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We Speak: For Such a Time as This

From Mary in the night saying “let it be unto me” to Mary at the tomb saying “He has risen”. Women are the bearers of Christ’s word in many ways. As our world feels like chaos. We need a word from God to calm our hearts and souls to restore in us the hope and promise of the resurrection. For such a time as this, we need a word once again from those who embody the mystery of God. For such a time as this, we need a wise word that will lead us out of darkness, restore our sight, and realign our hope. We speak hope, love, grace into the world for such a time as this.

The goal of this series is to hear from a variety of voices that will help us navigate the many topics that have come to the forefront of our lives during the past year. We all have experienced the grief, anxiety, and exhaustion that the year 2020 brought. Many issues could no longer be ignored as well as the reality of all aspects of health and what life looks like to live through a pandemic. This series of weeks will explore ways in which God is with us in the midst of uncertainty and continually offers us a new way of being in the world. The season of Lent is a time to redirect our lives and attention, to turn, to open ourselves once again to journey with Jesus. We are all called to speak with our words, with our actions, and with every part of our being to proclaim the love of God for all creation.

Proudly sponsored by the Annual Women’s Retreat at Myers Park UMC. The planning team has worked creatively to come up with a different kind of offering for the whole church in honor of the 15th Annual Women’s Retreat that had to be reimagined due to the pandemic. The series holds many of the same values as the retreat; authenticity, fellowship, deep faith, relevancy, and attention to creating intergenerational relationships.  Open to all – join us during this Lenten season!




We joyfully hosted Dr. Kate Bowler on February 13th, 2021. If you missed it you can watch it here.  This event celebrates the ministry of the Women’s Retreat and Kate shares her heart and wisdom to help us prepare to enter the season of Lent.

Small Groups

We are offering two options to join a small group. Groups begin the week of February 14th and will run for 6 weeks.

You may join a co-ed (open to men and women) small group that will be led by our clergy and staff. To find out those days and times, click here.


You may join an intergenerational women’s small group that will be led by volunteer leaders from our church, many of whom traditionally have led groups on the Women’s Retreat. These small groups will have a similar feel and experience to the small groups that occur at the Women’s Retreat. For information on these groups contact Jessica Dayson at

Our Speakers

Kate Bowler

Kate Bowler, PhD, is an associate professor of the history of Christianity in North America at Duke Divinity School. She is the author of Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel which traces the history of the moment based on divine promises of health, wealth, and happiness. Then, after being unexpectedly diagnosed with Stage IV cancer at age 35, she penned the New York Times bestselling memoir, Everything Happens for a Reason (and other lies I’ve loved). Dr. Bowler subsequently staged a national conversation on speaking frankly about suffering through her popular podcast, Everything Happens.
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Dawn Hand

Dawn M. Hand is an ordained elder in the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church. Hand is serving on-loan in Western Pennsylvania where she is the Pittsburgh District Superintendent in the Western PA Conference of The United Methodist Church.An avid world traveler, Hand enjoys walking, cycling, music and being outdoors. A huge sports fan, she loves to cook and has a tremendous appetite for sampling culinary delights. Family and dear friends nurture her soul. In particular, she feels blessed to have what she calls her three heartbeats (two nieces and nephew). God has gifted her to be a strong justice advocate, bridge builder, engaging conversationalist and a risk taker. Among her signal joys is being a life-time member of the illustrious Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She loves to laugh and believes God has a wonderful sense of humor for calling her into ordained ministry.A native of Charlotte, NC, she is a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem, NC, where she earned a BA in Mass Communications. She earned a MDiv from Hood Theological Seminary, Salisbury, NC.
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Anathea Portier-Young

Anathea Portier-Young is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Duke University Divinity School. She is also a preacher, a mom, a runner, and a quilter. She directs DDS’s Program in Gender, Sexuality, Theology, and Ministry and is the author of the award-winning book Apocalypse against Empire: Theologies of Resistance in Early Judaism (Eerdmans, 2011) and editor of Scripture and Social Justice (Lexington, 2018). Her current book project, Prophecy in the Body: Experience, Affect, Action, and Interaction (Oxford University Press) argues that biblical prophecy is about more than words: it is also richly embodied.
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Hannah Bonner

Rev. Hannah Adair Bonner is the Director of Frontera Wesley, the Wesley Foundation of Tucson. She received her masters at Duke Divinity School, and was ordained an Elder in the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference in 2012. After serving as a local church pastor, and a Youth & Young Adult resource person for the Northeastern Jurisdiction, she curated a community of artists in Houston, Texas. In 2016, following her work organizing the movement for Justice for Sandra Bland, she was recognized as one of the “16 Faith Leaders to Watch in 2016”, inducted as an honorary member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., and given the Prathia Hall Social Justice Award by Women Preach. Her first curriculum, published by Abingdon Press in 2016, is entitled “The Shout: Finding the Prophetic Voice in Unexpected Places.” Dedicated to amplifying the voices of young women, she has produced short film series as resources for the church, as well as a documentary released in 2017, “Awaken the Voice.” She was featured in a series of teaching videos on solidarity from RethinkChurch, and in the HBO documentary “Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland.” When she is not volunteering at The Inn, a shelter for asylees in Tucson, she can be found baking cookies for her students or hiking the desert trails.
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Helen Ryde

Helen Ryde (they/them/theirs) serves as an Organizer with Reconciling Ministries Network, working to engage United Methodist churches and small groups in creating LGBTQIA+ inclusive faith communities. Helen grew up in England and moved to the States in 1998. They are a recovering ex-gay pro-conversion therapy, charismatic evangelical, and a Home Missioner in the Order of Deaconess and Home Missioner in The United Methodist Church. Helen lives with their wife Kate in coastal NC.
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Jerusha Neal

Jerusha Matsen Neal, Assistant Professor Homiletics at Duke Divinity School, is an ordained ABC(USA) pastor who recently served as a Global Ministries mission partner in the Fiji Islands through the United Methodist Church. She has spent her ministry preaching in cross-cultural spaces and bridging denominational communities. God’s work in these in-between locations has convinced her that preaching matters more than ever. Her recent book, The Overshadowed Preacher: Mary, the Spirit, and the Labor of Proclamation (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2020) asks the sticky question of what we mean when we say preaching is “anointed.” It challenges preachers to leave behind their false shadows and be overshadowed by the Spirit of God. Neal is committed to encouraging the voices of young preachers – and particularly the voices of women – in the risky proclamation of gospel hope. A former actress and playwright, she has authored a collection of dramatic monologues, Blessed: Monologues for Mary (2012). Her husband, Wes, is an ordained UMC elder, and she has two children, Mercy and Josiah.
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