American Baptist Women of the Great Rivers Region American Baptist Churches Ripples Spring 2014 Dates of Interest: May 30– June 1 GRR ABWM Region Conference, Raymond, IL July 21-25 World Mission Conference, Green Lake July 26-29 ABWM Intergenerational Gathering, Green Lake Aug 3-9 Nat’l Gathering for Girls Missions Week, New Orleans Aug 22-23 GRR ABWM Board, LSBC Sept 19-22 ABWM Cruise Sharon Wear, President The crocuses are beginning to bloom, at least in Saint Louis. As I write this the snow piles in the parking lot are beginning to melt. I hope we are finishing our WhiteCross quotas. Don’t forget to get your report in to your White-Cross chairman by May 15th. Inside this issue: Carolyn Cook-Head & Lori Hill, Conference Co-Chairs 2 Hilda Smith, Coordinator of Mission & Service 3 Joyce Topping, Secretary 3 Carol Matheson, Coordinator of Personal Development 4 Jean Bode, Associate for Student Aid 5 Doris Kaisner, Treasurer 6 June Moore, Coordinator of Church & Community 6 Janet Lebegue, Associate for 7 White Cross Sandi McKee, Associate for Communications 8 Nancy Johnson, AB GIRLS 9 Area I News 10 Area IV News 11 National EVENTS 12 The five areas are also preparing for their spring rallies. Attendance has been declining recently, so let’s try to include those not active to attend with us. All the areas and regions nominating-committees are having trouble in finding officers. I know we have capable and interested people out there somewhere. For whoever gets this “Ripples” check yourself and/or others in your group to see if any would be interested. Let a current officer of the area know. There is work to be done, but it its exciting work and special friendships are made. I think that most of the mission work in our churches is done by our group. If we have to disband, who will be helping out our missionaries in so many different ways? The Home missionaries depend on us for supplies and financial support for their centers. The same is true of our international missionaries. If we can’t keep up, then we need to convince our churches to step up their support. What is our purpose as a church? The National American Baptist Women’s Ministries is also in financial need. We need more women to become “Vital Partners” by pledging at least $10 per month. Also, individuals and churches can give to the National Support Fund. We all have to increase our financial support or that may be the end of ABWM. Plus, there are other needs that can be met by giving to the Women’s and Girl’s Mission Fund. Ask any one of us for that information. I think we need to check our priorities. Be sure to check out the conference information. It is going to be exciting to be at a new location. Hopefully we can increase our attendance and enjoy a fun and fellowship-filled weekend. Remember to register by April 1 for a discount. As we finish our work for our year, let’s all prayerfully consider what more we can do to include others in our midst. This really is exciting work that we are dedicated to and enjoy. As Ina May Fakhoury told us several years ago “The word ‘retire” is not in the Bible. Page 2 Ripples Spring 2014 Carolyn Cook-Head and Lori Hill, Conference Co-Chairs CONFERENCE HERE WE COME! THEME: A time to Serve, “Using Your Spiritual Gifts to Serve God”, Ephesians 4:12-13 WHAT: The American Baptist Women’s Ministries-Great Rivers Region Annual Conference is just around the corner. We are looking forward to seeing you again and sharing the weekend with you. WHEN: This year the weekend date has changed. Conference will be May 30 – June 1, 2014. WHERE: Another change this year is the location. The conference will be held at Magnuson Grand Hotel, 19067 W. Frontage Road, Raymond, Illinois, not far from Carlinville, Illinois. Directions will be included in your letter once you register for the conference. May 30 – June 1, 2014 Magnuson Grand Hotel, 19067 W. Frontage Road, Raymond, Illinois WHO: Our Bible Study Leader will be Rev. Muriel Johnson, Regional Associate Minister for Area IV & V; Kristy Engel, Healthcare Relief Resource Regional Missionary for Iberoamerica and the Caribbean; Katie Longkumer, Missionary to India and Rev. Patricia Stratton, ABW National President. WORKSHOPS: We have a number of workshops planned and you will have four opportunities to attend them. We will offer a workshop on Friday night, Saturday morning and two workshops on Saturday afternoon. New this year is a workshop on Nutrition and Water Aerobics. If you wish to participate in the water aerobics, be sure to bring your swimsuit. In keeping with the theme, there will be a workshop on Spiritual Gifts. Remember, this year you have an opportunity to save $10.00 off the registration fee of $165.00. Submit your registration form and payment by April 2, 2014, and you pay only $155.00. Registration forms are available on the website (www.grrabwministries.org) or at your Spring Rally. SPECIAL PROJECT: In lieu of the Silent Auction, we will have a “used book” and “used jewelry” sale to raise monies for our Special Project, Detroit Friendship House. Bring you used books (Christian based, devotions and audio tapes) and used jewelry (placed in ziplock bags and marked with the price) to donate. If you have never been to conference before, please consider coming. Our new location offers very comfortable accommodations, easy access to all activities and a pool. If this is not your first time, I invite you to check out our new location. We think you will love it. We will be