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The United Methodist Women of Goddard United Methodist Church

Posted on February 10, 2015

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"We Are Not Your Mama's UMW"

United Methodist Women

Interview with Goddard UMW President Elizabeth Eubanks



Have you ever wanted to learn more about the various humanitarian/charitable groups at Goddard? Goddard United Methodist Church is proud to present a series of interviews with the leaders of Goddard's diverse community-centered organizations.

The first entry is an interview with Goddard's UMW President Elizabeth Eubanks.


Question 1: Would you please tell me about Goddard United Methodist Women and what your mission statement is?

Elizabeth: Goddard United Methodist Women is a group of women of all ages. It would be great if every woman in our church would be a part. Our mission is to be a mission, to be about learning and taking action, so God's love shines through us. Our vision actually comes from the Bible: "Turning faith, hope and love into action on behalf of women, children and youth around the world" (1st Thessalonians 1:4).

Our purpose "is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and to expand the concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church." In other words, to GUMW, our purpose and our vision is simply to follow what John Wesley said: "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can."


Question 2: When did UMW start?

Elizabeth: United Methodist Women can be traced back to an 1860 meeting of 8 women in Boston. They met with some missionary wives to learn about women's health and education needs in India. This small group of women sent 2 missionaries to India that same year. That was the beginning. We now have mission work in our country and in more than 100 other countries.


Question 3: What are the areas of focus for UMW?

Elizabeth: Number 1 is spiritual growth. We have a book study each spring. This year we are studying How Is It With Your Soul? by Priscilla and Jack Levison. This study is being led by Terry Gosnell, a UM Pastor in NW Arkansas, who is an off-the-wall kinda guy; he is very humorous: "We will be going to a beautiful place, Mount Sequoyah, for this study. We will be meeting with UMW members of the Northwest District. The date is April 11, and all are welcome to go with us. It is a great opportunity to experience God and to fellowship with other women in our NW District."

Number 2 is education, service, and advocacy. You know, once we learn about an issue, God calls us to action and service. That is what our UMW is all about. Finding ways to serve God by helping his people.


Question 4: What motivated you to join Goddard UMW?

Elizabeth: When my husband and I first came to Goddard about 10 years ago, we went to a new members' class that Pastor Kim and Rev. Dois Kennedy invited us to attend. Pastor Kim told me about the circles, and then, she asked Rose Lyons to invite me to join the Joy Goddard Circle. I went, and everyone was so friendly. Jean McCoubrey, Marian Conrad, and Janet Canada were members then, and I remember going out of their way to welcome me, and they called me later to ask me to come back. I believe each one of our Goddard circles has women like these that I mentioned, really nice and fun to be with (and wonderful cooks!). Food is always a part of United Methodist Women!


Question 5: What has been your favorite project in which you have taken part?

Elizabeth: I think that would be when Joy Goddard met in our church kitchen to make a chili for a fundraiser. We had taken orders and knew how many bowls of chili we had to make. Sounds simple, doesn't it? Well, it's not if you have about 10 different women wanting to do it their way, but we had so much fun, and everybody had a good story to tell while we were working. Also, we made a lot of money to give to the pantry.


Question 6: What projects does UMW have planned?                  

Elizabeth:    We are going to do "Divine Dishes" again. Dianne Ishmael, the greatest cook ever, is our lead person for this project, and we are hoping to host the Retired Teachers Christmas Party again this year. Last year, was the first year we did this, and it was a wonderful dinner. Jean Woodward and Fern Daniel were able to persuade this group to try Goddard instead of a country club location. Betty Forrest, who is also our artistic and creative leader, led the way in preparing the Great Room with beautiful place settings and decorations, and Dianne led the way in preparing a great meal! We made about $600.00 on this project, which we will use to support our various missions.


Question 7: What are some of the projects you support?

Elizabeth: (1) First is our church pantry. (2) Our circles take turns each month taking snacks, breakfast foods, and other items to the Ronald McDonald House, which is a place at Mercy Hospital for parents with children in the hospital to rest and/or eat, so they don't have to leave the hospital. (3) We support InterFaith Community Center, which helps prepare underprivileged children for school. InterFaith in Fort Smith began through the vision of some United Methodist Women. (4) We support Camp Aldersgate in Little Rock, which provides camping programs for children with medical, developmental, and physical challenges. (5) We help with Kits for UMC Ingathering (health kits, tornado tubs, school supplies, etc.) (6) A very important service of UMW is to provide bereavement meals for our Goddard families. (7) We also participate in various projects and missions of our church, and we prepare whatever meals our church asks of us throughout the year.


Question 8: What would you like to tell women not involved in the group to help them understand more about UMW?

Elizabeth: "We are not your mama's UMW." That is sorta our buzzword for this year. We will continue to do some of the things we have always done, but we are actively looking at new ways to do God's work. We don't want to be just the older women in the church. We welcome new ideas and welcome all women to come and learn, work, and have a good time while we are at it.


For more information about Goddard United Methodist Women, please contact Elizabeth Eubanks 479-785-1415, or check out the group's Facebook page:

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