I am writing this blog late on Sunday evening. In just a few days, we will gather in Winchester for the 2014 Kentucky WMU Annual Meeting. I relish each year’s event – the excitement of being together, the challenge from our speakers, the inspiration to keep on doing missions, and much more. It’s hard to put an annual meeting into words. You just have to be there to experience it.
Annual Meeting is more than a meeting. Yes it includes speakers and sessions, displays and conferences, meals and projects. But there is a synergy that is greater than all of the elements that must be experienced. We are glad that this year’s meeting will be broadcast via live streaming and hope that those who watch will catch just a bit of the excitement and energy of our 2014 gathering. Our theme is “The Celebration Continues” and we will continue the celebration of WMU’s 125th while moving forward to the future before us.
Here are some highlights of this year’s meeting:
– The meeting begins with a parade of flags led by a torch from the 2013 national WMU Annual Meeting.
– Wanda Lee,executive director of national WMU, will share a theme interpretation at the start of each session.
– Gordon Fort, senior vice president of the IMB, will share missions stories that will touch your heart and challenge you to new involvement.
– Lori Funderburk, director of the bucket project with Baptist Global Response, will share the ministries of BGR and the impact of buckets of love.
– “Miss Bertha and Berniece,” will make us laugh while helping us see truths that have been shared in the meeting that we might have missed.
– Kentucky missionaries will be commissioned on Friday evening and Gordon Fort will preach. An invitation will be given.
– We will fill a truck with Buckets of Love to send to people with AIDS in Africa.
– There will be conferences, displays, bucket assembly, prayerwalking, tour of local ministries, and more.
– A WMU history room will feature WMU memorabilia from across the years.
– Heritage Fund Mite Boxes will be collected in the Friday afternoon session.
– A GA Fashion Show showing 100 years of fashion and GA history will be presented on Friday afternoon.
– We will elect a new president, vice president and recording secretary, as well as the 2014-15 Executive Board.
It’s not too late to make plans to attend. No preregistration is required. If you have not preregistered for the boxed lunch, just bring a sandwich or snack with you on Friday so that you will not need to leave for lunch, but can take in a conference, help with the bucket project, visit displays, or go by the History Room and WMU Book Store. More is planned than you can do (and some will complain about that), but the idea is that we have plenty planned and there is something for everyone! We keep you on the go for two days!
For more information about all aspects of Annual Meeting, including links for live streaming, please visit the Annual Meeting page on our web site: kywmu.org/annualmeeting. We will be posting on Facebook and Twitter all week leading up to the event and even during the meeting. Anyone using Facebook or Twitter, please use the identifier #kywmu14 in your posts to help others find your posts about Annual Meeting.
I was a music major in college and seminary. I don’t do too much in the music field these days, but I will say that Annual Meeting reminds me of directing a big musical production. There are lots of elements that must come together. There is an ebb and flow to the event. It is vital that we start well and end well, even if there are a few “bobbles” along the way. My role is like a conductor. We’ve planned, rehearsed, set up, and now it is time for the “show” to start. But it’s not a show (though it is a production!). What happens this weekend is not about the meeting and certainly not about having a “perfect” meeting (not going to happen!). This meeting is about outcomes. What is going to happen in our lives because we came? What is going to happen in missions because we were challenged? Who is going to hear the gospel because we prayed and gave? Who will say “Here am I, send me?” when the invitation is given on Friday evening? Who will go home with new determination to teach missions? My questions about outcomes could go on and on. My prayer is that we will one day look back at this weekend and say “God was at work through the 2014 Kentucky WMU Annual Meeting.” Don’t miss what God is doing in Winchester this weekend. Be there!