VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 10/8/14)—Nominations are being accepted now for the 2015 Shine the Light Award. The Shine the Light Award, established in 2010 by American Baptist Women’s Ministries, ABCUSA, serves to recognize a woman or a women’s ministry group that serves as outstanding light-bearers for Christ. The award highlights a specific ministry project or projects that best demonstrate how the individual or group receiving the award have spread the light of Christ through their congregation, their community, or the world.
In 2014, Carolyn Argust and Karen Brokaw of Lake Avenue Baptist Church in Rochester, New York, were selected as recipients for the award to recognize their outreach ministry bearing the light of Christ to refugees and immigrants in Rochester, New York. Karen and Carolyn launched a tutoring program in partnership with the public library in the neighborhood where a significant number of newcomers were being resettled. Initially begun with refugees from Burma who had joined Lake Avenue Baptist Church, the outreach quickly grew to include Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, and Animists from Congo, Mexico, Turkey, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, China, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Honduras, Viet Nam, Laos, and other nations of origin. Volunteers offer childcare in the library so that parents may focus on their learning. Carolyn and Karen’s work has attracted many volunteers from the Rochester community, and their commitment to leadership development has resulted in some class participants now taking leadership in the outreach.
Previous recipients of the Shine the Light Award include, in 2013, Rev. Barbara Jim-George of Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, California, for her work with girls as founder and director of the Girls’ Rite of Passage Program, and Darlene Pennington, posthumously, for her ministries at the First Baptist Church of Norfolk, Nebraska, and in her community. In 2012, recipients Mrs. Elizabeth Gooden and Mrs. Sybil Jones of Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, were recognized for their devoted commitment to the Open Door Fellowship, a ministry to incarcerated and previously incarcerated individuals. In 2011, the women of the First Baptist Church in Selma, California, were recognized for work they did on behalf of victims and survivors of sex trafficking through the American Baptist Women’s Ministries-sponsored national mission project, Break the Chains: Slavery in the 21st Century.
“The annual award is our opportunity to shine the light on a woman or a women’s group for their notable contribution to ministry with women and girls, and in so doing, celebrate the light of Jesus Christ that shines forth through their ministry,” said Virginia Holmstrom, executive director of AB Women’s Ministries.
The deadline for nominations for the 2015 Shine the Light Award is January 31, 2015. For more information, criteria, and to submit a nomination, visit the AB Women’s Ministries website at www.abwministries.org, or contact the AB Women’s Ministries office at (610) 768-22288 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Baptist Women’s Ministries is a Christ-centered ministry with a commitment to encourage and empower women and girls to serve God.
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.