VALLEY FORGE, PA (5/4/20)—On April 25, 2020, American Baptist Women’s Ministries (ABWM) hosted its first virtual tea to foster the beloved community during COVID-19. Women across the nation gathered together wearing their most exquisite headpieces in hopes of winning the first-place prize in the hat competition. Participants enjoyed their favorite tea while receiving an encouraging message of hope and assurance of God’s faithfulness and comfort during a time of fear and loss. Participants shared, the virtual tea provided an opportunity for a shared experience that strengthened social bonds and provided fun and excitement.
“It was an intergenerational fellowship, which allowed us to pray, share wellness tips, and to encourage each other. Many of us are losing family, friends, and community connections. We are feeling the stress of lost income and isolation. The virtual tea gave us a chance to exhale together, and it is just one of the many ways we are present with women, young adult women, and girls in this season of COVID-19” noted Rev. Gina Jacobs-Strain, executive director of ABWM.
ABWM seeks to be present with women and girls today and tomorrow through its Reset and Reimagine campaign. ABWM’s Reset and Reimagine campaign will raise money to support new and existing programs and services that build community and support women and children in our churches and communities across the nation as they Reset and Reimagine their future. ABWM deeply desires to be a vital resource for the sustaining and rebuilding of our communities. We do not know what to expect, as COVID-19 is continuously evolving. However, the virtual tea revealed that using the resources we have to sustain an intentional community can be a healing balm for our souls.
American Baptist Women’s Ministries (ABWM) is a diverse community of American Baptist women and girls serving in ministry in Christ’s name in the US including Puerto Rico as well as internationally. With local, area, region/state, and national levels of ministry, American Baptist Women’s Ministries creates and sustains communities of passionately faithful women and girls engaged in worship, service, and friendship. Our ministries include education and prevention of domestic violence and sex trafficking, building beloved community, and developing leaders. Pictures from the tea are online here.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.