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Alabama WMU celebrates 125 years, looks for stories to fill memory bookcomment (0)

December 19, 2013

By Carrie Brown McWhorter

As a young girl, Sammie Barstow explored the world through the Wednesday night missions lessons of her Girls in Action (GA) group. Her teacher, a woman the girls called “Jonesy,” made all the difference in the young girls’ lives.

“Jonesy made us feel like we knew the missionaries. When we brought our offerings, we felt like we were absolutely part of spreading the gospel all over the world. That was just precious to me at the time,” Barstow said.

Her memory of Jonesy is one of the stories that will be included in a book of memories set to be published in 2014 in celebration of 125 years of Alabama Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU). If Alabama WMU made a difference in your life, Barstow is hoping you will share your story too.

The memory book will contain 125 stories organized much like a devotional book. Each memory page will include a Scripture verse, title and narrative story about your experience with WMU. Your name, home church, city and association also will be included on the page. Additional stories will be published online at alawoman.org, the website of Alabama WMU.

As editor of the project, Barstow is collecting the stories, and she wants to get the word out across the state, and even across the nation and world, to women who have been influenced by Alabama WMU.

“I want to encourage every woman to tell her story and participate,” Barstow said. “We can help with editing if that’s needed, but the important part is the story.”

Barstow said that while some memories are certain to be from years past, women who have participated in the last few years are encouraged to send their stories as well. The best stories will be focused, concentrating on a single topic, event, activity or person, Barstow said. With only 300 words to tell the story, the point of each narrative will be to highlight how participation in GAs, Royal Ambassadors (RAs), Acteens or Women on Mission changed your life.

“The history and influence of Alabama WMU stretches over these 125 years,” Barstow said. “Alabama WMU has been a wonderful constant in the lives of women, some of whom began as children and are now in Acteens or Women on Mission groups.”

The memory book will celebrate that generational influence of Alabama WMU on ministry and missions.

“Our goal next year is to honor God and celebrate what He has allowed Alabama WMU to accomplish in her 125 years of existence,” said Candace McIntosh, executive director of Alabama WMU. 

The anniversary celebration will look forward as well, McIntosh said.

“We want this celebration to propel us into the future as we encourage the next generation of missions leaders and challenge the church to live out the Great Commission,” she said.

The deadline for submissions to the memory book is Feb. 1, 2014. Be sure to review the writer’s guidelines before submitting your stories. The guidelines and an example are available at www.alawoman.org/MemoryBook. Those interested in the project also can contact Barstow at AlabamaWMU125@yahoo.com or at 205-758-3570.


Want to write a memory for the book?

1) Conecntrate on one topic, event or person

2) Tell how the person or activity influenced you to love God and missions.

3) Use 300 words or less.

4) Include your name, your church and your association.

Send your submission by email to AlabamaWMU125@yahoo.com or by mail to Sammie Barstow, 10137 Chandlers Crossing, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405. 

For other directions, guidelines and an example, visit alawoman.org/MemoryBook

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