SBC 2017

WMU celebrates Defining Moments

Baptist Press photo by Van Payne

PHOENIX (BP) -- Around 250 Southern Baptists gathered for the opening session of WMU's 2017 Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting on June 11 in Phoenix.

"Every moment has a series of defining moments -- moments that shape us and change and make us the person we are today," Sandy Wisdom-Martin, newly-elected national WMU executive director said. She and Linda Cooper, national WMU president, opened the evening and shared personal and biblical "Defining Moments," in keeping with WMU's theme for the year. The focus for the opening night was "Redeemed."

Throughout the evening, various others shared with attendees moments that defined them, ranging from childhood calls to salvation to adulthood calls to live a missions oriented life.

"A defining moment in our lives was when we discovered, even though where we lived was good, and life was great, we had a holy discontent inside of us. We could not sleep peacefully at night knowing that there was something more that God had for us," said Brandi Parrish, a NAMB church planter in Colorado, originally from Texas. Brandi and her husband Kelly were the highlighted missionaries for the Sunday evening session.

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Heart for orphans stirs panel conversation

Baptist Press photo by Van Payne

PHOENIX (BP) -- Four Southern Baptist national entity leaders shared their insights on adoption and foster care during a panel discussion June 13 at the Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program booth at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Chad Keck, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Kettering, Ohio, and the Cooperative Program catalyst for the Midwest with the SBC Executive Committee, moderated the 20-minute discussion featuring North American Mission Board president Kevin Ezell, Woman's Missionary Union executive director and treasurer Sandy Wisdom-Martin, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission president Russell Moore and International Mission Board president David Platt.

After opening the discussion by asking the panelists to share about their personal involvement with adoption and foster care, Keck asked the group what Southern Baptists can do to better engage on this issue.

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WMU celebrates 20 years of Christian Women's Job Corps

Baptist Press photo by Van Payne

PHOENIX (BP) -- Linda Cooper, president of national WMU, and Sandy Wisdom-Martin, WMU's executive director, highlighted 20 years of ministry through Christian Women's Job Corps (CWJC) during their report to the Southern Baptist Convention.

"Twenty years ago, WMU began a dream that has grown into a nationally recognized program for helping women in poverty become equipped for life and employment in a Christian context," Cooper said June 14 in Phoenix.

"[CWJC] is about courageous women fighting for their families and their futures," Cooper said. "It is about godly people sacrificing themselves to make a difference in someone's life."

Since Christian Women's Job Corps started in 1997, 40,000 women have been touched through the program in nearly 200 sites and, collectively, 160,000 volunteers have served 200,000,000 hours in the ministry, Cooper reported.

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Why It's Important to Get Together

This week, Baptists from all over the country are getting together to share family news, tell stories, and even share each other’s burdens. They look differently, speak differently, and even have polite disagreements about who has the best barbeque. But still they come. They have a diverse collection of opinions, passions, and dreams for the future. But still there is something that continues to draw them together. What could bring so many different kinds of people together? Despite all the differences, they all share one thing in common: Jesus.

WMU’s Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting and the Southern Baptist Convention are both testaments to this fact. Jesus has a way of bringing us together. Through collective worship, prayer, and service, the love of Jesus binds us together in a common purpose and mission. He loves us, we love Him, and we are committed to sharing that love with the rest of the world. If this love were ever forgotten, there would be no reason to get together. We would let our differences divide us and our own desires drive us far away from one another.

Engage in Missions through WMU

Whether you are seeking to serve in missions personally, as a family, or as a church, we have plenty of exciting options for you! Here are just a few of many ways you can live out of the gospel through WMU:


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Moments of restoration recalled at WMU annual meeting

Baptist Press photo by Van Payne

PHOENIX (BP) -- "Defining Moments," those dramatic, life-changing experiences that make an eternal difference in the hearts and minds of the Christian believer, were recounted and celebrated during the Monday sessions of the WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting, held June 11-12 at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel.

The 325 registered participants of the two-day meeting explored defining moments in the Bible and in the lives of missionaries, national WMU leaders, Acteens panelists and other SBC leaders.

The Monday sessions paralleled the Sunday opening theme examining "Defining Moments ... Restored" and "Defining Moments ... Released."

"Often we make a mess of our lives and wonder if it can ever be fixed," said Linda Cooper, WMU national president. "When Christ shows up, He restores us and give us new purposes."

In the annual President's Address, Cooper, a member of Forest Park Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Ky., shared the first of many defining moments in her life when as a 12-year-old in a revival service in a small country church she accepted Jesus as Savior.

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