praying for your safe travel and a wonderful weekend. Page 3 Ripples Spring 2014 Hilda Smith, Coordinator of Missions & Service There will be a few changes in our Special Interest Missionaries list for GRR, starting in June. We have 15 assigned to us and they will be equally divided between the 5 Areas. Your Area Mission and Service Coordinator has the list. It will also be posted on our GRR Web Site after June 1st. Areas 1, 2 and 4 have stayed basically the same. Areas 3 and 5 have a few changes. stay the same also. One change there is a new Director at Peoria Friendship House. She is Melanie Ann McNiff replacing Barbara Hartnett who has retired. Her e-mail is [email protected] g I hope you are all keeping in touch with your SIMs. They depend on you. The Home Mission Assignments will Joyce Topping, Secretary Resources for American Baptist Women’s Ministries are available electronically as well as in printed form. For resources from our National Office visit www.abwministries.org to order resources through the website store or call 610-768-2288 to request a current order form. The AB Women’s Ministries Website – has downloadable resources, our store, information and registration for upcoming events, information about our organization and message forums. The Guide Booklets to American Baptist Women’s Ministries – A series of booklets that provide a guide to AB Women’s Ministries in the local church, area/association, region/state, and national officers. AB Women’s Ministries General Brochure – This is an introduction to the vision and mission of the national organization. It is available free in quantity to distribute to all women of your congregation. Two-Year Program Theme ministry Resource and Logo Items – This is a collection of programs ready to use with your group. Resources for Programming and Ministry – includes AB Women’s Ministries and AB GIRLS logo items, available through the website store; White Cross Materials, available from www.abc-whitecross.org; and Love Gift Materials, available from www.abwministries.org. E-Newsletters – Leader’s Reader is a free bi-monthly enewsletter writer by the national officers, consultants, and staff of AB Women’s Ministries, available at www.abwministries.org. It is also available in print for $15 per year. Call 610-768-2288 to subscribe to the print version. Resources from AB Women’s Ministries of the Great Rivers Region include the website grrabwministries.org and the Ripples newsletter. To submit an e-mail address for the Ripples, e-mail [email protected] or view it on the grrabwministries.org website. Thanks to each of you for all you do for American Baptist Women’s Ministries. Joyce Topping 1403 Schroeder Drive Normal, IL 61761 309-452-8940 [email protected] Resources for American Baptist Women’s Ministries are available electronically as well as in printed form. Page 4 Ripples Spring 2014 Carol Matheson, Coordinator of Personal Development Ubuntu is a philosophy that considers the success of the group above that of the individual.” Stephen Lundin- Ubuntu! “Ubuntu. How could any one of us be happy if all the others were sad?” “An anthropologist studying the habits and customs of an African tribe found himself surrounded by children most days. So he decided to play a little game with them. He managed to get candy from the nearest town and put it all in a decorated basket at the foot of a tree. Then he called the children and suggested they play the game. When the anthropologist said “now”, the children had to run to the tree and the first one to get there could have all the candy to him/herself. So the children all lined up waiting for the signal. When the anthropologist said “now”, all of the children took each other by the hand ran together towards the tree. They all arrived at the same time divided up the candy, sat down and began to happily munch away. The anthropologist went over to them and asked why they had all run together when any one of them could have had the candy all to themselves. The children responded: “Ubuntu. How could any one of us be happy if all the others were sad?” Ubuntu is a philosophy of African tribes that can be summed up as “I am what I am because of who we all are.” As I sit here in Bluefields, Nicaragua, I am thinking of all of you. The story above may seem farfetched but I have experienced Ubuntu here. I have about 35 English students and I have been blessed by each one of them. Whenever we play a game to help them learn new English words, they cheer for that one who wins. When someone in the class reads well, they cheer. When we have a special day and I provide cookies or cupcakes, they wrap their treat in a napkin and take it home to share. These children and their families live the Ubuntu philosophy “I am what I am because of who we all are.” A person with Ubuntu is welcoming, hospitable, warm and generous, willing to share. Such people are open and available to others, willing to be vulnerable, affirming of others, do not feel threatened that others are able and good, for they have a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that they belong in a greater whole. As Personal Development Coordinator, I challenge you to look within yourself and see if you have these qualities and, if not, why not. Page 5 Ripples Spring 2014 Jean Bode, Associate for Student Aid Student aid is not only a blessing for the recipients, but also for those of us who assist in the funding. I like to think that we are in a small part