senior Pastor Rev. Lesta Anderson reflected on the power of channeling the strong history of UMW’s transformative work in church and society into even more ecumenical work as more women are invited into the UWF.  

“Women are expanding the horizons of what we can do,” Rev. Anderson said. “In this political and social climate, I think UWF will have a big part in being able to guide people back to the center because of the relationships that are being formed across lines of culture and across the denominations.

“It’s United Women in Faith, not in culture, not in race, not in economics but in faith. The work that women do for the propulsion of the gospel is phenomenal all across the denomination. Women make it happen.” 

Upcoming UWF events at Camp Wisdom include local serving opportunities, a “Come to Church, Stay for the Game” event on a Cowboys game day in the fall, as well as a back-to-school event on Sept. 17. Other UWF chapters in the North Texas Conference who would like to partner with Camp Wisdom to bring the back-to-school event to their community can email Hall.

“Camp Wisdom’s chapter abides in the love that we are all sisters in Christ and friends and to treat each other as such,” Hall said. “I would encourage every woman to use her gifts and talents to serve the community.”

Published: Wednesday, June 15, 2022