KANSAS CITY – Once again the Missouri Woman’s Missionary Union (MWMU) was caught “tooting” their horns, but this time it was at the Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) annual meeting in Kansas City, Oct. 28-30.
MWMU President Joan Dotson, complete in a period costume and hat, addressed the MBC stating, “Good morning! I am Annie Armstrong from Baltimore, Maryland! I have exciting news to tell you … .” Dotson went on to provide a brief history of the formation of WMU, including the fact that “Missouri was among the first states to be a part of the National WMU.” Then, part way through her speech, Dotson paused long enough for MWMU ladies in the crowd to join her in tooting their horns (party favors) in celebration and recognition of the 125th birthday of national WMU. Since the MWMU annual meeting and missions celebration in April, the Missouri WMU has not stopped praising God for 125 years of service together, Dotson told messengers.
She then reported that 28 new WMU age-level organizations started this year in Missouri. Just in the month of October, there were one Royal Ambassador (RA) Congress and three weekends of Girls in Action (GA) retreats held – all under WMU leadership with more than 1,000 RAs, GAs and leaders present. At each of these events, boys and girls were exposed to missions, had the opportunity to visit with – and pray for – missionaries and were challenged to live a missional lifestyle. Dotson concluded her address by reminding MBC attendees to stop by the WMU booth to register WMU groups online and check out materials on “Winning the War Against Pornography.”
The festive-looking MWMU booth included colorful kid cut-outs and a cupcake display. Serving in the booth and greeting guests were MWMU Executive Director Laura Wells, MWMU Preschool/Children/Student Missions Consultant Teri Broeker; MWMU Communications Consultant Stephanie Wolcott; Dotson and several other members. The booth served as an information station for those wanting curriculum for missions groups at their churches or who simply had questions regarding how to begin mission education programs in their churches. A table at the booth also displayed the “Winning the War Against Pornography” books and DVDs as well as bracelets being sold to help fund the staff at the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home Safe House. Besides literature and information distribution, a small side table with a laptop and printer was set up at the corner of the booth where MWMU leaders could officially register their groups and print certificates of recognition. After completing the online registration, a flag was pinned to a map of Missouri indicating the location of the church and official WMU group.
There are 142 churches and 309 WMU organizations registered thus far in Missouri. Even after 125 years, Missouri WMU is a vibrant, active and growing program throughout the state, Dotson said. Many missionaries, past and present, have been impacted by the gifts, prayers and love of the Missouri WMU. No wonder the MWMU deserves to “toot its horns.”