ABW Spring Rally at Beckley First Baptist

The ABW Spring Rally is scheduled for Saturday, April 6th. Registration is at 9:30 am with the program starting at 10:00 am and concluding with lunch.

The theme of the day is “Create In Me A Clean Heart.” The mission project for that day they are asking you to bring is a small bottle of laundry detergent which will be distributed to four participating churches with most of it going to Helping Hands and Neighbors on Wheels. A great program is being planned and it should be an exciting morning. Please plan on joining the ladies.

ABW February Update

The Lizzie Lewis Circle meets the first Thursday of each month at 1:00 pm here at the church. They are an active group of ladies who carry on the mission of the American Baptist Women by being involved in various mission projects through the ABW Ministries as well as mission projects right here in Beckley.  They are also involved in a project of collecting used postage stamps. So save your used postage stamps and leave them in the church office in the container on the counter.

Join these ladies on the first Thursday of the month at 1:00 p.m. and see what all the fun is about.

ABW January Update

The Lizzie Lewis Circle meets the first Thursday of each month at 1:00 here at the church.  They are an active group of ladies who carry on the mission of the American Baptist Women by being involved in various mission projects through the ABW Ministries as well as mission projects right here in Beckley.

They are also involved in a project of collecting used postage stamps. So save your used postage stamps and leave them in the church office in the container on the counter.

Join these ladies on the first Thursday of the month at 1:00 p.m.  and see what all the fun is about.

ABW November Update

by Janice Wood, ABWM President

On September 30, 2018, the ABW Ministries Executive Board, along with several ladies representing the Joy Circle and the Lizzie Lewis Circle, met at the First Baptist Church. The meeting was to consider disbanding the Joy Circle with the ladies joining the Lizzie Lewis Circle.  The vote was unanimous.  Every lady at First Baptist Church is invited to come join the Lizzie Lewis Circle.  As we join together into one circle, we believe we can be encouraged by one another to further God’s kingdom.

The ABW Mission Statement:

In commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and to the mission of the church, through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, American Baptist Women’s Ministries provides opportunities for each women to:

  • Become and develop as God’s person,
  • Build God’s faith community; and
  • Serve God’s world.

ABW October Update

Patty Richmond will be taking over the ABW used stamp collection project which Norma Gunter previously handled.  So save your used postage stamps and leave them in the church office in the container on the counter.

The ABW Fall Rally was held in September at Crab Orchard Baptist Church.  The focus of the rally will be hunger in Raleigh County.  The offering collected that day was divided among the four active churches for their food programs.  It was a great program and a fun time was had by all.

Please pray for the ABW Ministries program here at FBC as we strive to meet the needs of our women and seek new direction for our program.

ABW April Update

by Norma Gunter

“Behold, my friends, the spring is come;
The earth has gladly received the embrace of the sun
and shall soon see the results of their love!”
Sitting Bull, native American leader

These are quotes from Guideposts 15 Uplifting Spring Quotes.  My favorite quote is:

“I love spring flowers;
daffodils and hyacinths are
the ultimate flowers for me.
They are the essence of spring.”
Kristy Gallacher, television  presenter

My driveway is lined with rows of daffodils and a few hyacinths.  The snow came,  7 inches fell and buried the flowers.  The sun came out, melted the snow, and the flowers look like nothing ever happened.

“Expect to have hope rekindled.
Expect your prayers to be
answered in wondrous ways.
The dry seasons in life do not last.
The spring rains will come again.”
Sarah Pen Breathnach, author

On Saturday April 21 the Raleigh Baptist Association Spring Rally will be held at  the Beaver First Baptist Church in Beaver, WV.  Registration is at 9:30 am and the meeting ends with lunch.  Rev. Elizabeth “Beth” Stone of WV Stone Ministries is the speaker.  A former teacher, Beth and her daughter, Erin, have co-authored a book called Valley of the Shadow.  Hope to see all the ladies of Beckley FBC there.

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”  Margaret Atwood,  Poet

ABW ladies of the First Baptist Church, it’s about time to get our hands dirty.

ABW March Update

by Norma Gunter

The ladies of First Baptist Church are busy tearing worn sheets into 3” strips, sewing them together, measuring five yards, cutting them off and going on to measure more and more. On March 1st at 1pm we will meet at the church and roll these strips into rolled bandages.  Why are we doing this?  We are working on our White Cross project.  What is White Cross?    White Cross is showering God’s love across the United States and around the world since 1919.  A shower of blessings.  How does White Cross work?

