Archives For ministers’ wives

Building them up

ib2newseditor —  December 28, 2017
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In September, a group of seven Illinois pastors’ wives navigated the New York subway every day to get to the Graffiti 2 headquarters in the Bronx, where they assisted with behind-the-scenes work needed to facilitate outreach programs for kids and adults. Photos by Andrea Hammond

Subway

Riding in the subway.

For Illinoisans who live outside the Chicago city limits—or don’t often visit—the hustle and bustle of New York City would likely bring on a good dose of culture shock.

For Terry Kenney, a pastor’s wife in Beardstown, her recent mission trip to the Big Apple brought back memories of her childhood in Chicago.

“New Yorkers do not think anything about walking” to get from place to place, said Kenney, whose husband, Brian, pastors First Southern Baptist Church in Beardstown. For the team of seven pastors’ wives from Illinois, navigating the city streets and the subway and taxis was a new, stretching experience. But a positive one.

“I never had a desire to go to New York,” Kenney said, “but now I’m going to take my husband back and let him see it.”

City reachers
The Illinois team was in the city to partner with Graffiti 2, a community ministry based in the South Bronx. Started a decade ago, Graffiti 2 is an offshoot of Graffiti Church, a Southern Baptist church planted in the early 1970s. The Graffiti ministries are grounded in a mission to meet the physical and spiritual needs of New Yorkers.

Toward that end, Graffiti 2 runs an after-school program for kids in the neighborhood, and also has started a jobs program that gives people the skills they need to learn and succeed in a career.

Standing in front of an intricate stained glass window in Graffiti’s new headquarters, the Illinois women watched one of Graffiti’s artisans at work at her sewing machine. The goods produced by Graffiti 2 artisans are sold through WorldCrafts, a fair-trade ministry of Woman’s Missionary Union.

Herself a seamstress, Kenney said it was nice to climb upstairs in the old church building and see where the artisans work, and hear about their needs. The Illinois team also helped Graffiti 2 with some administrative tasks resulting from their recent move to the building.

“We prayer-walked around their neighborhood in the South Bronx before meeting artisans and touring their new location,” said Andrea Hammond, a pastor’s wife from Grace Southern Baptist Church in Virden. “We experienced how they impact their community for Christ by finding out what their needs are, meeting them, then sharing Christ through those needs.”

Calling in common

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At the Graffiti 2 headquarters in the Bronx, artisans create fair-trade products and learn career skills.

Carmen Halsey came up with the idea for the New York mission trip as she was brainstorming ways to help pastors’ wives connect with one another. Inspired by the concept of “destination weddings,” Halsey, IBSA’s director of women’s missions and ministries, wanted to find a place that would let wives retreat to an attractive location, while also working together to fulfill a mission.

As they worked together on a large mailing project for Graffiti 2, Halsey said, the women had an opportunity to hear each other’s stories, and share their own. That was the special part, she said, watching the multi-generational group support each other and get to know one another.

“It’s a lonely job,” Terry Kenney said of being a pastors’ wife. There aren’t too many people you can confide in, she said, and the New York trip let the women open up to one another. That part of the trip was helpful for Ailee Taylor, who serves with her husband, Derrick, at NET Community Church, the congregation they planted in Staunton last year.

“I have not been a pastor’s wife for very long, and it is a group of women that I have not been around before,” she said. “In addition to learning and serving alongside the team at Graffiti 2, I was able to connect and grow alongside other women that share the role of pastors’ wives.”

The trip also had benefits that are transferable to her own ministry in Illinois.

“Even though New York is an urban environment, I learned things that apply to my rural environment,” Taylor said. “I also learned that we have a lot of things that we easily take for granted in Illinois.”

The mission trip was a renewing experience, she said, using decisive words for how she felt about returning to Illinois: “Filled, challenged, and fired up.”
For more information about upcoming missions opportunities for adults, students, and kids, go to IBSA.org/missions.

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Anita Renfroe

Christian comedian and communicator Anita Renfroe, will be the keynote speaker for two events for ministers’ wives at the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis.

Based on the theme, “Be Encouraged,” women’s events will include a Ministers’ Wives Luncheon, a Pastors’ Wives Conference, and a Women’s Expo that will be open prior to both events.

“A lot of churches are smaller churches, and ministers’ wives may not receive the encouragement they deserve,” said Vickie Munton, president of this year’s Ministers’ Wives Luncheon and the wife of FBC O’Fallon pastor Doug Munton.

“We hope this luncheon will help them feel encouraged and that they are not alone.”

Renfroe has been featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” “Dr. Phil,” CBS’s “The Early Show,” Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” and many other media outlets. Millions of people have viewed her YouTube video of her singing everything a mother says to her children in a single day to the tune of “The William Tell Overture” in just two minutes and 55 seconds.

She is also the author of “DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU: Kids, Carbs, and the Coming Hormonal Apocalypse.”

The luncheon is Tuesday, June 14, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Marriott St. Louis Grand-Majestic Ballroom. Luncheon tickets are $15 and can be purchased at www.lifeway.com/n/Product-Family/Ministers-Wives-Luncheon or by contacting Munton at dougmunton@gmail.com.

Renfroe also will speak during the Pastors’ Wives Conference, held during the morning session of the Pastors’ Conference on Monday, June 13, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Other speakers include:

• Selma Wilson, executive leader of organizational development at LifeWay Christian Resources, on “Owning Your Development”
• Trillia Newbell, director of community outreach at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, on “Leaning Into Our Changing Culture”
• Missionary Reese Ripken, on “Missional Matters in the Persecuted Church”
• Anne Graham Lotz, a speaker and author who is the daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, will lead in a prayer time based on her book, “The Daniel Prayer.”

The conference will be hosted in the Marriott St. Louis Grand-Majestic Ballroom. There is no cost for the event and registration is not required. Women who serve in any facet of local church leadership, missions and denominational work are invited to attend.

Pastors’ Wives Conference organizer Susie Hawkins emphasized her hope that Southern Baptist wives can get to know each other better.

“Southern Baptist men always know each other, but women not so much,” she said. “We want to pray and worship together, and to really encourage women in their roles as ministers’ wives.”

WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting

Sharing Christ by all means is the focus of this year’s Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) 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.”

“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,” Wanda S. Lee, executive director of national WMU said. “Then, by all means, let’s share Christ with those waiting to hear.”

On Sunday there will be 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.

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.

Get additional information about the meeting at wmu.com/missouri.

With reporting from Baptist Press

 

Ministers_WivesMINISTERS’ WIVES’ CONFERENCE | Christina Batchelor of Bethel Baptist in Princeton, Ill., celebrates a win for her table during the annual gathering of ministry spouses coinciding with the IBSA Pastors’ Conference. The ladies answered questions to determine which table had the most perfect pastors’ wives: Who wore a dress to church last Sunday? How many of you have ever directed your church’s Vacation Bible School? Who has sung a solo in the past year?

Busting stereotypes and being real proved to be the theme of the morning, as speaker Lynda Locke encouraged women to embrace who God has made them to be, and to celebrate how His grace has made an imprint on their lives. Locke, a pastor’s wife from Jacksonville, Ill., also talked about responding to hard times.

“Instead of acting like the world in fear in the middle of a crisis, I can respond with peace in Christ, knowing that every day in my life is part of His perfect plan for me.”