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SBC DIGEST: Mission:Dignity Sunday materials available; SWBTS relaunches alumni association

Mission:Dignity Sunday (June 26) materials ready to order

By Susan Ervien/GuideStone Financial Resources

DALLAS (BP) – In the Old Testament, we find these words: “I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous abandoned.” Psalm 37:25a (CSB)

On June 26, we have the opportunity to return a blessing to righteous, unsung heroes of the faith. Namely, retired Southern Baptist pastors, workers and their widows who served and abundantly blessed those in their care during their years of ministry.

Jeanetta Watson served with her husband, Wendell, for 45 years. Wendell, a bivocational pastor, always served small churches that could not pay well. Though the Watsons weren’t able to save much in the way of retirement, the Lord always provided for their daily needs.

Wendell’s health worsened after the Watsons retired from the ministry. Finances became tight as Jeanetta tried to keep up with car, home and supplemental insurance payments, which added up. Jeanetta would not even go to the doctor or dentist because that was another expense she couldn’t pay.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do, but then I got a call saying that I’d been accepted by Mission:Dignity,” Janetta says. “It was such a burden lifted off my shoulders. There are no words to explain what this ministry has meant to me.

“I pray that all of you realize what this means to know our years of service have not been forgotten.”

Stories like Jeanetta’s highlight the importance of Mission:Dignity.

“Mission:Dignity is the very heart of GuideStone, and has been since our inception in 1918,” GuideStone President Hance Dilbeck said. “We have a heart to help pastors and other servants of the Lord finish well. Through Mission:Dignity, we offer financial assistance to retirement-aged Southern Baptist ministers, workers and widows struggling to meet basic needs.”

The Southern Baptist Convention has set aside the fourth Sunday in June for churches to celebrate and raise a special offering for Mission:Dignity. Churches, Sunday school classes and other groups can order free Mission:Dignity Sunday materials from GuideStone by visiting MDSunday.org, texting MDORDER to 41444 or visiting the GuideStone booth at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Anaheim, Calif. The materials are not dated, so churches can use them any time of the year they wish.

“It is a tremendous blessing for us to come alongside thousands of churches to celebrate what God is doing through Mission:Dignity,” said Aaron Meraz, director of Mission:Dignity. “With 100 percent of donations given through Mission:Dignity going to help a retired Southern Baptist minister and wife or his widow, our churches can be assured that these dear ‘soldiers of the cross’ are not forgotten.”

Visit MDSunday.org for more information.

Southwestern relaunches alumni association for seminary, TBC graduates

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) – Graduates of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Texas Baptist College are invited to join the newly relaunched Southwestern Alumni Association, President Adam W. Greenway announced today.

“As a proud alumnus of Southwestern Seminary, as well as president of this institution, I’m delighted that we are able to announce the relaunched Alumni Association for Southern Baptists’ ‘Crown Jewel’ seminary,” said Greenway. “As our fifth president, Robert E. Naylor, said, ‘The sun never sets on Southwestern,’ illustrating the reach of Southwesterners who are serving Christ across the globe. With the new Southwestern Alumni Association, we are offering even greater engagement for our alumni with their alma mater. As I have, I encourage all Southwesterners to join the association.”

George Schroeder, associate vice president for institutional relations, said the alumni association will seek to better connect the Fort Worth institution and the 41,000 living alumni who are serving around the globe, as well as helping foster relationships among the institution’s graduates.

“As I’ve traveled the country in my role in institutional relations, I’ve been struck by the love of alumni for and their devotion to their seminary, as well as their desire to be in the know about all things currently Southwestern,” Schroeder said. “There is a hunger for connection. We hope to provide that.”

Member benefits of the alumni association include a 20 percent discount for hotel rooms at the Riley Center, the institution’s on-campus lodging and event space, a 30 percent discount at the Riley Center for reserved venue space, a 30 percent discount for all in-house conferences, and a 20 percent discount on books and merchandise at Seminary Hill Bookstore.

Read the full story here.

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