Why is United Methodist Women’s $50k Gift to the Trevor Project Such a Big Deal?



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Early UM AIDS Response Compassionate Not Heinous

I too celebrate the grant from United Methodist Women. I am, however, concerned about the incorrect statements about the HIV/AIDS ministry of the United Methodist Church. Ours was among the strongest and most compassionate responses among all of the denominations. It was not "heinous" as characterized in this opinion piece. There was never a funding ban on AIDS support. The "ban" was not lifted in 1988 as this article states; rather a clarifying sentence was added in 1988 to prevent folk from using that paragraph to prevent AIDS advocacy and ministry as had happened in 1985-88.
If there had been a funding ban before 1988, the early responses from the national UM boards of Church and Society, Discipleship, and General Ministries to HIV/AIDS could not have happened Here is a timeline of UM response to HIV/AIDS https://web.archive.org/web/20060223145119fw_/http://gbgm-umc.org/health/aids/timeline.stm
The leadership of Cathie Lyons, then assistant general secretary of the Health & Welfare Ministries Program Department of the Board of Global Ministries was courageous, creative, and visionary. She was not alone but, since I worked with her as a volunteer and later a consultant in relation to a compassionate response to AIDS I know this history best.
I want to hold up two important accomplishments in 1986. One was via the National Council of Churches AIDS Task Force, which Cathie Lyons co-chaired with Chris Cowap of NCCC. Members of the task force met with Surgeon General C. Everett Koop in 1986 and later shared a 7 pages document with him (I have a copy) of directions they hoped he would take. Later that year he sent an AIDS education pamphlet to EVERY home in the United States. One of the organizations with contact information listed at the end of the document was our AIDS Task Force. What a witness this was! It also gave people looking for help from the church friendly people to contact. See https://www.hiv.gov/blog/in-memoriam-c-everett-koop (there is a link to the PDF of the Surgeon General's Report). Remember there was no Internet or email in 1986; so this was remarkable that information about our task force reached every home. In November of 1986, a national United Methodist Conference of AIDS was held in San Francisco at the invitation of Bishop Leontine T C Kelly. It was planned by the 3 UM boards named earlier. Cathie Lyons was the chair. This event brought in people from various UM Annual Conferences, people living with AIDS, professionals, theologians... I was present also. In pre-Internet days, this was how people networked and organized so it was a crucial step. Afterward, from Global Ministries (and endorsed by the other two boards), came the 1988 resolution "AIDS and the Healing Ministry of the Church" https://web.archive.org/web/20011225074319/http://gbgm-umc.org/health/aids/aidshealingministry.stm which launched more programs. We saved countless lives and comforted countless people with AIDS and their loved ones.

Nancy A Carter more than 2 years ago

no more of our money

This is it! There is will be no more of my money and I am calling on other “true” methodist to stop funding this ridiculous radical group. they do NOT represent the vast majority of methodist women. Maybe that is why they are dying and women no longer want to be associated with them.

Tracy more than 2 years ago


These organizations are saving lives. Are these lives you don't deem worthy of saving?

John Astle (United Methodist Insight) more than 2 years ago

Yes, really!

If you would do a closer look, you would see the extreme agendas that are being promoted. The selling of vast properties to further their own beliefs. They do not represent the many methodist women I know. We do much better trying to combat the drug epidemic and the broken families that need help. I repeat, everyone is worthy of God's grace, but not with lies and promoting that sin is not sin.

Tracy more than 2 years ago

The problem

I probably agree with Tracy. Most of us would agree on suicide prevention and that this is a real problem, but I looked up these organizations and it's pretty clear that they are telling these young people that what they are doing is perfectly OK. One of them promotes a "Pride" day in NYC.

M more than 2 years ago

UMW and Trevor

Jesse Jackson wants his flag back. Let the UMC elites use their money any way they want. The UMW is dying along with its parent the American UMC since 1970

Richard F Hicks more than 2 years ago

UMW and Trevor

I wonder how you can conclude that the UMW is dying when 6,000 gathered in Columbus for Assembly in 2018, and at my church we have 6 active UMW Circles.

Ellen Bachman more than 2 years ago

UMW numbers are dropping dramitically

In 1973, the UMW magazine, Response, claimed the organization had 1.5 million members. According to official GCFA numbers at the end of 2016, membership in UMW was only 438,543. The decline from 1.5 million to less than 450,000 is drastic! Currently, less than half of the nearly 32,000 United Methodist congregations in the United States have a UMW unit. (These numbers are reported by GCFA) 6, 000 of
438,543 is a very poor showing in my opinion. The only reason our local unit has flourished while others in our state have declined is because we focus much of our time and study on helping women and children locally, regionally and in our state who have causes we believe in. The reading program has become such a radical agent of forcing the world's way of thinking (liberal) we no longer follow any of their recommendations. There are many good women's studies that are Bibically based instead of reading what is obviously propaganda.

Tracy more than 1 year ago