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Serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission
Carla Wynn Davis photo
Ending the cycle of poverty In Homestead, Fla., one of the stateâ€™s poorest communities, Open House Ministries shares Christâ€™s love and serves as a beacon of hope for a better life.
Learn more about how Fellowship Baptists are working to end the cycle of poverty in the United States on pages 10-16.
Transformative change In an article “Why Incremental Changes Won’t Work,” Paul M. Dietterich, executive director emeritus of the Center for Parish Development, writes: “North American church bodies today must learn how to engage in transformative change if they are to be faithful to their calling and effective in their ministry and mission … Transformative change is qualitatively different from incremental change. For North American church bodies, transformative change requires a break with many of the inherited ways of perceiving, thinking, and behaving that characterized both the Imperial Church (c.3121790) and the Establishment Church (c.1790-1960).” I agree. We are living in a time of cultural, denominational and congregational deconstruction. But I believe that CBF is also part of a Spirit-created reconstruction. For the past 20 years we have been a grand experiment in Baptist life that has resulted in transformational changes. The very language we have used to define ourselves is itself evidence of this transformation and reconstruction. We speak of spiritual formation and missional church, a biblical vision of justice and ministry among the most neglected. We have become advocates for women in ministry, the least evangelized and most marginalized, the Millennium Development Goals, ecumenical involvement and interfaith dialogue. Our governing body, known as the CBF Coordinating Council, is a blend of male and female and clergy and laity. And our annual General Assembly gathering is anything but a typical ecclesial convention. These are transformative changes. Now as the 2012 Task Force works toward making recommendations that will address missional and organizational effectiveness and as younger, new leadership is emerging among us, I am very hopeful that this grand experiment will continue. I am also hopeful that it will bring even more transformative change. To foster that hope, let me offer some reflections. First, the resources that are needed for us to thrive into the future are rich and real. I am not afraid to talk about money and ask people to participate with their resources in the mission of God. People will give when they believe in the vision of a ministry and in the integrity of those who are involved in it. There are thousands of Baptists who do believe in this Fellowship, and I believe there will be thousands more. Second, the Baptist witness to the gospel is still very important, even in a “post-everything” world. Baptists’ love of freedom and Scripture makes us viable and vital to today’s culture. We may disagree with one another on many issues, but we refuse to force conformity. Local church autonomy and religious liberty are part of our Baptist birthright, and we will not sell it. Third, we are maturing and becoming “established” and “institutional” in a good way. Partnering seminaries are preparing future leaders, and other ministries are gaining influence and having impact in the public square. We have a “place at the table” in the worldwide Baptist family and the worldwide missionary enterprise. Fourth, even our challenges are accepted by people of enormous goodwill and great ability. There is in this Fellowship a significant level of trust and genuine conviction about shared ministry. We are surely not perfect, but we have been blessed with an unusual numVol. 21, No. 2 ber of highly motivated and deeply committed followers of Jesus Christ. We are richly blessed by a geographical and demographical diversity that is willing to executive Coordinator • Daniel Vestal Coordinator, Fellowship live with the tension of an uncertain future and seek even greater transformative change Advancement • Ben McDade without trying to dictate exactly how that change will look. We are aware that we are still Editor • Lance Wallace learning and have so much yet to learn. Sometimes it seems we will “talk something to managing Editor • Patricia Heys death,” but it is our way of being sure we are listening and learning from one another. Associate Editor • Carla Wynn Davis Finally, our God is the one who is making all things new. We worship and trust the Phone • (770) 220-1600 gracious and loving Creator and Redeemer who is always renewing and remaking, Fax • (770) 220-1685 always transforming. We need not be afraid. E-Mail • email@example.com Web Site • www.thefellowship.info
fellowship! is published 7 times a year in Feb./March, April/May, June/July, Aug./Sept., Oct./Nov., Dec./Jan. and Special (Aug.) by The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Inc., 2930 Flowers Rd. South Ste 133, Atlanta, GA 30341. Periodicals postage paid at Atlanta, GA. USPS #015-625.
Daniel Vestal, CBF Executive Coordinator
Open House Ministries’ outreach to the local community includes an after-school program, food pantry, summer camps and Bible study.
Five Tips for ministering to college students
Ending poverty in the United States • Open House Ministries: Beacon of hope in Florida community • Church discovers mission, awarded grant • Beck lives, serves in impoverished North Carolina county • Field personnel, churches help teen complete high school
Affect: April Missions Education Resource Women in ministry • Lisenby follows calling to full-time missions work in China • Meet Pastors Ruth Cuellar and Lillian Hinds • Spotlight: Erin Spengeman, church starter; Mari Wiles, college chaplain; Jeanne Cross, seminary student; Jenny Jenkins, field personnel • Hospice chaplain helps patients, families through dying process
25 26 27 28-31
Affect: May Missions Education Resource
Carla Wynn Davis photo
By the Numbers : CBF’s 20th Anniversary
Partner Spotlight: Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty God’s Mission, Your Passion: Learn about the 2011 General Assembly in Tampa, Fla.
FROM THE EDITOR
“Ending the cycle of poverty”may seem like an impossible task, but in places such as Homestead, Fla., and Nada, Ky., the cycle is ending one student, one family and one community at a time. In this issue of fellowship! magazine, you’ll read about churches and field personnel who are working alongside impoverished communities in the United States. The country’s economic downturn has affected many Americans, but it is the poor who often suffer the most when financial crises hit. Despite their financial hardships, youth at Open House Ministries in Homestead, where a third of the population lives below the national poverty line, gave sacrificially last year to send $300 to earthquake survivors in Haiti. Through the ministry center, the young adults in Homestead are embracing hope for a better future — not just for themselves but for all who struggle. In this issue, you’ll also read about women who are following God’s call in their lives. They are just a few of the thousands of Fellowship Baptist women in ministry. By living out their calls to ministry — as chaplains, pastors, church starters, missions workers — they are powerful examples. Their stories and their passion for ministry can inspire us to hear God’s call in our own lives. Since its beginning, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has supported and encouraged women in ministry. It is part of the Fellowship’s mission to help individuals “discover and fulfill their God-given mission.” In May’s CBF missions education resources, preschoolers, children and youth will read stories of women serving in a variety of ministerial settings. They’ll also learn about the important role we all have to encourage and support each other in discovering where our specific passions meet God’s mission for the world.
Patricia Heys, managing editor firstname.lastname@example.org fellowship!
When you give... “When Fellowship Baptists give to the CBF Offering for Global Missions, they enable us to minister in the name of Christ to people whom most of us don’t even know exist. Those financial gifts help us to be a part of people’s lives in a tangible way as we help them meet their basic needs. It’s really about being the presence of Christ in their lives.”
One of CBF’s field personnel, Fort Worth, Texas
he apartment complex is nicknamed “the little United Nations.” It’s home to hundreds of refugees who have fled violence and persecution in their home countries and traveled to the United States, specifically, Fort Worth, Texas. Partnering with a Forth Worth church, Karen Morrow, one of CBF’s field personnel, has hosted block parties at the complex to welcome and reach out to refugees. And it’s at one of these parties that she met Sane. Sane, her husband, Ali, and their daughter had just arrived in the United States. Because of work Sane had done with the U.S. Army in Iraq, the family traveled directly from Baghdad, on a special visa for political asylum. By the time Morrow visited the family at their apartment a week after the block party, Sane had discovered a Baptist church nearby — a church with a “welcome” sign. Sane told Morrow about the church and how helpful the members were.
Karen Morrow and local churches reach out to refugees through block parties at a local apartment complex.
A Muslim, Sane had never been to a church. But when she was 5 years old, a Christian family lived near her in Iraq, and the two families picnicked together. “They were good people,” Sane said. “I decided when I came to America, I wanted to find Christian people.” Sane and her family have since moved to a different neighborhood and no longer attend the church, but Sane and Morrow remain friends. When Sane and her husband struggled to find employment, Morrow provided assistance. Sane serves as an important link between Morrow and the Iraqi refugee community. Together they have helped countless Iraqis deal with the challenges of beginning a new life in a strange country. Morrow tries to fill in the gaps that resettlement agencies, which provide assistance to refugees in the first few months, may miss. “Without help, many refugees just fall into urban poverty,” she said. “We don’t
take the place of the resettlement agencies. We provide friendship. We help them learn English, sort mail, learn to drive, find medical help, navigate the system and ask the right questions to get the help they need. Sometimes it’s little things: How do you get a fishing license? Where is the library? Where can we picnic?” Morrow, who previously ministered to Kurdish people in Germany, seeks to be the welcoming presence of Christ among Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians from all over the world. She partners with local churches, individuals and organizations to meet the needs of refugees in the most effective manner. “These are the nations that God is bringing to our door,” Morrow said. “We might not be able to engage in traditional missions work in all these nations, but we can try to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our new neighbors. We can be an example of Christ’s love.”
Please give. Your gifts to the CBF Offering for Global Missions enable the life-changing ministries of Karen Morrow in Texas. To give, use the envelope included in this issue or go to www.thefellowship.info/give. Learn more about Morrow’s ministry at www.thefellowship.info/morrow.
Ministering to the Roma in Slovakia
that she didn’t think it was a problem because Tomas was her friend and they were all the same. Breaking these types of barriers was also part of the Missouri team’s goals in Slovakia, such as when Johnson sat down for a haircut and the Roma students began to giggle with excitement. “The student who cut his hair had never cut the hair of a man before,” Shane Daniel Johnson, from Kirkwood Baptist Church, received a haircut from said. “I comforted Simona, a student in a Roma vocational school in Slovakia. Daniel with the old adage: ‘the difference between a good and Phillips hopes to get people and haircut and a bad one is only about two churches excited and involved from all over weeks.’ But it was an experience that will be the country. with those students forever.” “Members of our group now have a Harold Phillips, coordinator of CBF better understanding of why CBF considers of Missouri, said Slovakia provides an the Roma among the most neglected and excellent opportunity for the give-and-take most marginalized peoples,” Phillips said. learning and serving opportunities that “The McNarys personify the CBF global are part of the CBF ministry model. CBF missions effort and to be among them of Missouri has committed to a three-year inspires one to value even more all of the partnership with the McNarys in Slovakia, CBF field personnel.” Photo courtesy of Kirkwood Baptist
aniel Johnson, youth minister at Kirkwood Baptist Church in Missouri, shocked a group of high school students at a Roma vocational school in Kežmarok, Slovakia, by sitting down in a barber chair and saying “Okay, who is going to give me a haircut?” Johnson was one of five members of a vision team visiting Slovakia last fall as the church began a partnership with CBF field personnel Dianne and Shane McNary and their ministry among the Roma people. Although they have been in Slovakia for more than 600 years, the Roma people are frequently ostracized by Slovaks. Forced to live outside of towns and cities in communities that often have no electricity, utilities or garbage pickup, the Roma are among the most neglected people in Europe. As part of their ministry, the McNarys facilitate an English camp that brings Roma and Slovaks together. Just as the camp was wrapping up last summer a Roma boy named Tomas, told a story of how one day during the camp, as he was holding a bottle of water, Monika, a Slovak girl, came up to him and asked him for a drink. She took the bottle, drank, gave it back to Tomas and thanked him. With tears in his eyes, Tomas said that a white person never drinks after a Roma. Monika shared
You may have read about the ministry of CBF field personnel Dianne and Shane McNary this year as part of the CBF Offering for Global Missions international focus. As you think about ways to support and partner with their ministry, consider traveling to Slovakia or the Czech Republic to serve. View a video of their ministry on CBF’s YouTube Channel.
