Cooperative baptist fellowship | www.thefellowship.info
Serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission
Carla Wynn Davis photo
A ministry of hope Each week Ronnie Adams, one of CBFâ€™s field personnel, leads a Bible study for men living with HIV/AIDS. The group often meets at Metro Baptist Church, a CBF partner, located in the Hellâ€™s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City.
Read more about HIV/AIDS ministries on pages 18-24.
What I’ve learned from Korean churches
One of the great privileges I have had as CBF Executive Coordinator has been to worship and preach in a number of churches in South Korea. Traveling with Yoo J. Yoon, CBF’s Korean consultant, I have experienced a spiritual fervor and passion in South Korea that is unmatched anywhere in the world. I have been the recipient of a love and grace that is overwhelming. And I have been humbled again and again at the missionary zeal, financial generosity and global vision of the South Korean church. But what has impacted me the most has been the exposure to their shared experiences of worship and witness. Of course they understand the personal spiritual disciplines with which we are all familiar, During the past eight years, Vestal been invited to preach at several South but their spiritual practices as a faith community are Korean churches. He has been hosted by the Korean Baptist Press and what distinguish and define them. Their churches are the Cooperative Baptist Amen Fellowship of Korea. In 2010, he preached at Myunsung Presbyterian Church in Seoul, Sunglim Baptist Church in organized into small cell groups that meet in homes Gwangiu and Yonsei Central Baptist Church in Seoul, shown above. throughout the week for prayer and encouragement. Friends and neighbors are invited to those groups where they learn about the gospel and experience Christian hospitality. Deacons and other leaders foster and nurture these small groups of shared life and ministry. Early every morning they gather for a corporate worship experience. They sing together, pray together, weep together. And they do it with an intensity that is difficult to explain. Their worship is emotional, visceral and physical, as well as liturgical, intellectual and theological. But most of all, it is communal. It is a bonding experience. In addition to their daily and weekly worship they take frequent retreats to “prayer mountains,” where they spend time together in extended fellowship. What I’ve learned from South Korean churches is the importance of community for the formation of faith and the fulfilling of mission. They certainly have their imperfections, and I don’t want to minimize the cultural context of their congregations. But Baptist churches in the United States could learn a lot from our Korean friends. So much of our church scheduling has Vol. 21, No. 1 been reduced to a couple of hours a week on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. So much of our literature is aimed at personal fulfillment. So much of our focus is on executive Coordinator • Daniel Vestal Coordinator, Fellowship meeting individual needs and obtaining goods and services that are consumed for our Advancement • Ben McDade own happiness. Editor • Lance Wallace The call of Christ to discipleship is personal, but it is not private. It requires solitude, managing Editor • Patricia Heys but it also requires community. We must not worship, weep or witness in isolation from Associate Editor • Carla Wynn Davis one another but rather in deep relationships that require vulnerability and sacrifice. The Phone • (770) 220-1600 love of God that is in our hearts is also in the hearts of others, and something mystical Fax • (770) 220-1685 and mysterious happens when we show and share that love in community. 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. 2
Daniel Vestal, CBF Executive Coordinator
Read about the ministry of Metro Baptist Church and Ronnie Adams on pages 18-22.
Five Tips for celebrating CBF’s 20th anniversary Workplace Ministries • Field personnel minister to servers in China • Military and prison chaplains serve unique workplace settings • Field personnel teach, train seminary students in Philippines • Whisnands create community on backside of racetrack
Affect: February Missions Education Resource HIV/AIDS Ministry • Adams shares God’s love among people living with HIV/AIDS • Field personnel work for better health in Africa • Chaplain ministers to HIV/AIDS patients • Knoxville church starts community ministry
25 26-27 28-31
Carla Wynn Davis photo
Affect: March Missions Education Resource New well equipment will provide greater access to clean water in Ethiopia God’s Mission, Your Passion: Learn about the 2011 General Assembly in Tampa, Fla.
FROM THE EDITOR
Relationships matter. And there was no greater reminder than when I sat in a New
York City diner last September. There, I witnessed the presence of Christ at work in what probably seemed to a passerby like an ordinary meal. It was just seven men having dinner together — laughing and sharing stories. But for six of those men, that night was a welcomed escape from their everyday struggle of living with HIV/AIDS. And for Ronnie Adams, one of CBF’s field personnel, that night was yet another opportunity to share the hope of Christ. Every day in the heart of New York City, Ronnie ministers among people living with HIV/AIDS — when they’re sick, when they’re in the hospital, when they’re in their last hours. Among people who so often feel alone, Ronnie is a pastor, a mentor, a confidant and a friend. I’ve met few people with as much pastoral presence as Ronnie, and it was a privilege to get a glimpse of his ministry (see story on page 18). This issue of fellowship! tells stories of how relationships are changing lives. From New York City to rural villages of sub-Saharan Africa, you’ll read about Fellowship Baptists like Ronnie who discovered a calling to care for those living with HIV/AIDS. You’ll also find stories about Fellowship Baptists who are sharing Christ’s love in the workplace. People like Larry and Sarah Ballew minister to restaurant workers in China (see story on page 10), and Diann and Phil Whisnand create community on the backside of a racetrack in Seattle (see story on page 16). While we can’t always physically walk alongside people like Ronnie, the Ballews or the Whisnands, we can read about and celebrate their ministries. We can pray for them and the people they serve. We can give so that they can continue to be the presence of Christ around the world. I hope the stories in this issue of the magazine do more than bless you. May they inspire you and challenge you to be the presence of Christ where you are.
Carla Wynn Davis, associate editor firstname.lastname@example.org fellowship!
When you give... “When you give financially, you allow us to give of ourselves as a sign of Christ’s presence in us. We’re investing in artists’ lives. Building relationships and trust is at the heart of what it’s about — valuing them and giving them positive encouragement. It’s the most traditional way you can do missions work.”
CBF field personnel, Bali, Indonesia
or 70 years, the island of Bali, Indonesia, has been a gathering place for artists from all over the world — painters, dancers, musicians. In Bali, CBF field personnel Jonathan and Tina Bailey serve as ministers, teachers and encouragers to both student artists and established artists of varied backgrounds — including Balinese, German, Czech, French, Chinese, British and Slovakian — and faiths — Christian, Muslim, secular and often, Hindu. Relationships have developed through the common bond of art, which have then paved the way for discussions about personal belief in God. “The shared experience of working together to create music or art opens us up for conversations that are difficult to have
Jonathan and Tina Bailey in other settings,” Jonathan said. “We begin to build a bridge between the question of our art and the question of our faith.” The Baileys’ ministry is possible because of your gifts to the CBF Offering for Global Missions, which funds their long-term presence among artists in Bali. Financial gifts to the CBF Offering enable the Baileys to teach dance and improvisation classes for artists, to lead a group of students in interpreting Scripture through the traditional Balinese instrument known as the gamelan, and to prepare art and music events for Christmas and Easter, giving the local community examples of Christ’s presence in cultural forms. Your generosity also allows the Baileys to participate as teachers and leaders in the Crescendo Summer Institute of the Arts program, which draws students from more
than 20 countries to Hungary each August. Your gifts make a difference in the lives of people like Dora, a young girl from Slovakia who experienced “lectio divina” or “holy reading” in Tina’s art classes at Crescendo. In the class, Tina took an ancient spiritual text and asked students to respond to the reading through quiet contemplation by “praying with their art.” One day after a class focusing on the Psalms, Dora told Tina she was surprised to discover the beauty and the poetry of the text. She said that the Psalms are like Shakespeare’s sonnets. “Though she is Christian, the Bible had been for her somewhat distant,” Tina said. “As she learned the process of lectio divina, it was very refreshing to see her awareness of God and Scripture come alive.”
Please give. Your gifts to the CBF Offering for Global Missions enable the life-changing ministries of the Baileys in Indonesia. To give, use the envelope included in this issue or go to www.thefellowship.info/give. Learn more about the Baileys’ ministry at www.thefellowship.info/bailey.
College students find opportunities to serve through churches
Photo courtesy of Natalie Hinton
t’s a great opportunity for anybody to get involved in church work and mission work,” Natalie Hinton said of her CBF collegiate congregational internship she completed in August. As a junior at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Hinton was looking for a summer job when she heard about the CBF program. Designed not only to help college students discover a potential call to ministry, the internships also seek to empower young adults to become active lay leaders by experiencing different aspects of congregational leadership. Hinton, an international studies and economics major who hopes to go to law school, learned about the internship at First Baptist Church of Hillsborough, N.C., through her campus minister. Last summer, the church was focused on establishing a summer day camp for children at a nearby apartment complex. While Hinton taught Sunday school each week, started a children’s choir program, assisted with Vacation Bible School and conducted hymnsings at a local nursing home, a large part of her time as an intern was devoted to the new day camp. “We quickly saw that their greatest need was just to have fun and be loved, so that’s what we did,” said Hinton, a native of
Natalie Hinton, a student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., served last summer as an intern at First Baptist Church in Hillsborough, N.C.
Burlington, N.C. The camp, which was originally designed to provide academic activities, provided games, crafts and a nutritious lunch for the kids each day. “There was one boy who was 11 and gave all the teachers trouble in the beginning,” Hinton said. “I was the youngest of all the teachers, and he probably didn’t view me as an adult. But we just took the attitude that we were going to love him and accept
him, and, by the end of the summer, he amazed everyone by volunteering to wash dishes one day.” Even though the internship has ended, Hinton continues to drive the 20 minutes from Chapel Hill to Hillsborough to tutor kids at the apartment complex each week. “I found ways to get involved without being called to be a minister,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to see what it’s like.”
