A Message from Sister Erica Austin

Recruit, Reclaim and Retain
A Message from
Sister Erica Austin
Below are some creative ideas to new
members and appeal to the young women
Sponsor a Chat-N-Chew
Create a mentoring program for girls or teens
Initiate a mission outreach project.
Skill Bank Questionnaire
Health Fit Club
How Do you stay connected?
Game Night/Social Activities
I am glad you asked! There are three established
ways you can stay connected and involved:
Organize community information sessions to
promote awareness of social issues
(i.e. Affordable Care Act, Voter ID laws, Voting
Procedures, HIV/ AIDS awareness)
Plan fellowship trips to attend WMS
Connectional, Episcopal, Conference and Area
Meetings as a group
Develop a book club
Invite prospective members over for breakfast or
brunch to discuss the organization and benefits of
becoming a member
Make Arts and Crafts for an upcoming holiday
Organize a Sister-to-Sister recruitment initiative
where each missionary finds a new member to
bring to a meeting or to a WMS Connectional,
Episcopal, Conference and Area Meeting
*Connectional Member-At-Large*
Hello my sisters!
I invite you to stay connected with YWI! Don’t
miss out on all the fun and exciting new things we
are doing to keep our young sisters ages 18-40
engaged n the church and ON FIRE FOR GOD!
Join the Connectional List-serv- If not
[email protected].
Search: Young Women's Initiative (YWI)
Tweet: ywi_wms
Plan an outing for Social events
Ladies, strap on your heels, hold your head high,
Annual Retreats
and join the movement of the YWI because WE
Training and Leadership Development Seminars
represent the newness, the freshness, and the
vivaciousness of our Lord, our God. We are taking
High Heels to High Places"all while blazing the
Fresh Fire" ignited by His spirit!
This Connectional brochure was inspired by the 7th Episcopal District WMS.
Women’s Missionary Society
Young Women Initiative
The Purpose of the Young
Women’s Initiative is to bridge
the gap between young women
and seasoned missionaries and
to expand the body of Women’s
Missionary Society
Women’s Missionary Society
Mission Statement
We are called to strengthen our
faith and sent to continue the
ministry of Jesus Christ by
service and witness to the world.
The genesis of the Young Women’s Initiative (YWI) in the
AME Women’s Missionary Society was in the First Episcopal
Our Focus
District, New York Conference. Conference President Carolyn
Scavella appointed Mrs. Vanecia Bell Kerr as YWI
coordinator. During the first year of inception, the New York
Conference brought in about 120 young women. Seeing the
Eradicate Violence against women and
girls locally and globally.
white t-shirts as they have joined in the mission to
symbolize the effort that must be rendered to
Celebrate the girl-child
district- wide initiative. When Dr. Dorothy Adams Peck be-
To promote fitness and wellness for
women and girls.
To create alternative worship experiences
and mission initiatives
ative to the connection.
The Young Women’s Initiative was one of a three-pronged
thrust to increase WMS membership among women 18-40
years of age. The Connectional Membership chair was Mrs.
Donate laptop computers to International
Episcopal Districts 14-20.
Valerie Cousin and the Connectional Coordinator of YWI was
Mrs. Vanecia Bell Kerr. The result for the connection was a
significant increase in membership and more expansive and
effective mission outreach.
When Dr. Jamesina Evans became the seventh elected WMS
President in 2003, her administration readily accepted the
challenge of implementing the revised structure of the WMS,
which operated based on commissions. The Commission on
Membership and Recruitment became the commission under
which the Young Women's Initiative would unfold. One of the
new positions required in the Constitution and Bylaws of the
WMS was the Member-at-large (18-40); this officer would
serve as commissioner of the YWI under the Commission on
Membership and Recruitment. Mrs. D’Juana Duncombe
Wilson of the 9th Episcopal District was elected during the
Executive Board of 2005, following the 47th General
Conference’s ratification of the newly revised Constitution
and Bylaws.
Information cited from “Connecting the dots in Mission” by Shirley
Hopkins Davis, PhD-Connectional WMS 1st Vice President, 2009.
These young ladies often wear red shoes, jeans and
Advance the generation in the leadership
of the Women’s Missionary Society and
the African Methodist Episcopal Church
success of the initiative, Supervisor M. Joan Cousin made it a
came Connectional President in 1995, she broadened the initi-
YWIs - Fresh Fire
influence change in our communities, our churches and
in the Women’s Missionary Society. Perhaps the Jeans
accomplish the work; white t-shirts symbolize the purity
of hearts and motives that should be present in Christian
service; and the Red Shoes symbolize the blood that
Jesus shed for our redemption! They are known as
“Fresh Fire” (a term developed by Supervisor Cecelia
Williams Bryant), because they bring a fresh perspective
to the work; they lend their talents and skills to enhance
WMS services and programs; and they impart an energy
to the work to enrich the legacy of the Women’s
Missionary Society, so it may be sustained and the
Missionary Leaders have
an Important Role
Missionary leaders have an important role. Third Vice
Presidents and members at large of YWI are charged with the
assignment of recruiting YWIs, fostering relationships, and
making strides to motivate and mobilize young women. Local
WMS presidents and societies are expected to train, mentor
and equip these Christian young women with the tools and
knowledge necessary to make a difference in their churches
and communities. Another recruitment plan is to have
Great Commission may be fulfilled!
It’s a New Season
Dr. Shirley Cason-Reed, the Connectional WMS
President, stated that “It’s a New Season” for the
WMS. We should get excited about embracing this
“New Season” with increased YWI participation, as
well as the vast opportunities to unite with YWIs for
mission outreach and spiritual growth!
missionaries reach out and find young ladies to help them
It is a season to enthusiastically and energetically
find their place in the church and in the WMS. The priority
recruit and mobilize YWIs to engage in this great
goal is to embrace young ladies, involve them in the work of
legacy of faith and service. In keeping with our
missions and make opportunities available for them to
Connectional WMS theme, Expanding, Elevating,
become active members and servant leaders in the Women’s
Empowering, for service and missions, let us adopt the
Missionary Society and AME Church.
goal to expand our witness for Christ, increase our
engagement with YWIs because it is indeed a NEW