Cinobana mission reconstruction/expansion
Teams of 5 to 20 people are needed year-round to serve alongside local ministry partners conducting Backyard Bible Clubs, youth, sports and family camps, English outreach camps, and other assignments according to teams’ gifts and interests. When: Ongoing. Length: 7-10 days.
Teams of 7 to 10 people are needed to do reconstruction work, wood floor removal, landscaping, painting, construction, etc. Team members must have basic building skills. When: Ongoing. Length: 10+ days. English, sport or Roma children’s camp Teams of 7 to 10 people are needed to assist with English and sports camps. When: Ongoing. Length: One week.
Individuals and small teams (3 to 5 people) are needed year-round to help provide access to healthcare and health education for isolated Roma communities. Assignments will be planned around the specialties of team members. When: Ongoing. Length: 7-10 days. Partnerships with local ministries
For more information on the specific needs listed below or other opportunities, go to www.thefellowship.info/serve or contact Chris Boltin at email@example.com or (800) 352-8741. fellowship!
Creative ways to use fellowship! in church, small groups
Members of Winter Park’s Women’s Missionary Union have started using fellowship! magazine in their meetings.
Photo courtesy of Winter Park
t Winter Park Baptist Church in Wilmington, N.C., copies of CBF’s fellowship! magazine are sprinkled throughout the church building. Copies sit beside other publications in high traffic areas, making them easily accessible for church members to take home. Photos and articles from the magazine appear in display cases and bulletin boards around Winter Park, and each month information about CBF field personnel and ministries from the magazine are highlighted in the church’s newsletter. “Having the information on CBF ministries printed in our own communication materials reinforces the foundation of the vision of CBF even more,” said Mike Womble, associate pastor for senior adults and caring ministries at Winter Park. “It creates a repetition, and often someone will stop in the hall, point to a display or a bulletin board and say, ‘Hey, I just read about them in the newsletter.’ We had to increase the number of copies because of the success of this strategy.” Since its beginnings in 1991, CBF has distributed the fellowship! for free. The magazine communicates news about CBF and also serves as a resource for Fellowship Baptists, featuring ideas, inspiration and information for individuals and churches. Last year, the magazine increased its mission focus by including “Opportunities to Affect” (see pages 17 and 25 ), which provides specific ways to use the magazine’s stories in small groups, worship, book clubs and at home. Each issue of the bi-monthly magazine features two ministry themes — one for each month — with seven pages of information on each. “Winter Park is proud to be part of the CBF movement and having fellowship! as a resource for our congregation helps foster
Ideas for using fellowship! • Use the missional stories and the small group outline in fellowship! magazine and the material at www.thefellowship.info/ affectonline to lead monthly meetings of missions groups. • Select the books featured each month and create a Book Club ministry using the Reading Group study guide. • Use the missional stories in fellowship! as mis-
our congregation to more fully love God and their neighbor,” Womble said. The magazine is often used by missions groups, including the Woman’s Missionary Union at Winter Park. At Webster Groves Baptist Church in Webster Groves, Mo., the magazine serves as the missions resource on the second Wednesday of each month. In the church’s “Missions and Meal” night the evening’s mission program and meal both relate to the featured ministry in the magazine. For example, after eating traditional Indian dishes one evening, the program focused on the ministries of CBF field personnel Eddie and Macarena Aldape in In-
sion moments in worship or Sunday School. • Parents can use images and stories in fellowship! as a family activity to teach children about other cultures. • Dedicate one Wednesday night or Sunday School class per month to highlight the stories in fellowship! magazine. • Pastors and Sunday School teachers can include the mission stories in fellowship! magazine as sermon or lesson illustrations.
dia. A member of the church’s mission team presents the ministry story, using maps and images to elaborate on the setting and scope of the ministry. Then, those gathered enter a time of prayer, using the calendar provided on the Pray page of each issue. “We make sure that all members have a copy of the magazine so that they can be familiar with the missional focuses within CBF and the tools available within the magazine,” said Russell Cawthon, a member of Webster Groves’ mission team. “Several of our folks have said they read the magazine all the way through. The magazine is easy to use and follow step by step.”
You can sign up for a free subscription to fellowship! magazine at www.thefellowship.info/subscribe. To order multiple copies for use at your church, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. All previous copies of the fellowship! magazine are available online at www.thefellowship.info/fellowship.
Pray Praying the labyrinth
By Rick Bennett, CBF’s Director of Congregational Formation
I’ve delighted in the discovery of labyrinths large and small wherever I go, be they canvas, stone, or ften confused a mowed path in tall grass. with a maze, a I have found the following to labyrinth is a be the most simple, prayerful and journey whose helpful both for understanding Rick Bennett destination is and explaining the labyrinth. As both guided and certain. There you prepare to enter, take a mois one way in and one way out. You might ment to proclaim (to God) your intention feel as if you’re going in circles, but faith to be present with God. invites you into an assurance that the heart Release — With calm heart and mind, of God — a place of rest, refuge and rebegin your walk toward the center. Intennewal — is inevitable. tionally release those things that prevent My first experience of “praying the labyyou from resting in God, from moving rinth” came at just the right time. Healing toward the heart of God or from claiming from the emotional and spiritual challenges the future God has for you. You may find it of my first full-time ministry, I “discovered” helpful to cast them on the ground or drop the labyrinth as a place of refuge and rethem as you walk. Allow the Spirit to deternewal during a three-day retreat. Since then, mine your pace, but do not be in a hurry.
Prayer Calendar CH = Chaplain FP = Field Personnel FPC = Child of Field Personnel GMP = Global Missions Partner PC = Pastoral Counselor PLT = Church Planter
1 Frank Dawkins, Greenville, NC (PC) 1 Greg Smith, Fredericksburg, VA (FP) 2 Christie McTier, Dearing, GA (CH) 2 Frank Morrow, Aledo, TX (FP) 2 Leonora Newell, Helena, AR (FP) 2 Wayde Pope, Crestview, FL (CH) 3 Marjorie Avent, Charleston, SC (CH) 3 Charles Mason, Indianapolis, IN (CH) 3 Wayne Sibley, Pineville, LA (CH) 3 Thomas Wicker, Salado, TX (CH) 5 Eddy, Asia (FP) 5 Darcie Jones, Columbia, SC (CH) 6 Steven Mills, Cedar Mountain, NC (CH) 7 LaCount Anderson, Scotland Neck, NC (FP) 7 Patricia Baldwin, Fort Worth, TX (CH) 7 Nathan Dean, Atlanta, GA (PLT) 7 Bonnie Hicks, Woodstock, GA (CH) 7 Mary Timms, Hawkinsville, GA (CH) 7 Mary Wrye, Henderson, KY (CH) 9 Olen Grubbs, Hixson, TN (CH) 9 Jim Pruett, Matthews, NC (PC) 10 George Hemingway, High Springs, FL (CH) 10 Ben Hodge, Winston-Salem, NC (CH) 10 Alan Rogers, Kailua, HI (CH) 11 Geoffrey Bailey, Clarksville, TN (CH) 11 Laura Broadwater, Louisville, KY (CH) 11 Dee Donalson, Ethiopia (FP) 11 Steve James, Haiti (FP) 12 Ryan Clark, Philippines (FP)
12 Beverly Hatcher, Winston-Salem, NC (PLT) 13 Michelle Norman, Four Oaks, NC (FP) 13 Steve Sullivan, Little Rock, AR (CH) 14 Kerri Kroeker, Lakeland, FL (CH) 15 ________, Middle East (FP) 15 Jeff Flowers, Evans, GA (CH) 16 Kay Wright, Virginia Beach, VA (CH) 17 Allison Hicks, Middlesboro, KY (CH) 17 David Jones, Fort Worth, TX (CH) 18 Cyrus Bush, Pfafftown, NC (CH) 18 Ray Cooley, Wallingford, CT (CH) 18 Will Solomon, Alexandria, VA (CH) 19 Michael Lee, Hendersonville, NC (CH) 19 Jack Wehmiller, Murrayville, GA (FP) 20 ________, North Africa (FP) 20 David Chan, Houston, TX (CH) 20 Bill Harrill, Myrtle Beach, SC (CH) 20 Susan Stephenson, Edmond, OK (CH) 21 Richard Dorsey, Albuquerque, NM (CH) 22 Judith Grace, Temple, TX (CH) 22 Lucas Newell, 1997, Helena, AR (FPC) 22 Barry Pennington, Blue Springs, MO (CH) 23 Joseph Hwang, son, Philippines (GMP) 24 Brenda Atkinson, Greenville, SC (CH) 24 Daniel Bucur, Minot AFB, ND (CH) 24 Rhonda Gilligan-Gillespie, Indianapolis, IN (CH) 24 Laura Mannes, San Antonio, TX (CH) 24 Travis Smith, Casar, NC (CH) 24 Leslie Stith, Liberty, MO (CH) 25 Connie Graham, Fitzgerald, GA (CH) 26 Hyun Woo Shin, Southeast Asia (GMP) 27 Pat Davis, Baton Rouge, LA (CH) 27 Carter Harrell, 1995, East Africa (FPC) 27 Pete Parks, Williamsburg, VA (CH) 28 Gary McFarland, Charlotte, NC (PC) 29 Ted Dougherty, Winston-Salem, NC (PC) 30 Joseph Caldwell, Mill Valley, CA (CH) 30 Erika Houser, 2001, Southern Africa (FPC) 30 Charles Wallace, Fort Worth, TX (CH)
Receive (Rest) — For many, the center of the labyrinth symbolizes the heart of God, the place of refuge, rest and renewal. Spend as much time here as you like or as is necessary. Spend the time here in silence, perhaps journaling, interceding for others or even sleeping. Stand, sit or lie down. Again, allow the Spirit to determine your pace. Return — Attentive to the Spirit’s prompts, “go back the way you came” at a pace of the Spirit’s leading. Having found rest in the heart of God, reengage the mission of God in the world with renewed confidence (con+fide = with + faith) and strength for the continued journey. Listen. Engage. To learn more about the labyrinth or to locate one near you, order the resource Light for the Path: Resources for Christian Spiritual Formation from The CBF Store.
