United Methodist Women (UMW)
All women are invited to be a part of United Methodist Women (UMW). All women who commit themselves to the purpose of UMW are members of this group. Worldwide, over a million women are active in the UMW, making it one of the largest women’s groups in the world. At Central, women primarily participate in the UMW via small groups called “circles.” Four of the five circles are named in honor of prominent women who have been members of Central: Coltrane Jones, Estaline Clark, Houston Tuttle, and Jubilee Ward. Circles meet monthly (except during the summer months of June through August) to discuss mission projects, business issues, and members' needs. Circle meetings often include delicious treats and a guest presentation.
Locations of circle meetings (either at the church or at the home of a circle member) are announced in the church bulletin.
Contact Stephania CudePresident of the UMW, for more information on the UMW.
Estaline Clark Circle
Formed in 1951, the Estaline Clark Circle was named in honor of UMW President Estaline McDonald Clark. Its membership covers some fifty years in ages. While some members work and others are retired, they are all very active in circle work. Attendance ranges from 15-20 per meeting.
Estaline Clark Circle chooses programs that are inspirational and educational dealing with community projects and foreign missions. The ladies meet the first Tuesday of each month at 10:00am in members' homes or at the church.
There are several special things the circle commits itself to. Members make annual contributions to the Guardian Ad-Litem program and prepare school kits for needy children. For more information on the Estaline Clark Circle, contact Gail Holding.
Coltrane Jones Circle
The Coltrane Jones Circle was named for Mariam Winslow Coltrane (Mrs. DB) and Elizabeth Coltrane Jones (Mrs. Robert E.). In 1888 Mrs. Coltrane led the women of Central in the organization of the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society, the first predecessor organization of United Methodist Women. She served as their first president from 1889 to 1911. She was known as the “Mother of Missions”.
Mrs. Jones, daughter of DB and Mariam Coltrane, served as president of from 1949 to 1951. She continued to lead the unit in active mission work.
The current Coltrane Jones Circle meets on the first Tuesday of the month in the church parlor. Its members range in age from mid-50’s and up. Through its programs and projects, the members focus on the purpose of United Methodist Women.
Jubilee Ward Circle
FeastThis circle meets the second Sunday morning of the month at 8:30 am in the Youth Room. The United Methodist Men cook breakfast not only for the UMM members but also for Jubilee Ward Circle members who have made breakfast reservations. The Jubilee Ward Circles pay a nominal fee to UMM for the meal. This dynamic group of women ranges from mothers of small children to career-oriented women to empty nesters.
Each year they put on the Feast for the Spirit, a fundraiser for local charities. Feast is a dinner event where tables are purchased by hosts who decorate with a theme. Themes range from holidays to sports events to time periods. Dinner is followed by exceptional speakers.
Jubilee Ward also places luminaries around our building each Christmas in honor and memory of loved ones. The proceeds from this also go to local charities. For more information on this exciting circle, please contact Fran Foley.
Reta Steck Circle
Reta Steck is a newly formed circle at Central. Several women with schedules too busy for a daytime circle came together to form what has become a very active and important part of UMW. This circle is made up of women with small children to empty nesters, some work, some volunteer, but all prefer the schedule of an evening meeting.
Reta Steck Circle holds casserole and bake sales several times a year to earn money for missions. Each year during exams, the group makes care packages for college students from Central.
They meet at 7:00pm on the first Tuesday of each month in the Parlor of the church and childcare is offered. For more information please contact Circle chair Danielle Minnis.
Houston Tuttle Circle
The Jubilee Circle of Central Methodist Church was formed in 1928, the Jubilee year of the United Methodist Women. It was later renamed the Nina Houston circle in honor of its founder. Mrs. Houston and her husband, Dr. W. C. Houston, were “a tower of strength both spiritually and financially to the missionary work as well as to the church.” They left an endowment for the annual Houston Preaching Mission which annually brings outstanding ministers to the community.
Leila Judson Tuttle was a devoted missionary to China for thirty-three years. In her later years she donated a large tract of mountain land for the formation of a church camp and memorial forest. At her death her papers and lifelong collection of Chinese artifacts were presented to the Women’s College, now known as the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
The combined Houston-Tuttle Circle continues the focus of the two former groups. Members support worldwide and national missions through the UMW. They eagerly participate in the group efforts of Central circles throughout the year: the Backpack Ministry, Prayer Breakfast, birthing kits as examples. Actively supporting the Women and Children’s Home, they provide cleaning supplies and paper necessities on a regular basis. At Easter they fill cheerful baskets for both the children and the mothers. Love and support for circle members is shown through correspondence and various types of help for those who are shut-ins or are facing difficult times.
The Houston Tuttle Circle meets the first Tuesday of the month at 10:00am. The current chair of the Houston-Tuttle circle is Joanne Clark, who has served in this capacity for over ten years.