CBF’s Collegiate Congregational Internships • Through 2012, the Fellowship will provide opportunities for as many as 100 college students each summer to serve through local CBF churches. • Internships last 10 weeks and are sponsored through a Lilly Endowment grant providing a stipend, a week of orientation and education, ongoing coaching and a debriefing retreat at the end of the experience. • Host churches provide the student with an overview of the church’s ministry, housing and living expenses, and church-related travel and ministry expenses. • The application deadline is March 15. The application is available online at www.thefellowship.info/collegeinternship. CBF’s Student.Go • The Fellowship’s Student.Go program provides hands-on domestic and international missions opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. • Engagement locations include Arkansas, New York and Miami, as well as Africa, India and Slovakia. • Students receive room, board and local transportation, as well as a stipend, orientation and debriefing retreat. • Summer application deadline is March 1. Go to www.studentdotgo.org to apply. fellowship!
New VBS curriculum focuses on Together for Hope
eeking a Vacation Bible School curriculum that emphasizes missions, leaders at First Baptist Church in Newport News, Va., have created a resource that features Together for Hope, CBF’s rural poverty initiative. “Two years ago, we used the material created by Passport called Water U Doing? and we liked that it was a simple curriculum that focused on real people sharing God’s love through missions,” said
Lisa Mason, a church lay leader who helped develop the curriculum. “We searched for something similar, but couldn’t find anything, so we decided to create our own.” Mason worked with Susie Webb, the church’s director of preschool and children’s ministries; a group of eight other parents, teachers and volunteers; and CBF staff to create the new curriculum. “Developing VBS curriculum has been an idea we’ve wrestled with and have seen the need for,” said Devita Parnell, CBF’s
congregational resources specialist. “Therefore, it’s really been a gift that this church has spent so much time laying the foundation for Finding Hope: A Field Trip of Faith. CBF is partnering with them to make this resource available to other congregations.” Last summer, First Baptist’s youth group served in Kentucky, one of Together for Hope’s five regions, which helped to extend the reach of VBS to the entire church. By focusing on the ministries of Together for Hope, which works in 20 of the poorest counties in the United States, the curriculum presents the beauty and diversity of five regions of the country. “These areas of rural poverty are not that different from where most of us live,” Parnell said. “The people who are working alongside these communities see the gifts and assets that are already there. The emphasis for children is that each of us has some need in our own lives. We also all have gifts, assets and strengths to share. When we share them with others, there’s hope.”
Photo courtesy of First Baptist Church
Features of Finding Hope: A Field Trip of Faith
Ben Reed paints Elisha’s house in the story of Elisha and the Shunammite woman during Vacation Bible School last summer at First Baptist Church, Newport News, Va.
• Biblical foundation from both Old and New Testaments • Missional stories from the five Together for Hope regions • Creative theme incorporated into Bible stories, art, snacks and recreation activities • Energetic music and thematic worship and video experiences • Hands-on mission activities • User-friendly and adaptable for a variety of settings including children’s day camps, backyard Bible clubs and summer mission activities
Finding Hope: A Field Trip of Faith — The Vacation Bible School curriculum developed by leaders at First Baptist Church in Newport News, Va., is designed to share the Biblical concept of hope in fun and meaningful ways while leading children on a missional field trip to five Together for Hope communities in the U.S. This resource is for sale as a downloadable PDF. To view a sample or to pre-order yours today, visit www.thefellowship.info/vbs or call (888) 801-4223. The complete resource will be available for download after March 1.
Pray Intercessory Prayer
By Rick Bennett, CBF’s Director of Congregational Formation
For some reason, I always associate intercessory prayer with two things. First, I associate mages of intercessory it with being Baptist. Clearly, prayer populate my this practice of prayer is a part memories of church as of congregational life in other an adolescent. Most Christian traditions, but having Rick Bennett gatherings included learned so many rich new practices a time of intercessory prayer of prayer from other traditions, for members of our small church, small I always think of intercessory prayer as town and “our” missionaries. In the space coming home. Second, I think of the men between the deacon’s opening prayer who brought their paralytic friend before and the pastor’s closing prayer, it seemed Jesus by lowering him through the roof. like everyone prayed with a passion that Likewise, this Scripture always reminds me testified to their belief that God called of the importance of intercessory prayer to them to do so. a balanced spiritual diet.
Chances are you’re well acquainted with the practice of intercessory prayer. But if not, let me invite you to accumulate some possible tools for bringing your friends before Jesus. Set aside as sacred a notebook in which you can write the names of people to pray for; think of it as a strong mat on which to lower your friends. Set aside as sacred a writing utensil; an instrument for removing roofs. Finally, set aside a time where family, friends and strangers become more than fleeting thoughts; enter into their living, their efforts, their suffering. Remembering the words of Romans 8:26, “the Spirit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express,” let your heart be broken for a world in need.
10 Cynthia Thomas, Austin, TX (CH)
2 Michael Patterson, Mililani, HI (CH)
18 David Robinson, Newport News, VA (PC)
11 Lauralee Estes, Northport, AL (PC)
2 Laurice Rogers, Louisville, KY (PC)
19 Jennifer Bordenet, Orlando, FL (CH)
CH = Chaplain
11 Ann Miller, Arlington, TX (CH)
2 Glenn Williams, Louisville, KY (PC)
20 Cynthia Corey, Brunswick, GA (CH)
FP = Field Personnel
11 Will Runyon, Maryville, TN (CH)
3 Emmanuel Aldape, 1990, India (FPC)
20 William Hemphill, Stone Mountain, GA (CH)
FPC = Child of Field Personnel
11 Robert Stevenson, Radcliff, KY (CH)
3 David Bosley, Vienna, VA (CH)
20 Tom Sanders, The Villages, FL (PLT)
GMP = Global Missions Partner
11 Derrick Togba-Doya, 2001, Liberia (FPC)
3 Carolyn Hicks, Belmont, NC (CH)
21 Walter Jackson, Louisville, KY (PC)
PC = Pastoral Counselor
12 Mera Corlett, Louisville, KY (CH)
4 William Lemmond, Jefferson City, TN (CH)
21 Grace Kim, Asia (GMP)
PLT = Church Planter
12 Louisa Houser, 2004, Southern Africa (FPC)
4 Jane Martin, Emeritus (FP)
21 Mina Lee, daughter, Southeast Asia (GMP)
13 Dianne Swaim, North Little Rock, AR (CH)
4 Kevin Traughber, Paducah, KY (CH)
21 Alan Melton, Waynesboro, VA (PC)
14 Roger Bolton, Conyers, GA (PC)
5 Buddy Corbin, Asheville, NC (CH)
23 Andy Overmon, Mustang, OK (CH)
1 Susan Collins, Stone Mountain, GA (CH)
14 Iris Dickerson, Chester, SC (CH)
5 Donnie Marlar, Savannah, GA (CH)
24 Edgar Berryman, Chicago, IL (CH)
1 Carrie Dean, Atlanta, GA (PLT)
14 Charla Littell, Burlington, NC (CH)
6 Ronnie Adams, New York City, NY (FP)
24 Michael Gross, Roswell, GA (CH)
1 Yong Ja Hur, Philippines (GMP)
15 Mi Hwa Lee, Central Asia (GMP)
6 Bekah Hart, Chile (FP)
24 Kevin Quiles, Canton, GA (CH)
1 Steven Jackson, Atlanta, GA, (CH)
15 Taliaferro Williamson, Decatur, GA (CH)
6 Chad Hawkins, Pearland, TX (CH)
24 Mark Spain, Canyon Lake, TX (CH)
2 Joe Alverson, Nicholasville, KY (CH)
17 Nancy James, Haiti (FP)
7 Duane Binkley, Uniontown, OH (FP)
24 Todd Walter, Inman, SC (CH)
2 John R. Fogarty, Freeport, FL (PLT)
17 Ryan Wagers, Salisbury, NC (CH)
7 Wade Rowatt, Louisville, KY (PC)
24 Sara Williams, South Africa (FP)
2 Jaisis Orea, 2002, China (FPC)
18 Edward Fleming, Winston-Salem, NC (CH)
8 Isaac Pittman, 1999, Miami, FL (FPC)
25 Jade Acker, Uganda (FP)
2 Terry Tatro, Louisville, KY (CH)
18 Jean Pruett, Charlotte, NC (CH)
9 Stuart Collier, Birmingham, AL (CH)
25 Bryan Cottrell, Portales, NM (CH)
3 Richard Dayringer, Grove, OK (PC)
20 Timothy Doremus, Mt. Washington, KY (PLT)
10 Dean Akers, Spring Lake, NC (CH)
25 Gary Nistler, Irmo, SC (CH)
3 William Elliott, Bakersfield, CA (CH)
20 Amanda Ducksworth, Columbus, MS (CH/PLT)
10 Joshua Ballew, 1992, China (FPC)
27 Ron, Asia (FP)
3 Philip Whisnand, Seattle, WA (FP)
20 Younsoo Park, Fort Bragg, NC (CH)
11 Julia Flores, Lynchburg, VA (CH)
27 Ken Chapman, Jefferson City, MO (CH)
4 Thelma Chambers-Young, Okla. City, OK (CH)
21 ________, son, North Africa (FPC)
11 Genene Nisbet, Louisville, KY (PC)
27 David Gladson, Pendleton, SC (CH)
5 Arley Hughes, Saint Mary’s, GA (CH)
21 Rebecca Church, Louisville, KY (CH)
11 Beth Ogburn, Oklahoma City, OK (CH)
27 Amy Karricker, Great Falls, MT (CH)
5 Joanna Tarr, Norfolk, VA (CH)
21 Linda McComb, Clinton, MS (CH)
12 Melin, Asia (FP)
27 Joshua Witt, Jefferson City, TN (CH)
6 Jong Bin Jeon, Asia (GMP)
21 Jeffery Thompson, Gainesville, GA (CH)
12 Kenneth Bentley, Carbon Hill, AL (CH)
28 Aaron Glenn, Los Angeles, CA (FP)
8 John Boyles, Lynchburg, VA (CH)
22 Kathy Oldfield, Maricopa, AZ (CH)
12 Jameson Williams, Shelby, NC (CH)
28 Lynda Schupp, Flower Mound, TX (CH)
8 Biju Chacko, Durham, NC (CH)
23 Gene Murdock, India (FP)
14 Mary Beth Caffey, Lewiston, ME (PLT)
28 Megan Whitley, 2002, Spain (FPC)
8 C.J. Wehmiller, Murrayville, GA (FP)
25 Lindell Anderson, Fort Worth, TX (CH)
14 Wayne Lanham, Forest, VA (CH)
29 Phil McCarley, Charleston, WV (CH)
9 Nathan Cooper, Greenville, SC (CH)
25 Kwang Jung Choi, Asia (GMP)
15 Matthew Myrick, 1991, Kenya (FPC)
30 ________, son, Middle East (FPC)
9 Joe Lentz, Biloxi, MS (CH)
25 Richard Foster, Lynchburg, VA (CH)
15 Mary van Rheenen, Europe (FP)
30 John Emmart, Stoughton, WI (CH)
9 Elizabeth Milazzotto, Louisville, KY (PC)
26 Rodney Craggs, Franklin, IN (CH)
15 Fran Stuart, Deerfield Beach, FL (CH)
30 Susan Rogerson, Winterville, NC (CH)
9 Willie Smith, Fredericksburg, VA (CH)
27 Lori Myrick, Kenya (FP)
17 Mary Gessner, Madison, AL (PC)
31 Ji Eun Chang, daughter, Asia (GMP)
17 Joel Sturtevant, Frankfort, KY (CH)
31 Dale Cross, Lawrenceville, GA (CH)
18 Dodie Huff-Fletcher, Louisville, KY (PC)
31 William Davidson, Wetumpka, AL (CH) 31 Tim Madison, Fort Worth, TX (CH)
10 Karen Estle, Indianapolis, IN (CH) 10 Hang Sung Kim, daughter, Philippines (GMP)
10 James Rentz, Spartanburg, SC (PC)
1 Vicki Hollon, San Antonio, TX (CH)
18 Denny Jones, Douglasville, GA (CH)
10 Sam Southard, Naples, FL (PC)
1 Brent Peery, Conroe, TX (CH)
18 Gregory Qualls, Mooresboro, NC (CH)
fter graduating from Clemson University in 2003, Casey Callahan felt called to student ministry. That call was confirmed during his time at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, a Fellowship partner. After several years of congregational ministry, Callahan eventually went home to Clemson, S.C., as the minister of students and singles at First Baptist Church. “I knew that FBC had supported a new chapter of the Cooperative Student Fellowship (CSF), which was led by my own college minister,” Callahan said. “When he decided to move on, he encouraged me to apply.”