1 Michael Coggins, Hurlburt Field, FL (CH) 1 Katherine Higgins, Mint Hill, NC (CH) 1 Bob Whitten, Springfield, VA (PC) 2 Cathy Cole, Aiken, SC (CH) 2 Deborah Gaddis, Austin, TX (CH) 2 Stephen Murphy, Honolulu, HI (CH) 2 Jessica Rose, Peru (FP) 2 Matthew Sherin, 2004, Columbia, MO (FPC) 2 Lynn Walker, Chickasha, OK (PLT) 2 Terry Wilson, Mt. Pleasant, SC (CH) 3 Leah Harding, 1992, Orlando, FL (FPC) 3 Raeburn Horne, Louisville, KY (CH) 4 Gary Metcalf, Kingsport, TN (CH) 4 George Sipek, Lillington, NC (CH) 4 Skip Wisenbaker, Atlanta, GA (CH) 5 Austin, 2004, Asia (FPC) 5 Jimmy Cole, Spain (FP) 5 Bruce Gourley, Bozeman, MT (PLT) 5 Karen Long, Birmingham, AL (CH) 5 Jay Westfall, India (FP) 6 Carol Dalton, Swannanoa, NC (CH) 6 Steve Smith, Liberty, MO (CH) 7 Dora Saul, Fort Worth, TX (CH) 8 Stanton Cheatham, Madison, MS (CH) 8 Glenn Elkins, Edmond, OK (CH) 8 Bruce Hunter, Troy, VA (PLT) 9 Evan Bridges, 1995, Starkville, MS (FPC) 9 David Harding, Orlando, FL (FP) 9 Jin Chul Kim, Philippines (GMP) 10 Sun Woo Kim, son, Philippines (GMP) 10 Frances McKown, Burnsville, NC (CH) 11 Larry Ballew, China (FP) 11 Joanna Humphrey, Ruther Glen, VA (CH) 11 Robbi Francovich, Emeritus (FP) 12 Charles Admire, Sanford, NC (CH) 13 Sa Mo Choi, Asia (GMP) 13 Samson Naidoo, Garland, TX (CH) 14 Scott McBroom, Charleston, SC (PC)
14 JoAnne Morris, Louisville, KY (CH) 15 Paula Settle, Eastern Kentucky (FP) 16 ________, daughter, North Africa (FPC) 16 Alex, 2001, Asia (FPC) 16 Dewey Bland, Inverness, FL (CH) 16 Lauren Brewer, Student.Go intern, Belgium (FP) 16 Steven Harris, Salem, VA (PC) 16 John Reeser, Sautee Nacoochee, GA (CH) 16 Leela Togba-Doya, 2007, Liberia (FPC) 16 Jodi Walker, Student.Go intern, Czech Republic (FP) 17 Robert Duvall, Lawrenceville, GA (CH) 17 Nell Green, Canada (FP) 18 Wayne Hill, Greenville, NC (PC) 18 Ciera Maas, 2003, Belize (FPC) 19 Gwyen Driskill-Dunn, Fort Worth, TX (CH) 19 Becky Schultheiss, Elyria, OH (CH) 20 Micah James, 1994, Haiti (FPC) 21 ________, New Jersey (FP) 21 Laley Norman, 2005, Four Oaks, NC (FPC) 21 Ron Winstead, Emeritus (FP) 22 Jon Ivy, Tuscaloosa, AL (CH) 22 Steven Unger, Kailua, HI (CH) 23 Cheryl Adamson, Conway, SC (PLT) 23 Polly Barnes, Brandon, MS (CH) 23 Jared Neal, Atlanta, GA (CH) 23 John Schumacher, Florence, SC (CH) 24 Cindy Clark, Philippines (FP) 24 Michael Walker, Fort Stewart, GA (CH) 26 Hunter, Asia (FP) 26 Valerie Hardy, Loganville, GA (CH) 26 Gerry Hutchinson, Culpeper, VA (CH) 27 James Gilbert, Deville, LA (CH) 28 Hardy Clemons, San Antonio, TX (PC) 28 Laurel Morrow, 1992, Aledo, TX (FPC) 30 Randy Ridenour, Norman, OK (CH) 30 Winston Shearin, Jacksonville, NC (CH) 31 Kelley Woggon, Louisville, KY (CH)
n the spring of 2009, Wendell Griffen was struck by a conviction. He felt called to start a new church that would encourage an openminded examination of how God would have people to live. Griffen and several like-minded Baptists started a church in Little Rock, Ark., called New Millennium Church. Today, the congregation includes more than 25 people. Partnering with a local elementary school, college and CBF’s Together For Hope rural poverty ministries, church members are taking an active role in being the presence of Christ in their community. Griffen, who serves as the church’s pastor and also works as a federal circuit judge, recently attended a CBF narrative leadership re-
treat, gathering with other church leaders to explore a listening-based approach to leadership. “Often, ministers are expected to set a vision for the church and hope that the congregation follows,” he said. “I learned that listening first can be the key to leading a congregation more effectively.” Griffen is one of the featured preachers for the Wendell Griffen Leadership Institute, an annual training event held during CBF’s General Assembly. This year’s institute is June 22, 1-4 p.m. in Tampa, Fla., with a focus on “Prophetic Preaching for Anxious People.” Online registration is available at www.thefellowship.info.
Mary Lou Fine
n the 1980s, as Northwest Baptist Church in Ardmore, Okla., decided to ordain female deacons for the first time, Mary Lou Fine came to an understanding of her own. “I believe that we are all equal in God’s eyes when we commit our lives to Him,” Fine said. Fine is no stranger to that commitment. A member of Northwest Baptist for more than 50 years, Fine spends time working with the children’s ministry and serves on the missions team.
Fine not only supports the work of CBF field personnel serving around the world, but she also believes in the importance of serving in her local community. Fine serves at a soup kitchen and at Loaves and Fishes, an emergency food pantry program that provides a week’s worth of groceries to people in crisis. “So many people need our help in this community,” she said. “I can’t wait to see what I can do next.”
Mary Lou Fine
uring the bus ride home from a week-long church mission trip in Helena-West Helena, Ark., Ralph Beshears had an epiphany — why couldn’t his church make the same impact at home that they made in Arkansas? It was a simple idea, but one that sparked the passion of First Baptist Church in Elkin, N.C. Church members had been traveling to Arkansas for several years to participate in All Church Challenge, a two-week missions event that is part of CBF’s rural poverty initiative known as Together for Hope. During his first trip, Beshears, a retired school teacher and soccer coach, remembered thinking that this camp would be just like any other children’s camp.
Then, he heard the prayer of one camper after soccer practice: “Dear Lord, thank you for helping us feel safe here at this camp.” Beshears’ heart changed in that moment. After experiencing first-hand what it meant to be the presence of Christ to children in Arkansas, Beshears and a team from First Baptist have since created the Elkin Community Kids Camp for children in their own county. “We have established an ongoing relationship with one neighborhood,” he said. “It’s what we are called to do.”
Mary Lois and Tom Sanders
ary Lois and Tom Sanders have been committed to the Fellowship since its beginning. They were there when the organization chose its name, its leadership and discerned its purpose. “At the time, helping organize CBF was not even a choice for us,” Sanders said. “We had to stand up for the Baptist freedoms that we hold dear. That is why we stayed so involved.” When the very first CBF General Assembly was announced 20 years ago, the Sanders quickly signed up to attend. They have attended every Assembly since and will be volunteering at the 2011 Assembly, which will be held June 22-25 in Tampa, Fla. The Sanders, who live in Florida, are also active supporters of CBF
missions, having traveled to China with Brenda Lisenby, one of CBF’s field personnel. Recently, they have been involved with planting a new church in central Florida. “The key for us is that CBF is a true fellowship of likeminded Baptists,” Sanders said. “CBF fills a need for us and for so many others.”
Tom and Mary Lois Sanders
for ministering to college students By Wanda Kidd
Like most people who are passionate about college ministry, my own campus ministry experience was life-changing. I do not say that lightly. I was headed in one direction and under the leadership of my campus minister; my life went in a new direction. College ministry provided me with leadership opportunities that allowed me to explore my gifts and see them play themselves out in the lives of others. It made such an impact on my life that I knew that providing these opportunities for other young adults was what I wanted to do with my life in Christ. College is often the first place a student looks in a “theological mirror” and sees herself/himself as an individual with a future they must live into. “Why am I here?” and “what am I suppose to do with my life?” are questions students ask daily. I believe that it is the privilege and responsibility of the church to be present with a Christian response to those questions. As messy as it is, it is that calling that makes me passionate about college ministry. Here are a few ideas for helping your church minister to college students:
Put together a team of people in your church
It will take a village to reach college students from a local campus or stay connected to the students who grew up in your church. The team needs people who are passionate about ministry to college students. It should include people who work at the community college, professors, college ministers, people with the gift of hospitality and students. Ministering to college students requires space to ask questions, a place to belong and lots of food.
CBF’s Collegiate Ministry Specialist
Determine the ministry you want to provide
There is a difference between ministry that is “to” college students and “with” college students. A ministry “to” students is often based on hospitality and blending students into the congregation. A ministry “with” students seeks to meet their unique needs, to encourage leadership development and to foster spiritual growth. Often this type of ministry involves more investment from a church. Through the CBF speaker’s bureau face2face, Fellowship staff members are available to consult with your church about resources, strategies and ideas for developing a college ministry. Go to www.thefellowship.info/face2face to learn more.
Whatever programs you develop to reach out to college students, at the heart of the ministry is people. The four years of college are a unique time in young people’s lives, and it may be difficult for other generations to relate — or even remember our experience in college! Be active in building relationships with students. Ask them what they think about recent events, what they are watching on television and the songs on their iPod. Better yet, listen to those songs and watch those shows yourself.
Provide opportunities for students to serve
Current college students have been reared to value service. What we as the church are entrusted to do is to help them see the difference between doing good and serving others through Christ. Invite them to serve with you on projects, worship planning or helping with the children’s ministry. Reflection is a significant part of serving others. Help them process not only what they just did, but as Christians, why they did it. CBF offers several opportunities for students to serve with other students, including the Student.Go missions program and summer congregational internships. Learn more at www.thefellowship.info/students.
Learn from others
Connect with others in your community or in the larger Fellowship Baptist community who are engaged in ministry to students. Ask them questions about what works and what doesn’t work. Learn about the resources they have found useful. The CBF college ministry network connects lay leaders and ministers throughout the country who are serving college students.
To learn more, contact Wanda Kidd at email@example.com or (800) 352-8741. Sign up to receive the quarterly CBF College Ministry e-newsletter at www.thefellowship.info/subscribe. fellowship!
Carla Wynn Davis photo
Open Houseâ€™s after-school programs bring nearly 100 children and youth to the center each week.
