The CWU Story
Since 1941 women of the Church Women United Movement have held a vision of Christian unity and prayerful action. CWU was founded as a racially, culturally, and theologically inclusive Christian women’s movement to celebrate unity in diversity and work for peace in the world.
At its founding, the Movement was named United Council of Church Women (UCCW). Women of faith from three interdenominational women's groups representing 70 denominations convened in Atlantic City, NJ in December 1941 while bombs were being dropped and the world was at war. The United Council of Church Women's first action was to circulate a petition signed by 84,000 church women “urging the United States at the signing of the United Nations Charter, to join and take its full responsibility in a world organization.”
The action received wide publicity in the media and Eleanor Roosevelt later involved the UCCW in a conference at the White House on “How Women May Share in Post War Policy Making.” Such action remains typical for CWU today as its quest for informed prayer for prayerful action continues. Women of the Movement affirm that prayer and action are inseparable and that both have immeasurable influence in the world.
The logo of Church Women United is a circle with the exploding sun at the center. The rays suggest the dynamic force, vitality and life of the sun as our source of light and from Jesus, the Son, as our Source of Enlightenment. The rays also indicate movement, action and power; a coming and going as God’s people return to the Source for strength and then go out into the world in mission. The texture and richness of the rays symbolize the qualities the Christian women can contribute to the world. Texture relates to the way constituent parts are woven together. So it is that in Church Women United, Christian women from diverse backgrounds unite in a way that provides body and fullness for witness in a pluralistic, changing society.
Fellowship of the Least Coin...
The Fellowship of the Least Coin is a global ecumenical movement of prayer for peace and reconciliation. Christian women around the world meet and pray with each other. Through this effort, the women are reminded to live a forgiving life with others. “Least coins” are given with each prayer. The coins are collected and sent to the central Fellowship of the Least Coin Fund. The amounts collected are never publicized but are given to support projects for women and children around the world. Church Women United is the custodian for the Fellowship of the Least Coin offerings in the United States.
The Fellowship of the Least Coin Prayer:
O loving Creator, we present ourselves in your divine presence to thank you for all the bountiful gifts of life. We are especially grateful for the Fellowship of the Least Coin which binds us together in love and forgiveness around the globe. Free us from all doubts and prejudices, we pray. Inspire us to live in solidarity with humankind that we may know the joy of giving and receiving. Dear God, accept the least coin “token of love.” Make us mindful of the miracles of these coins. Let us honor your creation with love, as shown through the life and resurrection of your son, Jesus the Christ. Amen.
We are visible witnesses to God's love and draw upon the power of the Spirit.
We serve our neighbors near and far for the common good.
We enlighten ourselves to grow and share with others through engagement across cultures.
We act to empower women of all ages and to influence decision makers.
We welcome, respect and appreciate others and their God-given gifts.
We work for a fuller implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Right
Women of Faith Cultivating Love, Hope, and Peace for All Creation.
2021-2024 Quadrennial Priorities
Learning & Leading ...Using the Principals of God's Word
Every four years CWU adopts a quadrennial priority to focus its social justice advocacy and action on specific areas of need. The priority is used to guide CWU's work at the local, state and national levels. The Quadrennial Priorities presented here represent the accumulated wisdom and concern of women across the movement. These priorities are offered as general guideposts for this quadrennial as they allow a variety of specific actions to be taken in support of them according to the interests, knowledge, and skill set of each unit within CWU.
Local, state and national Church Women United units intentionally seek to be prayerfully informed and proactive in addressing the following issues from the perspective of women, children and families around the world:
Health and Wellness: Promote the health and well-being of all people.
Climate Stewardship: Promote personal, communal and governmental decisions that build a clean, green, healthy, safe and more resilient environment and economy.
Social Justice: Promote justice and racial equity through addressing systemic racism and rejecting oppressive social systems that create and promote injustice.
Hunger and Poverty: End poverty and hunger in all of its forms everywhere and promote food security, improved nutrition, and sustainable agriculture.