“White Cross had its beginnings during WW1, when many church women assisted the American Red Cross by providing surgical dressings, bandages, and other medical supplies. The ‘White Cross Service League’ was organized after the war to support Baptist mission. White Cross was embraced by American Baptist congregations throughout the United States. Through White Cross gifts, church members provide urgently needed supplies that cannot be purchased with limited mission budgets.  The need for both funds and practical items given through White Cross is greater than ever.  American Baptists are generous and caring people with a true heart for missions.”  (National/International Ministries AMC USA brochure)

For over 50 years I’ve been rolling these bandages, along with many other women from FBC.  Each year we are asked to help, by International Ministries, to supply items needed by our missionaries.  What happens to the bandages when we get them rolled?  The bandages are boxed and mailed to the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.
where they are packed (along with bandages from churches all across the US) and shipped to 10 of our partner hospitals in the Congo.  This is expensive for we have to pay the shipping.  (Last year we made 100 bandages) The postage was $28.52 plus 75 cents a pound to ship them on to the Congo.  Are these stripes of old sheets worth to money to ship them to the Congo?  Yes.

One missionary wrote in an email that, “Every time I go on supervision visits to the Baptist hospitals in Vanga, Sala, Kikongo, Boko, Moanza, Kipata, Nselo, Sona Bata, Nsonga Mapangu., Mulolo, or Bandunduville, I visit the room where White Cross supplies are stored. Usually the shelves are mostly empty, and the staff plead for more supplies.  They will soon all be full!  Packed into those boxes (bandages and supplies) is the fragrance of the prayers that follow this shipment and the distinct reminder to our doctors, nurses, and patients, that they are being remembered.  For servants of God working in far flung and difficult corners of God’s Congo world, that’s feeling money cannot buy.  All of us say THANK YOU for the gift of White Cross.”

Some to the uses for these rolled bandages are:  post-operative dressings, dipped in plaster for casts, around the shoulder for a sling, to make a tourniquet, etc.  They are also used to hang from a screenless window or door to keep flying insects out and let in a cool breeze, attached to a nail in the wall to hold IV fluids, etc.

But most important is the gift of love from our ladies as we share our energy, our money, our time, rolling these bandages. Everyone is invited to come join us March 1 to roll all these strips into bandages.

ABW February Update

by Norma Gunter

My copy of the SEASON magazine arrived just in time for the February Mission and Service report.  It was rewarding to see that our 2017 M.O.P. (Mission Outreach Project) for a 4-WD vehicle for the Aragon families use in their mission work in Mexico went far over the goal of $6.000.  According to the Seasons Honor Roll of Churches for Jan. 1 to Dec. 3l, 2017 $14,393.33 was received. (Page 13).  Also our SPECIAL PROJECT for 2017, Sunny Day Leadership and Activities Center Furnishings for the Meeting Spaces, goal of $12,000 was met with $16,893.25.  PTL.  God is good. This project was for a new building at Camp Cowen.

This year, 2018, our M.O.P. is Trees from Zechariah 3 for South Africa, with a goal of $6,000.  The money contributed to this project will help train, equip and supply people to run local fruit and nut tree grafting nurseries for local profit, nutrition, environment improvement and sustainability in South Africa. Our American Baptist International Ministries Medical Missionaries Drs. Rick and Anita Gutierrez will manage this project.

The SPECIAL PROJECT for 2018 is new roofing for the lodges at Parchment Valley Conference Center and has a goal of $12,000.

Other information found in SEASONS magazine is the date for upcoming West Virginia American Baptist Women events.  The first being the Third Annual Women’s Camp at Camp Cowen April 13-15, 2018.  The focus is “Better Together” and the speakers are Rev. Jana Stoner and Jillene Narraway.  The theme scripture is Ephesians 4.  Ladies, 18 to 95, you are invited to join them for the journey as they grow, learn and share on being “Better Together.”  The cost is $45 for the weekend.  Call 304-840-1482 or email kasey.madden@icloud.com to register.  Take a friend and enjoy an early spring at Camp Cowen.

Have a blessed Valentine’s Day.  Stay warm.

ABW January Update

by Norma Gunter

Virginia Holmstrom, Executive Director of the American Baptist Women’s Ministries, wrote in her letter, December 2017, “I Believe…I believe in the deep passion for mission that motivates American Baptist women to be the hands and feet of Christ in their churches, communities, and world.”

“I believe in Christ-centered mission of ABWM to encourage and empower women and girls to serve God.  Further, I believe that God created every person with unique giftedness and purpose, and you and I are called to encourage and empower them to live their lives for God’s good.”

