“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 the Rev. Dr. Perry Hopper, associate executive director at MMBB Financial Services. “First Baptist Church of Topeka embodies this spirit. Your church’s consistent commitment to ministers and missionaries who selflessly dedicated themselves to Christ’s work is inspiring.”
The roots of RMMO go back to the mid-1930’s, when American Baptist congregations received a Communion Fellowship Offering on the first Sunday of each month to support retired ministers, missionaries, and their widowed spouses within their churches. In 1977, American Baptist Churches USA launched the RMMO to continue this appreciation of God’s service.
“FBC Topeka is involved with numerous local mission efforts,” remarked the Rev. Dr. Cheryl Henson. “Honoring those who have pastored the church through RMMO is one of the many ways this congregation shows their appreciation for those who have served them so graciously and helped them to live out their faith in very tangible ways.”
FBC Topeka accepts the offering in December and invites the congregation to share testimonies of former pastors who have encouraged them and enriched their faith walk.
Dr. Henson encourages her congregation to see how much these stories call us to move beyond the church walls through missions. “As the RMMO offering nears, connection to those stories fosters a giving spirit.”
Each year, MMBB gives the Widow’s Mite Award to commemorate the 1982 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 giving from the heart.
MMBB Financial Services 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.
American Baptist Churches USA 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.