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Young women should let their light SHINE
Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor
August 25, 2010
4 MIN READ TIME

Young women should let their light SHINE

Young women should let their light SHINE
Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor
August 25, 2010

When ladies involved in

Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina started asking how to reach and keep

women ages 18-35, they talked and prayed a lot.

What emerged is SHINE, a new

group within Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina (WMU-NC).

The acronym represents

Serving God, Helping others, Inspiring believers, Networking community and

Experiencing Christ.

“We just talked a lot about

how we can challenge inspire and teach young women to fulfill the Great

Commission and just to be a light in places of darkness,” said Diane McClary, a

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary student involved in SHINE.

SHINE was originally just an

event last year in Charlotte — based on Matthew 5:16 — “let your light

shine before men.”

BR file photo by Dianna L. Cagle

Club SHINE, held during the Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina’s annual Missions Extravaganza, was meant for women ages 18-35 to network. During the weekend event SHINE volunteers, sporting pink T-shirts, helped with set up/take down, music and logistics.

It was a retreat for young

women but the idea took on a life of its own and now local WMU leaders want to

start SHINE groups in their areas.

SHINE: myMISSION NC is a

cross between a small group Bible study, prayer group, and missions

organization.

The group encourages

missional living.

SHINE builds on a national

WMU effort called my MISSION fulfilled. It emphasizes

reaching women where they are and offers Bible studies and articles for women

at various life stages.

Ruby Fulbright, WMU-NC

executive director-treasurer, said the key to growth has been giving the women

“permission to try to chart their course rather than fit them into our WMU mold

… giving them permission to rise to the top.”

“It’s not your grandmother’s

WMU,” said Deanna Deaton, South Carolina WMU associate, who is a former North

Carolina resident and a facilitator of the SHINE Facebook fan page.

Deaton knows there is an

awareness gap for young women about WMU missions and education opportunities.

A key rallying point is to

form a ministry partnership with a local non-profit. WMU-NC is encouraging

churches or associations or even women in that age range from various

denominations to start these groups to encourage community missions.

“When you start all this

it’s just messy,” said WMU associate Julie Keith. “It’s so much harder than you

think.”

That’s why SHINE leaders put together a packet of information to help.

Because ages 18-35 covers

“just about every stage of life,” Keith said, reaching all these women where

they are can be challenging.

“It’s been such a

blessing,” to be involved in developing SHINE, McClary said.

“This is sort of the next

generation of WMU. We really want young women to be on board with the greater

movement of WMU.”

Keith hopes SHINE develops

into a diverse group linked with the older professional women network for

mentoring purposes.

“I hope that we can be the

catalyst for that,” she said. “If people are passionate about it they’ll find a

way.”

Contact WMU-NC at (919)

882-2344 or [email protected]. Also visit the SHINE Facebook page.

Upcoming event

Little River Baptist

Association’s WMU has organized SHINE: refuel, a two-day retreat Sept. 24-25 in

Harnett County with breakout sessions and hands-on mission projects.

Dorothy Barham,

associational WMU director, points out that the event at Antioch Baptist Church

has been planned by younger women with some guidance from WMU leaders.

“Missions is what WMU

is all about,” Barham said. It’s “not necessarily doing exactly as we’ve always

done” in order to reach a younger generation.

Visit lrba.net; click on WMU

for registration form. Register by Sept. 1 for $25.

They will be offering child

care if it’s needed. Barham said they were still looking for volunteers —

kitchen, registration, etc. — to make the event happen.

Related story

Taking the lead: WMU-NC at top of missions game