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Association of UMCRM

UMCRM Association

Membership/Member Services Committee Report

2016 Annual Meeting

To: UMCRM Association members, board members, committee members

From: Jessica Gamaché, Membership/Member Services Committee Chair

The membership committee formed one year ago at the 2015 Annual Meeting during the National Gathering. In that year committee members were recruited so that each jurisdiction is represented in the committee.  The committee members are as follows:

North Central – Sarah Ratz

Northeast – Jessica Gamache

South Central – Joel WIlke

Southeastern – Amanda Lamb

Western – Sharon Godbolt

The committee is not restricted to one member per jurisdiction and is welcoming new members on an ongoing basis. If you are interested in serving as a committee member please contact Jessica Gamaché at Jessica.Gamache@umcrm.org


With guidance from the strategic planning task force, the membership committee began to focus on three main initiatives that will begin in 2016. The following is a description and timeline for each of these initiatives:

Online Resource Library

This online database or “library” will be used to enhance (not replace) the CRNL emails. The library will be an adaptable, searchable, interactive collection of United Methodist Camping and Retreat industry information. This will be our place to ask questions, share best practices, build up and support one another through information sharing. It will be hosted by ProBoards, an online forum hosting service.  There will potentially be a temporary employee hired to transfer data from CRNL history into the new database. Volunteer help will be needed to check data for quality of content. Some of the library will only be available to our membership; while other information will be made public. The timeline for this initiative is as follows:


Grant proposal request created/sent in to Legacy of Leadership


Final choice of feature option made based on approval/denial of grant request.

Form and recruit a task force for data review


Creation of guidelines for appropriate/inappropriate postings

Receive data from Kevin

Data is reviewed (Continual Process)

April - July

Start posting data to the library

  • Temporary/contract employee
  • Volunteers

Data is reviewed


Resource opened to committee members and board members for questions/editing purposes


Resource database presented to board

Evaluation period

Library becomes embedded to UMCRM website

Fix glitches


Announce Resource Database to general membership



Assess effectiveness of initiative and make appropriate adjustments for 2017

Book Study

As I am writing this report, I am looking out my window in Western PA and watching the snow starting to pile up. And I can’t help but think, “January is the perfect time to get in some great reads!” And with the United Methodist super-hero power being – CONNECTION power; we thought a connection-wide book study was a natural fit.

The book that was chosen for 2016 was picked with the Association’s strategic initiative of “Developing Ethnic Leaders,” in mind. The book is, Witnessing Whiteness: the need to talk about race and how to do it, by Shelly Tochluk.  This is our starting point for the conversation around race and ethnicity within camping and retreat ministries. Author Tim Wise says this about Tochluk’s book:

“Witnessing Whiteness is a rare and precious gem in the national literature on race and privilege. Shelly Tochluk provides readers of this comprehensive volume with a well-crafted blend of personal and analytical material, which will prove helpful for anyone lucky enough to read it. Unraveling the knot of privilege and unawareness that so often binds white Americans and weakens the struggle for racial justice is a crucial task; and Witnessing Whiteness is a brilliantly honed tool for helping with that unraveling process.”

The book study will consist of several web-based discussions, a time with the author, and end at the 2017 National Gathering. The timeline for this initiative is as follows:


Grant proposal request created/sent in to Legacy of Leadership


Free copies of the book made available to members who request one.

Facebook group created (material and resources posted on an on-going basis)


Online book discussion 1

Beginning of May

Online book discussion 2


Online book discussion – Q&A with the author


2017 book chosen by committee (membership suggestions are welcomed)

Assess effectiveness of initiative and make appropriate adjustments for 2017

January 2017

Shelly Tochluk potentially leads 1-2 workshops at the National Gathering

2017 book announced and made available

Member Recruitment and Recognition

The members of UMCRM are our number one priority. An Association is literally nothing with out its members, and we want to make sure that all of our members feel welcomed and at home with this awesome group of colleagues and ministry partners. All new members will receive a welcome letter and a certificate, just as in years past. This year we will also be sending out a digital “packet” of information to new and renewing members and new members as they are added to a bundle.  The information will include a list and description of our business affiliates, descriptions of all the benefits of membership and how to access those benefits, dates of the year’s events, and other important information. Also, as a thank you, new and renewing members will be receiving a small gift of appreciation from the Association. The timeline for this initiative is as follows:


Send letter and certificate to new members (on-going basis)

Choose and order thank you gifts


Gather the information for and create the digital “packet”


 Digital “packet” available and sent (on-going basis)


Assess effectiveness of initiative and make appropriate adjustments for 2017


I am very excited to see how these new initiatives are used to support and resource the membership of UMCRM. As the year continues, we will also be working toward even more member services in 2017. The next vital piece that the membership committee will be working on is the business affiliate membership program.  

Questions?  Please contact our Association Registrar

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