Cooperative Student Fellowships, student organizations that affiliate with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, have a presence at colleges throughout the Southeast. Callahan gathers with college students every Thursday for dinner, discussion and worship. “This type of congregational-based college ministry offers a great opportunity for open, holistic, missional and student-led worship,” Callahan said. “CSF helps guide students during their time in college and connects them to a church family.”
ate Hanch was halfway around the world when, at age 16, she first felt called to full-time ministry. She was serving at a camp in Belarus when someone asked her if she would ever return to the country to continue her ministry efforts. “I felt a peace at that moment, and somehow I knew that yes, this was the work I was called to do in the world,” Hanch said. She explored that call throughout her college experience at Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis, and when she decided to go to seminary at Central Baptist Seminary in Shawnee, Kan., a CBF partner, she applied for a CBF leadership scholarship.
“My home church, First Baptist of Jefferson City, was affiliated with CBF, so my youth minister encouraged me to apply,” Hanch said. Nine years after discerning her calling, Hanch started working as a children’s ministry associate at Holmeswood Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo. “I love being with children and their parents during their best times and their worst times,” said Hanch, who is scheduled to graduate in 2011.
ince beginning his medical practice in Salisbury, N.C., Tom Ginn has traveled across the world — from India to Nigeria to Venezuela — for medical missions. One visit to Kenya several years ago became more than a mission trip. It was the beginning of a meaningful partnership. A team from Ginn’s home church, Knollwood Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, N.C., traveled to Kenya to meet CBF field personnel Melody and Sam Harrell. The Harrells started Change for Children, a series of child development centers throughout Kenya that provide educational opportunities for hundreds of preschool-age children.
Ginn saw an opportunity to provide healthcare services to the children attending the preschool. So, he worked with the Harrells and a group of Knollwood members to create Kenya Health Partners. “The project is completely funded by a group of caring members of Knollwood,” Ginn said. “Three trips later, we are planning to expand Kenya Health Partners even further. For me, it’s not a question of whether or not to do medical missions. It’s just what we do.”
s a teacher at Harrisonburg High School in Harrisonburg, Va., Sandy Mercer works with students representing 48 countries and 41 language groups. One of those students is Maria, a native of El Salvador, whom Mercer and other teachers encouraged to apply for college and Temporary Protected Status with the United States. But the application process brought Maria to the attention of immigration officials, and just four months from graduation, Maria faced deportation. Mercer decided to advocate for Maria and wrote a letter to her U.S. senator. With encouragement and financial support from the community, Maria was able to attend college. More than a year later, Mercer is still acting as an advocate on behalf of immigrants. She has worked to encourage the passage
of the DREAM Act, which would help qualify undocumented youth for a six-year conditional path to citizenship. The act requires completion of a college degree or two years of military service. “I am re-learning what it means to love my neighbor,” said Mercer, who is also actively involved in immigration issues in her local Sandy Mercer (right) community. A member of CBF partner Harrisonburg Baptist Church, Mercer sees the importance of educating others about challenges facing immigrants from a Christian viewpoint.
for celebrating CBF’s 20th anniversary By Connie McNeill CBF Coordinator of Administration
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship was born. This year we are celebrating not only the birth of CBF but the entire Fellowship movement, including congregations, ministry partners and seminaries. The height of this year of celebration will be the week of June 20-25 in Tampa, Fla. During our annual General Assembly we will come together to recognize this historic moment in CBF’s history. So how can you celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Fellowship? Here are five ideas.
Be part of the celebration in Tampa
The 2011 General Assembly will be a historic and memorable event. You will want to be part of celebrating this milestone in Baptist life. Start making your plans now by preregistering online and reserving your hotel room at www.thefellowship.info/assembly. The theme for this historic Assembly is “God’s mission, your passion: Celebrating our 20-year journey toward faithfulness.” The action-packed week of events begins on Monday, June 21, when college students begin gathering for “Tampa Sessions.” The crowd will grow larger as the Assembly builds toward Wednesday’s Leadership Institute and the 20th anniversary dinner party that evening. Thursday and Friday are filled with events designed to help you and your church discover and fulfill your God-given mission, including inspiring evening worship services. While the Assembly may end on Saturday morning, there is still fun to be had in Tampa. You can “stay and play” at some of Tampa’s most popular destinations. And on Sunday morning, you can “stay and pray” at local CBF congregations. Learn more about the Assembly on pages 28-31.
Clark Hill photo
Twenty years ago! That’s when the
At the annual CBF staff retreat, staff members recongnized the 20th anniversary with a unique photo.
2 3 4
Pray with thanksgiving for the rich heritage we share and with hope for God’s intended future for us.
Share your thoughts about the future
The Fellowship’s 2012 Task Force, which began working in 2010 to address strategic questions about the future of the Fellowship movement, is looking for feedback from Fellowship Baptists. Go online to www.thefellowship.info/2012taskforce to share your thoughts.
Invest in the future
Invest in the future of the Fellowship by inviting a young Baptist to attend General Assembly with you. Tell them about the wonderful opportunities for fellowship and networking. Encourage them to register online in advance of the event. When you’re in Tampa for the Assembly, introduce them to other Fellowship Baptists. This is how community grows, and General Assembly provides numerous
opportunities for people to connect with CBF and other Fellowship Baptists for the first time. Let us know if you are bringing first time attendees, so we can welcome them in a warm Fellowship way.
Include CBF in your personal stewardship
Give a “20th” gift to support the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Your financial gift will support all the Fellowship’s ministries — including sending and keeping our field personnel on the mission fields of the world, enabling us to help congregations develop Christ’s disciples, providing funding to our partners, helping support our seminary students as they prepare for ministry and providing for the General Assembly in Tampa. Your faithful support will help CBF respond to God’s future for all of the Fellowship community. To give, use the envelope included in this magazine or go online to www.thefellowship.info/give. I look forward to seeing you in Tampa where we celebrate God’s mission, your passion and our 20-year journey toward faithfulness.
Did you know that all the past issues of the fellowship! magazine, dating back to the first issue in 1991, are now available online? Browse the issues and read about CBF’s beginnings at www.thefellowship.info/fellowship. fellowship!
CBF field personnel minister to restaurant workers in China
f you search for “Macau, China” on the Internet, you will find listings for travel information and tourism guides. That’s because Macau — a vibrant, historical city located on the southern coast of China — boasts 25 miles of coastland, modern resorts and entertainment centers, top-rated restaurants and 24-hour casinos. The gaming industry is a primary draw; in fact, in recent years, Macau overtook
Las Vegas as the world’s number one gambling market. People from all over China come to Macau to work in the city’s hotels and restaurants, serving the millions of tourists that visit each year. Most of the workers do not aspire to careers in the service industry, but come to These workers — young and old, married and single, with various backgrounds — are the focus of the ministry of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel Larry and Sarah Ballew. Hungry for relationships, yet working long hours and erratic work schedules, people in the service industry often don’t have a lot of opportunities to make friends. So the Ballews go to them, visiting them in the restaurants, hotels and casinos where they work — sharing a meal, delivering a small gift and being the presence of Christ. “Jesus shows that serving others is not a 9-to-5 job,” Sarah said. “Being intentionally available and flexible in our relationships with others is one of our most important assets to our ministry.”
Continue on page 12
Photos courtesy of the Ballews
Macau on two- to three-year contracts.
As self-funded field personnel, the Ballews raise their own financial support. To learn more about their ministry and how you can support them, go to www.thefellowship.info/ballew.
