Annie Armstrong Easter Offering

A Few Good Ideas

It’s March! But April’s coming!

April is just about here! With the new month comes Easter, the most holy of all days in the year. Boys and girls will be celebrating the Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. The celebration will focus on how the grave and the cross are empty and how much our Savior loves us.

With the new month also comes a focus on North American missions. GAs, RAs and CAs will focus on the North American Mission Study and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. Leaders will encourage children to not only give to the offering but to learn ways the offering supports the work of those who serve in North America.

Together for His Kingdom

Years ago, my husband and I worked with singles in our church. One of our social outings was a river canoe trip. One year my friend Melinda and I were paired in a canoe. It was a great day. The sun was shining. We proceeded without major incident until the very end of the trip. There had been a tremendous amount of rain that spring. The river ran high and fast. It was not a problem until the last bend right before we were to take the canoes out of the river. The force of the water made it difficult to navigate the canoe. Our canoe hit a bridge embankment and flipped. I got trapped between the canoe and a tree under the water line. The water was rushing so fast, I could not move.

I was a strong swimmer and felt very comfortable in the water, but I started to panic being trapped. I finally got my head above water enough to scream. I saw out of the corner of my eye a man sitting on the bank looking upstream. I yelled, “Help!” as loud as I could.

Missions at Easter

It is a blessing to be a part of what God is doing in missions through WMU. As we prepare for the season of remembering Christ at Easter, we know the power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead is at work in our world today. We are drawn to love, to be light, to reach out, to share Christ, and to overcome darkness in His name. This is missions. This is our call.

I love that the offering for North American missions received at this time of year is named for Annie Armstrong. Miss Annie lived out the call of the gospel. She was a force of God’s love and power in Southern Baptist life in 1888, when she helped begin WMU.

Her biography illustrates her belief in the power of the gospel and the strength of cooperating together. She believed steadfastly in the important role of women in God’s kingdom, to serve and use their gifts for God’s glory. She loved the vulnerable and sought to go the extra mile to see God’s work accomplished. She is known for her untiring work for immigrants in Baltimore, where she lived; for Native Americans; and for women missionaries such as Lottie Moon in China.

On Mission: Here and Now in North America

Each year, your gifts to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering help support more than 5,000 missionaries and more than 3,800 chaplains throughout the United States and Canada who are sharing the gospel in some very tough places.

This year’s theme is On Mission: Here and Now. For North American missionaries, “here and now” is their missions field. For each of us, “here and now” is a challenge to live a missional life wherever God has planted us.

This year’s official date for the Week of Prayer and Mission Study for North American Missions is March 4–11. However, the prayer guide and other materials are not dated, so your church can choose any week during the Easter season to participate.

Promote the offering and the week of prayer this year by using the promotion ideas guide or one of these suggestions:

Show your support to missions

Be an active part of missions work all over the world when you give to the Lottie Mon Christmas offering and Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. 



Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

Purpose: In 1918, Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) named the annual Christmas offering for international missions after the woman, Lottie Moon, who had urged them to start it.

Why this strange indifferences to missions? Why these scant contributions? Why does money fail to be forthcoming when approved men and women are asking to be sent to proclaim the ‘unsearchable riches of Christ’ to the heathen? — Lottie Moon, October 3, 1887, Pingtu

SBC Offerings

Support missions

“As Southern Baptists learn how God is at work around the world, they GIVE of their resources and offer more informed prayers for those who have committed their lives to following the Great Commission into all the world so the gospel will be proclaimed among all people.” —Wanda Lee, National WMU executive director/treasurer, emerita

WMU believes in the importance of stewardship and giving to missions. WMU actively promotes giving to the two missions offerings which supply approximately half of the annual budgets for the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board. 

More than Bunnies, Candy, and Eggs

This past Sunday at my church, children of all ages joyfully paraded into the sanctuary, waving palm branches and singing loud hosannas. What a simple act to actively involve kids in a meaningful worship experience!

But do you struggle to explain the meaning of Holy Week to your child? After all, we just celebrated the birth of baby Jesus a few short months ago! Yet now we are going to celebrate His death and Resurrection? And what do bunnies, chocolate candy, and colored eggs have to do with any of it? For many kids, particularly younger ones, this concept can be especially difficult to wrap their heads around.

This Easter, I encourage you to sit down with your kids and read the Bible together. As a family, share the amazing stories surrounding Jesus’ death and Resurrection. Be prepared to answer their questions by pointing them back to the one true source, the Bible. In doing so, you set a positive example as you connect kids to God’s Word for a lifetime.

I have laid out a daily Bible reading plan that you can use to guide you as you move through the week.

Four Ways Kids Can Make a Difference

Kids continually surprise us with their care and compassion for others. As their missions leader, how are you fostering that compassion during your time with them each week? Believe it or not, participating in a good old-fashioned fundraiser is a great way to begin! The Annie Armstrong Easter Offering collects funds for missions work right here in North America. You and your kids have a chance to directly impact the same ministries they read about each week. Not sure where to begin? Here are 4 ways your kids can make a difference:

All Things Big and Small

When I think of missions, my first thought is a big trip taken overseas. I think of going to Africa or Asia, eating strange new foods, forging new relationships and working hard, and meeting the needs of people who have never heard of Jesus.

Then I look around me and realize there are people right outside my front door who have never heard of Jesus. I realize that anywhere I am is a missions field if I’ll just let God use me as a missionary.

It’s hard to remember that we are called to be missionaries as soon as we accept Jesus into our hearts. It’s hard to be intentional about sharing His love with others as we go about our sometimes mundane day-to-day tasks.

We don’t have to pack a giant backpack and head to Africa in order to be missionaries. In fact, there are over 269 million lost people in North America, so we need to consider taking off our giant backpacks and reaching out to our many neighbors who are lost.

If you’re wondering how you can help all of those lost people, start with prayer. Prayer is powerful and intentional and miraculous. You are doing amazing things when you pray.

Pique Their Interest

Church members’ interest is piqued when they can support something (or someone) they can personally relate to. Capitalizing on this thought, to promote our AAEO (Annie Armstrong Easter Offering®), we’ll focus on two NAMB missionary families from our home state.

Both families send out monthly blogs, so we’ll present material and photos on Sunday mornings during April. Adults, youth and kids will portray the MKs, briefly describing aspects of their ministry. Colorful displays around the church campus will show pictures and details of things the offering facilitates.

During a Wednesday night supper, one missionary family will Skype with us, sharing an update, answering questions, and giving us current prayer needs. Sunday bulletins will include the NAMB prayer guides, an AAEO fact sheet (https://www.anniearmstrong.com/about), and envelopes.


By Ann Maniscalco

 

 

 


 

Pages

Back to Top