Approximately 30 women from the Women’s Missionary Societies of Mt. Pisgah, Reid Temple, and Mt. Moriah, along with two associates, converged on Mt. Moriah in Annapolis on Saturday, April 20, 2019, to sit under the tutelage of Dr. Shirley Cason Reed, International President, to discuss what it means to be a member of the WMS; what it requires; and what authority governs the WMS.
Dr. Reed took what possibly could have been a dry subject on a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning and added life and vigor to the discussion. From her very first words of welcome and expressions of appreciation for the invitation, the women and men were engaged. Whether she was talking about the first head of the WMS, Mother Sarah Allen or the duties and responsibilities of each office from President to Historiographer, no one lost interest. She discussed the Constitution and Bylaws of the WMS and the importance of every missionary having a clear understanding because they govern how we function.
Dr. Reed imparted knowledge while instilling a renewed sense of purpose and enthusiasm for mission work. She reminded us that every Christian is called to be a missionary, regardless of his or her membership in an organized missionary society. She reminded us that there is much work to be done beyond serving meals or maintaining a food pantry and clothes closet. People are hurting. People are looking to us--the church--to be about our Father’s business and to bring the love of Christ to them through missions.
Dr. Reed talked about the importance of training so that missionaries know what they are supposed to do and to be. She encouraged us to mentor young people, not only to carry on when we’re gone, but to get involved and serve side-by-side with us right now. She stressed the importance of electing people of integrity and character to the various offices. Dr. Reed emphasized the need to have something to keep people engaged once they come into the church, as well as the WMS. She touched upon the importance of evaluating the image of the WMS, how others perceive us, and not resting on our laurels after completing the evaluation, but to act on what we learn.
Dr. Reed told us that it's time to strengthen our commitment, re-energize our passion, and reignite the work so that we can uplift hurting, downtrodden people. It’s time to do programs that are sustainable and not to simply make promises. It’s time to step out of our comfort zones within the walls of our respective churches and to go into the communities, to the prisons, to the streets, to the world and do what thus saith the Lord. She reminded us that to do true mission work, we must have a heart for the people, for service.
As a foundation from which to build programs and do effective mission work, Dr. Reed highlighted the 17 sustainable goals of the WMS. She suggested concentrating on a couple of the goals every few months.
Dr. Reed concluded by talking about the essence of it all – relationship – with God, with one another, and with those we serve.
The workshop was spirited, with lots of thought-provoking information. It was truly a blessing to have the International President not think it robbery to spend her Saturday morning reminding us of our purpose – serving God through our service to others.