As this issue of response goes to press, we give thanks to God for the life of Lois M. Dauway, head of United Methodist Women’s Christian social action section from 1994 to 2007 and interim chief officer of the organization in 2007. Ms. Dauway died surrounded by family in a convalescent facility in Livingston, N.J., Feb. 4. She was 65.
During Ms. Dauway’s tenure, United Methodist Women’s Christian social action section spearheaded mission initiatives to promote economic justice, the environment, public education and just immigration policies. These actions included a massive letter-writing campaign against Congress’ fast-track passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement, creation of the “Green Team” environmental advocates program, Campaign for Children: Phase III-Public Education advocacy effort, and the ongoing Immigration/Civil Rights Initiative.
What I will remember most about Lois is her heart for justice, strategic thinking and compassion. I will remember her willingness to share insights and wisdom learned over years of community organizing and work with U.S. and international ecumenical groups. I will remember her office’s open door and the 3-inch stack of stick-it notes with “no” written on them that her staff had given to her, a woman so willing to help that she sometimes needed help saying that word.