The Ballews live in a 60-yearold building in the heart of Macau. Itâ€™s down the street from Macau Baptist Church and Grand Lisboa Casino Hotel. You can see Sarah in a red sweater in the 5th floor window.
Being the presence of Christ The Ballews estimate that the services sector of Macau’s economy accounts for about 70 percent of the workforce. Since the rapid expansion of the casinos, manufacturing jobs have all but disappeared. “Due to the nature of their work, they are constantly under demand from other people,” said Larry. “There is rarely, if ever, a time in their work context where they are appreciated for themselves. People see the uniform and not the person wearing it. Often, the only time they get attention is when something goes wrong. We seek to provide healthy, affirming relationships.” The Ballews build relationships by eating in local restaurants and making con-
Photos courtesy of the Ballews
As Larry and Sarah, right, Ballew minister among service workers in Macau, they are reminded of Jesus’ ministry to the people on the margins of society.
nections with service staff members. They will invite service workers to attend the English classes they teach or invite them to Sunday school and worship at Macau Baptist Church, the oldest Baptist church in the city. The Ballews’ initial contacts at hotels and restaurants lead to a growing circle of acquaintances, as people invite friends and fellow co-workers to meet the Ballews. As they work in Macau, the Ballews are reminded again and again of Jesus’ ministry to the people on the margins of society, such as the stories of Zacchaeus, Matthew the tax collector and the woman at the well. “Being a servant today means seeing those who are at the margins of society — the people who are invisible due to their jobs, their social status, their networks of relationships,” Larry said. “Jesus saw people
for what is really going on in their lives. He saw beyond the surface needs and into the heart needs of people.”
Lisa’s story As part-time staff at Macau Baptist Church, the Ballews see their English classes as a way to introduce people to the church and tell them the story of Jesus. In a city where the economy is based primarily on English-speaking tourists, the classes provide a valuable skill for those in the service industry and give the Ballews an opportunity to meet restaurant workers such as Lisa. Lisa had been in Macau for just a few months when she picked up a flyer that Larry had left at the restaurant where she works. She showed up the next day at a Macau Baptist Church outreach party excited to make new
friends and attend the English classes. The Ballews noticed two things about Lisa — the jade pendant in the shape of a Buddha her mother gave her when she left home and that she was always on time to class. When Lisa arrived at class one day late and without the pendant, they knew something had changed. After months of attending church and English classes, Lisa decided she was ready follow Jesus. “We saw Lisa grow in faith and understanding of what it means to follow Jesus,” said Larry. “When Lisa had a falling out with a friend she thought stole money from her, Sarah talked with Lisa about the value of forgiveness, reminding her about the way that Jesus forgives us. It wasn’t too long after that conversation that Lisa forgave her friend, who began attending
(Top) After attending English classes and church activities at Macau Baptist Church, Lisa, far left, who works in a local restaurant, made a commitment to follow Jesus. (Above) The English classes taught by Larry and Sarah Ballew, center, often use Bible verses as a way for students to learn the language.
classes at the church again. This sign of maturity was a great encouragement for us.” The Ballews continue to support and pray for Lisa in her new faith. Last year Sarah traveled by bus with Lisa to her hometown five hours from Macau. There, Sarah met many of Lisa’s family and friends, shared her testimony and gave them a Bible. When Lisa’s sister asked Sarah why she had so much joy, Sarah was able to share that it is because of her relationship with Jesus.
The spirit of God at work in China The church in China is alive and growing. New churches are being built across China to allow thousands of worshipers to gather in the name of Jesus. In these provinces, there is often such interest in the gospel message that even new church buildings aren’t big enough to seat everyone. According to Amity News, a service provided by the China Christian Council, there are an estimated 18 million Christians in China today. The figure represents a more than ten-fold growth in the community of believers in China in the last 60 years. But in the Ballews’ city of more than 500,000 people, the Christian community is still small — less than 1 percent of people in Macau identify with Protestant Christianity, and around 5 percent with Catholic Christianity. “We have great freedom here to live openly as Christians, [but] the dominant mindset is a mixture of agnosticism and Buddhism, with mainly a dependence on self,” said Larry. “We aren’t seeing large numbers of people joining the church [in Macau]. But, God is at work. We see God in conversations we have with people. It’s a matter of our participating with God to sometimes give voice to what we discern to be happening in people’s lives.” Talking with a restaurant worker a year after his 2-year-old son was very ill, the Ballews learned that the boy’s health was much better. “Thank God,” the father told them.
About the Ballews Originally from Hanford, Calif., and Blacksburg, Va., Larry and Sarah Ballew have served in Macau since 1996. They have served in Macau as self-funded CBF field personnel since 2005. Prior to serving in China, the Ballews were church planters in Rhode Island. Currently, eight Virginia congregations and two California churches support the Ballews as encourager churches, providing prayer and financial support and other resources. The Ballews have two sons, Joshua, 18, and Nathanael, 16. Learn more at thefellowship.info/ballew.
“God is at work in his life giving him an awareness that there is someone greater at work in the world around him,” said Larry. “The most exciting aspects of our work involve seeing people grow in their awareness of Jesus’ love for them.” Coming from the loud and busy atmosphere of the casino where she works to spend time with the Ballews, a friend told them she feels peaceful in their presence. They told her, “Our peace comes from knowing Jesus.” “It is a hope and dream of ours that more and more Christians will open their eyes to see the people who serve them on a regular basis,” Sarah said. “If every Christian would befriend one restaurant worker, the world would be transformed.” By contributing writer Laurie Entrekin
If you are interested in teaching English in China or in another country, go online to www.thefellowship.info/serve to learn about opportunities. fellowship!
Army base creates unique ministry for endorsed chaplain pastoral care responsibilities. But there are other times when Coggins’ ministry is as unique as the assignments of the men and women he serves. For example, his unit was among the first group of aid workers to arrive after the 2010 January earthquake in Haiti. They were charged with re-opening the nation’s airport so that further assistance could arrive. Coggins, the son of a Navy chaplain, also seeks to meet the unique needs of his parishioners in the field. Extended wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have led to long and repeat deployments for U.S. service men and women. For service people, whether pilots, mechanics, cooks or combatants, the pressure of Michael and Rachel Coggins are both CBF-endorsed military chaplains. Rachel recently finished a yearlong deployment in the Middle East.
their daily jobs is intense. Few battlefields have clear borders, and rockets can rain in on support troops as well as those in the front lines. These experiences and the deaths that accompany war can lead to spiritual crisis and post-traumatic stress syndrome. “Working as a chaplain is about helping people release the stressors — recognizing God’s presence in their lives and of finding peace in prayer and other spiritual practices,” said Coggins.
or the men and women in the U.S. military, whose daily work is focused on preparing for and waging war, the demands and stress of the job are high. These challenges are combined with the loneliness and anxiety of living apart from spouses and children, which makes the ministry of military chaplains very specialized and vitally important. “I know it from the inside,” said Air Force chaplain Michael Coggins, who has spent approximately seven of his 25 years of marriage apart from his wife, also a military chaplain. “I tell them, ‘I’ve worn your shoes.’” Coggins, endorsed by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in 2002, currently serves as the lead or “wing chaplain” for the 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field in Florida, just outside of Pensacola. The base is home to 8,000 men and women, including specialized Air Force units known as Air Commandos. As senior pastor of the base chapel, Coggins’ ministry is at times much like that of other pastors. The chapel offers three worship services each Sunday, plus educational and social activities. Coggins and a team of Air Force chaplains share the preaching, teaching, counseling and
Chaplain ministers to guards at federal prison
very day, Luke Langston and a staff of 12 chaplains serve a group of more than 7,000 people. But the setting isn’t a church; it’s a prison. Langston serves as a chaplain for the Federal Bureau of Prisons at the Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) in Butner, N.C. Langston ministers not only to convicted felons and petty criminals but also to the 1,500 guards and staff who spend every day working for the safety and rehabilitation of the inmates. The five-institution complex acts as a selfsustaining city, complete with a gas station, education department, food service unit and medical center. “My primary job is to facilitate the religious expression of all faiths represented here,” said Langston, a CBF-endorsed chaplain. “Ministry here does not happen in an office. Ministry happens in conversations in the cafeteria or walking the halls communicating with inmates who want to talk.”
Langston’s ministry varies from scheduling blocks of time for members of different faiths to study or worship in the chapel to leading a diverse Christian worship service each Sunday. There is always a chaplain on call in case of emergency, and Langston and his team have a schedule that varies to accommodate the religious needs of the inmates. He spends the remainder of his time working alongside the staff at FCC Butner, building relationships.When high-stress events occur, such as an inmate committing suicide in 2010, Langston is able to minister to those affected because of his relationships with staff. “It’s such a relational ministry,” Langston said. “We have mutual respect for each other, which provides a good foundation for building strong relationships. One by one, they are beginning to share their hearts and their lives with me. It is about being a friend to someone who might not otherwise have an opportunity to see God.” One year into his position, Langston is still
finding creative ways to be the presence of Christ in a prison setting, where rules and regulations limit his interaction with prisoners. For example, although he can’t play basketball with the Luke Langston inmates, he can spend time watching their games and talking with them in between plays. “I try to follow Jesus’ model of building relationships with everyone,” Langston said. “Generally, inmates either become bitter in prison, or they see it as an opportunity to change. Helping inmates and staff alike realize that there is a purpose for their lives opens the door to a more hopeful future.”
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.