participating toward the healthy future of our society. With all the unsettling things in the news currently, it has been said that what you feed is what grows. Well, let me be clear, I want to feed the healthy side of life and I feel strongly that we need to support our youth who want to make our world better than they found it. There are students who could not further their education if it were not for the help of the GRR/ABW scholarship funding. Anna says, “I cannot tell you how thankful I am for this financial help. It is such a blessing and a load off my shoulders. Thank you also for the cards and little books throughout the year.” The GRR/ABW scholarship is designed to extend financial assistance to the student who completes the application showing a need. They must be associated with an American Baptist church and attend an approved college or seminary. Additionally, they are to provide recommendations from a lay leader or a professional as to the applicant’s potential for Christian service in the world. Matt says “Thank you so much. I am so grateful for the support of the GRR ABW board as I pursue my seminary degree. Please express my thanks to the members…” It is truly a blessing and an honor to be able to support this project for our youth in order that they may further their chosen path of education. Please give generously! Brenda says,” This is my last year for seminary education. I plan to keep in touch. Please thank the board of GRR ABW for your support and prayers.” by Jean Bode Humbly submitted Student Aid representative, GRR/ ABW There are students who could not further their education if it were not for the help of the GRR/ABW scholarship funding. Page 6 Ripples Spring 2014 Doris Kaisner, Treasurer Last fall in my Ripples article I talked about harvesting vegetables—well, now it is time to think about planting. We need to plant ideas in each of our areas in regard of how to bring in more dollars. We are very low on our project dollars at this time. Someone in each area could call churches and ask them to participate in our project, in student aid or to just make a plain ole donation to ABW. Ladies, we need to be in prayer about this. Our numbers are getting fewer and many do not even know what ABW is all about. My church has that problem… we have one Circle now… have an all ladies work night for White Cross activity… have a Potato Bar to earn our dollars for White Cross… BUT one large problem is… we have many, many small groups (Bible Study)… our schools have many activities… not enough time for ABW. June Moore, Coordinator Of Church and Community Have you included ministries of church and community in your year’s program? There are so many opportunities for these ministries in our churches. I am sure all of you are welcoming spring after the many months of deep cold winter. I know that I am ready. Springtime is my favorite season of the year. This is also the time for AB Women’s Ministries to finish up our goals for the year. Have you included ministries of church and community in your year’s program? There are so many opportunities for these ministries in our churches. We did two new ministries in our group this year. Our pastor is a chaplain for a hospice group and he made us aware of providing blankets and Teddy bears made from garments of the deceased. We made two bears and several blankets to date, we are planning to continue this ministry. Our women asked the church if they would like to do the Shoeman water project and we had real good results as around 250 pairs of shoes were delivered to the organization. I would love to hear from you about any new projects you have been doing and I will pass it along at my booth at conference May 30-June l. God bless all of you in your work for the Lord. Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sister of mine, you did for me.” Matt. 37-40 NIV [email protected] Ripples Spring 2014 Page 7 Janet Lebegue, Associate for White Cross White Cross is Important. Our National and International missionaries look forward to and depend on the White Cross items purchased, handmade or money sent, so they can carry on the work that God has called them to do. As the quotas are finished and mailed, remember to fill-out the White Cross Report and send it to the Area White Cross Associate by May 15th. These reports are important because they help Area White Cross Associate’s determine the amount to give each local church. I’m encouraging everyone to go to the Region ABW Ministries Conference. There will be a White Cross workshop. Bring ready to roll 3”x5 yd. bandages. Please bring the bandage rollers. Last year the women rolled over 200 bandages. The White Cross project is WalMart gift cards for Peoria Friendship House. Thank you so much for participating in White Cross. Ephesians 4 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. NIV As the quotas are finished and mailed, remember to fill-out the White Cross Report and send it to the Area White Cross Associate by May 15th. Page 8 Ripples Spring 2014 Sandi McKee, Associate for Communications ...we need to be communicating to them where they ‘live’ in a way that they see the benefits and the possibilities for ministry... A friend was visiting businesses in our area to solicit donations for a silent auction to support a new ministry to homeless families. After a couple of tries she was able to talk with the manager of one of the chain restaurants in the area about the possibility of them donating something