From the ABW Executive Director

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Matthew 14:24-32, NIV

Dear Friends,

I love this text because it shows the possibilities when we rely on Jesus and not ourselves. When we trust Jesus, we can experience the unexpected, and that can be awesome. Peter got out of the boat and has an experience that the rest of the disciples missed, he walked on water! Yes, he may have lost his footing when the reality of the experience surpassed the possibilities in his mind…. but that is Jesus.

We simply cannot conceive or comprehend all that Jesus can do because Jesus “can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.” Peter’s limitations may have produced a short walk but… wow, what a walk! One or two steps, 10 or 15 seconds walking on water must have been a feeling he would never forget. It was a faith-building experience, and even in his unbelief, Jesus did not forsake him but kept him safe.

In 2021, let us get out of the boat! Build your testimony. Let God lead and believe that the possibilities are infinite. Let us take the lessons of 2020 and allow 2021 to be a year of discovery and growth. Be ready for the Holy Spirit’s revelation to you and move forward, expecting God’s strength and love to guide you. Next week we enter into the Lenten Season, a sacred time in our liturgical calendar. Christians all over the world draw close to God for a time of introspection. Many will fast from meals, favorite foods, activities, and even hobbies to dedicate that time to prayer. As we approach Lent, let us have the hope and expectation of Peter, ask God to bring us closer, hold our hand and guide us in our unbelief.

Reach up God’s hand is waiting and the possibilities are infinite,

Rev. Dr. Gina Jacobs-Strain
Executive Director

To the FBC ladies, we are still collecting quarters for the Weirton Christian Center quarters for grades program. We are also collecting used stamps for our mission project. Both of these can be brought to the church office.

ABW: Quarters for Grades

Even though the Lizzie Lewis Circle is not meeting currently, one of our mission projects is Quarters for Grades for Weirton Christian Center. These quarters are accumulated and then sent to the school to be distributed to the children as a reward for good grades. If you would care to participate in this project, just put your quarters in an envelope and mark it Quarters for Weirton and we will see that it gets to the right place once we reach $100.00.

We also continue to collect used postage stamps for another mission project. There is a box in the church office on the counter for these. Just cut them off the envelope, leaving an edge around it, and drop it in the church office.

ABW: Quarters for Grades

Even though the Lizzie Lewis Circle is not meeting currently, one of our mission projects is Quarters for Grades for Weirton Christian Center. During November, we accumulated enough to send them $100 to be distributed to the children as a reward for good grades. If you would care to participate in this project, just put your quarters in an envelope and mark it Quarters for Weirton and we will see that it gets to the right place one we reach another $100.00.

ABW Ministry Update for November

For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.

Proverbs 2:10, NIV

Dear Friends,

American Baptist Women’s Ministries (ABWM) continues our 5 part webinar series on addiction. The first two webinars have provided valuable resources, equipped us with ways to have difficult conversations about addiction and new ways to think about treatment. The third webinar, A Call to Action: Addressing Unique Treatment and Recovery Needs of Women in Addiction, led by Dr. Brenda Edwards, shared responsive strategies for stakeholders and communities to consider as they support women who abuse substances and seek help. Dr. Edwards also shared the important role of faith communities in providing consistent support to women in treatment and during reentry to their communities. Each webinar can be found on ABWM’s website, along with a summary of key points, at www.abwomensministries.org/webinars. The 4th webinar in this series on addiction will be on Thursday, November 5th, at 9:00 pm (EST). The speaker is Dr. Onaje Salim, Board-Certified Counselor, and Licensed Clinician. Below is a description and link to register for this free webinar.

We look forward to your presence.

Share the peace of Christ,

Rev. Dr. Gina Jacobs-Strain
Executive Director

A Snapshot from ABW

On Friday, September 18, 2020, the Young Adult Women’s Advisory Team (YAWMAT) of American Baptist Women’s Ministries (ABWM) hosted Paint and Soothe Your Soul. Women from across the nation gathered for a night of worship and creative expression. Worship centered around Psalm 131. Keynote speaker, Jasmin Figueroa encouraged participants to check in with their bodies and spirits during times of stress. Given the unique pressures of COVID-19 and its particular impact on women, one can be tempted to not mourn or seek help and comfort, to one’s own detriment. The Psalm reminds us to remember, especially in times of distress the image of God as a loving parent. Participants were blessed by the talent of Jessica Brooks whose musical selections reminded participants to draw close to God’s presence. Following worship, participants were led in painting by VaLorie Fogle (YaYa). YaYa taught painting fundamentals and encouraged each participant to explore their own unique way of replicating the artwork for the evening.

