• "...to bring good news to the poor... proclaim release to the captives... let the oppressed go free..."
  • (Luke 4:18-19)
  • 2021-2023 Ministry Focus: Let the Walls Fall Down

    The 2021-23 Ministry Focus is "Let the Walls Fall Down"
     
    In 2019, the American Baptist Women’s Ministries (ABWM) national board deeply reflected on the Ministry Focus for the next few years. They desired to implement a Ministry Focus that expressed our hopes for ABWM to thrive as a transformational space for spiritual growth and unity. The focus needed to be broad enough to inspire our sisterhood, challenge us to take necessary risks to move forward, and help us grow internally and externally. We wanted our witness in the world to be kingdom-building and life-affirming. We considered our history the need to continue championing women’s equity, wellness, and wholeness. In 2019-2021, after prayer, the Ministry Focus was determined to be Sister Seeking Wholeness.
     
    In 2020, we continued to discuss our hopes for the future. We also examined ways to remove barriers limiting experience and relevance for all women in our intergenerational and diverse ministry. We did not know COVID-19 would reveal new weaknesses in our health systems. We did not know COVID-19 would cause losses in our communities, country, and throughout the world. Like so many, ABWM was underprepared for the devastating impact of a pandemic on women and children due to inadequate support systems layered on top of joblessness and homeschooling children. We did not know that our country would be more divided over issues of race and equity. And yet, in the midst of the unknown, we saw communities unite and witnessed the resilience of AB women and our ministries. We reset and reimagined our ministries and found new ways to support each other, continue to deliver relevant programming and events, and provide needed resources.
     
    Our 2021-23 Ministry Focus, Let the Walls Fall Down, calls for us to be introspective and reflective and a call to action for a better future. The statement initiates a personal introspective inquiry causing us to examine the boundaries that we build individually and also collectively and corporately. It begs our hearts to reflect on missed and new opportunities to stand up for the voiceless, isolated, and marginalized. It invites us to take inventory of the missing voices, intentionally be inclusive, and take a risk with God. It moves us forward with joy, love, and kindness as we trust in our faith. It encourages us to tear down and climb over walls that keep the body of Christ divided, numbs our fellowship, and narrows our understanding of neighbor, friend, and family.
     
    As we thought about the Ministry Focus for 2021-23, these are some of the questions we raised.
    • What can we learn from Jesus’ earthly ministry?
    • How does or can our own life experiences and/or cultural filters and/or biases impact how we value other people and their equal access to participation in the fullness of our society?
    • How do we understand loving God, Self and Neighbor?
    • How does this reflection impact our vision of ministry to self (self-care) and others?
     
    Let the Walls Fall Down is personal and corporate, causing us to search our lives, our spaces, and especially our hearts to remove walls and barriers that we have erected. It gives us new opportunities for application in our ministries.
     
    As we Let the Walls Fall Down, we pray that we will experience more unity and sisterly care for each other. It is our hope that this Ministry Focus will inspire us to release ourselves from spiritual, physical, social, emotional, and financial barriers. We pray that we will recognize and remove barriers that divide the body of Christ and limit our sisterhood. On the other side of Let the Walls Down, we envision our sisterhood with a new boldness to engage and empower women and girls to live Christ-centered lives. We will execute our key MISSION Focus with holy wisdom and enthusiasm. Finally, we trust, Let the Walls Fall Down will be a catalyst for healing, forgiveness, mercy, joy, and a fresh witness to God’s agape love.
     
     
    Our Key Mission Focus include:
    • Prevention and education of domestic violence and sex trafficking
    • Immigration
    • Cross-cultural relationships
    • Economic empowerment
    • Building Beloved Community
    • Developing leaders
    • Advocacy
    • UN Sustainable Goals 2030. 
     
    Each of the scriptures helps us think about how to implement our Key MISSION FOCUS locally, regionally, and nationally so that all ABC-USA churches have thriving women’s ministries that curate and execute our mission and vision purpose, and core values.
     
    Mission - American Baptist Women’s Ministries is a Christ-centered ministry with a commitment to encourage and empower women and girls to serve God.

    Vision - Every American Baptist church shall have a vital women's ministry program that empowers women and girls to become and develop as God's person, build God's faith community, and serve God's world.

    Purpose - As servant leaders, we serve American Baptist churches by encouraging existing vital ministries with women and girls and empowering churches to build such ministries.

    Core Values - Our ministry is based on certain non-negotiable values that form a foundation and criteria for all that we do. 
    • We provide Christ-centered ministries.
    • We strive for excellence in all we do.
    • We practice faithful stewardship.
    • We are relevant for women today.
    • We assure that our diversity (clergy/lay, age, geographic, and racial/ethnic representation) as a denomination is represented in our ministries.
    • We affirm and encourage the use of spiritual gifts.
    • We recognize the worth of all women and girls.
    • We value our American Baptist family relationships.
    • We work to provide solutions for the social justice challenges and opportunities facing women and girls.
     

    Theme Scriptures: 
    The scriptures connected to the Ministry Focus, Let the Walls Fall Down, include Micah 6:8, Isaiah 1:17, John 13:34, and Ephesians 2:14. Each scripture helps us think about how to implement our key MISSION FOCUS locally, regionally, and nationally.
     
    He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.-- Micah 6:8, NIV
     
    Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. -- Isaiah 1:17, NIV

    A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. -- John 13:34, NIV

    For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, -- Eph 2:14, NIV



    Resources
    Logo Resources - Through American Baptist Women’s Ministries CafePress store, you can purchase products imprinted with our new logo! Available products include women clothing, stationery, bags, and more! There are many items to choose from! Price varies with the item selected. http://www.cafepress.com/abwomensministries


    Upcoming Webinars: 
     
    Understanding and Taking Action Against Human Trafficking
    October 7, 20219 PM EDT/6 PM PDT
    Presenter: Kate Lee, Executive Director, New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking

    God is Preserving You
    October 21, 2021; 9 PM EDT/6 PM PDT
    Presenter: Linnita Hosten, award-winning speaker and student success strategist

    Debunking Domestic Violence Myths Through A Biblical Lens
    November 4, 20219 PM EDT/6 PM PDT
    Presenter: Tara AdayDirector of Prevention and Education, Safe Haven Ministries

    God is in the Details
    November 18, 2021; 9 PM EST/6 PM PST
    Presenter: Elaine Cody, Life Coach, Cody Clarity Coaching

    Past Webinar Recordings

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