AMERICAN BAPTIST WOMEN’S SUNDAY
September 19, 2010
We are planning a very special program for you on September 19 involving a number of women from the church. Our special guest this Sunday will be Debbie Kelsey, a missionary from Padua, Italy who works in the field of Human Trafficking along with her husband, Jim. Debbie will share her experiences with us via DVD, as she cannot be with us in person due to other commitments in Ohio that Sunday. Debbie came into the field rather reluctantly, after meeting with Lauran Bethell, a pioneer in the field of Human Trafficking. When God continued to open doors for Debbie to talk to women in red light districts, Debbie realized God was calling her and preparing her for a new ministry focus to provide training and encouragement to prostituted women in Italy. Debbie and Jim minister to women, many of who are Africans whom have been trafficked or prostituted.
The International Labour Organization reports that at least 12.3 million adults and children worldwide are in forced labor, bounded labor, and commercial sexual servitude at any given time and that 56% of all forced labor victims are women and girls.
After drug trafficking, human trafficking is tied with illegal arms trade as the second largest criminal industry in the world, and the U.S. Department of State estimates that in this year it will become the number one crime worldwide.
If you are a woman attending Crooked Creek, you are an American Baptist Woman, part of a proud heritage of women around the state, the country, and Puerto Rico. Besides programs for women, there are programs for AB-GIRLS and Young Adults.
The national American Baptist Women's Ministries mission is to provide vision, training, and resources to women and girls in American Baptist churches.
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.
As servant leaders, we serve American Baptist churches by encouraging existing vital ministries with women and girls and empowering churches to build such ministries.
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.
AB GIRLS Covenant
Remembering the words of Christ, who said,
"I am the light of the world," and also
"You are the light of the world"
to grow in Christ
to share my gifts of time and money, talents and prayer, and
to serve with others in God's world,
So that the Light of Life may shine through me.
American Baptist Women's Ministries became a national organization 1951, with the formation of the National Council of American Baptist women. But women's ministries in our denomination began long before 1951. For well over a century, women have been strong partners in the American Baptist family-raising money for missions at home and abroad, sending missionaries, and ministering in local churches and communities.
Through the years, women have shaped their ministries to meet emerging needs. The Woman's Baptist Society, organized in 1871 (the forerunner of the Woman's American Baptist Foreign Mission Society), focused on women in other lands. The Women's American Baptist Home Mission Society, formed in 1909, centered on evangelism in the United States. The World Wide Guild was established in 1915 to train, inspire, and empower girls for Christian ministry and leadership; it became a program of Educational Ministries. In 1992, AB Women's Ministries affirmed and accepted all responsibility for the girls' ministry and organized it as AB GIRLS.
The Meaning Behind Our Logo
The logo symbol for American Baptist Women’s Ministries is biblical. The woman depicted in the logo embodies the New Testament women who were among the first to know and believe that Jesus Christ is God’s son. They encountered the cross; their commitment deepened. Commitment leads to the waters of baptism. The woman steps from her baptismal waters confident in her belief in Christ and in her God-given talents and abilities. She carries the lighted lamp, serving the Christ of the empty cross, the light of the world.
The symbol portrays unity. The cross resembles the cross in the American Baptist Churches logo. AB Women’s Ministries is part of the larger church body. The water, symbolizing baptism, unites Christians. The water also symbolizes the oceans and rivers of the earth that connect us with sisters and brothers around the world and reminds us of our global interdependence.
The symbol is filled with life. In the cross there is new life in Jesus Christ. Water sustains physical life. The living water in the person of Jesus Christ is life. The woman, a life-giver herself, carries the light and lift of Jesus into the world.