Support the work of Open House Ministries by giving to the CBF Offering for Global Missions. using the envelope included in this issue or by going online to www.thefellowship.info/give.
Ending the cycle of poverty Open House Ministries serves as beacon of hope in Florida community
n Homestead, Fla. — a major agricultural area that was hard hit by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 — Wanda Ashworth Valencia, one of the Cooperative Baptist
Fellowship’s field personnel, is making a difference in this neighborhood’s fight against poverty.
For the past seven years, Valencia has served as the director of Open House Ministries, a holistic neighborhood center that gives space to a free health clinic, sponsors a 12-step recovery program for youth with addictions, provides an emergency food pantry and runs after-school and summer programs for children and teenagers, among other outreach programs and events. At the heart of everything Open House does is the goal of showing Christ’s love and providing hope for a better life — essential elements to overcoming the cycle of poverty. “Our main focus is on spiritual and educational development,” Valencia said. “Sometimes the best thing we can do is to come alongside a brother or sister and help them see themselves the way God sees them.” Open House’s after-school programs bring nearly 100 children and youth to the center each week offering students the opportunity to participate in small group Bible studies, worship time and singing. One of those youth is Continue on page 12
This year’s Offering goal is $5.5 million and you are a vital part of reaching the goal. You can give by fellowship!
17-year-old Jose, nicknamed Oso. For him, Open House has been a place of acceptance, not only assistance. When Oso came to Open House a year and a half ago, he was nervous about what kind of people he would meet in that “Christian” place, but a friend talked him into coming. Initially, he found a home at the center’s Thursday night “J.A.M.” (Jesus and Me) group, where young adults have a meal together, play games, worship and engage in Bible study. Then, Oso made his way into another group — Alive Again, a 12-step recovery program to help youth overcome addictions. “When I first came, I was doing drugs and getting into a lot of things that a teen shouldn’t. Lucky for me, I started working the steps and talking in Alive Again about all the things going on in my life,” Oso said. “Now, I can say that I know the difference between right and wrong. I am thankful for Open House and all the people that make
About Wanda Ashworth Valencia Originally from Wingate, N.C., Wanda Ashworth Valencia has ministered to the community of Homestead, Fla. — one of the state’s poorest communities — through Open House Ministries since 2004. Prior to serving at Open House, Valencia served as director of music and youth at First Baptist Church in York, S.C. She is a graduate of CBF partner Gardner-Webb University’s School of Divinity in North Carolina. Learn more about Valencia’s ministry at www.thefellowship.info/valencia.
this place possible.” Seeing life-changing experiences like Oso’s and watching young people — some who have lived months without hot water or electricity in their homes — stand and sing praises to God, Valencia marvels at how she sees God at work in Homestead. “[For some of our young people], their faith is very real and very raw. They do not come to worship because their parents or an auntie or a grandmama makes them come — they come because they are hungry for God. They live out their faith everyday in a really hard place,” Valencia said.
Ending the cycle of poverty A joint ministry of the Fellowship and CBF of Florida, Open House began as a disaster relief effort in 1992 following Hurricane Andrew. But after seeing the ongoing poverty in the community, local residents and Fellowship Baptists began dreaming of a ministry center that would serve as a beacon of hope in the community. Built with volunteer labor, the yellow 9,000-squarefoot building that is home to Open House Ministries opened in 2000. Today, a third of the population in Homestead lives below the national poverty line. The factors that contribute to the cycle of poverty in this community are varied and complex, including lack of job opportunities, poor wage compensation, a high drop out rate from schools, immigration and addiction. Agricultural work, which comprises a large part of the local economy, is never steady because it is dependent on the weather. Even when the work is there, the pay is meager. Most field workers performing rigorous physical labor receive 70 cents per bushel they pick, which is not enough to support their families. With only half of teenagers in Homestead graduating from high school, many are left unprepared for further education or employment. But, according to Valencia, it is the undocumented adults that came to America
as infants or toddlers who have the toughest time securing a better future. “The young people who came to our country in the arms of their undocumented parents probably face the harshest reality,” said Valencia. “We recognize their basic human needs and allow them to be part of our educational system until they are 18, but then their status suddenly changes. As undocumented adults, they cannot obtain legal work, a driver’s license or afford further education. Many bright young people are being discarded as ‘illegals.’” Part of Valencia’s day-to-day responsibilities at Open House involve interacting with a social work referral agency and a grassroots community development and advocacy group to address some of these problems. Working together, they try to instill hope and alleviate the pain of poverty whenever possible. “To be true servants, we need to recognize our own brokenness, to realize that we are joined — we are all in this together,” Valencia said. “[My years at Open House] have taught me to relate to the folks in this community as brothers and sisters — not paternalistically, as if I have all the answers. Yes, I can be a bridge to needed resources, but I am not a savior. There is only one of those.”
Giving to those who need it most Despite limited financial resources, the people of Homestead have rallied to help those in greatest need. When a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, affecting millions of people, the community found ways to give. “This community gave out of their poverty to help their brothers and sisters to the south,” Valencia said. “Our youth raised almost $300 — collecting nickels, dimes and quarters. They gave whatever they had, and many family members contributed sacrificially.” Partnerships with Fellowship Baptists are easing the pain of poverty in Homestead, too. For the past four years, church members from Tallahassee Fellowship, a small church that meets in the home of its pastor,
Learn about opportunities to serve alongside Open House Ministries at www.thefellowship.info/serve. Or contact Chris Boltin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 352-8741. Opportunities are available year-round for individuals and teams.
Carla Wynn Davis photos
Tallahassee Fellowship has served at Open House often, leading free summer camps for children and youth.
have traveled to work at Open House Ministries’ free summer camp. The church also supports the center financially each month and through prayers and other ways. “They hosted a big barbecue, complete with swimming in a pool — which was a big deal. They have adopted families at Christmas so that parents could be the ones to give their child a gift. They have served sacrificially and intentionally in a way that is amazing for such a small fellowship,” said Valencia. “Little is much when God is in it.”
In addition to Tallahasee Fellowship, numerous CBF partner churches are part of leading Open House’s eight weeks of summer camps, serving more than 120 children and youth each week. Partnering with the Miami-Dade School Lunch Program, Open House is able to provide nutritious lunches to children and youth. The camps teach children about the love of Christ while also providing a safe place to go during the summer while their parents work. The ministries of Open House are made
possible in part through gifts to the CBF Offering for Global Missions. When individuals and churches give to the CBF Offering, they are helping share the presence of Christ in Homestead and around the world. “Without the gifts and service of Fellowship Baptists, we could not embrace the ministry opportunities before us,” Valencia said. “These contributions make the work of Open House possible.” By contributing writer Laurie Entrekin fellowship!
‘Radical nature of Jesus’
Church discovers mission, awarded grant from CBF
When Delores Harrison found herself without a job and her cupboards bare, she was thankful for the local food pantry run by Cornerstone. Touched by the outpouring of friendship and assistance, Harrison asked if the pantry needed volunteers. Immediately she began helping the organization that helped her. “It was really a blessing in my life,” she said. “It gave me a purpose, a way to help.” That was more than a year ago, and while Harrison now has a job, she still serves regularly at the food pantry. Because of Cornerstone’s food ministry includes a senior adult mobile food program, partnering with its missional local schools to provide nutritious meals to transformation, students and neighborhood food pantries. Cornerstone was awarded a CBF “It’s Time” Missional Ministry Grant. The grant has such as weekly barbecues in low-income neighallowed the church to extend its reach to more borhoods and a youth mission week to engage than 300 families and 1,400 individuals, providstudents in what it means to live missionally. ing food, clothing and opportunities for special “When we started our missional journey, it needs adults. wasn’t our intent to grow the church or increase “CBF has been such an encouragement to giving,” he said. “But what has been a blessing is us,” Arney said. “It’s helped us to see that even seeing the people come and have their passions though we are not large, we can be captured by stirred and see them engaging in the church.” the largeness of the kingdom of God.” More projects are planned in Lee’s Summit, By contributing writer Bob Perkins photo Courtesy of Cornerstone
mile from Cornerstone Church in Lee’s Summit, Mo., is a section 8 housing development, a community often ignored and sometimes reviled by the city’s residents. A few years ago, as Cornerstone Church began a process of discernment about what it means to be part of God’s mission for the world, the church members decided to extend hospitality to their neighbors. “[The housing complex] is isolated from the rest of the community and even out of people’s line of sight,” said Cornerstone pastor Chuck Arney. “Unfortunately, people often stereotype based on socio-economic status. But once we started getting to know the people living down the street from our church, we discovered that we have a lot in common.” Arney describes Cornerstone as a suburban church that until a few years ago had passion without a home. Through the church’s discernment process, which included using the Fellowship’s “It’s Time” resource, members prayed for guidance and then formed teams to help address local issues, such as poverty, hunger and socioeconomic division. “When we started talking about the radical nature of Jesus, some people left the church,” Arney said. “It was sort of a refiner’s fire for us. It was painful, but it became apparent that the folks that were left – our core – showed incredible passion. The people who have been worshipping with us for years became involved and encouraging others and inviting others to come and be a part of it as well.” Cornerstone began helping feed people in the community. The senior adult mobile food pantry delivers food and friendship to 40 residents who have a difficult time traveling because of disability or limited access to transportation. The backpack club partners with school administrators, counselors and teachers to provide food to more than 100 school-age children. “It was important to us to form relationships with our community,” Arney said. “We didn’t want to be perceived as a provider. From the beginning, we built this to find people who are doing wonderful things and join in with them.”
Established in 2006, the “It’s Time” Missional Ministry grant is available to qualifying churches to encourage them in their missional journey. Grants up to $25,000 are available for missional ministries that help to engage a church’s community. For eligibility information and a grant application, visit www.thefellowship.info/grant. To order It’s Time: A Journey Toward Missional Faithfulness, contact The CBF Store at (888) 801-4223.
In the neighborhood
Beck lives, serves in impoverished North Carolina community
presence will help facilitate these ministries. Slowly, her efforts to connect with the neighborhood are beginning to impact individuals. Beck tells the story of a grandmother raising her two grandchildren. After the grandmother attended the final night of Vacation Bible School last summer, she saw what the church and Beck were doing to serve the children of the neighborhood.
Now the grandmother attends City of Hope and leads the singing during Sunday morning worship. “The longer I work and live here, the more I’m convinced if we help one family or one child it will be worth it,” Beck said. “If I can help rescue one, I believe that will ripple out to others.” By contributing writer Vicki Brown Cecelia Beck, far right, visits with neighbors at a park in Shelby, N.C., where she lives and ministers.
