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COOPERATIVE BAPTIST FELLOWSHIP | WWW.THEFELLOWSHIP.INFO

Serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission

JUNE/JULY 2014

The

Partnership Issue

Building Relationships SAM HARRELL PHOTO

in

Morocco Kentucky Baptist Fellowship offers church-led partnership model


A pilgrimage of 100 visits

and a denomi-network

PILGRIMAGE — a journey of deliberate but often unpredictable discovery. And so it has been visiting almost 100 Cooperative Baptist Fellowship partner churches in the past months. I’ve learned a few lessons from being greeted by hundreds of people including pastors and staff, members, students, friends and curiosity seekers. There is sustaining vitality uniquely expressed in the variety of congregations throughout the Fellowship. There is genuine care in our communities — shepherds who love the flock, friends who have supported each other over many seasons of life, families cherishing each

A PUBLICATION OF COOPERATIVE BAPTIST FELLOWSHIP

fellowship!

CBF

VOLUME 24, NUMBER 3

JUNE/JULY 2014

EXECUTIVE COORDINATOR Suzii Paynter ASSOCIATE COORDINATOR, FELLOWSHIP ADVANCEMENT Jeff Huett EDITOR Aaron Weaver GRAPHIC DESIGNER Travis Peterson ASSOCIATE EDITOR Emily Holladay ASSISTANT EDITOR Candice Young PHONE (770) 220-1600 E-MAIL fellowship@thefellowship.info WEBSITE www.thefellowship.info fellowship! is published 6 times a year in Feb./March, April/May, June/July, Aug./Sept., Oct./Nov., Dec./Jan. by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Inc., 160 Clairemont Avenue, Suite 500, Decatur, GA 30030. Periodicals postage paid at Decatur, GA, and additional offices. USPS #015-625. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to fellowship! Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, 160 Clairemont Avenue, Suite 500, Decatur, GA 30030.

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other’s kids into adulthood, student friends encouraging one another into their dreams. Our congregations are loving, joyful, enlightened and educated. Raising this picture of identity and expanding the visibility and vitality of our churches through branding and outreach are priorities of the Fellowship. I prompt people all the time to “tell me a ‘God story’ from your church.” They do. And the stories are moving and common and real. I ask, “Who else have you told this to?” Part of my goal has been to take a mirror into different congregations and remind them who they are. I think the most powerful things in our world — the spiritual things — are invisible, and we live in a very material world. What concerns me is that we’ve not become experts at making the invisible visible. We need to reclaim that and make visible that which is important: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, perseverance — seeing the fruit of the spirit. I do love systems, and I love this system, this denomi-network system of our Fellowship that allows for decision making, friendships, collaboration and flexibility. I love the dynamic nature of it, and I look forward to what it means in the future. Life today in a denomi-network like CBF is more like coalition work. You have to respect the interests and the focus of everyone at the table. You have to understand that their focus and interests may not be your interests, but you can still accomplish so much together. The challenge of global Christianity is calling us to more active global engagement. I think that’s a challenge that we’ve been prepared for in some ways, but we’ve not been focused on. We know how to go and do mission trips, but do we really know how to be globally engaged as brothers and sisters in Christ in supportive ways that honor the churches around the world? We have to put our focus on such

engagement and really make intentional movements. The culture of call over a lifetime is a journey that’s going to have many expressions. First of all, we need to covenant to be in partnership with people from the time of their exploration. Whether that exploration ends up in an ordained clergy position or expresses itself in secular employment, our commitment is to the personal development of the young explorers in our network. This is a pipeline for everyone to participate, with an opportunity for expression and engagement for public witness all along that pipeline. You should not have to wait until a certain point to get to lead or be in service. Instead, opportunities should be available all along the pipeline. To do that, one thing that we’re doing is putting all of our young Baptist programs in what we’re calling an ecosystem, in one cost center, in one area of administration. Whether it’s a high school program, college program, seminary program, residency program or retreats and support, all of that goes into one administrative place. So, we are focusing on that young Baptist ecosystem and staffing these programs with people who are under 40. As I said when I talked to the search committee that hired me: I’m old, but I hire young. Living into our commitment to these Cooperative Baptists means giving the opportunity for leadership and expanding the resources available to young leaders in our denomi-network!

Suzii Paynter, CBF Executive Coordinator


Contents 8 10 14 18

CBF field personnel Alicia and Jeff Lee serve in Skopje, Macedonia (pictured). Learn more about their ministry on pp.18-20.

