Four women have been named recipients of the 2010 Women of Faith Awards by the General Assembly Mission Council of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Recipients were approved by the council at its meeting on Feb. 26. The women will be honored at the Women of Faith breakfast, July 4, during the 219th General Assembly (2010) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in Minneapolis, Minn.
The Women of Faith Awards were established in 1986 to honor women in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) whose lives exemplify their Christian commitment through witness, service and leadership. The theme for this year’s awards is “Women with a Peaceful Heart: Guiding Paths of Peace” and therefore honors women who have helped the church grow in its witness and commitment to peacemaking. The four 2010 Women of Faith recipients are:
Reverend Margaret E. Howland, Yonkers, N.Y., Hudson River Presbytery, Synod of the Northeast. Howland was one of the first women ordained in the denomination as a minister of the Word and Sacrament and is the retired pastor of South Presbyterian Church in Yonkers. Her career and life are characterized by her commitment to fighting sexism, racism, poverty and violence. At the 218th General Assembly (2008), concurrently with the 50th anniversary celebration of her ordination, she was awarded a special Peaceseeker Award by the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.
Reverend Elizabeth Knott, Indianola, Iowa, Presbytery of Des Moines, Synod of Lakes and Prairies. After her retirement, Knott, a former executive of the Synod of Alaska-Northwest, founded Pal CraftAid in 1993, a ministry that works directly with Palestinian crafts persons to sell their goods in the United States. More than $500,000 in profit has been returned to Palestinians. Now in her mid-80s, Knott serves as director emeriti of the program which has been a pathway for establishing positive relationships between Christians and Muslims.
Ms. Elona Street-Stewart, Eagan, Minn., Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, Synod of Lakes and Prairies. Street-Stewart is actively engaged in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and community missions, development and support programs. For the past 30 years, she has been involved at the grass roots and national levels in social justice issues, including racism, affirmative action, women and family issues, and public policy. She is an elder and synod associate for racial ethnic ministries and community empowerment in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. She is chair of the St. Paul School Board, where she has served as a member since 2001. She is the first Native American to serve on an urban school board in Minnesota.
Ms. Joyce Uyeda, Sacramento, Calif., Presbytery of Sacramento, Synod of the Pacific. Uyeda is an elder at Parkview Presbyterian Church, where she has been a member for 60 years. She has previously served as moderator of Presbyterian Women of the Presbytery of Sacramento and on the Ethnic Concerns Committee of the Sierra Mission Partnership. Uyeda’s career and ministry have been dedicated to youth and creating opportunities for a more peaceful world for young people. A retired educator, she is a volunteer librarian of a library she helped organize and establish, and a classroom aide at an under-resourced elementary school in her area. Uyeda has led the Ethnic Concerns Committee Youth Camp of the Sierra Mission Partnership for 25 years. A native of Oregon and a Japanese American, Uyeda and her family lived in three internment camps in the Western United States during World War II.
“These remarkable women have dedicated their lives to guiding paths of peace,” said Ruth Lane, chair of the awards selection committee. “Their faithful lives and accomplishments have made a difference, not only in their local church but in the global community. They are true peacemakers witnessing God’s call.”
The selection committee is comprised of representatives from groups related to the Racial Ethnic and Women’s Ministries/Presbyterian Women ministry area. Selection criteria include racial ethnic and geographic diversity.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) comprises more than 2 million members in more than 10,000 congregations, answering Christ’s call to mission and ministry throughout the United States and the world.