‘When God calls’
Field personnel provide support, training to seminary students
Ryan Clark, center, a graduate of Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology, a CBF partner, teaches pastoral care at PBTS.
that comes with higher education. To help relieve the financial burden on students, international faculty members, such as the Clarks, are all paid through denominational networks and not by PBTS. This allows the school to offer affordable tuition. As faculty members, the Clarks participate in community activities at the school, such as weekly worship and an annual sports festival, and they also work to prepare students for the challenges they will face as once they graduate. Some of those are universal to ministers — developing leadership skills, teaching and preaching and self-care. But other challenges will be unique to the students’ cultures, such as serving in a region where they are a religious minority. “There is a high expectation on a student when he or she returns to his or her country,” said Ryan. “They will be pastors for sure, but more than that they will be one of the most highly educated people in the community and their leadership will likely extend into holistic ministry and community development.” The Clarks have met students like Leon, a native of the Philippines who was adopted by Baptist missionaries as an infant. Because of superstitions, infanticide was a common practice when twins were born in his village. Hoping to
spare Leon’s life and life of his twin, Christian missionaries and his parents worked out a plan for adoption. “There are many stories of how God has worked in the lives of these students before ever stepping foot on campus,” said Ryan. “As first and second generation Christians, they know first-hand how the lives of people can be improved when Jesus comes to town.” For faculty and staff at PBTS, the call to be the presence of Christ includes serving the people in Baguio City. Students serve as pastors of local churches, minister to teenagers in prison and children at an orphanage, teach at mining camps, conduct monthly medical clinics and travel to the city dump to provide food to the thousands of people living there. “I am often aware of the unique situation we are in, where people from all over the world are gathered here in hopes of making the world better,” said Cindy, who serves on the faculty of the music department. “It doesn’t matter the civil unrest of home countries or politics or financial hardships or families situations, there is no telling what amazing things these students will return to their home countries and do. I’m sure it is much more than we could imagine.” By Patricia Heys, CBF Communications
Photo courtesy of the Clarks
t Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary (PBTS), Cindy and Ryan Clark’s roles are numerous — teacher, professor, friend, minister — because their goals are twofold. Not only do they providing training to future ministers, but they also seek to minister to students who face difficult and unique challenges in order to pursue a seminary education. The seminary, which was established in 1952 and is located in Baguio City, provides theological training in the Baptist tradition to more than 100 students from 13 countries, including Korea, India, New Guinea, Pakistan, Vietnam, Myanmar and China. An additional 500 students are enrolled in the seminary’s extension program. The Clarks, self-funded CBF field personnel, have developed relationships with students like Godwin, a native of Cameroon, who left his young daughter and wife to attend seminary. After two years in school, Godwin has not been able to return home and doesn’t expect to see his family until after he graduates because he can’t afford the travel expenses. “When God calls a student to PBTS, half the time it means leaving family, church community and usually employment,” said Ryan, who serves as visiting professor of pastoral care. “This is because half of the students come from outside the Baguio City area. Many of the students at PBTS are first or second generation Christian. Students’ families consider it an honor for them to be going to school, but many of them wish they were studying business or engineering instead of Jesus.” The school itself is a unique community, with students bonding together over shared experiences such as learning English, culture shock and addressing the financial stress
Are you interested in teaching at a seminary? Are you interested in teaching English? There are opportunities available through CBF partnerships and ministry centers all over the world. Opportunities are as short as one-week or as long as one year. Go to www.thefellowship.info/serve to learn more. fellowship!
At the racetrack CBF field personnel minister among migrant workers
the workers’ children. A project funded by CBF provided money to send 30 migrant children to a nearby Christian camp last summer, part of a plan to provide safe activities where children can learn about Christ. “For many children this summertime experience may be typical, but for the migrant child, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Diann said. The Whisnands, from Texas, were commissioned as CBF field personnel in 2005. The racetrack setting is a natural fit for Philip, who grew up on a ranch and is a veterinarian. Diann draws on her background as an educator. “Hopefully, thanks to CBF’s support, the prayers and money that people give, we’re playing a tiny role in making a difference in somebody’s life,” Philip said. By contributing writer Charlotte Tubbs
Photo courtesy MBBC
Photo courtesy of the Whisnands
mid hay, mud and the unmistakable them to understand everything that we bring up aromas that accompany hundreds of in one visit, but hopefully over a period of time horses, CBF field personnel Diann and they will see that we’re there to help them not only Philip Whisnand minister to the people physically and mentally but spiritually as well.” who care for the horses at Emerald Downs Much of the Whisnands’ ministry occurs in the racetrack in Seattle, Wash. Typically, more than 11 barns, as they walk and talk with the workers 800 grooms and trainers live and work in the one-on-one about their daily lives. Sometimes racetrack’s barns. they pass out fruits and vegetables or provide Most of the track’s “backside” workers are meals. The Whisnands have also offered English Mexican migrants. A few have families who live classes, private tutoring and organized activities with them, but most are single and alone. From such as volleyball games. February through September they reside in 10 In many ways, the backside is like a small ft.-by-10 ft. rooms located within the horse barns. town. The community celebrates holidays, They feed, wash and exercise the horses six or weddings and births, but also grieves when seven days a week, often starting at 5 a.m. tragedy strikes. The Whisnands helped the It’s a life that comes with intense work, low backside community as it grieved for a man pay, no vacation and little stability. Afterwards, who was hit by a train after walking more than a workers must look for other jobs when the mile to mail a Mother’s Day card to his mother racetrack closes for the season. in Mexico. “Many times they don’t know from week to The Whisnands’ ministry also extends to week if they’re going to make it,” Philip said. Facing boredom, isolation and obstacles related to their unique jobs, many workers struggle with drug, alcohol and other addictions. Most battle periods of loneliness as they face life away from family and a familiar culture, and these challenges can lead to fights among workers. Jorge was injured in such a fight and turned to Philip when he needed someone to take him to a doctor. It’s one way the Whisnands are being the presence of Philip Whisnand, Christ among this isolated center, draws on his community of workers. veterinarian training “We feel like we can to connect with minister to people like Jorge the workers at the over the long haul,” Philip racetrack. said. “We don’t expect
The ministry of the Whisnands is made possible by gifts to the CBF Offering for Global Missions, which provides for their salary and ministry expenses. You can learn more about the Whisnands at www.thefellowship.info/whisnand. Support their ministry through giving to the CBF Offering by using the envelope included in this magazine. February/March 2011
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.
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 session gather a Bible, copies of CBF fellowship! magazine and a piece of butcher paper or whiteboard with felt-tip markers or chalk and a chalkboard. Go to www.thefellowship.info/affectonline for links to other resources to support your planning. 2. Divide participants into five groups. Direct each group to read one of the stories about CBF chaplains and field personnel (on pages 10-16) who minister to people in the workplace. For each story ask groups to identify: (1) the specific needs within the workplace, and (2) the ways the field personnel or chaplain ministers in light of those needs. 3. On the board or butcher paper, make two columns. Label the left column Needs and the right column Ministries. Allow the small groups to share about each of the stories with the large group. Fill out the columns as the groups share. 4. Say: In each story the minister meets people in their workplace, coming alongside them to become their friend and to be the presence of Christ. This is how Jesus did ministry, too, meeting people where they were, going about their daily work, bringing hope and building relationships.
5. Invite someone to read Luke 5:1–11.
6. Ask: What are some of the needs of people in your workplace? Continue the list in the left column. Ask: How can you be the presence of Christ in your workplace to address some of these needs? Allow members to brainstorm ideas of ongoing, relational ministry practices that could be implemented in their workplaces. Continue the list in the right column.
Cooperative baptiSt fellowShip | www.thefellowShip.info
Serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission
A ministry of hope Read more about HIV/AIDS ministries on pages 18-24.
7. Consider the obstacles in your workplace, including your own fears that could prevent you from ministering to others. Offer these concerns to God in prayer. 8. End in a time of prayer for the workplace ministries of Luke Langston, Michael Coggins, the Clarks, the Whisnands and the Ballews. Thank God for the example Jesus provides for the field personnel and for us to know how to be ministers to the people with whom we work. Be sure to offer prayers for those mentioned on the Prayer Calendar on page 7.
In Worship: Guided Prayer Experience Ask a layperson in the congregation to share about a meaningful relationship or experience in their place of work when they were able to be a minister or were ministered to by a coworker. Or share one of the stories about workplace ministries from CBF fellowship! magazine. Then guide congregants through a time of silent prayer. Pray: Lord God, stir in our hearts gratitude and thanksgiving for all you do in our lives. Awaken our spirits to your light that shines in the mundane of the “nine to five.” Show us your presence and your blessing each day in our places of work and study. God, for calling us to these places and for being present with us, hear now our prayers of thanksgiving. Pause. Pray: Holy Spirit, we ask that you would increase our sensitivity to your guidance in our workplaces and schools. We ask that in the boardroom and the classroom you would show us how to cooperate with your presence. Lead us each day to embody your spirit of peace, grace, truth and creativity. Spirit of God, hear our prayer for guidance as we go about our work. Pause. Pray: Son of God, you have invited us into relationship with you, and you have shown us how to relate to others. At work and at school, we come in contact
with broken people who struggle with loneliness, despair and hopelessness. Lord Jesus, for the struggles and situations of our coworkers and classmates, hear our prayer. Pause. Pray: You have called us, O God, to service and friendship among our peers. Show us how to be good friends and ministers as we work and study alongside them. Help us to be extensions of your love and light. Amen.
In Reading Groups Combining expertise and training in both business and theology, David W. Miller takes a hopeful but realistic look at the integration of vocation and faith in the 21st century in God at Work: The History and Promise of the Faith at Work Movement. Examining both the history of the Faith at Work Movement and the challenges it poses in a pluralistic society, Miller addresses the implications the movement has for ethics and economics, as well as for personal fulfillment.
Relationships are vital to the life-changing ministry of Ronnie Adams, right.
A ministry of hope
Adams shares story of God’s love among people living with HIV/AIDS
t’s a Thursday night and Theatre Row Diner is packed. Squeezed into seats at a few tables in the middle of the restaurant is a lively group of seven men who look like they’ve known each other for a long time. They laugh. They joke. They talk about what’s happening in the world. All the while no one around them knows the bond that has brought these men together. Six of them have HIV or AIDS, and “Rev. Ronnie” is their Bible study leader, encourager, supporter and most importantly — friend. Greater Restoration Baptist Church in Brooklyn is led by pastor Kenneth Bogan, right, where each summer CBF partner churches are part of a summer day camp for children.