for the auction. She told the manager about the ministry and how it would benefit the families served and how it would benefit the community. The manager was only able to donate a couple of certificates for pancakes because of company policy but gave my friend a personal family donation of a $25.00 gift certificate to the restaurant. This personal donation may not sound remarkable unless you know the back story. The manager is a single mom with four children and she is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. She works as many hours as she can to support her children when not too ill from the effects of the chemo. $25.00 may not sound like a lot to many of us but to her it was a pair of shoes for one of her children or several meals for her family. Why then did she donate to the homeless ministry from her own pocket? Because she had been homeless with her children. Because the benefits to the homeless families had been communicated to her in a way that she understood. Because what this ministry would do met her where she had lived. Because someone told her about a good thing and she wanted to be a part of it. When our ABW Ministries communicate to our women and girls we need to be communicating to them where they ‘live’ in a way that they see the benefits and the possibilities for ministry to women and girls. We need to communicate what we do with and for missions. We need to be out there communicating what ABWM and ABGIRLS can do in lives and communities. We do good things. Tell your women about them. We have a good thing to share. We need to share it with the women in our churches. NOTICE: GRR ABWM Executive Board Alumni Please contact Sharon Wear if you would like to be on an email list for executive board communications and updates. Ripples Spring 2014 Page 9 Nancy Johnson, AB GIRLS Coordinator Great River’s Region Annual Women’s Conference and AB GIRL’S Retreat May 30 – June 1 2014 Magnuson Grand Hotel & Conference Center Raymond, Illinois Exit 60 toward Carlinville from Interstate 55, then take first right on frontage road “A Time to serve: Using your spiritual gifts to serve GOD” A new Date, A new Location, New Friends WOW!!!!!!!! This year will be a special time for attendees who have been with us the last few years. We will start Friday evening with Tacos for supper. Due to the fact that we will be staying at a hotel on this trip, We still plan on taking the Girls to the Camp Williamson to do (High Ropes). I had promised the Girls last year that we would do this activity. I was able to arrange this and a promise is a promise. Sam and I Have some great activities planned this year. Brandy Trussel will be in training as she will be taking over my position after this Retreat. Please welcome her and give her the support I have been given the last several years. Registration forms were handed out to all the Area Presidents of the Great Rivers Regions at the Spring Board meeting. If your church did not receive forms, please go to grrabwministries.org and print out a Registration Form. The Girls forms require more information than the Women’s form. I need Parents’ Permission, Medical Info, Shirt sizes, etc. in advance. I am challenging all Baptist women to bring a girl or several girls with you when you attend the Women’s Conference. They will appreciate you for bringing them. Please add our GIRLS to your prayer list. They are our future. God Bless! Questions you may have? Who can come to the GIRL”S Retreat? Any girl who has completed grades 6 through 12. What is the cost? The cost of the retreat is $150...This includes lodging, food and retreat activities. SAVE $ 5 by registering by April 18th How do we register? Fill out Both Sides of Registration Form. Include your payment of $150 or SAVE $ 5 (145) (Make checks payable to AB GIRLS) and mail to: Nancy Johnson - AB GIRLS 137 East 6th Street, El Paso, Illinois 61738 How soon do I need to register? Registration deadline is May 16th. Registration may be made over the phone by calling Nancy at 309-830-4342, however, all paperwork and payment must be received prior to the retreat. I can honestly say that I will miss all of the GRR Board Members. It has been so much fun working and getting to know all of you. I hope to stay in touch with many of you going to Gatherings, Conferences, and other Activities. I will miss playing Mexican Train Dominos with you gals. It’s been a great experience…..Nancy [email protected] Page 10 Ripples Spring 2014 Sharon Farral, Area I President Our Area 1 women continue to enjoy fellowship, learning experiences and inspiration. October 2013, we held our Fall Rally at FBC Marengo. During the morning session Sharon Farral shared her pilgrimage with the American Baptist Historical Society to the Ann and Adoniram Judson sites in Burma/Myanmar. In the afternoon Dr. Angelene Naw, Asian History Professor at Judson University and founder of the Western Chicago Karen Baptist church brought about 40 of her church family including primary children to grandparents. They all sang in beautiful harmony unaccompanied by instruments. The youth choir sang several numbers with a guitar accompanist. They performed several dance; one telling the story of planting, waiting on the Lord, and harvest. Another dance depicted their struggles when their homes in Myanmar were destroyed. The Karen singers and dancers wore their beautiful cultural attire. In the past the host churches prepared a lunch. This year each lady brought a salad and