WMU fills position with McCaughan, revises bylaws
By Allen Palmeri
December 2, 2003
JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Women’s Missionary Union (WMU) Nov. 8 moved toward theological fidelity with the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC), revising a key section of their bylaws and electing Vivian McCaughan as their director with the MBC, filling a position that had been vacant for most of 2003.
Pending MBC Executive Board approval Dec. 8-9 of her new job description and title, McCaughan said she now will be serving as WMU / Women’s Missions and Ministry Specialist.
The WMU Board had been without an official representative in the Baptist Building since January, when Kathy Scott was part of a reduction in force. Scott continued on with the WMU voluntarily through the annual meeting in April, but from that time until to November, the position was not filled, McCaughan said.
WMU faithfulness to MBC theology has been a matter of concern for much of 2003, according to MBC Executive Director David Clippard, who wants to see the WMU and MBC move closer in both relationship and function. The WMU Board took up this question under the “Relationships" article of its constitution, voting in a new Article III, Section 3. The new language indicates the WMU shall cooperate with such state and national entities as determined by the Board of Directors, “with focus on" Missouri Baptist Convention/Southern Baptist Convention missions.
“We have made a major stride in trust and in bridge building," McCaughan said.
An important word in both her new title and in the new WMU bylaws speaks volumes about the future, McCaughan said. That word is missions.
“That’s what WMU stands for and has stood for historically, and we need to really accent that theme, that purpose, that drive," she said.
The WMU board-approved changes will be presented to voting members for ratification at the WMU’s annual meeting April 23-24 at First Baptist Church , Poplar Bluff .
The WMU theme for 2004 is “it’s all about missions." The Girls In Action (GA) retreats and the annual meeting in April all will come under that banner, McCaughan said.
Roy Spannagel, MBC associate director who is McCaughan’s supervisor on the church outreach team, said he is pleased with the ongoing dialogue between MBC leaders and the WMU.
“They’re taking steps in the right direction, and we are especially pleased with their decision to elect Vivian McCaughan as their WMU director," Spannagel said.