Ronnie Adams is also one of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s field personnel. Since 1995 he’s been serving in New York City, and it’s hard not to notice the compassion he has for these six men he calls friends. These men have shared a lot — the side effects of medication, feelings of isolation and the unpredictable nature of the disease. One day they feel great; the next they aren’t able to get out of bed. One night every week they come together to talk about their struggles and how faith can help them in the journey. In these Bible studies, Adams talks about God’s love, forgiveness, possibility and most importantly — hope — because that’s what they need most.
A message of love, hope and forgiveness
Carla Wynn Davis photos
Milton was diagnosed with HIV at 22 years old. After he nearly died, doctors told him he wouldn’t live to see 30. He smiles when he admits he hit that milestone nearly a decade ago. For several years he’s found Adams’ Bible study encouraging and uplifting. “It’s very difficult living day by day,” Milton said. “Ronnie helps us get through a lot. He has helped me overcome so much.” Sometimes Adams helps a person cope with family issues related to an HIV diagnosis. Sometimes he lends a listening ear or offers a word of hope. And other times he provides pastoral care to those in the hospital. Stewart remembers the first time Adams visited him in the hospital. Stewart’s immunity was so compromised that hospital Continue on page 20
Adams’ ministry is made possible through Fellowship Baptists’ gifts to the CBF Offering for Global Missions, which provide for his salary and ministry expenses. This year’s Offering goal is $5.5 million, and you are a vital part of reaching this goal and keeping CBF field personnel in ministry. You can give to the Offering online at www.thefellowship.info/give or use the envelope included in this issue. fellowship!
visitors had to wear protective clothing to reduce his exposure to life-threatening germs. “At first I didn’t recognize Ronnie because he had the mask on, the hat on, the gloves on, but he had the Bible in his hand,” Stewart said. “Then I knew who it was.” Becky Lynch, a member of Boulevard Baptist Church in Anderson, S.C., has seen Adams’ ministry firsthand and knows the difference it makes in the lives of people who so often feel isolated because of their illness. “When they are sick, Ronnie gets a phone call. When they’re in the hospital, he is there at bedside. He is with them in their last hours. He provides their memorial services,” she said. “They have experienced the love of Christ through Ronnie.”
And like the message of Christ so often does, it spreads to and through people who never knew God could love them. On the day Cresenki became a mother, she learned she had HIV and had passed it on to her newborn daughter. Because she didn’t know what else to do, she ran — away from the hospital, her daughter and to drugs. The way she saw it, not even God could forgive that. But years later on a Mother’s Day in New York City, Cresenki heard a different story — a story of a loving, forgiving God who was full of grace and second chances. That message from Adams was something that stuck. Over the next few years, Cresenki became one of the city’s great ministers
among those, like herself, living with HIV. And when she died two years later, Adams spoke at her memorial service, where there were few people who didn’t know the change Christ made in Cresenki’s life. One 12-year-old girl especially: “That’s my mommy,” she told Adams after the service. “I got to know her the past two years.” Cresenki — a person who once thought herself hopeless — became “a beautiful story of the hope of Christ and what God’s love in someone’s life can do,” Adams said.
Coming together with common passion, purpose Most of Adams’ days are spent at Metro Baptist Church, a small CBF partner con-
Carla Wynn Davis photos
Ronnie Adams, far left, has lived and ministered in New York City since 1995. As part of his ministry, he provides pastoral care to people living with HIV/AIDS.
To learn about opportunities to serve alongside Adams and CBF partner churches in New York, go to www.thefellowship.info/serve or contact Chris Boltin at (800) 352-8741.
gregation in the Hell’s Kitchen area of Manhattan. The congregation bought its building in 1984, when Hell’s Kitchen was one of the city’s more difficult neighborhoods. The then-pastor prayed that God would only give them the building if they could use it nonstop for community outreach. And for more than two decades, the congregation has done just that. Church members started Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries, which serves the community in many ways. There’s a food pantry, clothes closet and English classes. Children have an afterschool program called Page Turners and a day camp during the summer. Teenagers flock to the after-school teen center and
(Top) Katie Furr, right, of Metro Baptist Church helps local children select school supplies during a School Supply Fair. Metro’s ministry among children and teens includes after-school programs and summer camps. (Above) Brice Fiske, right, of Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries assembles food packages with help from members of Boulevard Baptist Church in Anderson, S.C. Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries is the social ministries organization of Metro Baptist Church.
numerous summer activities. And through Adams, the church provides pastoral care to those living with HIV/AIDS. “This congregation is a group of people that believe our faith in God should have an outpouring into the world,” said Metro’s pastor Alan Sherouse. Since 1995, Adams has been a resource for Metro, helping develop and support outreach programs. More recently he connected with Greater Restoration Baptist Church, a congregation in Brooklyn that had a similar desire to begin meeting needs in the community. As these congregations have reached out to struggling populations in their midst, CBF partner churches have connected with these ministries, finding an opportunity to engage their passion for urban ministry. Each summer many congregations send teams of church members to the city to participate in a hands-on way. Boulevard Baptist Church in Anderson, S.C., learned about Adams’ ministry in 2005, when he spoke during a Sunday worship service. When missions leader Becky Lynch arrived home from church that day, there were already phone messages from church members asking how they could support Adams’ ministry. In the years since, the church has collected toiletries, school supplies and other needed items. Mission teams have also traveled to New York City to help with summer camps for children and youth at Metro and Greater Restoration churches. “I feel my calling is working with children,” said Jenean Thomason, a Boulevard Baptist member. “So when they gave me the opportunity to come up here and work with kids, I just jumped on it. And ever since then I’ve been coming up here to help.”
Investing in God’s mission These stories, ministries and relationships are made possible through
About Ronnie Adams Ronnie Adams is originally from Dallas, Texas, where he also attended college and seminary. Prior to being appointed as CBF field personnel in 1995, he served as a minister at churches in Plano, Texas; Oklahoma City; and Dallas. Learn more about Adams’ ministry at www.thefellowship.info/adams. You can also view a video about his work on CBF’s YouTube Channel — www.youtube.com/cbfvideo.
individuals and churches that give to CBF’s Offering for Global Missions, which funds Adams’ ministry and many others throughout the world. “I think it’s part of God’s will for every church and every Christian to be on mission and to support missions,” Lynch said. “The Offering for Global Missions is a wonderful opportunity for churches — to give them the privilege to be part of this work.” As important as giving is, CBF field personnel like Adams also need individuals and churches to become involved, discover a passion for ministry and join God’s mission in the world. “Our greatest need is to have churches that would come and partner with us and be a part of what’s happening here in New York City,” Adams said. By Carla Wynn Davis, CBF Communications
Resources for ministering among the HIV/AIDS community are available through CBF’s HIV/AIDS network — www.thefellowship.info/AIDS. fellowship!
Breaking the cycle
CBF field personnel work for better health in sub-Saharan Africa
thousands of water wells in villages across subSaharan Africa. “It is hard to create change unless people have access to clean water,” Turner said. “Once a well is installed in a local community, it becomes a resource to grow vegetables and provide food security.” Not only do vegetable gardens provide food for families to eat, but they also become a revenue resource that boosts the local economy. “Better health and a better economy mean that those with HIV/AIDS can afford much-needed medication and are healthy enough to take it,” Turner said. As fully-funded CBF field personnel, the Turners are supported by the CBF Offering for Global Missions, which provides for their salary and ministry expenses. Their ministry is an extension of Fellowship Baptists in the United States, many of whom travel to Africa to work alongside the Turners. Last year, a group from Immanuel Baptist Church in Frankfort, Ky., traveled to Zambia to support the Turners and to help build a maternity clinic. The clinic will not only provide testing and counseling for those with HIV/ AIDS, it will also provide labor The Turners have built a basketball court, volleyball courts and a soccer field in an effort to provide children and teens with healthy organized activities and keep them away from activities that put them at high risk for HIV/AIDS.
wards for safer deliveries, as well as pre-natal and post-natal care for mothers for safer and healthier deliveries. “The maternity clinic will help raise the standard of living in this community,” Turner said. “By providing better primary healthcare practices and more education about healthcare, we can have both a direct and an indirect impact to reduce the spread of HIV here.” The Turners have also focused on providing recreational activities for children and teens in rural areas. These activities are designed to give children healthy organized activities, so they are less likely to fall into behavior that puts them at high risk for contracting HIV/AIDS. The Turners have built a basketball court, two volleyball courts and a soccer field, and they hope to start a music program soon. “HIV/AIDS should not be a disease of children,” Turner said. “We as the church must live up to Jesus’ command to love our neighbors as ourselves.” By contributing writer Lelia King
welve-year-old Seleta walks home from school each day carrying a heavy burden. Not only does she have schoolwork and peer pressure to worry about, but she is the primary caregiver for her family. Seleta lives in a shack with her mother, who is HIV-positive, and three siblings. There is no electricity and no running water, and they have very little income for food and medicine. This family is like many families in subSaharan Africa, where teenagers like Seleta may turn to prostitution or crime to provide for their parents and siblings. “If a parent is infected with HIV/AIDS and is unable to work, that affects household income; which affects food security and living security,” said Lonnie Turner, one of CBF’s field personnel serving in Africa. “It becomes a cycle of poverty and hopelessness.” According to international HIV/AIDS charity AVERT, sub-Saharan Africa is more heavily affected by HIV and AIDS than any other region of the world. Since the beginning of the epidemic in the 1980s, more than 14 million children in this region have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. “Despite the fact that Africa is one of the poorest continents in the world, more than 80 percent of Africans believe in God,” said Turner, who along with his wife, Fran, has lived and worked in sub-Saharan Africa since 1976. “When we first started working here, the emphasis was on raising awareness about AIDS and getting tested,” Turner said. “But during the past 30 years, Fran and I have realized that this strategy is not working — this problem runs much deeper.” To help combat some of the health and poverty issues that contribute to the spread of HIV, the Turners have turned their focus to one of the main sources of poor health — water. Since 1998, they have worked to install
Your gifts to the CBF Offering for Global Missions enable the ministry of Fran and Lonnie Turner in Africa. To give, go to www.thefellowship.info/give or use the envelope included in this issue. To learn more about the Turners, visit their web page at www.thefellowship.info/turner or view a video about their ministry on CBF’s YouTube Channel — www.youtube.com/cbfvideo.