we enjoyed a delicious salad luncheon. Each spring we have two ‘Spring Spiritual Feast’ one in the eastern part of the state and one in the west. These are morning only meetings beginning with a coffee fellowship and then a program. April 12, 2014, we will hear Kelly Stewart, coordinator for World Relief in the Moline area, speak. This meeting is at FBC Cordova. On April 26, 2014, we will be at Immanuel Baptist in Elgin. Our speaker will be Kimberly Spagui, director of AT LAST. She will speak on issues related to human trafficking in the Chicago area. Chicago has the 5th largest trafficking population in the nation. AT LAST – Attorneys Targeting Labor And Sex Trafficking. Sharon Farral, Area 1 ABW president Ripples Spring 2014 Page 11 Kathy Johnson, Area IV President We in Area IV, as well as all of the Great Rivers Region, are truly blessed. We have a heavenly Father who loves us so much He gave His only son to die for us, so we may live. I mean REALLY live. Full of joy. Full of hope. Full of peace. We honor Him so much when we share His message with others, and when we allow His love to show through us as we help those in need. We have awesome opportunities to spread His gospel with the work done in ABWM. There are times we may feel burdened down and do not feel we can continue. We may think there is no benefit for the work we are doing. However, Jesus did not quit on us. He was burdened, turned away and ignored. His words were twisted and used against Him. Still, He persisted. Because of that, we have a hope that passes all human understanding. Area IV ABWM meets in the spring and fall of each year. We had missionary Becky Stanton speak at our Spring Rally. She was excited about the job to which she and her husband, Larry, have been called. As most of you probably know they will be heading for Liberia at the end of March. It is uplifting for us to see an Area IV couple from Southern Illinois heading into the mission field. During our Fall Gathering, updated information was presented on several of our International Missionaries. It is always prudent to be reminded of those we are supporting and helping overseas, as well as those here at home in the United States. The afternoon sessions of our semiannual meetings are White Cross workshops. After lunch, those who are able to stay help roll roller bandages. We enjoy the fellowship while we roll away on our roller bandage machines. We are in the process of updating our contacts within our area churches. We are trying to efficiently reach each church. Sometimes the lines of communication become stale and information does not flow smoothly. Any help or updates are appreciated. We would like to be able to pass along information about missions we support, the current special project, student aid and others items. I would like to say thank you to my Area IV board members. It is a pleasure to work with you. Please pray for us in Area IV, so that we may have the vision God wants for us to pursue. Page 12 Ripples Spring 2014 Mission American Baptist Women of the Great Rivers Region American Baptist Churches AB Women’s Ministries is a Christ-centered ministry with a commitment to encourage and empower women and girls to serve God Vision Every American Baptist church shall have a vital women’s ministry program that empowers women and girls to become and develop as God’s person, build God’s faith community, and serve God’s world. We are attempting to be good stewards or our resources. Therefore, we no longer send the ‘RIPPLES’ via U.S Mail. If you know of someone who does not have computer access, please print a copy and share it with them. To submit an e-mail address to be added to the list E-mail: [email protected] Purpose As servant leaders, we serve American Baptist churches by encouraging existing vital ministries with women and girls and empowering churches to build such ministries. Events Young Adult Women Leadership Training Webinars April 5, 2014 noon—1:15 pm EDT May3, 2014 noon—1:15 pm EDT June 14, 2014 noon—1:15 pm EDT Join with other young adult women to discern, embrace, and grow your gifts for Christian leadership! A.C.T.: An online Christian leadership training course for young adult women that features leaders training leaders. Webinars are led by women of all ages who have experience in Christian leadership and contagious enthusiasm! For more information goto: www.grrabwministries.org Virtual Mission Encounters for Women May 5, 2014 “Break Every Yoke: Homelessness” Sept 29—Oct 3. 2014 “A Time of Grace: Aging and Faith” American Baptist Women’s Ministries offers a ground-breaking mission opportunity bringing the mission trip experience to women within the context of their daily lives. Intergenerational Retreat July 26-29, 2014 Join us at the Green Lake Conference Center in Wisconsin for an Intergenerational Retreat for girls and women of all ages! Register now. Cruise with ABWM September 19-22, 2014 Join Rev. Dr. Debora Jackson, Dr. Lisa Croft, Joyce Sinclair Lake, and your American Baptist sisters as we explore the theme “A Time to Serve: A Time to Prepare.” There are still spots available. “Home Mission: Till the Work is Done” Work Week August 3-9, 2014, New Orleans, LA ABGIRLS are invited to join with groups from all over the country to help rebuild from hurricane Katrina. You can find more information and registration for all of these National Events on the ABWM website: www.abwministries.org.
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