LYNCHBURG, Va. — Fall colors and bright sunshine highlighted the Nov. 1-3 Women’s Get-Away, an annual event sponsored by Woman’s Missionary Union of Virginia, which this year drew almost 800 women to Eagle Eyrie Baptist Conference Center around the theme, “Connect, Commit, Celebrate.”
Women of all ages celebrated their connection as women, as sisters in Christ, and with God through worship led by the Logan Jones Band. The band encouraged and unleashed the creative spirit as the praise of hundreds of women’s voices lifted high in both English and Spanish.
Keynote speaker Cindy Finley challenged the group to spend time in Scripture, removing the veils that keep them separated from God’s purposes in their lives.
Missionary Annette Hall shared evidence of God’s work around the world through the power of telling the biblical story.
Stories of God’s work in the lives of women, told by national WMU president Debby Akerman, encouraged participants to hold on as they wait for God’s timing.
The gathering honored the work of Chaplain Service Prison Ministry of Virginia with a dramatization by Lynn Litchfield of an inmate looking for hope and responded by giving $6,000 and almost 500 toiletry kits for the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women.
More than 20 breakout sessions encouraged the group to commit to mission opportunities through Operation Inasmuch, Project Ruth and the Standing Rock Indian Reservation; to caring for others suffering behind bars, being trafficked or with dementia; to learn something new like liturgical dance, self-defense, financial peace or Bible storying; to trust God on a deeper level through prayer, waiting and times of grief and stress; to connect with other cultures through Chinese and Latina sisters; and to connect with the next generation through love languages, touch conversations and relating to young women through myMission.
The women were challenged to connect and commit beyond the weekend experience through training, events and mission opportunities listed with each breakout description.
Meanwhile, the 113th annual meeting of WMUV, held between the two identical Get Away sessions, celebrated the 125th anniversary of WMU and the 100th birthday of Girls in Action. President Pat Wright convened her first business session which included her reelection and the election of Betty Lou Jackson as vice-president/secretary.
National president Akerman reminded the assembly that the stories of national WMU and Virginia WMU have been intertwined from the beginning in Richmond. She declared, “It is a God-authored story that lives on because the final chapter has not yet been written — fresh stories are always blossoming as a new generation takes on the cause of Christ.”
This was evidenced in the executive report by staff as they introduced the next generations of children, teen and young adult women leaders — passing the torch from eldest to youngest.
Other memorable moments of the weekend were Wright popping out of a giant birthday cake, Latina women prayer walking by candlelight, handmade world crafts, a variety of ages of girls and women, inspiring and challenging speakers and recognition of missionaries.
Next year’s Women’s Get-Away is set for Nov. 7-9.
Cathy Banton is promotion and services administrator for Woman’s Missionary Union of Virginia.