Recognizing that every person, woman or man, is a full and equal part of God’s human family, The United Methodist Church is committed to the full and equal responsibility and participation of women in the total life and mission of the church, sharing fully in the policy making at all levels of the church.
The General Conference of The United Methodist Church established the Commission on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW) in 1976 as an action-oriented commission to address discrimination against women at all levels of the denomination. To find out more about the General Commission, visit their website at: http://www.gcsrw.org
In the Virginia Annual Conference, three key words symbolize the major areas of work for COSROW:
advocate / catalyst / monitor
As advocates, we speak on behalf of women, individually and collectively, within The United Methodist Church, to ensure that the church has the benefit of the wisdom, life experiences, and perspectives of women.
As catalysts, we seek creative methods to redress inequities of the past and to prevent future inequities against women within The United Methodist Church. To be a catalyst is to endeavor to bring about new perceptions, new roles, and new empowerment for women in the church.
As monitors, we endeavor to ensure inclusiveness in the programmatic and administrative functioning of The United Methodist Church.
In our work we strive to be advocates, catalysts, and monitors for women and the issues concerning women in the church. We covet your prayers and assistance as together we continue this necessary work in our annual conference.
Monitoring Results of
Annual Conference 2022
The Virginia Conference had 1,170 lay members attending Annual Conference. The Commission on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW) received some 490 responses to a demographics survey, about 41 percent. Of those who responded, a snapshot was given of lay members attending the 2022 session.
- 66 percent female
- 32 percent male
- 1 responded non-binary
- 1 percent youth (under 18)
- 3 percent young adult (18-35)
- 36 percent adult (36-65)
- 60 percent older adult (66+) Oldest respondents were 87 years old
- 1.5 percent Asian
- 4 percent Black
- 1.5 percent Hispanic
- .5 percent Native American
- 92 percent White
- 0 Pacific Islander
Virginia Conference Representatives
Mary Dadisman, Elected Clergy, Co-Chair, James River
Lay Co-chair – Vacant
Denise Bates, Cabinet Representative, Farmville & Danville
Lauren Wright, Elected Clergy, Charlottesville
Deb Washer, Elected Clergy, Staunton
Jenelle Watson, Elected Clergy, Staunton
Suzanne Joyner, Elected Lay, Eastern Shore
Denise Childers, Alexandria
Virginia Greer, Eastern Shore
Stephanie Parker, Elizabeth River
Jenny Day, Elected Clergy, Harrisonburg
Audrey Smith, James River
Sue Lewandowski, Rappahannock River
Linda Ray, Richmond
Mandy Newman, Roanoke
Carolyn Woodrum, Winchester
Julianne Rosas, York River, UMW
Madeline White, Connectional Ministries Staff
Women Called to Ministry is a six-week study session about women in The United Methodist Church. It is designed primarily for use by local congregations and may be downloaded or copied. Study Guides are available in English and Spanish. You can download and print copies from the website for the GCOSROW at:
The United Methodist Church, through the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, has a Web site with resources and information about sexual ethics. This Web site addresses the issues of sexual misconduct, abuse, and harassment by those entrusted with ministerial roles in the United Methodist Church. Click here to link: http://umsexualethics.org/.
For more information, contact the conference Communications office at: PO Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606; phone (804) 521-1113.