March, 2014Issue #3
A Word from Gail
Gail Miller, President Illinois WMU


A Rose by any other Name ...


Names are important. You and I want to be known by our own names, our own correct names. I believe that stems from the fact that our names are important and many of them have special meaning. God's Word emphasizes the importance of names. God Himself named many of the characters immortalized in Scripture. He even gives the stars their names (Psalm 147:4). People and places were given names with great meaning. Names were inscribed on Aaron's breastplate. We are commanded not to take the Lord's Name in vain. Names carry authority. Great names were promised to Abraham and David. Many times in Biblical and other historical accounts names were changed when captured by enemies to take away identity and break spirits; such as, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah and conquered kings. A threat of great importance is that of removing a name from the earth, of blotting it out forever.


The name of God is Powerful.

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." (Psalm 20:7)

 "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe." (Proverbs 18:10)

"If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it." (John 14:14)


A name carries with it a reputation.

"If My people, who are called by My Name..." (2 Chron. 7:14)

"A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold." (Proverbs 22:1)

Our names are written in the Book of Life (Daniel 12:1, Luke 20:10, Phil. 4:3, Rev. 3:5, 13:8, 20:15)


And God calls us by name!

God told Moses, "I know you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight." (Exodus 33:12, 17)

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine." (Isaiah 43:1)

"I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. For the sake of My servant Jacob, and Israel My chosen, I call you by your name, I name you, though you do not know Me." (Isaiah 45:3-4)


Woman's Missionary Union has a name that has stood for 125 years. Our purpose is to challenge Christian believers to understand and be radically involved in the mission of God through missions education and opportunities to serve, give and pray with specifics for missionaries around the world. In spite of this amazing history, in some areas we have allowed our WMU name to lose its power and reputation, even though Henry Blackaby in Experiencing God referred to WMU as the "powerhouse" of the church. It's time to regain that reputation!


My challenge to each one of us is to take this historical opportunity in our 125th year to stand tall as a part of Woman's Missionary Union and to represent our Maker Who knows our name with integrity and enthusiasm as we carry on the mission of WMU in our communities, in our churches and in our own personal worlds. We have a lot to be proud of in the accomplishments and perseverance of our foremothers. This is not a time for us to back down or retreat, but to move forward FIRMLY PLANTED and rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord." (Colossians 3:23)

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In The Spotlight, Women's Missions Celebration
by Jeanette Cloyd, IL WMU Lead Team VP for Missions Growth


"Can God Have This Dance?" is the theme of this year's IBSA Annual Women's Meeting that will be held May 1-3 at Marion First Baptist Church. God approaches each of us and asks us to dance with Him. Some of us will hesitantly accept; a slight nod of the head. Okay, God, I guess I can feed the hungry or minister to the broken-hearted. Some of us will question Him. You want me to do what!? Some of us will accept enthusiastically, anxious to let Him lead us through life. Yes, God! Tell me what You want me to do and I'll do it! "Can God Have this Dance?" The choice is ours.


This year's IBSA Women's Meeting will inspire us, equip us and challenge us to trust God to lead as we surrender our lives to His choreography.


Here are just some of the things we can look forward to at the meeting:




The Friday night BIG event will feature Allison Allen, who formerly traveled with Women of Faith. She combines storytelling, entertainment, and acting to teach biblical truths in a way that resonates with her audience.


As a mission project, every woman is asked to bring or sponsor a young woman (ages 18-35) to attend this session.



  • Brock and Polly Vandever - IMB missionaries
  • Scott Venable - Mosaic Church, Chicago
  • Chaplain Dewitt, Chaplain Stacy Smith, and Jennifer Smith - Prison to Purpose, Arkansas
  • Carol Causey - National WMU
  • Barnicio Cureton-NAMB Church Planter East St. Louis




There will be 15 or more breakouts with a variety of subjects, enough to match the interests of every woman. Here is a small sampling: 

  • Toning the Temple, What does Zumba or running have to do with evangelism led  by Robin Dickerson
  • What if Rahab Comes to My Church? led by Amanda Neibel
  • The Fresh Face of WMU led by Carol Causey of National WMU
  • Why Your Kids View on Hell Matters led by Dr. Sammy Simmons
  • Comparative Religions led by Chaplain Kip Troeger
  • How to Minister to Families of Same Sex Marriages by Meredith Flynn and Lisa Sergent of IBSA

Plus much more!




The Exhibit Hall will give women the opportunity to fill their ministry supply closets with contacts, resources, and knowledge to better serve in local ministries and churches.


CHILD CARE provided by Disaster Relief volunteers.


This isn't going to be "just your ordinary meeting." It's going to be EXCEPTIONAL! You don't want to miss it.

Invite others to attend. We want to see at least 15 women from each association across the state at the meeting.


Bring and/or sponsor a young woman to attend at least the Friday night session.


Come with an open heart and a willingness to explore the question: "Can God Have This Dance?"