‘Stand in the rain with them’ Chaplain cares for patients facing HIV/AIDS, terminal illnesses
distressed that they had never married. “I was able to put together a commitment ceremony for them that celebrated the love they shared,” Kroeker said. “The ceremony helped give the family a sense of peace and helped them in the grieving process. HIV/AIDS is much bigger than just one patient. It touches everyone involved in the patient’s life. “My supervisor once shared an analogy with me that I think sums up what I do,” Kroeker said. “When people walk into a hospital, it’s like they are standing in a rain storm. Many people yell at them, telling them to get out of the rain. Others might hand them an umbrella to help keep them dry. Most of the time, a chaplain’s job is to stand in the rain with them.” By contributing writer Lelia King
Photo courtesy of Kerri Kroeker
n a recent Monday morning, the Medical Center in Duluth, Ga., Kroeker knew she world stood still for one young had discovered her calling. Upon completing the woman in Lakeland, Fla. After CPE program, she was hired as a critical care checking herself into Lakeland chaplain at a hospital in New Jersey. It was in this Regional Medical Center and underposition that she had her first encounter with a going a weekend of testing, she patiently listened patient suffering from AIDS. to her doctor’s diagnosis — “You are HIV-positive.” “A man came in with respiratory distress, “This woman was understandably shocked, and after some testing the doctors realized that confused and scared about her future,” said it was AIDS-induced pneumonia,” Kroeker said. Kerri Kroeker, a hospital chaplain who provided “Honestly we did not know whether he knew that pastoral care. “She did not want anyone to know, he had AIDS before coming in, but it was devasincluding her sister, who was waiting outside. We tating for his family.” talked about people living with HIV and resources The man was not married, but he and the that would help her afford her medication. I just mother of his children had been together for tried to listen.” more than 25 years. Over the next few weeks, Kroeker, a CBF-endorsed chaplain, is the palKroeker helped the family with their emotional liative care chaplain for Lakeland Regional Mediand spiritual needs. When the patient’s condition cal Center (RMC). She regularly provides care to took a turn for the worse, his girlfriend became chronically ill patients and their families. Chaplain Kerri Kroeker, standing, Though Lakeland leads a time of remembrance for RMC does not have a hospital staff, honoring patients dedicated HIV/AIDS who have died. unit, many of the patients Kroeker ministers to suffer from the disease. After graduation from Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology, a CBF partner, Kroeker had no specific direction for her ministry. She decided to enroll in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), a one-year residency program designed to train students interested in chaplaincy and pastoral care. Just one month into her CPE experience at Gwinnett
If you are interested in being endorsed as a chaplain or pastoral counselor by CBF, go to www.thefellowship.info/chaplaincy to learn about the process for endorsement. fellowship!
Bringing the church to the HIV/AIDS community
Knoxville church takes ‘loving thy neighbor’ to heart, launches Samaritan Ministry
Photo courtesy of Wayne Smith
racy has been labeled. Prostitute. Crack addict. HIV-positive. Felon. Recently released from prison, Tracy was placed on the sex offender registry because of her repeat offenses, rendering it virtually impossible for her to find a job or a home. But because a local church ministry advocated on her behalf, Tracy found a new home at a halfway house for exoffenders, a new job and a new chance at life. In 1996, a small group of members at Central Baptist Church of Bearden in Knoxville, Tenn., a CBF partner, read Jimmy Allen’s “Burden of a Secret.” The book outlines Allen’s experience with the AIDS epidemic in his own family, and the condemnation he encountered as a church leader. Inspired, the group decided that in order to avoid making the mistakes they read about, they needed to become educated about HIV/AIDS and share accurate information with the congregation. “We developed lesson plans for Sunday school classes and trained teams of two to teach each class,” said church member Wayne Smith. “At the culmination of the program in February 1996, our pastor preached a sermon on compassion specifically for those with HIV/AIDS — a topic that many churches were unwilling to discuss — and still are.” A week later, when the church received a phone call requesting a hospital visit for Danny, a man dying of AIDS, Smith drove to the hospital. “Getting to know Danny changed my heart,” Smith said. “Learning about the stigma he dealt with every day — misunderstanding, injustice, misinformation and his own family’s breakdown — helped me to realize that I am called to this ministry.” Danny died 18 months later. But Smith’s work with HIV/AIDS had just begun. He soon began volunteering with several organizations
in the Knoxville area. And people in the community started calling regularly, as they realized the church was a resource for people living with HIV/AIDS. In 2001, Smith retired from his job as an elementary school principal to start Samaritan Ministry, a ministry of Central Baptist Church. CBF quickly signed on as a funding partner. “We are a ministry of a Baptist church in a local community. It’s a powerful testimony that the local church can take on something controversial and make a difference,” Smith said. “Strong partnerships like the one we have with CBF ensure that people can continue to look to the church for help.” Today, Smith helps people like Tracy by taking her to doctor’s appointments, picking up her prescriptions and providing constant encouragement. Samaritan Ministry volunteers work closely
with schools, churches, public and private health organizations, nonprofits and even prisons to help accurately educate people about the disease, encourage testing and stand up for social justice issues related to HIV/AIDS. “Because this is a ministry of the church, people begin to understand that when we care about them, that must mean that God still loves them,” Smith said. Samaritan Ministry has even created a comprehensive HIV ministry resource kit, a resource for churches of all denominations to open their hearts to the HIV/AIDS community. “It’s a pretty simple idea,” Smith said. “We are bringing the church to the community instead of making the community come to church. We bring church to the places where people need it most.” By contributing writer Lelia King
Wayne Smith, right, trains volunteers as part of Samaritan Ministry.
For resources about ministering to the HIV/AIDS community, go online to CBF’s HIV/AIDS Network at www.thefellowship.info/AIDS.
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.
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 session, go to www.thebody.com and click on “Personal Stories.” Preview several of the videos in the “This Positive Life” series and select one, or portions of one, to show during the session. Secure equipment to show the video. Another option is to present portions of the video transcripts (also available at www.thebody.com) in an interview format. Also, this website has basic information on HIV/AIDS, including how it is contracted. 2. Open your session by asking participants to state thoughts when they hear the word cancer. Repeat the exercise with the words HIV and AIDS. Say: When people hear that someone has cancer, they care; but when they hear that someone has AIDS, they judge.
caring and compassionate response to those with HIV/AIDS.
Cooperative baptiSt fellowShip | www.thefellowShip.info
Serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission
6. Consider the following questions:
• How is HIV/AIDS experienced in Africa? In the United States?
• In Africa those with HIV/AIDS are not the least evangelized, but they are some of the most neglected. How have the Turners chosen to minister in this environment? How has their strategy changed over time?
A ministry of hope Read more about HIV/AIDS ministries on pages 18-24.
Ask: Do our answers indicate a response of care and compassion or one of judgment and condemnation?
• What biblical stories come to mind as you put yourself in the place of someone with HIV/AIDS?
Say: As we now hear from someone who has AIDS, listen with ears of compassion and care.
• What biblical stories come to mind as you put yourself in the place of caring for someone with HIV/AIDS?
• How would you begin a ministry through your church to the HIV/AIDS community? What obstacles would first have to be overcome before attempting such a ministry? See www.samaritancentral.org under “Publications” for the resource “Samaritan Model Brochure” for ideas.
• How can you bring your church to the community instead of making the community come to your church?
3. Present the video or interview transcript from www.thebody.com. 4. Ask for responses and reflections. Consider the following questions:
• Can you identify with this individual? Why or why not?
• How was this individual treated by family? Friends? Service agencies? The church (if applicable)?
At this time it might be helpful to share basic information on HIV/AIDS. 5. Using the articles on pages 18-24 of this issue of fellowship!, talk about the various ways field personnel, chaplains and churches are offering a
At Home with Families Many who work with persons living with HIV/ AIDS encourage the practice of beginning personal memory boxes. The box helps people tell their stories, preserving them for children and family history. The process of telling their stories also seems to encourage those with HIV/AIDS to continue medications and to take healthy steps to keep their lives a continuing history. Consider constructing your own family memory box. Begin by selecting a box or container that is substantial and sturdy enough to endure the years. A wooden or ceramic box is a good choice. Decorate the outside of the box as a family using family pictures or items that have special significance. You might choose to cut out images or words from magazines to decoupage onto the box. As you decorate, discuss how memory boxes are being used in places like Africa to help families dealing with HIV/AIDS. Share information about the disease from websites such as www.thebody.com. Once the box is
7. Conclude by praying for those affected by HIV/AIDS, those offering care and those listed on the Prayer Calendar celebrating birthdays this month (p. 7).
