SBTS community to provide volunteer service at SBC

Communications Staff — June 18, 2009

A large event like the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting requires behind the scenes volunteers in many areas in order for things to run smoothly.

Two of those areas are convention ushers and childcare workers and several volunteers from the Southern Seminary community are stepping up to fill those roles.

Lauren Foster, a masters of arts in Christian education student at Southern, is the coordinator of volunteers for childcare at this year’s annual meeting, a service she is glad to provide.

“Childcare service is such a vital service to provide at the SBC,” Foster, whose emphasis at Southern is children’s ministry, said. “By providing qualified, equipped volunteers to care for attendees’ children, it reassures parents that their children will be cared for in a safe and friendly environment and allows them to be able to completely focus their attention to the events at the convention.”

Four Southern Seminary faculty families and a couple of students have signed up to help with childcare at the convention, Farmer said.

Bob Perkins, director of security at Southern, is serving as coordinator of volunteers for ushers at the annual meeting and said 15-20 from the Southern Seminary community have currently signed up to serve as ushers. Perkins said more ushers are needed and people can still volunteer. Ushers will work on the convention floor helping people to their seats, taking up ballots and offering plates, distributing materials and being ready to provide first aid.

“Being an usher is a ministry that in our life, will go un-noticed,” Perkins said. “But, it is a ministry that one day each person will be rewarded for.”

Carla Greenway, chair of preschool childcare for the annual meeting, said childcare volunteers will lead children in Bible lessons, help with crafts and serve snacks. She said materials and instructions will be provided to volunteers. Additionally, childcare registration volunteers will greet parents, escort children to the appropriate classroom and park strollers, Greenway said.

Foster said coordinating preschool childcare volunteers for the convention is a role she enthusiastically embraces.

“Everything that I learned at Boyce College [Southern’s undergraduate institution] and during my first year at Southern on children’s ministry and recruiting volunteers has been applied with this opportunity.

“During these foundational years of children’s lives, it is important to provide them with the best teachers and sound curriculum while they are forming their first ideas about God and the church.  Having a hand in recruiting volunteers for the convention allows me the opportunity of ministering to families from all over the United States by helping to provide childcare for them.

“The preschool childcare team for the convention that I am privileged to be a part of has worked hard over the past couple of months to assure parents that their preschoolers will have the best care, and to provide these little ones with an opportunity to learn about God and be loved on by other Christians within the SBC.”

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