Carla Wynn Davis photo
mother stabs her husband while the couple’s four children watch. A 10-yearold girl clings to her grandmother’s hand as they walk home. Since being molested, she’s afraid to be alone. This is not an uncommon occurrence in the rougher neighborhoods of Shelby, N.C., where police respond to an average of 6,000 calls each year. Shelby is a community of approximately 1,000 residents, and most live in poverty. This is where Cecelia Beck, a North Carolina native and one of CBF’s self-funded field personnel, lives and ministers. For more than a year, she has been living in Shelby, where churches and individuals are helping her renovate a house. Soon, she prays she’ll be able to move into the home and become part of the community. “My biggest goals are to get into my house, so it can be a safe place for those who need it, and for people to begin to see that they can trust me, to see me as a resource. That is the key to the whole ministry,” Beck said. Formerly serving as a short-term CBF worker in Canada, Beck ministered to refugees and discovered that building relationships was primary to meeting needs and sharing the gospel. While completing a degree in pastoral care and counseling at Gardner-Webb University, a CBF partner, Beck decided she wanted to pursue a ministry similar to what she had done in Canada. “I became aware of the neighborhood in Shelby, and became convicted that I needed to stay in my own backyard. I have a passion for these folks,” said Beck, who also works as a hospice chaplain in a neighboring county. Shortly after partnering with the Cleveland County Community Development Corporation to arrange her housing, Beck found opportunities to meet nearby residents. After Beck introduced herself, one woman responded, “Thank you, Jesus. A neighbor and I have been praying three times a day for a Christian to move into that house.” Beck also partners with City of Hope, a small church plant, to provide programs for children, including a Thursday evening Bible study and children’s church on Sunday mornings. The church wants to expand the current food program and children’s activities, and Beck hopes her constant
Learn about opportunities to serve alongside Beck in North Carolina at www.thefellowship.info/serve. Or contact Chris Boltin at email@example.com or (800) 352-8741. fellowship!
‘The whole Baptist village’ Field personnel, churches help teen complete high school, head to college
Church Winchester, Ky., started the Nada Mission where Charlene began attending church services as a young girl. Now Settle is coordinating with Kentucky churches to meet Helton’s academic needs as she prepares to graduate from high school and begin college. Lexington Avenue Baptist Church in Danville, Ky., plans to buy a laptop computer and Broadway Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., is covering all of her senior expenses including her senior trip, test fees and graduation cap and gown. “These churches have come here year after year and know her family. They want to do whatever they can to help,” Settle said. “It’s going to take the whole Baptist village to get her to college.” Settle’s work to help residents overcome poverty takes many forms. One of Settle’s ministries involves tutoring students at Owsley County Elementary School. She tries to meet needs when possible, such as recently purchasing 225 pencils; the school couldn’t depend on parents to provide the pencils required to take a state test. She also helps organize reverse mission trips to introduce Owsley and Powell teenagers and adults to other parts of the country since many of them have never traveled outside of their own county. Hominy Baptist Church in Candler, N.C.; Blacksburg Baptist Church in Blacksburg, Va.; First Baptist Church in Winchester, Va.; Memorial Baptist Church in Arlington, Va.; and Millbrook
Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C., have all hosted groups from eastern Kentucky. The trips give the Kentucky teenagers a chance to observe routines that aren’t so routine in their communities, such as adults who go to work every day. While Settle recognizes that she can’t help everyone in need and that some don’t desire to make changes necessary to overcome poverty, she seeks to be the presence of Christ wherever possible. “I want to help people and see people reach their potential,” Settle said. “I want to be with them in the good times and bad.” By contributing writer Charlotte Tubbs
Charlene Helton will be the first woman to attend college from her hometown of Nada, Ky., a community of 50 families.
Learn more about Paula Settle’s ministry at www.thefellowship.info/settle. To learn more about Together for Hope, go to www.thefellowship.info/ruralpoverty. You can also view videos about CBF’s rural poverty initiative on the Fellowship’s YouTube Channel — www.youtube.com/cbfvideo.
Photo courtesy of Debbie Rison
ollege applications can bring a host of stresses for high school students, from writing a stand-out essay to balancing a resume with community service, athletic pursuits and academic achievements. For 18-year-old Charlene Helton, the stress started with her phone number. Helton’s family income is less than $800 a month. Bills are rarely paid on time, and the phone bill often goes unpaid. When the phone service is cut and later restored, the family receives a new phone number. “She has a different number every month,” said Paula Settle, one of CBF’s self-funded field personnel, who serves in eastern Kentucky. Colleges need a way to reach Helton, so Settle put Helton on her personal cell phone plan. Through Together for Hope, CBF’s rural poverty initiative in 20 of the United States’ poorest counties, Settle serves Charlene and others in Kentucky’s Powell and Owsley counties. Both rural counties on the western edge of Appalachia struggle with generational poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and drug abuse. Students often drop out of high school to help support their families, but their lack of education makes it even more difficult to find decent-paying employment in an area where jobs are scarce. Helton will be the first woman to attend college from her hometown of Nada, a community of 50 families in Powell County. Last summer she was one of 1,000 Kentucky high school juniors and seniors named as Governor’s Scholars, an honor reserved for the best students in the state. The myriad obstacles that Helton has faced could have deterred even the most dedicated student. Her father died three years ago, her mother died in December and she lived the first 16 years of her life in a house with no indoor plumbing. In addition to Helton’s persistence, churches have invested in Helton throughout her life, making repairs to her family’s house and holding Vacation Bible School and other activities for the youth of Nada. In 1991 volunteers from First Baptist
Missions Education Resource How to use this page
The suggestions below will be helpful for using the stories on pages 10-17 of this issue in the life of your church. Small Group interaction, Study Group or Reading Group options are given, as well as suggestions for other congregational or family settings. Go online to www.thefellowship.info/affectonline for more suggestions.
Poverty in the United States
In Small Groups:
The following is an outline for adult mission groups, Bible study classes or other small groups. Share copies of fellowship! with group members prior to the meeting and have some extra copies available. These suggestions are for a 45-minute time frame. 1. Before the small group meeting, gather large pieces of paper and markers. 2. Ask: What words come to mind when you think of an “open house?” What kinds of people have attended the open houses you’ve been invited to? Were they for insiders, members of a particular group? Was there an implied dress code? 3. Wanda Ashworth Valencia says that “hope for a better life” is critical to overcoming poverty. If people are hopeless, how might that affect the way they make decisions about education (for themselves or their children), finances (saving versus spending) and relationships? 4. Both the government and the private sector offer many programs to help poor people, but they aren’t equal in offering hope. List some of the programs in your community and beyond. Which ones do you think are best at offering hope along with meeting felt needs? Why? 5. Discuss Cecilia Beck’s work in Shelby, N.C. Beck says, “If I can help rescue one, I believe that will ripple out to others.” What encouraging signs has she seen along the way? Identify some of the ripples in Homestead and Shelby. What ripples have affected your life? How have you sent ripples out to others?
Have you seen positive results or are you still waiting in faith? 6. Distribute papers and markers and ask each participant to draw a visual representation of how the ministries of the church ripple out into the community. How have the community and the church been mutually transformed? What new ripples is God calling you to send out in the coming year? How can your community of faith become more of an “open house?”
Cooperative baptiSt fellowShip | www.thefellowShip.info
Serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission
Ending the cycle of poverty Learn more about how Fellowship Baptists are working to end the cycle of poverty in the United States on pages 10-16.
7. Close in prayer also noting those on this month’s Prayer Calendar (p. 7): Thank you, God, for Wanda Ashworth Valencia and Cecilia Beck. Give them strength for the challenges of each day and joy as they represent you in Homestead and Shelby. Help them to always be aware of your presence with them. Help us to reach out in friendship to them and the people they serve. Unite us in our desire to become more like the Christ who is at work in each of our communities. Amen.
At Home: Around the Table 1. Locate recent school supply lists for the children in your family. Have several school supplies hidden in various places around the house where children can find them and provide baskets or bags for collecting them. Help the oldest child set up an age-appropriate obstacle course either outside or in one room of the house. 2. Give each child a copy of his or her most recent school supply list. Highlight the items that are hidden around the house and give the children a few minutes to look for them. 3. Ask the children: How important are the items on this list? What is most important? What would happen if you didn’t have this to do your work at school or to do your homework? 4. From the fellowship! magazine article, tell them about Paula Settle and her work with children and families in Kentucky. Tell them that many children don’t have the supplies they need to do their best work at school, and many children have to quit school before they graduate. 5. Give each child a chance to go through the obstacle course. Ask them which part was most difficult. Discuss any obstacles they might face at school and how they deal with them. 6. Talk about the many ways CBF partner churches have been involved with families in Powell and Owsley counties. Focus on their involvement with Char-
lene. Say: Even though Charlene was a very good student, she faced several obstacles in getting to college. List those obstacles together (no permanent phone number, very difficult circumstances in her family, not enough money for even basic necessities). 7. Why does Paula Settle say that it will take “the whole Baptist village” to get Charlene to college? Who makes up this village? How can we be part of the village that helps children like Charlene? (Decide on at least one concrete step you will take as a family to help children who don’t have school supplies. Consider ways to involve others in your church or neighborhood.)
In Reading Groups The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver’s first novel, tells the story of Taylor Greer, a young woman from rural Kentucky who flees to Arizona to avoid the pitfalls of poverty and early pregnancy that have overtaken her peers. The surprises that await her there bring friendship, heartbreak and insight into both the human condition and her own heart.
Women in ministry “As many of you as are baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:27-28
Since its inception, the Fellowship has advocated an inclusive approach to the role of women in ministry. The founding document of CBF reads, “In Galatians Paul follows the spirit of Jesus who courageously challenged the conventional wisdom of his day. It was a wisdom with rigid boundaries between men and women in religion and public life. Jesus deliberately broke those barriers. He called women to follow him; he treated women as equally capable of dealing with sacred issues. Our model for the role of women in matters of faith is the Lord Jesus.” On the next few pages you’ll read about a few of the many Fellowship Baptist women who are living out their callings to ministry as chaplains, church starters, pastors and missions workers.
F e b r ua r y / M a r c h 2 0 1 1
A life of service
Lisenby follows calling to full-time missions work in China
rom childhood Brenda Lisenby was taught that God calls girls and women to serve. This calling goes beyond praying for missions and giving to missions. It also means doing missions, sometimes traveling to far away countries and committing to a life of fulltime missions service.
Lisenby grew up attending Pecan Acres Baptist Church, a small country church in Duncan Woods, Texas, and became a Christian in the spring of her 4th grade school year, during a church-wide revival. As a child, she didn’t dream of missions, but during college, where she majored in elementary education, she began considering traveling to China to teach English. “There was no voice, no message saying, ‘Go to China,’” said Lisenby. “But looking at my life and my skills — the way God had used me — I was feeling a sense of call to go overseas on mission. I had a sense of call to China because I loved Asian culture and had several Asian friends at university, I wanted to teach nationals in their own country.” In 1989, after graduating from college, Lisenby packed her bags and headed to China to teach English as a second language. “My number one job description was to teach English,” Lisenby said. “Number two, be an encourager to Chinese Christians and attend the local church. Number three, be a life witness. These three objectives continued to shape my call. They’re my guiding principles even now.”
