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WMU groups in Missouri, Montana begin partnership

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CITY OF JEFFERSON (MWMU) – Thirteen Missourians, including ten Missouri WMU (MWMU) staff and board members, recently attended the Montana Southern Baptist Women’s (MTSBW) MPower event.

The event was missions-focused, connecting women with co-op missionaries, fellowship, idea sharing and worship time. During the two-day event, MWMU board members and staff shared ideas for missionary work, compassionate ministries, leadership development and resources.

JEFFERSON CITY – Left to right, Mandy McGraw, president of Montana WMU; Tami Park, executive director of UGM of Montana; Jan Turner, president of UGM of Missouri; Joining the Montana Southern Baptist Women MPower event was Cheryl Stahlman, executive director of Missouri WMU. (photos MWMU)

Age-specific consultants provided leadership training by demonstrating live mission classes for preschoolers, children, and teens.

Heather Keller, National MWMU Consultant for MWMU Children’s Ministry/Students, Sarah Schmitt, Consultant for My Mission/Student, and Beverly Hilton, Northwest (Mo.) Regional Consultant, hosted an Acten conference that led the first Acten group to meet statewide in Montana. They plan to continue meeting through Zoom and other online platforms.

Resource demonstrations highlighting various aspects of UMM, compassionate ministries and leadership development were provided by members of the bi-state team. Joan and Bill Dotson provided a WMU Bookstore to make WMU materials available for purchase during the event.

Worship times included keynote speaker Sandee Hedger, wife of Rick Hedger, prayer times for missionaries whose birthdays are listed in Missions Mosaic, and special music provided by Cheryl Stahlman, Travis Webb and Tommy and Sarah Schmitt.

Rick Hedger, Church Multiplier director for the Mo. Baptist Convention, emphasized the importance of missions beginning at a young age. “The purpose of the missions is to learn more about Jesus, to say yes to Jesus for their heart and their life and maybe, just maybe, God will call little Johnny somewhere else in the world.”

As MWMU President Jan Turner spoke on “My Place in Missions – What Can I Do?” she pointed out that “people crave relationships. Showing someone else that you care about them and what they’re going through makes a big difference. Turner shared ideas for small acts of kindness that can be replicated anywhere one lives.

Missouri has worked with other states in the past to provide resources, training, encouragement and financial support. During this meeting, the leaders of the MWMU and the MTSBW signed a partnership agreement, the first of its kind in the history of the MWMU.

According to Tami Park, executive director of Montana WMU, the intention is to “advance the missions of encouraging the involvement of healing missions and discipleship in their state.” After the historic document was signed, Park presented cutting boards engraved with the outlines of Montana and Missouri to commemorate the event. This partnership agreement will continue until the Missouri Baptist Convention’s partnership with the Montana Southern Baptist Convention ends.

Southern Montana Baptist women will join MWMU in the 100th Anniversary Missions Celebration April 14-15, 2023 at First Baptist Church, Poplar Bluff. They will participate in various Missouri mission projects on their journey to Poplar Bluff.