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The WellSprings Journal is an expression of who we are as United Methodist (UM) clergywomen. WellSprings is for UM clergywomen, by UM clergywomen and of UM clergywomen. The need for “an instrument of some kind that could not only connect, but bond United Methodist clergywomen in a new and exciting way” was recognized (vol.1, no.1, p. 5), 34 years after full United Methodist clergy rights for women was granted in 1956. Addressing that need, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry began publishing the WellSprings journal in 1988. In 2010 the journal switched to an online format.
Here is the original invitation that Bishop Leontine T. C. Kelly, who died in 2012, sent to invite all United Methodist clergywomen to share their journey of ministry through WellSprings:
ou are invited to create a journal of clergywomen. This journal is a forum for our collective experience and emerging stories as women in ministry. Our hope is to:
- make connections with other clergywomen;
- exchange our imaginings, knowledge, and ideas;
- call forth the creative spirit that exists in each clergywomen;
- nurture creativity through worship, music, visual arts, dreams, and dance;
- share our pain and anger;
- dance our joys and laughter;
- speak grace and compassion;
- seek authentic expressions of spirituality and celebrate our diverse experiences of the divine;
- reclaim the essence of the gospel as revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ;
- provide for the inclusiveness and affirm our diversity;
- advocate for women and all of creation;
- engender dreams, transformations, and a vision of wholeness in the Church.
We proclaim with Bishop Leontine Kelly that “Wellsprings of hope — it may well be the women of The United Methodist Church.” This journal is dedicated to that hope.