In Reading Groups After years of ministry as the wife of a high-profile pastor, Kay Warren believed she understood God’s agenda for the next stage of her journey. When events in her life caused her to pay particular attention to the African AIDS pandemic, she came to realize that God was calling her to make a difference in ways she had never considered before. In Say Yes to God: A Call to Courageous Surrender, Warren recounts her struggle and her ultimate choice of risk — and faithfulness — over comfort.
complete, put it in a spot where it will be easily accessed. Encourage family members to place items in the box that help preserve your family’s history! fellowship!
hope p Recognizing the importance of clean water as the cornerstone for sustaining life, building communities and transforming lives, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship recently provided $90,000 to help purchase a well drilling rig in Ethiopia. “Having safe drinking water is foundational to everything we do,” said David Harding, one of CBF’s field personnel and international coordinator for disaster response. “The silent disaster is that there are millions of people around the world in countries like Ethiopia that do not have the basic human right of access to safe water.” Harding, who grew up in Ethiopia, estimates that 60 million people in Ethiopia do not have access to clean water. An engineer, he believes that although the problem is wide-reaching, it is also solvable. The new well drilling rig will allow wells to be dug faster and in communities where it was impossible before because of tool limitations. Harding said that with the old drilling methods, his team could only provide
Fellowship provides funds to purchase well drilling rig in Ethiopia
wells in 30 percent of the communities that needed them. Now, with the new rig, which can drill through up to 600 feet of rock, Harding predicts they will be able to reach an additional 60 percent of the population with clean water. The rig, which cost a total of $186,000, was purchased through the gifts of Fellowship Baptists, along with partner churches and partner organizations “This rig has made the impossible possible for our team,” Harding said. “We were not in a position to serve certain communities before. But now with the new rig, we will literally be able to serve tens of thousands more people, providing them with access to clean water. This is a great example of partnership in action. We are leveraging each other’s gifts to do more together than we could do alone.” In its first days of operation, the rig drilled through 120 meters of rock and hard formations in two days. This compares with a process that would have taken one to two weeks to construct a 60-meter well with the old drilling system. One completed well serves approximately 500 people in a community, providing a lifetime of access to clean water.
“The availability of clean water is so integral to life itself,” said Daniel Vestal, CBF’s Executive Coordinator. “It is such a privilege for CBF to partner in a ministry of making water available to the people of Ethiopia. “Last year, I traveled in Ethiopia and saw how difficult life can be without access to clean water. Children walk hours a day just to secure water, which means they don’t have time for school. Often the water is polluted and dirty causing disease. What we take for granted on a daily basis is a matter of survival for millions,” Vestal said. In Ethiopia many of the major health problems are communicable diseases caused by poor sanitation and malnutrition. Water and sanitation-related diseases, particularly diarrhea, are among the top causes of death in the country. According to the World Health Organization, about 1.4 million children in Ethiopia die each year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. Without access to clean water, not only do people suffer the immediate health effects, but the economic effects as well. Women and girls often bear the responsibility of obtaining
is the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s initiative to provide safe water in
Jesus’ name. The initiative focuses on Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Uganda and Zambia. Around the world there are approximately 850 million people, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, who do not have access to safe water. Each year more than 5 million people die from diseases related to poor water quality. Working in partnership with an organization in Ethiopia, the new well rig is operated and maintained by a local crew.
Started in 2006 by CBF field personnel David and Merrie Harding, Water Is Life Ethiopia is part of the Water for Hope initiative. Water is Life Is expected to complete more than 60 wells in Ethiopia this year. For more information, go to www.thefellowship.info/water.
Did you know that the cost of providing water for one person for one year in Ethiopia is $1? To give,
By contributing writer Bob Perkins
David Strauss photos
water for their families, walking four or five miles a day and carrying between 45 to 50 pounds of water in one journey. These tasks keep girls from attending school and can impair development, causing physical complications later in life. Along with drilling new wells, rehabilitating old wells and manufacturing basic drilling equipment, the Hardings also address economic development in communities, helping to establish irrigated home gardens, providing vocational training for orphans and encouraging microcredit programs. Local churches are a major partner and key to the long-term success of the wells. Approximately half of wells in Ethiopia don’t work because of lack of maintenance, so churches and other communitybased organizations are being trained to take ownership and responsibility of maintaining wells. Churches are also working alongside the Hardings to establish savings and credit associations or self-help groups. The discipline of saving money actually assists communities in the long run to adopt the behavioral changes that come with new access to clean water. For example, teaching habits such as hand washing and using toilets can help to reduce the incidence of diarrhea in a community by nearly 50 percent. These behaviors are more easily achieved after the discipline of saving money is in place. “Through our partnership with local churches, we are finding that the simple health-related behaviors learned as part of a self-help group have a tremendous impact,” Harding said. “Through this communal process, dignity and respect are restored, people are becoming Christians, and they are escaping poverty.”
use the envelope included in this magazine and send your check to CBF with “Water for Hope” in the memo line. fellowship!
2011 CBF Gene June 22-25 Tampa, Fla.
God’s mission, your passion:
This year’s General Assembly will be one of the most historic gatherings in the life of CBF as Fellowship Baptists from around the country and world will gather to celebrate an important milestone. Those who started the Fellowship in 1991 may never have imagined all the ways God would work and move through this Baptist community. Now, 20 years later, it’s time to remember our story, to celebrate what God has done and to continue our journey toward faithfulness. You are an important part of the Fellowship community — a community best seen and experienced at General Assembly. In the next few pages, you will find information about the Assembly, including featured events and a step-by-step guide for how you can be part of this event. Theme Scripture: Matthew 25:35-40 “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
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 online at www.thefellowship.info/assembly — It’s easy, free and takes less than five minutes. When 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
Hyatt Regency Tampa
Located next to Convention Center;
Located 0.3 miles from Convention Center
Located 0.4 miles from Convention Center
accessible via skywalk
Rates from $129 per night.
Rates from $119 per night.
Rates from $139 per night.
Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel
The Westin Harbour Island
Tampa Marriott Waterside
Located 0.3 miles from Convention Center
Located next to Convention Center
Rates from $127 per night.
Rates from $139 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 website.
Build your own Assembly. June 22-25, Tampa, Fla. God’s mission, your passion: Tampa Sessions for College Students
For the fourth year, college students from around
are invited to gather on Wed., June 22, for an
the country will come to the Assembly June 20-25
afternoon conference focusing on “Prophetic
for an action-packed week of hands-on missions,
Preaching for Anxious People.” This seminar
meaningful reflection on global issues, authentic
features sermons, as well as training from
conversations and fun-filled socials. The students
also join the Fellowship community by experiencing and participating in the Assembly. Cost is $110, which includes housing and many meals.
Field personnel; food;
Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace: Praying the Prayer of Francis
Convention Center. On Thurs., June 23, you can
This spiritual formation retreat offers the opportuni-
have lunch with CBF field personnel from around
ty to explore Franciscan spirituality in an intentional
the world. Hear their missions stories. Meet their
Christian community. Come to rest, seek, discover
families. Learn how you can join them in ministry.
and a lot of fun — all without leaving the Tampa
and grow. Held Mon., June 20, through Wed., June 22, at the Bethany Center in nearby Lutz, Fla., the retreat features Chris Webb, president of Renovaré, and Bo Prosser, CBF’s coordinator for congregational formation. Register online at the Assembly
website. Retreat is limited to 35 participants.
opportunities, new resources, CBF field personnel
Connect with ministry
and more. And don’t miss evening receptions on
Golf on Tuesday
For an avid golfer, no trip to
Thurs., June 23, and Fri., June 24.
Florida is complete without hitting the golf course. This year, the Fellowship offers the opportunity to join new and old friends and play where the pros play — TPC Tampa Bay. Pre-registration is required for this Tues., June 21, 1:00 p.m. event. Cost is
$75 per golfer, payable online before June 1. Pack
24, enable you to explore issues and topics
your clubs and be part of a special day of fun.
relevant to your ministry. From previewing a
Ministry workshops on Fri., June
new ministry resource to learning step-by-step directions for starting a new ministry program, these practical ministry workshops offer something for everyone.
At this year’s
Assembly, you won’t come to hear about how to minister among ‘the least of these’ without having
the opportunity to do just that. Several mission
turns its focus on the evening of Thurs., June 23,
projects will be available for you to put your faith
to God’s mission in the world as lived out through
into action in Tampa.
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 the world.
Find events that interest you.
Celebrating our 20-year journey toward faithfulness
you can better serve your church? Designed
Celebrating the Fellowship Dinner Party On Wed., June 22, the Fellowship will
specifically for church leaders, including deacons,
celebrate its 20th anniversary with an evening
staff, committee members and teachers, the
dinner party featuring music from Ken Medema
conference offers four 75-minute workshop sessions on more than 10 ministry topics.
and a reflection from Molly T. Marshall, president of CBF partner Central Baptist Theological
Register for the topic that interests you; then
Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas. Be part of this
learn essentials for effective ministry from
special evening of remembrance and celebration.
experienced leaders. This event is held Fri., June 24, and the morning of Sat., June 25.
Business Sessions Evening worship on Fri., June 24, will
Engage with the
Fellowship at business sessions on the mornings
challenge and inspire through dynamic music and
of Thurs., June 23, and Fri., June 24. Hear
presentations, plus a sermon from Kyle Reese,
updates about God’s work in the world through
pastor of CBF partner Hendricks Avenue Baptist
Fellowship Baptists and help direct the future of
Church in Jacksonville, Fla.
the Fellowship. During each session, there will be music from Ken Medema and a reflection from Pam Durso, executive director of Baptist Women in Ministry. Durso will speak about the Fellowship’s journey, including the history and values that
marked its beginning, shapes its present and will Pam Durso
Events for children and youth
impact its future.
you’re enjoying the Assembly, your children or
teenagers can engage in fun and meaningful
given passion? This is your opportunity to connect
activities of their own through child care,
with other Fellowship Baptists who share the same
Children’s Assembly or Youth Assembly.
ministry passions and interests. At these breakout
What’s your God-
sessions you don’t just learn about ministry you learn how you can be part of ministry.
Stay and Play
After the Assembly, take
advantage of the great Florida location by staying
Stay and Pray — You can stay in Tampa
a few extra days. Major area attractions include
until Sun., June 26, and worship with a local CBF
beaches and amusement parks like Busch
Gardens (in Tampa) and Walt Disney World (about a 90-minute drive from Tampa).
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 Highlights include:
20th Anniversary Dinner Party, Wed., June 22
Evening Worship, Thurs. & Fri., June 23-24
Leadership Institute, Wed., June 22
Essentials Conference, Fri. & Sat., June 24-25
Missions Commissioning Service, Thurs., June 23
Resource Fair, Thurs. & Fri., June 23-24
Godâ€™s mission, your passion: Celebrating our 20-year journey toward faithfulness
Published on Jan 3, 2011