(Ruth Ann Powers) - It was with a rousing send-off that the COSROW Event of 2013 began. The participants came together with joy and sadness to honor Dawn Wiggins Hare. Dawn has been selected to serve as the General Secretary of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women and will work out of her office in Chicago.
According to our research, Dawn Wiggins Hare is the only member of the Alabama-West Florida Conference who has ever been named to be the chief executive officer of a General Church Agency.
Friends and colleagues spoke of her leadership, her advancements for women in her work and their love and appreciation for her guidance. Gifts were presented to Dawn for her office and depicted some of the symbols COSROW uses in its work. Dawn also received some personal gifts from friends.
Sandra Ruby, the facilitator for the event, presented Dawn with a book that tells the history leading up to the General Conference's delegating the General Commission, and recognizing many of the women who led the charge to have clergywomen approved for service and who worked for years to have GCSRW as a part of the General Church. She also presented a paten and chalice that was designed for the Assembly of 1986 and made by the Marshall Company in Indiana, Sandra's home state.
The ceremony ended with a litany written in Dawn's honor. In celebration of Dawn’s new role, Julia Norton presented a beautifully decorated cake that everyone enjoyed. What a terrific way to begin COSROW's weekend together!
After the break, the sessions began. Sandra Ruby brought lessons and discussion periods about familiar stories from the Bible with a whole new perspective, in line with the event’s theme, “Extraordinary Women Doing Ordinary Things.”
From the discussions came great ideas and action plans for Alabama-West Florida Conference COSROW. Participants volunteered to fill various roles to help promote women’s leadership and equality in the conference: to be district COSROW leaders; to work with Wesley Foundation chapters throughout the conference; and to plan new COSROW events. Volunteers also signed up to help with COSROW’s traditional activities, including the Alice Lee Award, the Jane Walker Scholarship, and the Annual Conference breakfast and monitoring of Annual Conference sessions.
COSROW extends an invitation to all people in the annual conference and beyond to mark their calendars for the 2014 event tentatively planned for January 24- 25, 2014. More news will follow throughout the year. Plan now to join us.
Click here for photographs from the event.