LYNCHBURG, Va. — Nearly one thousand women gathered at Eagle Eyrie Baptist Conference Center for fellowship, worship and learning at the annual WMUV Women’s Get-Away, Nov. 6-8.
The theme for this year’s Get-Away, “Masterpiece in the Making,” was centered on Ephesians 2:18-20: “For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.”
Artist and speaker Debbie Hannah Skinner incorporated her talent as a painter into her “art to heart” presentation. As she painted a watercolor landscape on stage, Skinner drew many parallels between God’s masterpieces and the masterpiece he wants to create in each one of us.
Skinner led the packed auditorium to proclaim in unison that, “The Lord is creating a beautiful masterpiece in me and through me.” She reminded the participants that just as the artist uses particular tools — brushes, paint, paper — God uses many tools to mold and shape us. The Bible is the tool God uses as the “detail brush,” with which he highlights areas in our lives that need attention.
Other tools he uses to perfect his masterpiece in us are time, training and teachers. God is creative and we as his image-bearer are also creative.
Skinner began her painting with broad strokes in pale colors, but slowly added more pigment and more detail throughout the session. At first our lives may not look like much, but God keeps adding layers of color and detail, until we become “His Masterpiece,” she said.
Skinner’s teaching was complemented by Immersed, whose tight harmonies by Lee Catherine Clayton and Cammie Shelatz were a blessing to hear. Keyboardist Lee Catherine wrote many of the songs that were performed. In addition to the worship times, the duo shared their testimonies and the stories behind their songs during a time of music and fellowship following the main sessions.
Each session offered participants the opportunity to attend three of the 20 conferences presented on a variety of topics. Subjects included how to get involved in various social ministries; mission opportunities; how to live a “green” life, including the role of community gardens in reducing hunger, ways to deepen your spiritual life, and a special conference for ministers’ wives.
One very popular conference, “Enhance Your Joy,” tickled everyone’s funny bone, as Peggy Bowens extolled the benefits of laughter as medicine, and through funny personal stories had folks laughing so hard they cried.
The WorldCrafts Bazaar was a popular site selling a variety of beautiful hand crafted items made by artisans from around the globe. Proceeds from the sale of WorldCrafts give artisans and their families hope for a better life.
Sandwiched between the back-to-back sessions of the Women’s Get-Away was the 109th annual meeting of the Woman’s Missionary Union of Virginia. This unique schedule allows women to attend both events. Participants come either Friday evening through Saturday afternoon or Saturday afternoon through Sunday lunch.
The annual meeting was held Saturday afternoon with President Ann Brown presiding. Executive Director/ Treasurer Laura McDaniel reported on the various ministries of the organization and recognized staff. The new and updated WMUV logo, replacing the original 1913 emblem, was revealed along with the restated core values and core competencies of WMUV. Special recognition was given to the 2009 Outstanding GA, the five State Panelists, and the 2010 Alma Hunt’s Amazing GA/CiA Group.
Nomie Derani, missionary to Muslim women, shared her heart for reaching Muslim women for the Kingdom and made participants aware of the unique struggles Muslim women face. The Oasis Friendship Center of Virginia is her avenue to provide support and encouragement to Muslim women by meeting needs and building relationships.
The offering collected during the annual meeting will help support her ministry.
Officers and members-at-large were elected. They are Ann Brown,president; Lucianne Warren, vice president/secretary; and members-at-large Marianna Boyer of Chesapeake, Susan Stone of Wakefield, Sarah Pelfrey of Fredericksburg and Abbie Duenckel of Mechanicsville.
In addition, Charlotte Wilmouth was honored as the 2009 Outstanding GA. The Outstanding GA is a girl in grades 4-6 who exhibits a missions lifestyle.
Also recognized were Angela Best, Eva Rettig, Sarah Peverill, Lyndsey Sinclair and Julia Jamison as State Panelists. Panelists are young women with a strong commitment to Christ and to missions.
Massaponax Baptist Church’s Children in Action Group were named the 2010 Alma Hunt’s Amazing GA/CiA Group. This Amazing CiA group was recognized for their heart for missions and was presented a $250 scholarship to enable them to engage in a mission service project to impact their world for Christ.
The restated core values and competencies includes this mission statement: “Our mission is for every person to join Jesus Christ where he is at work in the world.”
• Christ’s command to live a missional lifestyle.
• Christ’s calling on a woman’s life.
• Spiritual giftedness of all believers.
• Development of leaders.
• Responsibility for social issues.
• Resources to help women, students and children discover their spiritual gifts and connect their gifts with their passions as they share Christ’s love.
• Strategies for teaching children, students and adults the importance of joining Christ where He is at work in the world.
• Meaningful experiences to deepen relationships with Christ.
• Connecting points for practical mission ideas and opportunities.
• Leadership opportunities for women, students and children to develop their abilities.