The Women’s Ministries of First Baptist Church never slow down. In the next three months, they will hold their annual retreat, attend the Women in Faith Tour, and glory in First Noel, the beautiful commencement of the Christmas season.
Their mission statement says, “Compelled by the love of Christ, the Women’s Ministries of FBC is committed to challenge and equip women to grow spiritually, to meet the needs of women in all ages and stages of their lives, to love and care for one another, and to reach out with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” It may be a serious and important goal, but it’s also one they aim for by having fun, finding peace, and walking with God in many different ways.
The annual retreat is always a much-anticipated activity. This year’s theme, “Reflecting God’s Love,” will be celebrated from October 24–26 in Oakhurst, with keynote speaker Cara Lane of Elk Grove, of whom is said, “God has given her an amazing gift of motivational speaking that she uses to bring scripture to life in real and humorous ways.”
Housing options range from $160 to $200 for the weekend, depending on the room choice, and includes all meals from Friday dinner to Sunday breakfast, with checkout at 11:30. Saturday afternoon activities (some require an extra fee) include zip lining, hiking, a fabulous steam train ride (for only $10!), shopping, and horseback riding.
According to Carol Alexander, Director of Women’s Ministries, “We’ll have prayer journals for each individual. We have fun giveaway items—gift cards from various places around town and other wonderful donations. We’ll have quiet times. We’re going to have s’mores and worship on Friday night around a bonfire, and then in the morning at 7:00, anyone who so desires can meet outdoors for an early worship, with Melissa Hamm leading the music. Come as you are, or stay in, whatever you choose.
“We’ll have some small group time as well as our sessions. Our women always seem to enjoy it. It’s fun to get away and connect with old friends and meet new ones. A lot of women are coming for their first time, which is fun. We’re excited about it. It’s going to be a great weekend.”
Then on November 21–22, some women will be attending the Women of Faith Tour. This year’s theme is “From Survival to Revival, 2014: Revive Your Faith, Awaken Your Spirit, Transform Your Life,” and is presented by World Vision at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.
Seven speakers, including Sheila Walsh, Lysa Terkeurst, Lisa Harper, Christine Caine, Anita Renfroe, Natalie Grant and Matthew West, will present their programs on Friday night and Saturday. Carol has purchased some tickets, so anyone interested should contact her.
December will bring First Noel, an elegant, inspiring Christmas event for you to invite your friends to. Each year, tables seating eight women are beautifully decorated by FBC women to celebrate the season and provide a place for women of all ages to gather and be spiritual.
This year it’s being held on Friday, December 5, and will feature Christian singer Lisa Daggs for the main program. You can check out her music on YouTube. Contact Bonnie Biddle if you’d like to decorate a table.
Carol says, “The women’s ministry is going well, but we’re always looking for women who want to serve. If they’ve got something that they think would be a creative thing to do for the women’s ministries and are willing to jump in and help put it on, we’re here to listen.”
She also likes to look at the women’s ministries every year to see how they can refresh it. Her committee gets together and looks at the past year, then plots out the next year. Some younger women are on the committee now, and bring new ideas and fresh perspectives.
“I’m so blessed to be in this ministry,” Carol adds. “I feel blessed that God lets me come to work every day, and blessed to work at FBC with the extremely great staff that we have. We all get along and like being around each other, and that’s important. FBC is growing, so I’m excited at the possibilities, and where we’re headed. As a staff, I think we’re being more creative and thinking out of the box in some of the stuff we’re doing. I’m encouraged by that. I like that the young people are heard.”
Our future is in good hands.