With a new name to match renewed focus on spreading the missionary message, Western Michigan Missionary Union has gone co-ed, leaving the word “Women’s” out of its title.
For the first time in more than 50 years, the organization that promotes mission work has two men on its board, including Harry Mulder. “Our church has to have an understanding of what our missionaries do so they can support them with prayer and gifts,” he said. He hopes the Missionary Union events will attract a sizeable group of families and couples.
A spring meeting at Gateway Community Christian Reformed Church in Zeeland, which included speakers from Christian Reformed World Missions and the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, was attended by churches in the Holland and southeast Grand Rapids areas.
Interest in missionary groups has been on the wane. Many groups across the country have discontinued, and just one other operates in Michigan, in the McBain area, said Judy De Vries, who serves with her husband, Rev. Henry De Vries, as Regional Mission Mobilizers for the Great Lakes Region. “Some churches feel their only responsibility is to give. We feel it’s a two-way street. It’s a blessing to build relationships around the world.”
The enthusiastic six board members plan to spread news of biannual meetings in a monthly newsletter, worship bulletin announcements, and through ministerial encouragement.