Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Our 2016 Study Leaders were asked to tell a little bit about themselves.  Here is what they had to say.

Debra Gerrish, Study Leader-
Climate Justice

I became a member of United Methodist Women (Douglas Community United Methodist

Church) in 1980 and attended my first annual meeting that same year. I have learned the majority of my leadership skills in United Methodist Women over the years. Through opportunities like National Seminar and annual meetings I was taught to reach out and serve others better.   I have served as president of our unit for many years.  I served as Social Action Coordinator for our Alaska United Methodist Women from 2010-2014.  This is where my heart is and I started as a teen doing Hunger Walks.
I have worn many hats over the years. I’m a lay speaker and have served as our church’s lay delegate to conference. RID Alaska of Child Abuse (Prevention and resources for those dealing with child abuse.) was one of my passions from 1999 to 2013.  I served on the board of directors of the Alaska Women’s Network at the time it was started and for many years after that.  A hat I wear I really enjoy is being a docent at the Alaska State Museum. In the past I served on both the Juneau Mental Heath Board and was president of Church Women United (Juneau) for four years.

Things I enjoy doing are hiking, photography, reading and learning about history anywhere. Three things I’m looking forward to are a much needed vacation, spending time with my two grandchildren and my husband's retirement. 

Janice Nightingale, Study Leader- 
The Bible & Human Sexuality
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I moved to Alaska in 1975 when my dad took the job of executive director with Alaska Children’s Services, now known as AK Child and Family.  It’s a classic story:  girl (me) meets boy (Joe).  Love-Marriage-Baby Carriage.  Joe and I moved to Nikiski in 1983 with our daughter, Erin, and son, Joe.  We now have two amazing children-in-law (Jeannie and Jason) that I couldn’t love more if they had given me stretch-marks, and six awesome grandchildren.
We’ve attended North Star UMC for over 32 years.  I’ve been involved with UMW since it began there over 30 years ago. 
I enjoy reading (thank goodness, there was a ton of reading for Mission u training), volunteering, and my favorite, hanging out with the grandkids.  

We welcome these fine leaders and anticipate learning and experience much during our Mission u events!

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