Western Jurisdiction

Director’s Report

April 2024

As I begin writing this report, it is April 8th, the day of the great Solar Eclipse. As I look at the map of our conferences, my guess is that none of us got to see the eclipse in its entirety this time unless we traveled elsewhere. Still, I hope you put on your special eclipse glasses and got to see this celestial wonder. Our creation is full of wonders. And they happen every single day if we are paying attention.

Final Program Advisory Group and Directors meetings of the quadrennium.

March and April have included our final quadrennium meetings. Our themes through the quadrennium have been to Dream, Believe, and Do. At the Program Advisory Group meeting, Regional Missionary Hakari Chang delivered her message using Matthew 14: 22-31. She pointed out that Peter was able to do the impossible – walk on water. It was only when he doubted that he fell in. But why was Peter the only one brave enough to even try? If we give in to doubt – we are defeated before we even try. With God, all things are possible. May we have the courage to dream, believe, and do. Let us work together, as sisters in Christ, to do what may seem impossible.

General Conference

Our UMC General Conference is mere days away. So much important work is to be done. You can stay abreast of daily events through the uwfaith.org member portal via the General Conference Blog. United Women in Faith is highlighting some of our delegates as we build up to the meeting. Please pray for the work and the discernment of this body. You can find a prayer guide available from the Upper Room at GC Prayer guide.

Mission Giving

The Western Jurisdiction as a whole must be congratulated for giving 111% of our pledge to mission in 2023! Way to go, WJ! The North Central Jurisdiction was also able to give above their pledge, but as a whole, our mission giving was down about 17%. Disaffiliations have definitely played a role in this. Hopefully, after the General Conference, we can begin to move past this and dare to move forward, dream big, get enthused and inventive, and invite others to share in this work. Continue to encourage your units, districts, and conferences not to cut your pledges but to believe you can do it. Don’t give in to doubt! If this organization could return to our pre-pandemic pledges – we would be in great shape.

Regional Missionaries

At our Program Advisory Group meeting, we celebrated the retirement of 4 of our Regional Missionaries. We are so grateful for the work of Rev. Dr. Heasun Kim, director of Scranton Women’s Leadership Center in Seoul, Korea. We celebrate all that Grace Musuka and Elmira Sellu have done for Women, children, and youth in Africa. We thank Emma Cantor for transforming lives in the Philippines, Asia, and the Pacific. These will be hard shoes to fill but know that God will find leaders to follow in the footsteps of His disciples in these places around the world.

Justice Campaigns

Some resources were shared for our Climate Justice and Racial Justice work. Be sure to encourage women to sign up for these mailing lists so they can get updated materials as they become available. Here are two resources to share: • JE4A download: https://uwfaithresources.org/prodDetail.cfm?productID=11100&catid=2209 • Video “Never Give Up: Cynthia and Michelle’s Faithful Fight Against Mass Incarceration https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X5q8P-DJQE.

Reading Program

We just approved the 2025 reading program list, which is due to come out in late summer, and are already working on evaluating books for the 2026 list. SO MANY GOOD BOOKS! We continue to hold quarterly discussions or Author talks, and our next one is May 6, right before our Western Jurisdiction Event, where we will discuss “This Here Flesh” by Cole Arthur Riley. We break into small groups for discussion, and pre-reading of the book is required. There is still some space available, so I invite you to join us if you can. Register at Meeting Registration – Zoom

Deaconess Home Missioners

Did you know 23 new deaconesses and Home Missioners will be consecrated at the General Conference? This will bring the total of active DHMs to 267! This includes two new Deaconesses from the Western Jurisdiction, Stacey Atkins and Kathy Loomis, from the Mountain Sky Conference. There will be a mini-discernment event at our Western Jurisdiction Event next month, and there are online events every other month with registration on the national website. If you know people called to ministries of love, justice, and service, please lead them to these informational meetings.

Keeping our United Women in Faith President in our prayers

We continue to hold ‘Ainise Isama’u tightly in our prayers following the passing of her husband earlier this year. We love you, ‘Ainise!

End of the Quadrenium- Jurisdiction Event

I hope to see many of you in Anchorage in just a few weeks. It is really hard to believe a quadrennium has passed since I was elected as a director. So much has happened in that time. A pandemic. Church disaffiliations. A new name. A new “brand”. A new CEO and General Secretary, Sally Vonner. We celebrated all Harriet Jane Olsen did for our organization. I remember Susan Williams telling me to enjoy my time as a director because it would go fast. And she was not wrong. I admit it has been much work, but it has come with much joy. I have met SO many inspiring, faith-filled people. I loved every minute of serving as the Reading Program Chair and representing United Women in Faith on the General Board of Global Ministries. Thank you for allowing me to represent YOU, the Western Jurisdiction of United Women in Faith, these last four years.

See you in Anchorage!

Your Sister in Christ,
Jana Jones,

United Women in Faith Director Mountain Sky Conference,
Western Jurisdiction

  • Pacific Northwest Conference attendees
  • Meet our new Western Jurisdiction United Women in Faith officers.
  • President Deb Avery is preparing for the flag parade.
  • Aleut dancers
  • Moose on the loose.

Faith • Hope • Love in Action