Focus on WMU in Shelby Baptist Association

On Saturday, Feb. 18, I participated in the Shelby Baptist Association Focus on WMU brunch.  I always enjoy seeing the WMUers from the churches in Shelby County.  Several have been on our Kentucky WMU Executive Board at various times.  Others are volunteers in our office.

Betty Montford, Association WMU director, did a great job of planning the program.  Shirley Ragan shared about the ministry at the Whitney Young Job Corps Center. Amanda Grace Richey presented two stories of changed lives through World Crafts, a ministry of WMU.  There was a matching puzzle to see how much we knew about WMU.  And involving about 20 people, was a presentation on our theme, Unhindered.

Betty assigned ten people each of the letters in Unhindered, and asked them to prepare a skit, song, poem, or other presentation of what that letter meant related to our theme.  Those ten enlisted others and each presentation included words that began with the assigned letter and interpreted unhindered.  The first group did a skit about the excuses we make, claiming we are unable, then reminded us of our scripture verse and how we are to throw off those things and be unhindered.  The second group did a skit about meeting needs.  Next was a cheering group of children reminding us that it takes heart to be unhindered.  And so it went with various presentations.  One speaker challenged us just to do what was needed. One skit was wordless – a series of signs as music played telling the story of someone who had been touched by the empathy of WMU to meet her need and care for her.  

Shelby WMU also took up an offering for the Eliza Broadus offering and raised over $400.  Thank you, Shelby Association WMU!

Focus on WMU at FBC East Bernstadt

On Sunday, February 12, I was asked to be the guest speaker for the Focus on WMU observance at First Baptist Church, East Bernstadt.   Located just north of London, Kentucky, it is a small community in Laurel County. My husband was aware that this was the home town of Kentucky comedian, Carl Hurley.  I had to look up both the community and the commedian!

First Baptist Church of East Bernstadt has a lovely building and is obviously reaching children.  They were everywhere!  As the service began all of the leaders with Mission Friends, Girls in Action and Royal Ambassadors were recognized.  There were quite a few of them, too!

During the service, a report on the start of a new Baby Boot Camp ministry was shared.  The Women on Mission are taking  materials from Kentucky Baptist Nursing Fellowship and implementing this ministry in the community.  They are working with area heath care providers to make this part of a comprehensive approach to working with teen moms.

My message was based on our WMU “Unhindered” theme utilizing Hebrew 12:1-3.  I shared three main points and told about Kentucky missionaries who personify aspects of this passage.
– Throw off what hinders  – Eileen Mullins & Haven of Rest
– Run the race and persevere – Lee Bean & Open Door of Hope
– Consider the example of Jesus who endured the cross – Robin Reeves &  Christians By Choice Creative Ministries.

At the end of the service, Pastor Norm Brock encouraged all of the ladies to be involved in Women on Mission and the work of WMU.  He emphasized what an important avenue WMU provides for connecting and ministry.  Wise Men Understand!

I learned after the service that the church records (audio) the messages and posts podcasts.  If you’d like to listen go to:  

It was a good day in East Bernstadt.  WMU is making a positive impact in outreach to children, missions support, and mission action.  I was honored to be in their midst.

Why and How of WMU

Explaining WMU to new generations is a never ending task. Long before Simon Sinek wrote “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action,” WMU was producing resources that explained the why of WMU and how to carry out the work.

With the recent adoption of a revised WMU Base Design that includes Royal Ambassadors and Challengers in the WMU family, it is time to write a new guide to WMU.  I ask for your prayers in completing this task by March 1.  The new guide (yet to be named) will be available in June in time for the national WMU meeting.

Though my writing goal is to write an inspirational introduction to WMU that will result in starting and strengthening WMU work in churches, the real goal is the glory of God.   When WMU is effective, more people are involved in missions learning, praying, giving and going, resulting in more people coming to know Christ as Savior, which is the ultimate goal of our work.

My desired outcome for the guide itself is that the reader will identify personally with the mission of God and WMU objectives, understand how to start and carry out WMU work in the church, and have a brief overview in the WMU family of organizations. Only with God’s help can this be achieved in a brief booklet.  I’ve discovered that it is much more difficult to be succinct than to write pages and pages.

In getting started, it has been interesting to look back at attempts to explain the why and how of WMU across the years.  Juliette Mather, Young People’s Secretary of WMU, SBC wrote “Telling You How” in 1928 which included “Talks with Counselors of WMU Organizations, Sunbeam Bands, Girls’ Auxiliaries, Royal Ambassador Chapters, and Young Women’s Auxiliaries.”  The same year Wilma Bucy wrote “Why and How of Woman’s Missionary Union” and later “The New Why and How” in 1934. 

My favorite is a little volume by Alma Hunt simply entitled “Woman’s Missionary Union.”  It has no date but in the introduction she says, “My purpose in writing this book, authorized by the Executive Board of Woman’s Missionary Union, is to provide a simple book which will give understanding of the work of Woman’s Missionary Union, its place in the Convention and in the churches.  I have attempted to show that while methods and materials have gone through a process of change and development, the missionary education purpose of WMU remains unchanged.”

Alma Hunt’s purpose still stands, though her book was not written as a manual, but rather as an introduction to WMU.  To both introduce and provide some practical suggestions is the challenge ahead. The ongoing need for an environment in which people can see “the big picture” of missions in our communities, associations, state convention, and denomination, and then respond to God’s call makes the work of WMU all the more important. 

I ask for your prayers in this endeavor.