An Opportunity to Gather

During 2015, national WMU was involved in five different regional and/or national training events. We heard great missionary testimonies, experienced wonderful conferences that challenged our thinking about missions in our churches, and found encouragement in just being together. We committed to a comprehensive year of equipping leaders for missions in these unique events while we prepared to launch a full online, on-demand leadership training program. Many of you have taken one of the courses on ChristianLeaderLearning.com and have shared your enthusiasm for this new approach to missions learning. Others of you may be engaging in your first course. Our goal is to provide just the right training needed to lead with confidence and enthusiasm. I hope you will give this new approach a try soon if you have not already.
 
But maybe you are like me and really enjoy face-to-face time with others, sharing ideas and worshipping together. During 2016, we have a special opportunity to gather in the middle of the country for just such an experience. I hope you will consider joining us in St. Louis, Missouri, June 12–13, for the WMU Missions Celebration—our premier event of the year just prior to the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting. I know you will be blessed to hear our special guests.
 
Dr. Jeff Iorg is president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in California and the author of the 2016–2017 WMU Emphasis book, Unscripted. Dr. Iorg will open and close our meeting, helping us understand how we can better go about our everyday lives sharing the gospel in an easy, relaxed style. I know you will love his stories in the book and hearing him in person.
 
Katie Orr, one of our newest New Hope authors, is a pastor’s wife and encourager of young church planter wives. Katie will lead us in a conference, speak in worship, and participate in an author signing of her three books, Everyday Faith, Everyday Hope, and Everyday Love. A prolific blogger and speaker, you will enjoy getting to know her personally.
 
We will also hear from a variety of missions personnel from across our nation and around the world. One of those is Travis Kerns, a church planter in Utah, who will also lead a conference on how to better relate to our Mormon acquaintances. You may remember his name since he was a week of prayer missionary during the North American missions emphasis last year.
 
Dr. Lavon Gray, minister of worship of First Baptist Church, Jackson, Mississippi, and co-author with Dr. Frank Page of the book Hungry for Worship, will lead us in worship each general session. It is a privilege to have him helping us plan our general worship sessions, which will begin on Sunday, June 12, at 3 p.m. in the Ferrara Theatre at America’s Center. I hope you will come with your family, bring a group of friends, or come alone and share in this wonderful time of missions celebration, worship, and learning as we seek to grow in our faith together. See you in St. Louis!
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