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OPINION

'Story lives on' at WMU sessions

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NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- With the theme "The Story Lives On," Woman's Missionary Union will hold its Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting June 17-18 in New Orleans.
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Missionary testimonies, music led by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary staff and students and theme interpretations by Aaron House and Piercing Word Ministry will highlight the WMU sessions.

"Sharing ideas, learning new ways to be involved in missions, and hearing stories of how God is at work through missions efforts around the world are all a part of these two days in New Orleans," Wanda Lee, WMU national executive director, said. "Join us to experience it all and find renewal for you and your church in helping equip future missions leaders."

Featured speakers will include Lee, author of the 2012 WMU emphasis book, "The Story Lives On: God's Power Throughout Generations"; David Crosby, pastor of First Baptist Church in New Orleans; Jay and Kathy Shafto, International Mission Board field personnel; Damian Emetuche and Stacey Smith, North American Mission Board field personnel; and Debby Akerman, national WMU president.

WMU will meet in the La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, from 3-7 p.m. on Sunday, June 17, and all day Monday, June 18, beginning at 9 a.m. The Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting follows June 19-20, also at the convention center.

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Breakout sessions will be offered both days on a variety of topics, including WMU's Project HELP: Human Exploitation, which addresses the human exploitation issues of bullying, human trafficking, the media's exploitation of children and families, pornography and the exploitation of natural resources for personal gain. Other sessions will include WorldCrafts, which develops sustainable fair-trade business for impoverished populations; using social media in missions; and leading missions experiences in the church for all ages.

"Leaders who are anticipating what's coming in September for Royal Ambassadors and Challengers will especially be interested in attending conferences about leading boys in missions," Lee said. "We have been working hard all year on these new resources as we incorporate boys back into our missions programming. These are exciting days as we see God answering our prayers for a coordinated missions focus across all age levels in our churches."

Also, IMB field personnel will lead a two-hour training session on Chronological Bible Storying and how to use this approach on missions trips and in sharing the Scriptures with those who cannot read.

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Participants are encouraged to bring items to donate and sort for area ministries, such as items for hygiene kits for Global Maritime Ministries which ministers to seafarers and port workers; snack pack items for Baptist Friendship House, a ministry offering transitional housing for women with children, various programs and classes, and outreach to the homeless; and items for Inward Ministry, an outreach to women working in the sex industry on Bourbon Street.

In addition, gifts cards could readily be used by all of these ministries. Check wmu.com for a detailed list of needed items.

WMU's Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting is free; preregistration is not required. Onsite registration opens at 2p.m. June 17. Visit www.wmu.com for more information and updates.

Julie Walters is corporate communications team leader for national WMU.

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

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