By the end of her second year, Lisenby had started to believe “God could really use me here.” At the end of her assignment in 1992, she returned to the United States, began working on a doctorate in multicultural education and English as a second language and looked for a way to return to China. In 1999, Lisenby was commissioned as one of CBF’s fully-funded field personnel. For many years, she lived in Nanning and worked under contract with the local university, teaching English writing courses and serving through other ministries. In the years since, Lisenby’s role has changed. She now coordinates partnerships with the government and develops new ministries for special populations, including students and immigrants. She works alongside local churches to coordinate summer English camp. She also provides training to teachers and staff at Angel House, which provides learning opportunities for children with special needs, and to teachers at a school for the blind in Chongqing. One of her most recent ministry endeavors is weekly parent education workshops, which she conducts for
Nepalese women in Hong Kong. These families often do not have the traditional family network and support that they would have in their homeland, and, facing financial hardships in China, both parents often end up working — usually leaving children unsupervised. Lisenby is pleased that the women are beginning to share about their lives and develop trust in each other. Recalling Romans 1:12: “Be mutual encouragers of one another,” Lisenby has tried to be a spiritual encourager for girls and women in China over the years, feeling a sense of calling to invest in people, in their lives and in the relationship. Some relationships have lasted more than 12 years. “I just encourage them because so many times they don’t get encouragement in their families. I try to encourage them to see themselves as a child of God, to help them get a different perspective,” she said. By contributing writer Laurie Entrekin
Right: Working alongside local churches, Brenda Lisenby, coordinates and leads English camps for children. Opposite: Lisenby, right, has served in China as one of CBF’s fullyfunded field personnel since 1999.
Brenda Lisenby’s ministry in China is supported by gifts to the CBF Offering for Global Missions, which provides for field personnel salaries and ministry expenses. To give to the CBF Offering use the envelope provided in this issue or go to www.thefellowship.info/give. fellowship!
Pastor, Iglesia Bautista Hispana El Buen Pastor Ruth Cuellar has served as pastor of Iglesia Bautista Hispana El Buen Pastor, which translates “Hispanic Baptist Church the Good Shepherd,” for more than a decade. In 2000, she started the church in Newnan, Ga. Currently, Cuellar is a member of the national CBF Coordinating Council, serving as chair of the global missions initiative team. She participates in a CBF peer learning group, meeting with other Fellowship Baptist pastors monthly. A native of Havana, Cuba, Cuellar reflects on the role of pastor:
Greatest challenge as a pastor:
The greatest challenges in my role as pastor have related to being a female pastor in the Latino culture. Due to the machismo mentality that has haunted our culture for many years, I’m constantly struggling to show others that God works through anyone, regardless of gender or ethnicity. This has been an ongoing battle for me, but one that by the grace of God, I have overcome many times.
Greatest blessings as a pastor: The greatest blessings in my role as pastor are witnessing the restoration of a person or a family through the unconditional love of God. I also consider it a blessing to see both Latin and American cultures working side by side in sharing the word of Christ in our community. Yet, the biggest blessing of them all is the gift of listening to everyone’s stories. There is something mystical about the laughter, the joy, the frustrations and the tears that I have shared with others in my ministry that makes them by far the biggest blessings of all.
First felt called to be a pastor: It has been a long process. I was denying God’s call for a long time, since I was 12 years old. As a preacher’s kid, I saw the sacrifices that my parents had to endure for being pastors in an atheist Cuba. I suffered the separation of my father when the Communist Party incarcerated him along with many other religious leaders, trying to shut down their churches. Even so, when I tried to ignore the “calling,” God had my future planned out for me, as God normally does. When I was 29 years old I could not run any more. So as Peter left everything to follow Jesus, I did the same to embark in my pastor journey.
Favorite prayer as pastor: Dios de Vida, mantén siempre tu Presencia en medio nuestro. Que tu gracia sobre abunde en nosotros de manera que podamos compartirla con aquellos que no pueden verla. Mantennos en comunión unos con otros y con tu Santo Espíritu. Amén. God of Life, keep always your Presence among us. That your Grace overflows in us in ways that we can share it with those who are not able to see it. Keep us in communion with each other and with your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Advice for young pastors:
Beth Fulton photo
Drawing on II Timothy 4:12-16: If you feel called by God to serve keep yourself firm in your calling. Let no one or anything discourage you from what God has put in your heart. Prepare yourself by studying and learning from those that were before you, and maintain a communion with God through prayer and through the holy scriptures.
Pastor, Meadow Oaks Baptist Church For the past two and half years, Lillian Hinds has served as pastor of Meadow Oaks Baptist Church in Temple, Texas, a town of 60,000 people in the central part of the state. Hinds is a graduate of Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas, a CBF partner. Hinds, who describes her calling as “bringing the transforming word to a sinful and hurting world,” reflects on her call to ministry.
First felt called: I first felt the stirrings of God as a teenager. Later, while attending college, I realized God was urging me to make that commitment public. On a Sunday night, I went forward during the altar call to tell others of my decision to follow Christ.
First felt called to be a pastor: One Wednesday night in 2001, I was sitting in a Bible study at First Baptist Church of Tyler, Texas, where a university professor was presenting a dissertation entitled, “The Role of Women in the Church.” As I sat and listened to him, I heard the voice of God say to me, “I still mean it, and I want you to preach.”
Favorite Bible story about living out God’s call: Although Hagar is not nearly as well-known as her masters, Abraham and Sarah, she had an amazing encounter with God. She had a conversation with God, she gave God a name (El-roi), and God made promises to her that were similar to the ones he made to Abraham. Although her life was never easy or glorious, she enjoyed God’s blessings and care. She is not a leading character is the story of faith, but she reminds us that we all have a part in God’s story.
Greatest challenge in following God’s call: The greatest challenge on this journey has been learning to wait on God’s timing and reminding myself daily that this is God’s call, God’s ministry, God’s church and God’s plan.
Greatest blessing in following God’s call:
Photo courtesy of Lillian Hinds
To see an individual understand that God is available to him or her through Jesus, and then to see that person realize the joy of following him — that’s indescribable.
‘In the middle of my ministry’ Erin Spengeman, church starter Her call has not changed. Her ministerial roles are still the same — pastoral care, education, spiritual formation, worship. The setting, however, has changed. The pews, hymnals and steeples have been replaced by dishes of food, a circle of chairs and noises of a restaurant. As co-pastor of the newly started synago church in Richmond, Va., Erin Spengeman lives out her ministry calling around a dinner table. Spengeman, a native of Greenville, S.C., still loves the traditional Baptist churches she grew up in and has previously served. But as a student at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, a CBF partner, Spengeman recognized her calling was to a different
setting. She just wasn’t sure where. And then, working as a barista at a local coffee shop, she discovered a community where she could fulfill that calling. “All of a sudden, I found myself in the middle of my ministry,” Spengeman said. “I connected with people as I served them coffee. They found out I was ordained, and they wanted to talk about death, depression and family issues with me, often because they didn’t have a church family to lean on.” Short conversations turned into long ones, and soon Spengeman facilitated a regular gathering to foster even more dialogue. Neighbors and friends started attending the bi-monthly meetings to share their stories and discuss theological issues. The
Erin Spengeman, left, leads a church start in Richmond, Va.
group quickly developed into a spiritual family. Now, the synago church, which means “come together” in Greek, is composed of approximately 25 people who meet in a local restaurant every other Sunday evening for worship and discussion. Nelson Taylor, a local music minister, co-pastors with Spengeman. They describe the church as “an organic community of fellowship groups coming together in friendship, discipleship and mission, seeking honest and open dialogue with one another.” “This is what I imagined church to be,” said Spengeman. “Young and old people, of different ethnicities and backgrounds and faiths, coming together to connect and worship.”
Mari Wiles, center, ministers to students at Chowan University.
Defining a calling
Mari Wiles, college chaplain Before she entered college, Mari Wiles had never met an ordained female minister. But while attending Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, N.C., Wiles met and befriended two such ministers. They encouraged her to follow God’s leading in her life and enroll in seminary. “These women were quick to identify that I, too, had leadership qualities,” she said. “Because of their confidence, I became open to God’s calling in my life. It was such an honor to know that I could serve God in a leadership role.” Since her own ordination at First Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C., more than 20 years ago, Wiles 22
has spent the majority of her ministry working with youth and college students, encouraging young adults to hear the call of God in their own lives. “The women who invested in me during [college] made such an impact,” she said. “I’ve seen so many people define their calling during those years, and I want to help them through that journey of self-discovery.” Five years ago, after being diagnosed with uterine cancer, Wiles further defined her call to college students by accepting an invitation to serve as chaplain at Chowan University in Murfreesboro, N.C. Wiles leads weekly worship
services, provides pastoral counseling and acts as a social worker, parent, travel agent and friend. Wiles facilitates missions trips for students, giving them an opportunity to experience hands-on service. She and the chaplaincy team lead retreats and worship experiences to help students define their own calls. With a four-year window to build relationships with students, college provides a unique setting for ministry. “We encourage our students to listen to the dream God has for them, and then we try to help them live those dreams,” she explained. “Campus ministry is different every day. The students get an education and explore faith at the same time — it’s transformative.”
Discovering a passion for missions Jeanne Cross, seminary student When she left for a mission trip to India as a college freshman, Jeanne Cross didn’t realize that she would be so overwhelmed by the experience that she would want to return. “I had never been exposed to such extreme poverty, pain and helplessness,” she said. “I couldn’t believe that people had never heard about the love of Jesus Christ. And I was somewhat discouraged that I could only make a small difference.” Since then, Cross has traveled to India four times, as well as nearby Nepal. She has served with the ministries of the Mother Theresa Home for the Destitute and Dying, where she has taught at a girls’ hostel and lived among women
who had been rescued from human trafficking. “When serving in India, I felt more alive, more joyful than I ever had before,” Cross said. “It became so obvious that being obedient to God’s calling was the most fulfilling thing I could ever do.” Cross remembers one evening in India, talking with several young women when the conversation turned to family. Mina, a 19-year-old mother, spoke with pride about her 4-year-old daughter, but when her husband was mentioned her face clouded. Cross said, “I hope he is good to you because you are an amazing person and deserve to be treated with kindness and love.” Cross explained to the women why she and
Jeanne Cross, left, has traveled to India several times to minister to girls and women living in poverty.
others where serving in India to share God’s love. Mina began to weep. She later told Cross that it was the first time she had felt God’s love. Though Cross first felt called to missions as a junior in high school, her experience serving in India helped her more fully discover her passion for missions. Now, Cross is a CBF leadership scholar and student at Duke University’s Divinity School, a CBF partner. She also serves as an intern at CBF partner Ridge Road Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C. She has traveled to several CBF partner churches in North Carolina to talk about her missions experience in India. “I can’t wait to see the paths to ministry that God may open for me,” she said.
