United Methodist Women still going strong!

Despite limitations caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Belmont UMC’s United Methodist Women (UMW) have continued to be generous and productive. This generosity – and a somewhat more limited programming budget – resulted in a cash surplus in 2020 and a projected one for 2021. In addition to this cash surplus, the UMW had some earmarked funds awaiting a spending decision. Those decisions were recently made and donations to the following missional programs have been sent: $555 in memory of Dorothy G. Anderson for “Training for Transformation – Mozambique”; $303 for the new United4Hope Belmont-Eakin School partnership; $2000 for the Metro Schools Homeless Education Program emergency fund.

Alongside financial giving in 2021, Belmont’s UMW spearheaded a successful school uniform drive for the children of our Golden Triangle Fellowship and hosted several programs open to the entire congregation: a Zoom presentation by Tessa Del Pino, Executive Director of JFON (Justice for our Neighbors), as well as a live-streamed celebration of the 20-year relationship between the Edgehill UMW and the Belmont UMW.

Our circles (small groups) have continued to meet monthly via Zoom, providing one another with the gift of friendship—love, laughter, and encouragement in difficult times.

UMW is open to women of all ages and eager to welcome new members and new ideas. If you’d like to learn more about UMW, please contact Anne Hoback for circle contact information.


What is the Free Store?

Edgehill UMC’s Free Store has always provided all kinds of household items – lamps, cookware, dishes, etc – and paper and feminine products that are not covered at grocery stores by food stamps. Clients shop there every two weeks on Saturdays for up to three items. Needless to say, with the needs of clients and concerns for health and safety, the Free Store is branching out in imaginative and fitting ways.

This year, more people are in need of food than ever before. With the help of the Nashville Food Project and Whole Foods, the Free Store has provided meals and groceries for its clients. Grab and go bags now contain items such as toiletries, so that clients and volunteers can maintain social distancing. Due to Covid restrictions, gathering for a meal and fellowship before shopping is not possible right now, but the store continues to serve its clients.

Nineteen for the nineteenth

After the Belmont-Edgehill United Methodist Women’s (UMW) partnership was formed, UMW groups from both churches have come together over the years and lifted up women in their midst whom they look up to for their justice-centered and faith-filled lives. Right away, these two groups began alternating providing a speaker to share her faith and life journey, and her spiritual development. Beginning with Jean Buchanan of Edgehill in 2001, here’s a list of the nineteen featured speakers who followed:

2001 – Jean Buchanan, Edgehill (deceased); 2002 – Linda Johnson, Belmont; 2003 – Barbara Cloud, Edgehill; 2004 – Louise Jordan, Belmont (deceased), 2005 – Sandy Hodge, Edgehill (deceased); 2006 – Betty Moore, Belmont (deceased); 2007 – Ernestine Thomas, Edgehill (deceased); 2008 – Dot Anderson, Belmont (deceased); 2009 – Julia Tate, Edgehill; 2010 – Beverly Job, Belmont; 2011 – Pat Barlow, Edgehill; 2012 – Pat Barrett, Belmont; 2013 – all met at Edgehill to celebrate and tour Edgehill’s two new ministries, The Spot (an after school program for teen girls with tutoring, life skills, computer skills) and the Free Store; 2014 – Pam Hawkins, Belmont; 2015 – Marnie Cotton, Edgehill, 2016 – Mary Helen Marigza, Belmont; 2017 – Nancy Pigg, Edgehill, 2018 – Heather Harriss and Beverly Job, representing younger and older membership, Belmont; 2019 – Beth Richardson.

Please don’t forget that as part of our celebration of the 19th amendment, we’re asking each Belmont woman to donate $19 for the Free Store, which allows limited-income clients to buy items not covered by food stamps and a second $19 for Luke 14:12, which provides meals for the Nashville homeless community. Go to belmontumc.org/umw-19th for details.

Background on the Belmont-Edgehill UMW relationship

The Belmont-Edgehill Partnership was formed in 1996, when a covenant service was held “to celebrate what God is doing among us and to reach out to grasp God’s future.” Objectives included: sharing ministry and programs where mutually beneficial, keeping Christ at the center, keeping the focus on ministry with the people of the community and city, and developing a sense of responsibility and concern for the immediate geographical area.

Subsequently, both the Belmont and Edgehill United Methodist Women (UMW) began looking for more ways to support and help each other in their purpose and work. Over the years, Belmonter Nancy Young has been the liaison between the two groups.

Building on Edgehill UMW’s custom of coming together each summer for fellowship and to hear one of their own share her faith journey, the groups decided to combine for their first gathering. It was held then, and in the following summers, in Parker Hall at Belmont UMC.

