WMA Report to the BMA of Texas meeting in Waxahachie, TX
on November 5, 2020
Given by TX WMA President, Johnnie Ross
Good afternoon. Your State WMA began the year with great plans and high hopes. After the state meeting last November plans for the GMA Houseparty were immediately begun. As the officers planned for a “disastrous” Houseparty for 2020, filled with tornados, earthquakes, fires, and floods to follow the theme “We Won’t Be Shaken,” they encountered one disaster no one considered, a global pandemic. The officers had planned creative ways to show how the storms and disasters of life need not shake our faith, but instead, Texas GMA’s experienced making tough decisions, developing inventive ways to hold meetings and continue to have GMA’s and even holding online interviews to choose Miss and Jr Miss GMA’s. Promotion of GMA’s has been refocused toward the ideals the girls strive to live out – Prayer, Faith, Love, Service and Bible Study.
The state WMA theme for 2019–2020 has been “Sweet Hour of Prayer.” As we embraced this theme, our first and second vice-presidents were busy about making plans for the Spring Conference and the Fall Retreat. We had to make another tough decision to cancel the Spring Conference on “The Miracles of Jesus” to be held in Lubbock. All the plans had been completed, speakers had prepared their sessions addressing eight of Jesus’ miracles, and travel arrangements were made. However, we know the Lord holds the plans for this retreat in the palm of His hand, and we can eagerly anticipate the hope of having it in the coming year. Our deep desire is to enjoy a weekend of fellowship, bible study and worship with ladies from West Texas churches and the entire state, renewing the unity of ministry state-wide.
Our Sunbeam Houseparty was also cancelled, but several officers and counselors were able to meet virtually. The Sunbeams will continue the theme of “Countdown” and the Water for Christ project. All Texas Sunbeams have received a “Living Water” packet which centers on the story of the woman at the well and the living water Jesus gave her, as well as promoting the project.
In late July, the state WMA officers began the discussion of whether or not to hold the Fall Renewal Conference. Northside Baptist Church of Conroe had graciously extended the invitation for the conference and was still willing to host the event even amid the unsteady feelings associated with Covid-19. We decided to promote the September 12th event throughout August and if there was enough interest, we would continue our plans. If not, we would have close to two weeks to cancel. Praise the Lord, we were able to continue the event with approximately sixty in attendance. We had breakout sessions about prayer in several situations of life and several different types of prayers that we are commanded to participate in. A powerful prayer addressed in the keynote address was that we should be “trusting that You (God) will make all things right, if I surrender to Your will, so that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with You forever in the next.”
The Texas WMA committed their support to the Martha Johnson School in Huejutla, Mexico, for the enlargement of their school building. Although Martha never saw the actual building completed, it continues to be successful under the direction of her oldest son, our BMA missionary, Bro. Grady Johnson. As of our meeting today $10,151.78 has been given toward the Martha Johnson School.
We were blessed by the addition of a new WMA group at the state meeting. The ladies of Iglesia Bautista Nueva Renacer in Nacogdoches petitioned the state WMA for membership and were welcomed into fellowship.
I am so very honored to work with the ladies who serve through WMA, GMA and Sunbeams. And I want to make sure all you pastors know what great contributions the ladies of your churches make to the local church. If your church doesn’t have a WMA, encourage your ladies to begin a group. We officers are committed to encouraging our churches in any way we can. You may find out more about your Texas WMA at our website. www.texaswma.com. I have cards out on the WMA table in the display area. Please feel free to take one and contact me. I will help your church with WMA in any way possible.
Our theme for the coming year is going to be, “Shipwrecked,” based on Acts, Chapter 27. In verse 10 Paul warned of trouble ahead. In verse twenty-one Paul told them you should have listened to the Lord. Even though the ship ran aground, no lives were lost. God often allows us to be shipwrecked, but He wants us to know what’s written in Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.”
Ladies, you can read about what we’re doing each month in the Baptist Progress, and you can receive newsletter updates via email. Be involved. Be informed. Participate. Your church and your association needs you.
PASTOR AND DEACON APPRECIATION
The writer of Hebrews was inspired to write in Hebrews 12:1, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight,…and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” During the realities of the past six months, our pastors and deacons in our churches have been faced with decisions and challenges never before encountered, challenges which involve literally the health of their precious church families. Our pastors and deacons have spent countless hours in prayer asking the Lord to help them balance church activities and ministry so as to safeguard the health of their congregation, while finding ways of ministry that would not neglect the spiritual needs of their people.
Our BMA pastors have sought the Lord and the wise counsel of medical personnel and consulted together to meet these needs, and in doing so, they have demonstrated before us a faith and a testimony that will inspire us throughout our lives. How faithful they have been!
In strategizing for ways to honor them during Pastor and Deacon Appreciation in October, we are challenged to plan gifts or activities that will honor the guidelines of keeping all safe from exposure to Covid-19, yet show them our love and gratitude for their extraordinary leadership.
The following ideas are ones that every ladies group can expand and use their creativity to implement:
Card showers are always deeply appreciated. Including a gift card that can be used online is especially helpful during this time.
Creating a visual presentation of the pastor or deacons and their families that can be shown in recorded services always becomes a treasured gift.
Have a vehicle parade by the homes of the pastor and deacons. Decorate cars or other vehicles to celebrate them and their families.
Have a testimonial service in which volunteers share special times of blessing about the pastor and deacons and what they mean in their lives.
Give gifts such as books, home décor, movies, and other items that can be enjoyed by their families and can even be ordered online to be shipped to their homes.
If your church is holding in-person services at this time, then plan a time of testimony and honor that will highlight the church’s appreciation for their pastor and each deacon, while observing the protocols for safety that are currently recommended.
May the Lord richly bless you as you honor your pastor and deacons this October!
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