“I believe that when AB women  welcome the uniqueness of one another—marveling at the differences we each bring to these ministries—our beloved community will reverberate with the love and grace of Jesus Christ, and the whole world will move a bit closer to peace.”

American Baptist Women’s Ministries new brochure is broken down in three categories, CHRIST-CENTERED- ENCOURAGING & EMPOWERING WOMEN & GIRLS-SERVING GOD.  Under Christ-Centered is EVENTS-ABWM offers many opportunities for women to get together in conferences, retreats and online events.  The other subject under Christ-Centered is RESOURCES-ABWM provides resources for ministry with women and girls.  The resources include print, downloads, podcasts, blogs and other networking tools.

Under Encouraging & Empowering Women and Girls is LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT and AB GIRLS.  Leadership Development-ABWM is committed to helping women find and develop their leadership potential.  (This year the West Virginia ABWM had several programs on leadership and our own Joyce Mills taught one session which can be seen on UTube.) AB GIRLS-Girls are leaders too, they are our future leaders.  This program offers girls an opportunity for growth and development into women of God.  (At one time FBC had a Guild Girls program.  All we need is a lady or two to step up and organize one for our young ladies.)

Under Serving God is MISSION EXPERIENCES,-ADVOCACY-WOMEN & GIRLS MISSION FUND.  MISSION EXPERIENCES.  In person and online, ABWM offers a wealth of opportunities to experience and learn about mission.  Hands-on mission projects, mission trips around the world & the USA help women expand their knowledge, learning how to serve God.  ADVOCACY-ABWM empowers women to become involved in advocating on issues that impact women and girls.  WOMEN & GIRLS MISSION FUND-This fund is used to provide life changing opportunities for women and girls in the US and around the world. (The ABWM is asking for women to partner with them with a monthly gift of $10 or more.  (They can be reached at www.abwministries.org)

HAPPY NEW YEAR from FBC ABWM.  Don’t forget our missionaries and their families in your prayers.

ABW December Update

by Norma Gunter

Thanksgiving is over and we, wives, mothers, daughters, grandmothers (all women) enter into the most busy season of the year. The first thing in December at FBC is the Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering, our fourth and final American Baptist Churches USA offering this year. Our ministers and missionaries have given their lives to serve the Lord and this offering is a little over and above gift at this time of the year. My good friends, Rev. Bill and Cora Withers are gone now but this offering brings back to me memories of their service to the Lord and their friendship. Bill sang at my dad’s funeral and Cora went to nursing school with me. I still miss them.

The last Sunday in November I met a visiting older missionary couple, on my way to the elevator, who worshiped with us in the morning service. They said they minister with struggling churches and plant new churches across the US. They are working now with a struggling church in Florida. We never know who we are worshiping with.

When talking to Joyce Mills recently she suggested you might like to know more about the missionary we support, Debbie Mulneix’s, new role. She was planning to retire in 2017 but was offered a new job with ABC USA International Ministries. The following article is from “Mission Matters In The Mountain State” Fall 2017 issue from The Office of Mission Support of the WVBC.

“Debbie Mulneix has been asked to take a new missionary role. As a regional missionary to Asia and Southeast Asia, she will work with Leslie Turley and Ben Chan to strengthen relationships with partners in the region. Debbie’s main responsibility will be to provide training to churches in Asia and in the US to send volunteers and short-term mission teams to enrich this cross-cultural ministry experience and to prepare their hearts and skills to become global servants.”  She will also assist the two area directors in providing care and service arrangements to their special assistants, volunteers who regularly travel to specific countries to help with programming and projects, A unique part of her new responsibilities will be to organize small groups to accompany her as she visits each partner. These Groups may be educational groups or work groups, as is appropriate at the time.”

Last week I received a letter from Debbie where she shared about her new job and plans she has. She wrote, “I am so pleased to announce that I have begun my new role as Regional Missionary for Asian Partners. The great thing about the change is that the job is relating to the people I have been working within the past, plus several additional groups! Each time I travel overseas, I plan to take a group of volunteers to meet these partners and experience what it is like to be a Christian in a foreign country. If you have never gone to another country on a mission trip, or if you are starting a new passport because there are no more Visa stamp pages, I would love to have you join me in a trip. There are several of us working on these “Friendship Mission Trips” and we already have 6 planned for 2018. I cannot do this alone. I need people to come alongside me: to partner with me and the rest of the teams in sincere prayer. I’m also asking families to be involved through financial partnership.” This would be a great opportunity for someone from FBC to go on a mission trip.

Well another year is almost gone. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the American Baptist Women of FBC.