Dear UMA Members,

Six months have passed since I started my tenure at the United Methodist Association of Health and Welfare Ministries (UMA). I have long been passionate about the quality service you provide to those in need. Now that I’ve had a chance to meet many of you and tour your communities, my appreciation for you is deeper. My commitment to you is even further entrenched. I am incredibly honored to serve you.

Over the past six months, I’ve toured a variety of member ministries in Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. In 2017, I hope to visit more of you, so please let me know a convenient time to visit.

The UMA Board, myself and my team, the EAGLE Commission, and the new Shared Learning Commission, are working resolutely to launch the key tenets of our new strategic plan.

In brief, we’re aiming to bring you more engagement, more shared learning opportunities with more affordable rates, more EAGLE best practices, more communications and more experts.

For 2017, we’ve recruited and retained experienced mission supporters and sponsors, who are equally committed to supporting your work and the UMA mission.

As you know, a major outcome of the first 70 years of UMA was a defined set of standards to overlay and complement public, secular standards inherent in government driven programs: Educational Assessment Guidelines Leading to Excellence (EAGLE). Every word builds on the UMA tradition: mutual education, peer assessment, voluntary guidelines—all leading to excellence.

UMA is committed to lifting up every special outreach ministry carrying the United Methodist identity to the EAGLE standard appropriate to that ministry.

To support that journey, we have planned unique shared learning experiences this year to spotlight best practices on governance, spiritual wellness, employee engagement, fundraising and mission advancement, risk management, innovations in care and services and more.

Our January Winter Governance Forum in Charlotte was an overwhelming success with more than 18 organizations participating. How is that for engagement?! You won’t want to miss our 2017 Annual Meeting this May!

If you have not been involved with us lately, I invite you to take a look. We’ve set the table for engagement for 2017. We’ve set a place for you. Come join us!

Thank you for the privilege of serving you. Thank you to our Board, Commissioners and all volunteers who give their time and talent in support of our work. We couldn’t do it without you!