Carmen Halsey, Illinois WMU Executive Director personally invites you to join us at the Annual Women's Missions Celebration being held May 2 and 3 at FBC of Marion.   


This year's meeting will offer a variety of opportunities to better equip the diverse women of Illinois to be leaders of positive influence. 



(217) 391-3143 (office) 

(217) 720-7275 (cell)


Thank you!




Timeless Tales 
Stories of Today and Tomorrow
by Janet Craynon


The Values of Giving


I confess that my early childhood Easter memories involve dying eggs, and wearing a new outfit complete with shoes, hat and gloves. I became a Christian at a young age, so why are these secular memories still so vivid? I was physically and spiritually immature.


I can't remember when I last shopped for a new Easter outfit. That no longer "says" Easter to me. I can now focus on celebrating the joy of a risen Lord. Hopefully, as we mature in our Christian walk, we move closer to embracing values that reflect God's will for our lives.


I now enjoy displaying beautifully decorated Ukrainian eggs during this season. Each year, especially this year one, they remind me of dear missionary friends in Ukraine. I "value" the sacrifice of missionaries who serve here and around the world.


I value WMU's vision statement, "to challenge Christian believers to understand and be radically involved in the mission of God." I can use my resources to support these values as I give through Illinois Touch Tomorrow Today.


In 2014 our ITTT Endowment will provide assistance for five initiatives. Four have been shared.

  1. Train and involve our Illinois Acteens to take the lead in promoting educational awareness of Human Trafficking.
  2. Assist with funding for staff training as the Christian Activity Center initiates a Christian Women's Job Corp site; assist with identifying employers for CWJC graduates.
  3. Provide training and curriculum for developing effective prison ministry models.
  4. Help resource expansion of the Mother Daughter Overnight event at Lake Sallateeska to include one at Streator Baptist Camp.

And the final one is:

    Provide training and curriculum to introduce a Community Faith Nursing medical model to our communities.

Remember these five ITTT initiatives as you come to the WMU Mission Celebration in Marion. There will be a test - and a prize. Plan to support the ITTT endowment; show that you value the work of WMU in Illinois, across the nation and around the world.


Or send a gift designated for Illinois Touch Tomorrow Today to WMU Foundation, 100 Missionary Ridge, Birmingham, AL 35242.


Make Change for Illinois Touch Tomorrow Today

This has been a year of change for Illinois women and God continues to lead us forward gaining new ground while sustaining the old. During our annual meeting we are asking women to donate their change for change. The change collected will be contributed to ITTT equipping Illinois to develop women leaders for tomorrow. 

Illinois Receives HEART Fund Grant


WMU and the WMU Foundation are thrilled to announce the first HEART Fund grant of 2014. The grant will help the local director of missions and pastors in Washington, Illinois, as they assess and respond to needs following a series of tornadoes in late 2013, followed by a difficult, snowy winter. The grant will be used to facilitate long-term recovery efforts as local Southern Baptist churches respond to needs. We thank Carmen Halsey, executive director of Illinois WMU, for her assistance in coordinating this grant, and we ask you to pray for these grant recipients.

In This Issue
In The Spotlight
Important Dates
Current Needs
Important Dates
IL WMU Mission Trip
New Orleans
April 3-6
WMU Legacy Award Nominations Due
April 2014
May 1-3
FBC Marion
Mother/Daughter Overnight (Identifying with the Princess in Us All)
May 16-17
June 2-5
June 8-9
June 14-25
Father/Son Camp
June 13-14
Co-Ed Missions Camp
June 16-20, Lake Sallateeska
July 21-25, Streator
Mission Box Needs

Sponsorships for 18-35 year olds to attend the Women's Missions Celebration.



(Items may be sent to: IBSA Missions Team, Attention Barb Troeger , 3085 Stevenson Drive - 3rd floor, Springfield, IL 62703)


                                    Legacy Award Nominations

We are now accepting Nominations for the WMU Legacy Award to be presented during the annual meeting being held in May. You are invited to nominate candidates for the WMU Legacy Award. Please click here to access nominee criteria and the nominee form.  Nomination forms should be forwarded to

Training Opportunity for Your Church's Ministry in Senior Living Communities

IBSA has the opportunity to offer churches a training to equip the body of believers to develop a vibrant ministry to elders in senior living centers in their communities. Whether you are beginning a new ministry or enhancing a pre-existing ministry, this training would be applicable to you. Participants will be equipped to:

  • understand the characteristics of the aging
  • meet spiritual needs of the aging
  • effective communication skills with elders
  • evangelizing the aging
  • building a faith based ministry strategy for elders

This workshop will equip your church members with the knowledge and hands-on practical methods to meet the spiritual needs of elders and evangelize those who are lost. 


If you are interested in participating in a training of this type, please contact or (217) 391-3143.

Contact Us
Carmen Halsey
(217) 391-3134

Barb Troeger
(217) 391-3138 
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