The young adult women’s ministries advisory team helps to coordinate and envision AB Women’s Ministries outreach and support for young adult women. ABWM holds regular events for young adult women; in the past, these events have included brunches, retreats, conferences, webinars, and spiritual pilgrimages. ABWM encourages young adult women to be involved in leadership and the ministries at all levels of the organization, as well as in their local churches and communities. To continue supporting programs, and workshops that ignite the faith-filled creativity of women, young adult women, and girls, please consider becoming a vital partner.

News from the ABW Virtual Conference

by Nancy Moran

By now I hope many of you have watched the ABWM Virtual Conference. If you haven’t had a chance yet to see this, go to the WV Baptist Women’s Ministries Facebook page. I was so impressed with the presentation by our last year’s scholarship recipient, Samantha Wagoner, that I immediately wrote to her to convey my thoughts. Here is the reply I received from her.

Nancy – This message meant so much to me! Thank you. It was such an honor to get to be a part of the women’s conference. I absolutely love the Lord and all he does for me! I am so grateful he loves me and works on me daily. His love keeps me going. I love the Women in our state so so so much! They inspire me to be the best Woman of God I can be! I am so grateful to be involved. I could never repay or give enough thank yous to the women who pray and think of me! Anytime I am asked to do something for our women or for the Lord, If I can do it, I do!

My plans for school are a little back tracked right now due to all of this craziness. God has put me on some amazing paths rights now and I’m working towards finding out which one is the best fit. I am currently working in a dental office as an assistant and trying to finish my degree up. I applied to pharmacy school actually and got in! I deferred for a year to think about it and to make a decision. I have been really torn on pharmacy and dentistry this past year. I am praying and listening to see where God leads me. Please pray for me and my journey and my new marriage.

Samantha

Camp Alpha

Camp Alpha is a church camp located in Ryazan, Russia who hosted their first campers in 2017. The camp currently consists of two picnic shelters, two large metal storage containers repurposed into cabins and outhouses for restroom facilities. Tents provide additional housing for the campers. Meals must either be brought in from local churches or cooked on-site over an open campfire. Taking into account the rustic nature of the camp, it’s amazing that 65 kids were in attendance in 2019!

The WVBC partnership with the Russian churches has helped them to create the camp in resemblance to our very own Camp Cowen and Parchment Valley. The American Baptist Women’s Ministries of West Virginia have adopted Camp Alpha for their MOP 2020 project. We hope our goal of $6,000 will help make improvements to the camp that will encourage more children to come meet Jesus at Camp Alpha!

Donations can be sent through your ABW Associations

ABW 2020 Special Project

Handicapped-Accessible Restroom Parchment Valley Conference Center Administration Building Goal $12,000

The place “where lives are changed” is constantly striving to meet the needs of their clientele. The American Baptist Women of West Virginia are pleased and excited to announce that the construction of a totally handicapped-accessible restroom facility in their main building has been selected for our Special Project for 2020.  The office area in the dining hall will be relocated to the opposite end of the building and the current office space will house the new restroom facility. Construction is scheduled to commence sometime during   the 2019-2020 winter season.  Please be in prayer for all involved with this much-needed upgrade to a facility we all love.

ABW April Update

Lizzie Lewis Circle continues to meet on the first Thursday of every month in Fellowship Hall. We will be working on several mission projects and we would love to have you join them.

We are continuing to collect used postage stamps for a mission project and also woman’s tampons, soap, hand sanitizer and deodorant for the Woman’s Resource Center and Helping Hands. Collection boxes for these two projects are located in the church office.

ABW March Update

Lizzie Lewis Circle continues to meet on the first Thursday of every month which this month will be March 5th at 1:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. We will be working on several mission projects and they would love to have you join them.

We are continuing to collect used postage stamps for a mission project and also woman’s tampons, soap, hand sanitizer and deodorant for the Woman’s Resource Center and Helping Hands. Collection boxes for these two projects are located in the church office.