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WMU notes benefits of RA, Challenger role
Wanda S. Lee, executive director of the Woman's Missionary Union, gives a report during the morning session of the 155th Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in New Orleans.  Photo by Van Payne.
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Posted on Jun 21, 2012 | by Julie Walters

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NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Missions education and involvement for boys, a new tagline and social media were the focus of Woman's Missionary Union's report to the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting.

WMU Executive Director/Treasurer Wanda Lee said the return to WMU of responsibilities for Royal Ambassadors and Challengers will benefit local churches, providing a more coordinated curriculum for children in missional discipleship and streamlining requests for resources.

"Over the last few years, NAMB [North American Mission Board] and WMU staffs have collaborated on resources for Girls in Action and Royal Ambassadors, but this transition presents the opportunity to do even more," Lee said in her June 19 report. "Beginning in September, each month RA and GA will share the same missionary feature and Bible story, but the teaching plans and overall look and feel will be very gender-specific.

"We recognize there is such a short window of opportunity for shaping young minds to be missions-focused and we are fully committed to effectively discipling children and students in Southern Baptist missions," Lee said.

WMU President Debby Akerman said WMU offers missions education for all ages and both genders, including involvement through Mission Friends, GA, RA, Acteens, Challengers, Women on Mission and other missions organizations.

"'Missions for Life,' WMU's new tagline, speaks to the fact that whatever your age or stage in life, WMU has missions resources just for you," Akerman said. "While missions education is vitally important as we train the next generation to serve Christ, WMU seeks to equip all ages for missions involvement so others may hear of Jesus, the giver of eternal life.

"Missions discipleship through WMU helps instill serving others and sharing the love of Christ as a part of our daily lives."

WMU is actively using social media to keep missions at the forefront of people's minds and lives, Lee said.

In addition to print and online resources, every team at national WMU has embraced social media -- including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram -- as a means for sharing missions information.

"Whatever method of communication you prefer, we want to engage you in a two-way conversation about missions," Lee said. "We are here to serve you and to help you and your church be involved in the mission of God and stay informed about the many ways God is at work around our world."

During this year's WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting on , June 18, Akerman was unanimously re-elected to a third term as national president and Rosalie Hunt of Guntersville, Ala., to a fourth term as national recording secretary.
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Julie Walters is the corporate communications team leader for WMU.
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