Field Personnel Spotlight

In the face of persecution, CBF field personnel “cannot imagine living anywhere else”

Giving hope and building relationships in Morocco

Kentucky Baptist Fellowship offers church-led partnership model

Global Missions

Steven Porter named as CBF Global Missions Coordinator

Confronting Poverty and Injustice

CBF field personnel in Macedonia face challenges, focus on reconciliation

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Partner Spotlight

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On Pilgrimage with God

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Dawnings

Central Baptist Theological Seminary fosters church connections

N.C. church pursues its place in God’s mission through field personnel partnership in Belize

CBF congregational initiative invites transformation

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Affect: June 2014

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Affect: July 2014

Church-to-Church Partnerships

Field Personnel Partnerships

From the editor Welcome to THE PARTNERSHIP ISSUE. Thanks for reading this first-annual issue highlighting mission and ministry partnerships in our Fellowship. Without question, partnerships are central to our identity as Cooperative Baptists. Partnerships expand our witness as we seek to fulfill God’s mission as “the church in the world,” allowing us to do far more together than could be done alone. Read about and celebrate the mission partnerships of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship churches with CBF field personnel in South Africa and Uganda (pp. 6-7), Macedonia (pp. 18-20) and Belize (pp. 24-26). Learn about the work of “Rick” and “Susan,” CBF field personnel whose ministry with Christians in the Middle East is made possible by the CBF Offering for Global Missions (pp. 8-9). Be sure to check out the cover story, too. The Kentucky Baptist Fellowship is building relationships and giving hope in Morocco through a church-led model that exemplifies what true partnerships look like (pp. 10-13). And in Shawnee, Kan., CBF partner school Central Baptist Theological Seminary is focusing on missional relationships through partnerships with four CBF churches in Missouri (pp. 22-23). Enjoy!

Aaron Weaver, editor, aweaver@thefellowship.info

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prayerspeople of the

Praying with music By Bo Prosser

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or the coming days, pray with music. The hymn writer reminds us, “There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God.” I love this hymn and so many others. Music takes me near to the heart of God. Choose a song or group of songs by one of your favorite artists, secular or religious. Many artists have a deeply spiritual side that can speak to your heart. Be creative in your choices but don’t choose obscure songs. Pray with something that is fairly familiar to you. As you begin your prayers, center yourself while playing the song or group of songs that you have chosen. Focus on a lyric or a certain melody or chord progression. Let the

CBF Ministries Prayer Calendar CH = Chaplain FP = Field Personnel FPC = Child of Field Personnel GMP = Global Missions Partner PC = Pastoral Counselor PLT = Church Planter S = CBF Staff JUNE 2 John Carter, Nashville, TN (PLT); Susan Hunter, Troy, VA (PLT); Inakali Kuruville, San Antonio, TX (CH); Gary Sparks, Tyler, TX (CH) 3 Susan Arnold, La Grange, KY (CH); Rachel Brunclikova, Czech Republic (FP) 5 Stacy Sergent, Mt. Pleasant, SC (CH); David Smelser, Lucedale, MS (CH); Kody Witt, Raleigh, NC (CH) 6 Erskine Alvis, Black Mountain, NC (CH); Wayne Bruner, Augusta, GA (CH); Linda Cross, San Antonia, TX (FP); Todd DeLaney, Alexandria, VA (CH); Greg McClain, Lillington, NC (CH); Norberto Prado, Oak Ridge, TN (PLT) 7 Kiersten, 2006, Los Angeles, CA (FPC); Bill Peeler, Cambodia (FP); Diana Place, Tucson, AZ (CH); Gary Skeen (S-Atlanta); Butch Stillwell, Candler, NC (CH); Diann Whisnand, McAllen, TX (FP) 8 Larry Lawhon, Front Royal, VA (CH); Janice Newell, Greece (FP); Randy Parks, Sparta, NJ (CH); Clay Porter, Stanton, TX (CH); Joseph Primeaux, Pensacola, FL (CH); Jeromy Wells, Great Falls, MT (CH) 9 Michelle Cayard, China (FP); Sara Stubbs, Monroe, NC (CH); Patricia Taylor, Tuscaloosa, AL (CH); Doug Wigginton, Pineville, LA (CH) 10 Cindy Goza, Little Rock, AR (CH); Michael Osment, Martin, TN (CH); Kim Wyatt, U.S. Pacific Southwest (FP) 11 Joshua Hearne, Danville, VA (FP) 12 Mark Chambers, Ness City, KS (CH); Brady Lanoue, Schertz, TX (CH) 13 Richard Forest, Louisville, KY (CH); Kim Thompson, Columbia, SC (CH) 14 Chaouki Boulos, Lebanon (FP); Tracey Lopez, Springfield, VA (CH) 15 Jack Brown, Dublin, GA (CH); Josh Speight (S-Atlanta); Melissa Whaley, Winston-Salem, NC (CH) 16 Kimberly Emery, Ovilla, TX (CH) 17 Linda Jones, Winston-Salem, NC (CH) 18 Bill Hayes, Bogart, GA (CH) 19 Jim Dean, Webster, NC (PLT) 20 Tim Johns, Swansboro, NC (CH); Jeff Lancaster, Cartwright, OK (CH); Cherry Moore, Bryan, TX (CH); Lonnie Turner, South Africa/Zambia (FP)