Jenny Jenkins, center, a nurse and one of CBF’s field personnel, lives and works in Haiti.
Looking into the eyes of Christ Jenny Jenkins, one of CBF’s field personnel “Mési.” Thank you. A short phrase spoken in Creole by a Haitian man changed Jenny Jenkins’ life. It was March 2008, and Jenkins had traveled to Haiti for a short-term medical mission trip — her third trip that year. A trained nurse, Jenkins was traveling with a group along small beachfront villages to aid patients who had no access to healthcare. One patient, a man whose leg was infected because of an injury, weighed on Jenkins’ mind as her group prepared to leave. So Jenkins went to check on him one last time. “As I kneeled in the dirt and wrapped his leg in fresh bandages, he looked up at me, held my
face in his hands and said, mési — thank you,” she said. “My life changed in that moment, because I had looked into the eyes of Christ.” That night, Jenkins sat alone on a pavilion over looking the ocean and wept. It was the beginning of her journey to full-time missions in Haiti. “I knew that I had heard the unmistakable call from God, and had no choice but to answer, ‘Here I am, I will go’,” she said. “I learned more about myself than about Haiti during that first trip. I knew God had called me to do this work.” Nearly two years later, on January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook Haiti, affecting
millions of lives. Jenkins traveled to Haiti immediately and a few months later, she was commissioned as one of CBF’s self-funded field personnel. She now lives and works in Haiti full time. Jenkins hopes to help build focused medical teams as part of a mobile lab unit that travels to remote villages providing healthcare to those in need. She is also working on educating local communities about the prevention and treatment of cholera. “After the earthquake, Haiti began to feel like home to me,” Jenkins said. “I’m in this for as long as I’m needed. This is my opportunity to be Christ for those who need him most.” fellowship!
‘A holy moment’
Hospice chaplain helps patients, families through dying process
hen Cindy Wallace started working with Jack she knew he wasn’t ready for death. He’d been in the military and was used to being in charge. Barely into his 60s, he felt he needed to stick around to care for his loved ones. Jack was in hospice care. He and his family knew he was dying, and Wallace was there to help all of them. Wallace knew she could not offer Jack hope that he would live. She tried to help him find peace and get ready for what would come. She spent hours with Jack’s family at his bedside, reading Scripture, praying, stroking his head and helping him and his family talk about their happy memories. She tried to help him find peace. Wallace tried all the things that often work with dying patients. But they didn’t work with Jack. “He fought all
the way to the very end,” she said. “All I could do was to be there with him in his struggle.” As the chaplain at Alexian Brothers Hospice in Hanover Park, Ill., Wallace deals with death every day, and she would not have it any other way. Wallace started out studying music. But when she was on a visit home to see her family in Mississippi, her father had a heart attack and died at her feet. “That changed everything,” she said. Her journey of grief created a desire to become a chaplain and minister to others in their times of loss. Hospice workers consider the family as much their client as the dying person. Wallace said it’s vital to help the dying person and the family find words to express what’s in their hearts. “How do you tell your loved one you don’t want to leave, but you are tired?” she said. “How do you say, we don’t want you to go but it’s okay?”
Wallace has been involved with the Fellowship since she was a master of divinity student at Baylor University’s Truett Seminary in Waco, Texas, a CBF partner. She began work as a minister to families in 2004 at Garden Lake Baptist Church, a CBF-partner church in Rome, Ga., where she was ordained in 2005. Wallace ministers to all patients, no matter their religion. For some, the relationship lasts for months. The hospice does not yet have an in-patient facility, so Wallace travels to hospitals, long-term-care facilities or people’s homes. “Death is a very holy moment,” Wallace said. “To be able to be there with a family when their loved one is dying is such a privilege. It is an honor to be there in that moment when their life changes and try to be a calming presence with them.” By contributing writer Linda Brinson
Cindy Wallace, left, talks with a hospice patient at the patient’s home in Lombard, Ill.
CBF-endorsed chaplains and pastoral counselors are included in the Fellowship’s annual prayer calendar, Prayers of the People. This free resource is available through The CBF Store at www.thecbfstore.info.
Missions Education Resource How to use this page
The suggestions below will be helpful for using the stories on pages 18-24 of this issue in the life of your church. Small Group interaction, Study Group or Reading Group options are given, as well as suggestions for other congregational or family settings. Go online to www.thefellowship.info/affectonline for more suggestions.
Women in Ministry
In Small Groups: The following is an outline for adult mission groups, Bible study classes or other small groups. Share copies of fellowship! with group members prior to the meeting and have some extra copies available. These suggestions are for a 45-minute time-frame. 1. Before the meeting, get a map of your city and small stickers (enough for each group member). 2. When group members arrive, give them each a copy of one of the four stories of call and ministry found in fellowship! magazine (Lillian Hinds, Mari Wiles, Ruth Cuellar, Brenda Lisenby). Ask them to pay special attention to the way each woman experienced her call to Christian service. 3. Give an individual the chance to tell each story. (Others can fill in the details.) 4. Ask: What was each woman doing when she experienced her call? Who or what helped her to discern what she should do? What skills did she have when she was called? What skills did she gain later? 5. Discuss that Hinds’ and Cuellar’s call stories are similar to those many of us have heard in church all of our lives. However, Wiles’ and Lisenby’s calls came in different ways. 6. Ask: When you think of the word “call,” what comes to mind first? Is there a biblical story that comes to mind? What biblical stories mirror Wiles’ and Lisenby’s stories? How has your church experience shaped your view of call? 7. Ask: Have you met people outside of traditional ministry settings who speak
of their work in terms of call? How do these CBF stories affect your understanding of what it means to be called? 8. Make a list of the professions represented in the group. How can God’s call be understood and lived out in each? How is God’s call lived out in service in the church and community? Ending the How can the church be more affirming of cycle of poverty such service by women and men? 9. Many women who have been called were not initially (or perhaps ever) encouraged in this critical part of their spiritual journeys but still responded. Make a list of women (well-known or not) who are in this category. Resolve to learn and tell the stories of these and other women who were bold and faithful in difficult times. 10. Place the city map on a board or table. Give each person a chance to mark his or her workplace. Mark the church on the map as well. Read John 8:16. Have a simple time of prayer and commissioning for everyone in the group. Pray also for the women in fellowship! magazine as well as those listed on this month’s Prayer Calendar (pg. 7).
fellowship! Cooperative baptiSt fellowShip | www.thefellowShip.info
Serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission
Learn more about how Fellowship Baptists are working to end the cycle of poverty in the United States on pages 10-16.
In a Coffee Shop or Restaurant
In Reading Groups
1. Have the group decide together on a place to meet. Before the meeting, visit www.lyfe.org.uk to see how the British Bible Society is working to creatively engage its culture. Make handouts illustrating one example.
In A People’s History of Christianity, Diana Butler Bass focuses not on the official story of the powerful guardians of orthodoxy, but on lesser-known stories of ordinary, faithful followers of Christ. These women and men, whose names are largely unknown — even among Christians, proved to be salt and light that preserved the faith in the most troubling times.
2. When everyone has arrived and ordered beverages, tell the fellowship! magazine story of Erin Spengeman, who has started a church in a restaurant. Ask: What is church at its most basic? What are the benefits of this kind of basic faith community? What are the challenges? Is it appealing to you? 3. Offer the following questions for discussion:
• Where are the major public crossroads in your community where people eat, shop, work and volunteer?
• Has the church retreated from public life and into sanctuaries and fellowship halls? If so, how can it find a home in the marketplace and public square again?
• What does it mean to live out one’s faith in public? Some people pray before their meals in restaurants. Some wear jewelry or t-shirts with religious messages or symbolism. What are some other options?
• What are ways individuals and churches have tried to share the gospel in
the public square? Which hold the most promise? • What other churches or religious groups does your church partner with? What community groups does it partner with? What groups would be good possibilities? • Has your congregation ever planted a church? Has it ever considered helping start a non-traditional church like Spengeman’s?
4. Distribute the handouts from the British Bible Society web site (or another source). What can your group or congregation learn from this example? fellowship!
s the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship celebrates its
we take a glimpse at the organization’s history through a numerical lens.
States where CBF partner churches are located.
New churches CBF has helped start in the United States.
In 10 years of Student.Go, number of students who have served through the CBF missions program.
CBF partner churches who have participated in CBF’s “You’ve Got the Time” Bible listening program.
Scholarships awarded to seminary students during the past 20 years.
Chaplains and pastoral counselors endorsed by the Fellowship.
Number of ministers and lay leaders who are active in a CBF peer learning group.
Churches awarded “It’s Time” missional ministry grants.
Total attendance at 20 annual CBF General Assemblies.
Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (BJC) is a leading voice in fighting to uphold the historic Baptist principle of religious freedom and church-state separation in public debates about the First Amendment. The BJC has been an official partner organization with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship since the Fellowship’s beginning in 1991.
About the BJC Founded: 1936 Location: Washington, D.C., with offices on Capitol Hill Web site: www.BJConline.org Executive Director: J. Brent Walker Mission statement: “The BJC’s mission is to defend and extend God-given religious liberty for all, furthering the Baptist heritage that champions the principle that religion must be freely exercised, neither advanced nor inhibited by government.” The BJC promotes religious freedom through and education. Composed of representatives of 15 national, state and regional Baptist bodies, it is the only religious organization that works solely on religious liberty and church-state separation.
BJC Executive Director J. Brent Walker speaks to the media outside the U.S. Department of Justice after meeting with attorney general Eric Holder. Walker and other religious leaders talked with Holder about protecting religious freedom for all.
Photo courtesy of BJC
three major activities: legislation, litigation
“We have common history and the same values. Soul freedom, religious liberty and the separation of church and state
• The BJC provides resources to and protects autonomy of
are central to CBF’s identity. Partnering with BJC provides CBF the
opportunity to work along with Baptists from other traditions and
• The BJC and CBF partnered in development of the
locations in pursuit of religious liberty for all.”
BJC’s flagship religious liberty curriculum, “Citizen of Two Kingdoms.” • The Religious Liberty Council of the BJC holds its annual luncheon meeting at the CBF General Assembly. • CBF funds approximately 10 percent of the BJC budget, and the BJC invests part of its endowment in the CBF Foundation. • The BJC hosts CBF partner churches and student groups for educational programs at its office in Washington, D.C.
