“The Widow’s Mite award goes to a congregation that reflects the spirit of thankfulness and generosity Jesus talks about in Luke 21.1-4,” explained Rev. Hopper. “Gardena Valley Baptist Church embodies this spirit. Your church’s consistent commitment to ministers and missionaries who selflessly dedicated themselves to Christ’s work is inspiring.”
“Gardena Valley is a historically Japanese multigenerational church,” explained Pastor Steven Langely. “We deeply value the bonds and ministry of all of our past and present clergy and congregation members. Gardena Valley is a place where one remains part of our family, even well past parting.”
GVBC accepts the offering every February and adopts a Valentine’s Day theme of “We Love You…” To promote the RMMO, Pastor Langely sends out a letter and offering envelope. He writes, “So if the Lord lays it on your heart to give—then give as the Lord leads you. We cannot designate to just those who retired from GVBC. It all goes for the common good.”
Though Pastor Langely encourages his congregation to contribute to this worthy cause, the members of his generous congregation need little convincing, as the offering is personal to each member.
“Gardena Valley’s congregation has always been supportive, especially when it comes to giving to someone in need,” said Pastor Langely. “Our members open their hearts honestly and willingly and are always ready to lend a hand or dollar.”
Each year, MMBB gives the Widow’s Mite Award to commemorate the 1981 gift of a Vietnamese refugee woman who, not knowing the full intent of the offering, but understanding the words “thank you” printed on the RMMO offering envelope, slipped off her only possession of value—her wristwatch—and placed it in the envelope. The Widow’s Mite Award, like the act of the poor widow at the temple treasury whom Jesus commended, reflects the spirit of thankfulness and generosity.
MMBB Financial Services (The Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board) offers flexible and affordable benefits packages to faith-based employers and their staff throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. MMBB carries forward the 100-year tradition of The Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board—pioneers in providing employee benefits. With $2.5 billion in assets, MMBB offers clients the consultative services they need to succeed. Real planning, real solutions. That’s our calling.
Initially focused on institutions associated with the Northern Baptist Convention (later renamed the American Baptist Convention and then American Baptist Churches USA), MMBB now offers benefits to any church or faith-based organization with similar faith and practice of ABCUSA.
A non-profit Christian organization, The Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board (MMBB) has served churches and faith-based organizations since 1911. With a strong expertise of the ministry and its complex tax laws and other financial issues, MMBB serves more than 17,000 members across a wide range of denominations, offering “one-stop shopping” for employees including retirement, life, disability, medical and dental plans—to ensure that employers and their employees have sound peace of mind and financial security.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.