St. Louis—Sharing Christ by all means is the focus of this year’s Woman’s Missionary Union Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting, June 12–13.
The meeting’s theme—By All Means—is also WMU’s emphasis for 2016–2018. The impetus for this theme is found in 1 Corinthians 9:22b–23: “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”
Wanda Lee, executive director of national WMU, noted, “With the words of Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, we are called to become servants to all; put the needs of others first; and under the leadership of God, do whatever it takes to bring them to faith.”
“This new emphasis in WMU challenges us to follow Jesus’ example … to step into the world around us, cultivate relationships, and create opportunities to demonstrate the love of Christ,” Lee said. “Then, by all means, let’s share Christ with those waiting to hear.”
Speakers will include Jeff Iorg, president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary; Sebastian and Erin Vazquez, international church planters; Goldie Francis, an International Mission Board worker; Travis Kerns, a missionary serving with the North American Mission Board in Salt Lake City; and Katie Orr, author and pastor’s wife. Iorg’s book, “Unscripted: Sharing the Gospel as Life Happens,” will be the emphasis book for WMU in 2016–2017.
There will be five general sessions: Sunday (June 12) at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Monday (June 13) at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. In addition, 22 different one-hour conferences will be offered on Monday during breakout sessions from 11–12 p.m. and 2:30–4:45 p.m. Topics range from understanding postmodernism and how to develop disciples in a postmodern culture, to missional leadership, to creative ways to engage others in learning about and doing missions, among others.
Additional elements on Sunday include:
— A reception in honor of Lee as she retires later this year following 20 years of service through national WMU—16 years as executive director and four years as president.
— a meet-and-greet time with missionaries featured during the Missions Celebration, as well as some international missionaries who took the Voluntary Retirement Incentive offered by IMB.
— A special guided tour of the Missions Celebration for members of Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, and Children in Action. Heather Keller, national WMU children’s ministry consultant, will lead the children in earning a badge as they participate in the opening general session, meet missionaries, experience interactive exhibits, and debrief with Keller about what they learned as she challenges them to find ways to be on mission every day.
The WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting will be in the Ferrara Theatre at America’s Center, the same convention center where the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention will be held June 14–15. (BP)