WMU-NC feels called to push forward
Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor
May 03, 2010

WMU-NC feels called to push forward

WMU-NC feels called to push forward
Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor
May 03, 2010

In the midst of a

weekend of laughter and learning, a meeting took place describing the best and

worst of times.

Quoting Charles

Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, Ruby Fulbright, executive director of Woman’s

Missionary Union of North Carolina (WMU-NC), shared of the tumultuous year it

has been for the organization during her annual report April 17 at “Called”

Missions Extravaganza (ME) April 16-18 at Ridgecrest Conference Center.

“We had the challenge

of learning new and different ways to do our work,” Fulbright told 921 in

attendance. “We were able to pay our bills for 2009.”

Sharon Allred Decker,

former vice president for Duke Power and founder of The Tapestry Group, was the

featured speaker. Kyle Matthews, who ministers at a church in South Carolina

and is a songwriter/singer, led worship.

BR photo by Dianna L. Cagle

Ladies at the Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina annual meeting prepare for the parade of flags at Ridgecrest April 16. The parade opened the first session of the weekend. See photo gallery and videos (list below story).

The proposed 2010

budget — $1,192,482 — was 10.4 percent less than 2009. The WMU-NC had to reach

into its reserves several times to fund the 2009 budget.

She said the year was

full of great contradictions and extremes.

In 2009, WMU-NC began

149 new organizations at 60 different churches. But they also had a decline in

magazine subscriptions, which fund national WMU.

“We found and developed

new relationships but there were still strained relationships with others,” she


Fulbright said she uses

an exercise with the staff to reflect on what’s good and what’s bad. She’s

learned that “we have a pretty amazing ability to adapt.”

Fulbright said it is

the duty of WMU to help individuals, churches and associations in “building

relationships that tear down barriers. We are invited, challenged, commanded …

to follow Christ.”

A special offering

raised $12,476 that WMU-NC will use mostly for a conference/retreat center in

Lebanon and WMU-NC mission trips.

“2009 was the best of

times, the worst of times, but the Father was with us in both,” Fulbright said.

“In 2010 the commitment of the Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina is to

be obedient and faithful. The Father will take care of the rest.”

Budget requirements

last year drew reserves down to about $600,000.

She thanked her

faithful staff who have accepted downward adjustments in compensation and

benefits, but none have left and none were laid off.

WMU-NC approves annual

meeting dates three years in advance. The 2013 dates of April 19-21 were


Ladies accomplished two

projects during the weekend, assembling 55 birthing kits for Zimbabwe, along

with eight to 10 boxes of children’s vitamins, baby toys and scarves. They also

assembled 850 food kits and 350 hygiene kits for the homeless for ministries in

North Carolina and Georgia.

Officers elected for

2010-2011 were Delores Thomas, president; Tana Hartsell, vice president; Chris

Harker, vice president of development; Tammi Ward, recording secretary; and

Beth McDonald, assistant recording secretary.

Members-at-large for

2010-2011: Jennifer Carter, Region 3, Bladen Association; Lucille Yancey,

Region 3, Eastern Association; Kim Bounds, Region 4, Raleigh Association;

Whitney Edwards, Region 4, Raleigh Association; Pamela Whitted, Region 6,

Metrolina Association; Ruth Anne Johnson, Region 7; Linda Sutton, Region 7,

Three Forks Association; and Ann B. Stamey, Region 9, Transylvania Association.

Specially called

Decker, who lives in

Rutherfordton, spent time in the sessions and at the dining hall encouraging


As a leader of Duke

Power, Decker said she sensed in her soul that “somehow things weren’t right.”

All of the

responsibility she had taken on herself was taking its toll. While the outside

looked perfect, she felt spiritually dead.

“Inside I was empty,”

she said, sharing that all the voices were competing. “Voices telling you

you’re too tall, too thin, not right. Whatever it is it’s not enough. You and I

have fallen into the trap of listening to the voice. All of us hear it; you’re

not good enough.”

Decker is now a

full-time student at Gardner-Webb Divinity School. She also hosts a radio show

— “The Satisfied Life” — in Charlotte on Sunday mornings.

“God has uniquely

equipped you to be His person, now,” she said. “It’s about trusting God to make

of us what He wants us to be. You are uniquely and wonderfully made. If you

desire to understand God you have to be in relationship with Him.”

Part of that

relationship requires you to be still and surrender your heart.

National level

Jean Roberson of

national WMU spoke of the importance of praying for missionaries and giving.

She highlighted the values of WMU: diversity, community, social change, and

embracing change.

“It’s not just about me

growing as a mature Christian,” Roberson said. It’s about “bringing about the

kingdom of God around me. We can’t just sit in a church cocoon.”

Over the last couple of

years WMU has focused on poverty. The next emphasis will be on human


“By and large as a

group we are a people who are willing to try new things (to better the

kingdom),” she said. “People are choosing to participate in things because they

know someone involved. We want to be part of something.”

WMU has been making

changes to meet the needs of the women it reaches and wants to reach. Missions

Mosaic magazine has made some design and content changes including adding a

Shades of Red book club with a mission project related topic.


highlighted two web sites (womenonmission.com and mymissionfulfilled.com) to

appeal to a wider spectrum of women._ь The 2011 meeting is set April 8-10

celebrating WMU-NC’s 125th anniversary.

Related story

VIDEO: Kyle Matthews

VIDEO: Ruby Fulbright

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VIDEO: Sandra Wright

VIDEO: Shandale Hodges