The Shine the Light Award, established as an annual award in 2011 by American Baptist Women’s Ministries, ABCUSA, serves to recognize a woman or women who serve 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; it highlights creativity and collaboration in ministry.
Cindy Kissane has been named as the 2015 recipient of the award for her outstanding ministry in leading and coordinating two mission ministries at the First Baptist Church of Syracuse for the last five years. One ministry serves meals at the Samaritan Center (a Syracuse-area soup kitchen) twice a year; the other is a collaborative project that Kissane developed with the Jamesville-Dewitt Ecumenical Food Pantry to distribute literacy materials for infants through 18-year-olds to client families with children. The ministry began in 2009 with a grant from the American Baptist Home Mission Societies to provide summer reading materials, workbooks, and additional supplementary food to school-age children whose families receive benefits from the food pantry. While the congregation engages in fundraising efforts for the project, Kissane prepares age-appropriate books and activity books for 60-90 children to distribute to children each summer to help them continue to develop their literacy skills while having the pleasure of owning books of their own. Near the end of the summer, Kissane spearheads a collection of school supplies and backpacks for distribution through the food pantry as well.
“The program has been a lot of help for me and my daughter; I want to thank everyone,” said the mother of a teenage girl who received literacy materials and school supplies. “Thank you very much for the school supplies,” said the mother of four children. “They help out a lot. The children appreciate the books and enjoy them,” she said.
ABWM Executive Director Virginia Holmstrom said, “At the heart of many missional ministries in ABC congregations is often an American Baptist woman that is giving selfless leadership. We celebrate Cindy Kissane’s leadership this year which has demonstrated Christ’s love through her congregation by caring for needs of children and others in the community that would otherwise go hungry.”
Cindy Kissane will be presented with the 2015 Shine the Light Award at American Baptist Women’s Ministries’ Women’s Day, June 26, 2015, at the Overland Park Convention Center, Overland Park, Kansas, immediately preceding the American Baptist Churches USA Biennial Mission Summit.
For more information about the Shine the Light Award, visit the AB Women’s Ministries website at http://www.abwministries.org/, or contact the AB Women’s Ministries office at (610) 768-2288 or email@example.com. Nomination forms for the 2016 award will be available in the fall of 2015.
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 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.