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'Circles of Names' campaign extended
through March Women's History Month

New York, January 11, 2010 -- The "Circles of Names" campaign to support women's ministries and gender justice programs in National Council of Churches member communions has been extended through Women's History Month, March 2010.

The campaign gives donors opportunities to support ongoing and future work by honoring women who have made a difference in the church and in individual lives. The “Circles of Names” campaign asks participants to submit the name of a woman who is or has been influential in their faith life, and to contribute $100 in that woman’s honor.

The extension of the campaign "will allow the momentum that was building at the end of 2009 to continue to spread and grow," said the Rev. Ann Tiemeyer, director of the NCC Program for Women's Ministries, and the Rev. Deborah DeWinter, NCC Director of Donor Relations, in a letter to leaders of the Circles of Names Campaign. 

Last November, when the campaign was announced, Tiemeyer noted the "recent cuts to denominational budgets and staff in the areas of women’s ministries and gender justice work,” and said it was more important than ever to "make visible the broad support for this work in our communions.”   

Honorary Chair of the “Wise Women’s Leadership Circle” Anne Hale Johnson provided a substantial challenge gift at the launch of the campaign.

“Her generosity has assisted in rapidly moving us toward our goal of $100,000 and 1,000 names in just 51 days,” Tiemeyer said. “Over the years Anne Hale Johnson, a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA,) has provided encouragement and support to many women leaders both in the church and in wider society.”

“We have designed the campaign in such a way as to make it possible for most people to participate,” explained Rev. Deborah DeWinter, Director of Donor Relations for the National Council of Churches.  Ten people can all agree on one woman to name and each donate $10.  While pledges and names are due by December 31, 2009, donors have until December 31, 2010 to submit their payments. The names will be displayed on the Circles of Names Web site, www.circlesofnames.org.

"The exciting thing about this campaign is that it is a women's ministry that supports woman's ministries," said DeWinter "Its very structure is symbolic of the management style of women of faith throughout history -- circles of interconnectedness that have enabled women to approach challenges and tasks together."

”Our foremothers in faith met in sewing circles, Bible study circles, mission circles, hospitality circles,” DeWinter added. “We are confident that women of faith will understand this to be a Kairos moment for the future of Women’s Ministries and gender justice work, and see this “Circles of Names” campaign to a successful conclusion.”


NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell) , pjenks@ncccusa.org

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