— Brent Walker, BJC executive director
“Freedom is at the heart of what it means to be Baptist, and we must never take it for granted. This is why our partnership with the BJC is so important. There is no organization in Washington that is more effective in advocating for religious liberty, and we are privileged to be a member body.” — Daniel Vestal, CBF executive coordinator
2011 CBF Gene June 22-25 Tampa, Fla.
God’s mission, your passion:
Dynamic worship, practical ministry workshops, warm fellowship and new ideas for you and your congregation. Here you’ll find important information about the Assembly, including the schedule, special events you won’t want to miss and a step-by-step guide to making your Assembly plans. More information about the Assembly, as well as free online registration, is available at www.thefellowship.info/assembly.
The Assembly has something for everyone. Best events if you’re looking for new church resources: • Essentials Conference — Asking how you can better serve your church? The Essentials Conference is for you, offering four one-hour training sessions on relevant ministry topics including: New Testament for Church Leaders and Teachers, Old Testament for Church Leaders and Teachers, Developing an Effective Leadership Team, Inreach Essentials: Closing the Backdoor on Member Loss and Disciple Development Coaching. • Practical Ministry Workshops on a variety of topics. • Ministry Resource Fair with dozens of new resources, plus a missions marketplace and silent auction.
Best events if you’re interested in missions: • Global Missions Commissioning Service and 20th Anniversary Reception — Be part of a special commissioning service as the Fellowship blesses and sends new field personnel to the mission fields of our world. A reception follows. • Missions Picnic — Eat lunch with CBF field personnel. Hear their stories. Meet their families. Learn how you can join them in ministry. • Missions Opportunities — Several projects will be available for you to put your faith into practice in Tampa. Find more information online. • Mission Community Workshops — You won’t just learn about missions, you’ll learn how you can be part of missions.
Best fellowship events: • Celebrating the Fellowship Dinner Party — Celebrate CBF’s 20th anniversary at a special evening of remembrance and celebration featuring Ken Medema and Molly Marshall. • Friday evening birthday party for the Fellowship and its partners. • Auxiliary events hosted by CBF partner organizations. • Golf on Tuesday — Join other Fellowship Baptists for this special afternoon of fun at TPC Tampa Bay.
Best events for church leaders or ministers: • Leadership Institute — This year’s “Prophetic Preaching for Anxious People” features sermons, as well as training from preaching professors. • Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace: Praying the Prayer of Francis — Explore Franciscan spirituality with Chris Webb of Renovaré and Bo Prosser of the Fellowship at this spiritual formation retreat.
Make plans now to be part of the 2011 Assembly: www.thefellowship.info/assembly 28
Celebrating our 20-year journey toward faithfulness Make your plans to be part of General Assembly in three easy steps:
Pre-register by calling (800) 352-8741 or by going online at www.thefellowship.info/ assembly. It’s easy, free and takes less than five minutes. After you pre-register, you will receive updates about the Assembly, including special events and opportunities.
Make your hotel reservation — CBF has special discounts at five downtown Tampa hotels, all of which are within walking distance of the Tampa Convention Center. Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown Located next to Convention Center; accessible via skywalk Rates from $139 per night. Tampa Marriott Waterside Located next to Convention Center Rates from $139 per night. Hyatt Regency Tampa Located 0.3 miles from Convention Center Rates from $129 per night. The Westin Harbour Island Located 0.3 miles from Convention Center Rates from $127 per night. Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel Located 0.4 miles from Convention Center Rates from $119 per night.
Make travel plans — If traveling by plane, fly to Tampa International Airport (TPA), which is only 9 miles from the Tampa Convention Center. If traveling by train, the Amtrak train station is about 1.5 miles from the Tampa Convention Center. If traveling by car, driving directions are available online at the Assembly web site.
Build your own Assembly. June 22-25, Tampa, Fla. God’s mission, your passion: * Denotes events that require additional registration. Register at www.thefellowship.info/assembly/events.
Monday, June 20 Noon Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace: Praying the Prayer of Francis Retreat* — At this spiritual formation retreat you will explore Franciscan spirituality as you rest, seek, discover and grow. Held June 20-22 at the Bethany Center in nearby Lutz, Fla., the retreat features Chris Webb, president of Renovaré, and Bo Prosser, the Fellowship’s coordinator for congregational formation. Learn more and register online.
3 p.m. Tampa Sessions* — College students from around the country come to Tampa June 20-25 for an action-packed week of hands-on missions, meaningful reflection on global issues, authentic conversations and fun-filled socials. The students also participate in the Assembly. Learn more at www.tampa.cbfsessions.org and register for $110, which includes housing, most meals and a T-shirt.
Thursday, June 23 8 a.m. Registration opens Prayer Room/Labyrinth opens
8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Resource Fair Open —
8:30 – 11:30 a.m. Children’s Assembly/Child Care* — While you’re enjoying the Assembly, your children can engage in fun and meaningful activities of their own. Learn more and register online. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Youth Assembly* — While
1 p.m. Golf with Fellowship Baptists* — For an
9:45 a.m. An Invitation to Worship
Noon – 6 p.m. Registration Open 1 – 4 p.m. Leadership Institute on “Prophetic Preaching for Anxious People”* — Churches find themselves in the midst of unprecedented transition and change. They need to hear a word from God. Come engage in a “preaching intensive” led by four professors from CBF’s identity partner schools and hear sermons from Jim Sommerville, pastor of First Baptist Church in Richmond, Va., and Wendell Griffen, pastor of New Millennium Church in Little Rock, Ark. Register online for only $30, which includes a free book.
6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Celebrating the Fellowship 20th Anniversary Dinner Party — Be part of this special evening of remembrance and celebration, featur-
Connect with ministry opportunities, new resources, CBF field personnel and more.
Tuesday, June 21
Wednesday, June 22
7:30 – 9 a.m. Auxiliary Events
you’re enjoying the Assembly, your teenagers can engage in fun and meaningful activities of their own. Learn more and register online.
avid golfer, no trip to Florida is complete without hitting the golf course. This year, the Fellowship offers you the opportunity to join with new and old friends and play where the pros play — TPC Tampa Bay. Pack your clubs and be part of a special day of fun! Register online for $75, which includes the greens fee. Club rental will be available.
ing music from Ken Medema and a reflection from Molly T. Marshall, president of CBF partner Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas. Learn more and register online.
10 a.m. Business Session I — Hear updates about God’s work in the world through Fellowship Baptists and help direct the future of the Fellowship. There will be music from Ken Medema and a reflection from Pam Durso, executive director of Baptist Women in Ministry, who will speak about the Fellowship’s journey, including the history and values that marked its beginning, shapes its present and will impact its future.
11 a.m. Business Breakouts 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Auxiliary events
Missions Picnic — Field personnel; food; and a lot of fun — all without leaving the Tampa Convention Center. Have lunch with CBF field personnel from around the world (children 12 years old and under eat free). Hear their missions stories. Meet their families. Learn how you can join them in ministry.
1:45 – 5:15 p.m. Children’s Assembly/ Child Care*
2 – 3:30 p.m. Mission Communities — What’s your God-given passion? This is your opportunity to connect with other Fellowship Baptists who share the same
Find events that interest you.
Celebrating our 20-year journey toward faithfulness ministry passions and interests. At these sessions you don’t just learn about ministry you learn how you can be part of ministry.
4 p.m. State and Regional CBF Meetings 5:30 – 7 p.m. Dinner and Auxiliary Events 7 – 9 p.m. Children’s Assembly/Child Care*
members and teachers. Register for one of several relevant ministry topics; then learn essentials for effective ministry from experienced leaders. Learn more and register online at www.thefellowship.info/ assembly/essentials.
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Workshops (no
7:15 p.m. An Invitation to Worship
registration required) Essentials Conference Session II*
7:30 – 8:45 p.m. Global Missions Field
5:30 – 7 p.m. Dinner and Auxiliary Events
Personnel Commissioning Service — The Fellowship turns its focus to God’s mission in the world as lived out through the passions of new CBF field personnel. Come be part of a special commissioning service as the Fellowship blesses and sends these new field personnel to the mission fields of our world.
7 – 9 p.m. Children’s Assembly/Child Care* 7:15 p.m. An Invitation to Worship 7:30 – 8:45 p.m. Evening worship will challenge and inspire featuring dynamic music and presentations, plus a sermon from Kyle Reese, pastor of CBF partner Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla.
9 – 10 p.m. Global Missions 20th Anniversary
9 – 10 p.m. Birthday Party for the entire
Reception in the Resource Fair
Fellowship movement — Join CBF and partner organizations to celebrate 20 years.
Friday, June 24
7:30 – 9 a.m. Auxiliary Events
Saturday, June 25
8 a.m. Registration opens
9 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Children’s Assembly/Child Care*
Prayer Room/Labyrinth opens
8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Resource Fair Open 9 – 11:30 a.m. Children’s Assembly/ Child Care*
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Youth Assembly* 9:45 a.m. An Invitation to Worship 10 a.m. Business Session II 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Lunch and Auxiliary Events
1 – 5 p.m. Children’s Assembly/Child Care* 2 – 3 p.m. Workshops — Explore issues and topics relevant to your ministry. From previewing a new ministry resource to learning step-by-step directions for starting a new ministry program, these practical ministry workshops offer something for everyone. No registration required. Essentials Conference Session I* — Asking how you can better serve your church? The Essentials Conference is for you. This four-session conference is designed specifically for church leaders, including deacons, staff, committee
9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Essentials Conference Session III*
10:45 – 11:45 a.m. Essentials Conference Session IV*
Noon – until Stay and Play — Take advantage of the great Florida location by staying a few extra days. Major area attractions include beaches and amusement parks like Busch Gardens (in Tampa) and Walt Disney World (about a 90-minute drive from Tampa).
Sunday, June 26 Stay and Pray at a local CBF partnering congregation. You can stay in Tampa and worship with a local CBF partnering congregation.
Auxiliary events hosted by CBF partners Many partner organizations host gatherings during the Assembly. Visit www.thefellowship.info/assembly/auxiliary to learn more. Mark your calendar to be part of these special events.
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship 2930 Flowers Road South, Suite 133 Atlanta, GA 30341 www.thefellowship.info â€˘ (800) 352-8741
Come celebrate 20 years of the
2011 Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly June 22-25 in Tampa, Florida Learn more and register for free: www.thefellowship.info/assembly or (800) 352-8741
CBF 20th Anniversary Dinner Party, Wed., June 22
Inspiring Evening Worship, Thurs. and Fri., June 23-24
Praying the Prayer of Francis Retreat, June 20-22
Leadership Institute on Preaching, Wed., June 22
Tampa Sessions for College Students, June 20-25
Ministry Resource Fair, Thurs. and Fri., June 23-24
Missions Commissioning Service, Thurs., June 23
Golf with Fellowship Baptists Tues., June 22
Practical Ministry Workshops, Thurs. and Fri., June 23-24
Essentials Conference, Fri. and Sat., June 24-25
Plus: Childrenâ€™s and Youth Assemblies, Auxiliary Events with CBF partners, music by Ken Medema and featured speakers Pam Durso, Molly Marshall and Kyle Reese
Published on Feb 17, 2011