It is always an honor to represent Kentucky WMU at events such as the Kentucky Baptist Convention Annual Meeting. Our recent meeting at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington was a special time for gathering with Kentucky Baptists and celebrating 175 years of ministry. Here is the text of the WMU report given in the afternoon session.
When I read a good novel, I often find myself wishing for a sequel so that the story could continue on. In WMU we have good news, The Story Lives On. It’s a story that began in Luke 8:1-3 with women who were the first to provide financial support for the ministry of Jesus. Women have always found a way to raise money for missions!
It has continued across the years through the work of women like Annie Armstrong, Lottie Moon, and Eliza Broadus. It continues today in the work of missionaries, missions education leaders, and missions volunteers.
In 2013 we will be celebrating two WMU milestones – the 125th birthday of WMU and the 100th anniversary of the Eliza Broadus Offering. When WMU was formed in 1888, Eliza was elected as the first vice-president from Kentucky, a position she held until 1920. She was a leader in Kentucky WMU for a period of 50 years and led Kentucky WMU to start a state missions offering in 1913. Kentucky WMU named the offering in her honor starting in 1976.
Our 2012 state missions emphasis theme is Bold Hope. The messenger bags include a copy of this year’s prayer guide which features eight ministries which give hope to people who need to know Jesus. The prayer guide also includes information about the Eliza Broadus Offering and how it will be used for Kentucky missions this year. Thank you for your gifts and support of Kentucky missions.
In WMU we have a new tag line – missions for life. It is a great descriptor of what we want to happen in the life of every believer. It also points to the staying power of WMU – for life. While many other ministries have come and gone, WMU is still at work to carry out our vision to challenge Christian believers to understand and be radically involved in the mission of God.
I believe that the resilience of WMU is found in objectives which guide everything we do and which are practical expressions of being involved in the mission of God. The objectives are to:
– Pray for missions
– Engage in mission action and witnessing
– Learn about missions
– Support missions
– Develop spiritually towards a missions lifestyle
– Participate in the work of the church and the denomination
These objectives are things we want every missions organization, women’s or men’s group, Bible study class, and congregation to be about. In listing them, there is no order according to importance. Each objective informs and impacts the other. They are so interrelated that it is difficult to think of them independently. Taken together, these objectives provide a comprehensive and holistic approach to missions for life.
We invite you to join us in our celebration as we celebrate the radical stories of WMU – past and present, connect our stories as we forge our future, and commit to tell the gospel story and ignite a passion for the Great Commission in all generations because “The Story Lives On.”