2020 changes to Belmont-Edgehill UMW summer gathering

Since July is right around the corner and it’s the traditional time for the Belmont-Edgehill United Methodist Women (UMW) Summer Happening, we need to get the word out about some changes this year. With these unprecedented times, things will look very different. This year, Belmont and Edgehill UMW have re-imagined their traditional summer combined event. This is our 19th consecutive year, and we are celebrating the passage one hundred years ago of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave all U.S. born or naturalized women the right to vote. We are honoring the courageous and committed women who worked so long to bring it to fruition.

We’ll celebrate the 19th amendment by having words from Belmont’s president, Sue Mather, and Edgehill’s president, Cynthia (Ceci) Matthews, about their activities and causes during the past year. Instead of tangible items for the Edgehill Free Store, we’ll ask each Belmont woman to donate $19 so that the Free Store’s limited-income clients can buy items they typically obtain there not covered by food stamps (such as feminine products, household, and paper products). In lieu of the food that UMW members and other Belmont women bring to the pot-luck gathering, we’re asking that they donate a second $19 for Luke 14:12, which provides meals for Nashville’s homeless community. Late Edgehill UMW member, Laura McCray, began Luke 14:12 and we will honor her, and the work done by the women of UMW, past and present, at each church. We’re asking that each Belmont woman or family donate a total of $38 by July 16. More is also welcome!

Please make checks out to Belmont United Methodist Women, with “Summer Happening” in the memo line and send them to Beverly Mintmire (39 Belcaro Circle, Nashville, TN, 37215).


Belmont UMC’s United Methodist Women (UMW) have had a great year and appreciates the support of Belmonters!

A new circle, Hannah, was formed especially for young mothers, concentrating on support for this time in their lives. They read and discussed Gifts of Imperfectionby Brene Brown.

Books in Belmont UMC’s library focus on enriching members’ understanding of spiritual growth, social action, leadership development, mission and nurturing for community. Several circles have read and discussed America’s Original Sin (that is, racism) by Jim Wallis.

For girls in developing countries, the UMW’s sewing team continues to make cloth feminine liners and tote bags for the Days for Girls projects.

UMCOR kits were prepared by members and other Belmonters. Two hundred twenty-eight school kits were completed in 2018 and, in August 2019, one hundred Christmas boxes for children in depressed areas of the U.S. and the world were filled. Belmonters young and old enjoyed getting involved in these projects!

During this past winter and spring, the UMW sponsored several church-wide programs: Adverse Childhood Experiences, led by Linda O’Neal on February 10; Racism and the School to Prison Pipeline, led by Garlinda Burton from the Nashville Freedom School on March 10; and on May 1, United Methodist photojournalist Mike DuBose presented his photos and narration of conditions along the U.S. southern border and United Methodist relief work there.

At the request of Belmont UMC’s Golden Triangle Circle, UMW members hosted a participatory baking class.

Providing leadership in the district, Mary Helen Marigza served as chair of the UMW’s nominating committee.

UMW sponsors ongoing collections of box tops for Red Bird Mission, an excellent Kentucky school for Appalachian children headed to college, as well as a food pantry and provider of some medical services.

Thank YOU for supporting UMW’s work and for being a part of this day of celebration!


What is the UMW anyway? Belmont UMC’s United Methodist Women (UMW) are part of an 800,000-woman global organization, the Tennessee Conference UMW, and the Cumberland River District UMW.

For more than 100 years, there has been an active United Methodist Women’s group at Belmont UMC. Since 1912, two years after the church was founded, the UMW has been an integral part of our church. Up until 1945, it was called the “Women’s Missionary Society.”

UMW circles meet at various times and places and plan their own programs. If you’d like to try it out, you are more than welcome to visit one or several. For more information, contact one of these circle leaders: Abigail (Melissa Eckert 615-522-7835), Hannah (Ellen Haber 615-463-3288), Mary (Lori Pearce 615-776-1420), Lydia/Sarah (Beverly Job 615-376-6096), Ruth (Starr Strickland 615-391-4864), or Golden Triangle (Gloria Dee 615-609-7532 and Wisinee Lwe 615-568-4854).

The UMW’s budget, supported by voluntary pledges of members, undergirds international outreach (approximately half is distributed by our global organization) and local community organizations including Bethlehem Center, Community Care Fellowship, Martin Methodist College, and Belmont UMC’s benevolence fund. The UMW’s stated purpose is is to be a community of women who seek to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons, through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the United Methodist Church.


