During Annual Conference 2008 clergy spouses had a time to gather for “cookies and conversation”, but more importantly they took time to be in ministry together.
During their Annual Conference reception time, clergy spouses from across the conference turned in the money and gift cards they had collected for the Birmingham Babies First ministry of the United Methodist Children’s Home. The grand total of gift cards and checks turned in was $8853.
Birmingham Babies First is a home for young mothers run by the United Methodist Children’s Home. This home is located in Irondale, Alabama, near Liberty Park and works with young mothers between the ages of 19 and 24.
Patsy Willimon is an outspoken advocate of this new ministry and has encouraged all North Alabama clergy spouses to support this mission. Willimon says, "Mothers and babies are one of God's greatest gifts. Unfortunately in our state too many young girls become mothers too soon and many of these young mothers lack healthy homes and supportive parents to go to for help. Our Lord himself put children first in his Kingdom. This is our grand opportunity to be part of Jesus' work and the clergy spouses of the North Alabama Conference are excited about this new ministry in the Birmingham area. The Clergy Spouses have three gatherings a year and we plan to make Babies First our mission focus at our fall retreat, our luncheon in the spring and at conference. We are enjoying as a group looking for ways to help raise money for Babies First.”
The Birmingham Babies first facility opened in 2007. The Children’s Home has successful Babies First programs in Mobile and Selma.
Bishop Will Willimon adds, “That program is really exciting and the response of the clergy spouses to this has been wonderful. This is really Patsy’s great ministry.”