Three remarkable women have just been named recipients of the 2012 Women of Faith Awards by the General Assembly Mission Council of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) during meetings in Louisville, KY.
Elder Judith Henry, Commissioned Ruling Elder Rosemary Rice McMahan and Rev. Ann Rhee Menzie were approved by the council following recommendations from the Women of Faith committee. Nominations are received from throughout the church and honorees were selected by a committee of representatives from groups related to the Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries/Presbyterian Women ministry area and the General Assembly Mission Council.
The three women will be honored at the Women of Faith Breakfast on Sunday, July 1, during the 220th General Assembly of the PC (USA) in Pittsburgh, PA. The theme for this year’s awards is “Courageous Women Transforming Communities of Faith, Hope, Love & Witness.”
The Book of Order of the PC(USA) identifies congregations as witnesses to the sovereign activity of God in the world and encourages all congregations to become "communities of faith, hope, love, and witness" (G-3.0301 and F-1.0301, Book of Order 2011-2013). The 2012 Women of Faith award recipients have impacted the church through their engagement in mission and ministry in congregations. Tickets for the event will be available at www.pcusa.org/ga220.
The three deserving 2012 Women of Faith awardees are:
Elder Judith Henry, St. Albans, NY; member of the Presbyterian Church of St. Albans
Henry immigrated to the United States from the West Indies as a child, is a Jamaican American and a member of the Esther Circle of Presbyterian Women. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and is a Care Manager in diabetes education. Using her knowledge in nursing in her volunteer at St. Albans Presbyterian Church, she leads an annual HIV/AIDS concert at the church to benefit organizations that assist children with the disease and is an active member in the AIDS Institute of Faith, which raises community awareness about HIV/AIDS.
Henry is also involved in New York City’s Community Emergency Response Team, preparing people to respond to emergency situations. She leads Black History Month event planning, plans community health fairs, blood drives and organized donation efforts for Haiti disaster relief.
Commissioned Ruling Elder Rosemary Rice McMahan, Owens Crossroads, AL; Big Cove Presbyterian Church
McMahan was commissioned in 2003 as a Commissioned Ruling Elder at Big Cove Presbyterian Church. She and the congregation, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, have grown the small congregation of Big Cove from a membership of 18 to 95. The congregation, with the help of the Presbytery, will move out of the 100 year old white clapboard church this spring into a new building following the congregation’ vision “to be disciples who make disciples.”
During the last several years, McMahan has tripled the congregation’s fundraising. She also adopted a style of community outreach within the church including adding a second service with a different worship style.
Rev. Ann Rhee Menzie, San Francisco, CA; Redwoods Presbytery
Menzie is a Korean American minister-at-large in Redwoods Presbytery. She is a founding member and director of Shimtuh, a program that addresses domestic violence within the Korean American community, including providing linguistically and culturally sensitive services for Korean American survivors of domestic violence and their children. Menzie works at the Korean Community Center (KCCEB) and is in dialog with communities of faith to support the work of Shimtuh and KCCEB. She promotes gender justice and healthy family relationships, works with both domestic violence survivors and their abusers and sparked an initiative to write a Bible study on domestic violence.
Menzie also served as racial ethnic liaison from 1999 until 2002 for the National Association of Presbyterian Clergywomen and currently serves on the Board of Korean American Presbyterian Clergywomen.
The Women of Faith Awards were established in 1986 to honor female members of the PC (USA) whose lives exemplify their Christian commitment through witness, service and leadership.