From 1911 through 1929, Belmont’s United Methodist Women (then called “Women’s Missionary Society”) raised money for the building of our sanctuary by serving meals at the State Fair.

In the late 1930s, United Methodist Women (UMW) paid the mortgage each month on Belmont UMC’s parsonage!

During the mid-20th century, Belmont UMC’s UMW boasted 350 members and 20 circles.
Many functions now handled by other groups were in the first three-quarters of the 20th century handled by the UMW, as it provided a place for females to serve. Some of those functions included: visiting the homebound, working to improve conditions in city and county institutions, and improving treatment of those channeling through the court systems. Funding for mission activities in China and Korea was also a a focus. Support of city missions, Wesley Foundations on college campuses, local college scholarships, kindgartens, nurseries, and Bethlehem Center have been a part of the UMW’s mission since its inception. As time went on, other church teams were created, which focused on some of those areas.

Be sure to join us as we celebrate the UMW’s 150th birthday next Sunday. ALL are welcome! The celebration will begin with special worship services at 8:15 a.m. in the chapel and 10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary followed by a birthday banquet with musical entertainment at 11:45 a.m. in the Community Center. Musical entertainment will be provided by Mark and Rachel Hagewood, a group from the Golden Triangle Fellowship, and the Henry brothers. Reservations for the meal and childcare arrangements are required and can be made by calling 615-383-0832 no later than this Wednesday, October 23.

There will be cake!


During the holiday season, Belmont UMC’s United Methodist Women (UMW) sell coffee, tea, and chocolate, and they choose a local or international organization to receive the proceeds after cost of merchandise. Some of the organizations the UMW has supported financially over recent years include: Heifer International, Mama Lynn Center, Malawi UMW, Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence, Days for Girls, micro homes at Glencliff UMC, Open Table, Imagine No Malaria, Luke 14:12, Golden Triangle children and youth, and Give Ye Them to Eat.

Other organizations we support in different ways include: UMCOR (kits for personal care, flood buckets, school bags with supplies, layette, Christmas boxes for children), Bethlehem Center (Christmas for children- toys, coats, gloves and hats and senior adult wishlists), Golden Triangle Fellowship (backpacks filled with school supplies), Edgehill Mothers’ Day Out (baby, cleaning, and art supplies), Redbird Mission, and Ronald McDonald House.

The UMW holiday sale will take place in the Iris Room on Sundays November 10, 17, and 24. Proceeds will benefit Days for Girls. Cash and checks only, please.


The organized unit of the United Methodist Women shall be a community of women whose purpose is:

to know God,
to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ,
to develop a creative, supportive fellowship, and
to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church.


The women, children and Methodist churches of Malawi, Africa
Health, school and disaster relief kits for United Methodist Committee on Relief(UMCOR)
Community Care Fellowship
Bethlehem Centers
Backpacks and school supplies for the children of the Golden Triangle Fellowship
Martin Methodist College
Programs for all UMW members
School of Missions/Mission Study Areas
Reading Program
Toiletries and stationery for women prisoners
World Thank Offering, for missions of the UMW around the world
The Redbird Mission in Kentucky
Belmont UMC Benevolent Fund


The benefits and opportunities available to UMC Circle members include:

Providing opportunities to grow spiritually,
Equipping women & girls to be leaders,
Providing transformative educational experiences,
Organizing for growth & flexibility, and
Working for justice through service and advocacy


A UMW Circle offers a great setting for developing a supportive community, for spiritual growth, and for participating in missions both globally and locally.

When you join a UMW Circle, you:

make new friends and deepen relationships with old friends and acquaintances,
develop and grow spiritually, together and individually,
participate in activities and programs that nourish the spirit, the mind, and the social self,
meet with other like-minded women to read, study and discuss,
unite with other women to make the dollars you give have greater impact in helping women and children all over our city, our country, and our world,
join together with other women on projects that benefit women and children locally, nationally, and globally,
support one another in challenging times and rejoice together in times of celebration, and
mentor one another: we can learn much wisdom from women both younger and older.


4th Monday, 6:30pm, in the Iris Room
Melissa Eckert 615-522-7835

Meets in homes on the last Saturdays of each month from 4:00-6:00pm.
Sandy Sakarapanee 615-545-9804

2nd Tuesday, 10:00am, at rotating members’ homes 
Ellen Haber 615-517-5383

1st Monday, 1:30pm in the Iris Room
Beverly Job, 615-376-6096
Gail Crider 270-791-5582

Various times and events
Lori Pearce, 615-776-1420

2nd Thursday, 10:00am in members’ homes
Starr Strickland, 615-391-4864