RUIDOSO (BNM) - WMU and the Baptist Convention of New Mexico held the annual Women’s Weekender Sept. 6-7 at First Baptist Church, Ruidoso. The event drew 150 women. Attendees traveled from all over the state of New Mexico for the Friday night and Saturday morning event. The 2019 theme was “Be Present.”
New Mexico WMU, the Baptist Convention of New Mexico and the New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home and Family Ministries sponsored the retreat. The weekend event offered opportunities for participants to fellowship and share God’s Word. When they registered for the event, each woman received a colored strip of paper. That color identified the breakout session each person would attend, and each person was able to participate in all four sessions.
On Friday (Sep. 6), New Mexico WMU President Melissa Lamb opened the event by welcoming attendees. While speaking, Lamb was interrupted by National WMU recording secretary, Shirley McDonald, dressed like Minnie Pearl, a character most famously portrayed by twentieth-century comedian Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon. During the planned interruption, McDonald, acting as Pearl, told the audience she had mistaken the Women’s Weekender for the Ruidoso Biker’s Convention. After performing several jokes, McDonald left the stage. Lamb continued her welcome and introduction of guests and shared her interpretation of what “Be Present” means in her life.
Following Lamb’s welcome, Theresa Howard of the New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home and Family Ministries in Portales led worship from the piano.
Next, missionaries Jim and Charlotte Whitley shared stories of their mission work to Roma gypsies in Brazil. Charlotte is the daughter of Joe and Leona Tarry of Ruidoso. The Tarrys are retired missionaries.
The event included four breakout sessions.
Denise Clymer of Jemez Valley Baptist Church, Jemez Pueblo, led a session titled, “Be Present with God.” During the meeting, Clymer spoke about tools and techniques women could use in journaling, prayer, and quiet time with God. Clymer told session attendees, “Let’s explore our responses to what God is doing, to and through us, when we choose to be present with Him.” During the session, Clymer presented each woman with a pink journal, with “Be Present, Isaiah 43:18-19” stamped in gold on the cover.
McDonald led a breakout session titled, “Be Present in the World.” During the session, she explored ways to transform the world through missions and other ministries. Participants shared about mission projects completed through their churches to encourage one another. Session participants received several handouts, including an alphabetical list of things to pray for regarding missionaries. McDonald also gave each person a WorldCrafts Christmas ornament.
Amy Redus of First Baptist Church, Santa Fe, led a breakout session titled, “Be Present in Your Life.” During the session, Redus asked, “How do we live in the present, comfortable in our skin?” To answer her question, Redus read passages from Galatians before offering several steps to live fully in Christ. She also shared stories about her family. Session participants received a black and yellow mug with “Be Present” printed on its exterior.
There was no leader for the fourth breakout session. Instead, participants were asked to “Be Present in the Lobby.” TThere, participants were encouraged to fellowship, partake in snacks and coffee, and relax. The Whitley’s were available for conversation and offered participants the opportunity to sign up for their email newsletter. WorldCrafts items were available for purchase during the session, as was prayer wall, where participants could add personal prayer requests.
Connie Dixon, New Mexico WMU Director, spoke during a session, reading from Isaiah 43:18-19. According to Dixon, God spoke to her in various ways and at multiple times while planning the weekend, which affirmed his plans for New Mexico women, she said.
At the end of the final session on Saturday morning, Tanis Cathy of Dora won a drawing for a quilt made by Judy Martin, a former resident of Ruidoso. Martin made the quilt in memory of Dona Faris, the sister of Kay Madaris, a former missionary to Mexico, who now resides in Ruidoso. Faris died recently in Amarillo.