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music move over you, taking you into a place of deep reflection. When you are ready, journal some thoughts that have come to you while listening. Pray Bo Prosser something similar CBF Ministries Coordinator to, “Lord, why are you bringing these thoughts to my mind and heart today? What are you wanting me to hear/learn/discover?” Then, be still for a bit more. Play the song again and listen intently for God’s guidance and insight. Journal once again a prayer of thanksgiving for what you’ve heard or discovered. If you haven’t

heard or discovered anything today, don’t be discouraged. Thank God for the time of rest and refreshment! Come expectantly tomorrow for more prayer, rest and reflection. Now, add one more movement. Listen to the song again with one name from the prayer list below on your mind. Then pray something like, “God, please help [the name you selected] to hear your truth and receive your blessing this day.” Write their name in your journal along with the thoughts you’ve already listed. Each day, God may bring blessed insights to you. Each day, God may lead you to the same person or a different one. Let God’s Spirit lead you as the music lifts you “near to the heart of God.”

21 Jim Cook, Salisbury, NC (CH); Susan Harthon, Indianapolis, IN (CH); Jeff Hoppe, Riverside, PA (CH); Ken Lake, Fort Mill, SC (CH); Adam Page, Kingsport, TN (CH) 22 Kirk, Thailand (FP); Joanne Henley, Winston-Salem, NC (CH); Brenda Lisenby, China (FP); Jessica Prophitt, Palmetto, GA (CH) 23 Andrew, 1998, Thailand (FPC); Sarah Bellew, China (FP); David Lowe, Fort Worth, TX (CH); Helen McNeely, Emeritus (FP) 24 Robert Fulkerson, Tulia, TX (CH) 25 Franklin Duncan, Atlanta, GA (CH) 26 ____, North Africa (FP); Michael Ferguson, El Paso, TX (CH); Anna Jacks, Birmingham, AL (CH); Kamille Krahwinkel, China (FP); Otto Mazzoni, York, PA (CH); Tim Myrick, Kenya (FP) 27 Roger Dobbins, North Charleston, SC (CH); Alicia Lee, Macedonia (FP) 28 Michael Brainerd, Carlisle Barrack, PA (CH); Carol McCann, Petersburg, VA (CH); Roger Rich, Lexington, SC (CH); Scott Sterling, Whispering Pines, NC (CH) 29 Kevin Adams, Louisville, KY (CH); Jeni Cook, Poquoson, VA (CH) 30 Margaret Guenther, Richmond, VA (PC); Amy Holtz, Richmond, VA (CH)

14 John Deal, Emeritus (FP); Denise Massey, Lilburn, GA (CH); Christopher James McRorey, Kansas City, MO (CH) 15 Jean Randolph, Swannanoa, NC (CH); James Tippins, Fernandina Beach, FL (CH) 16 Mark Hart, Fair Oaks Ranch, TX (CH); Holly Perkins, Student.GO intern (FP) 17 Caleb, 1996, Thailand (FPC); Wayne Boyd, Gaithersburg, MD (CH); Cindy Meadows, Roanoke, VA (CH); Leanna Pearse, St. Louis, MO (CH); Kimberly Sheehan, Nashville, TN (CH) 18 Timothy Hunter, Gatesville, TX (CH); Tom O’Neal, Charlotte, NC (PC) 19 Lyde Andrews, North Charleston, SC (CH); Steven Hill, Knoxville, TN (CH); Jason Pittman, Miami, FL (FP) 20 Errol Simmons, Hattiesburg, MS (CH) 21 ____, daughter, Turkey (FPC); Peter Arges, Durham, NC (CH); Susan Lanford, Wichita Falls, TX (CH); Twyla Nelson, Jackson Springs, NC (CH); Matthew Pogue, Atlanta, GA (CH); Keith Tekell, Beaumont, TX (CH); Walter White, Arlington, TX (CH); Lavonia Winford, Atlanta, GA (CH) 22 Steve Abbe, Waco, TX (PLT); Dorothy Potts, Emeritus (FP); Bonnie Reedy, Lumberton, NC (CH) 23 Butch Green, Houston, TX (FP); Donald Proctor, Lubbock, TX (CH) 24 Glynn Ford, Reston, VA (PC); Jeff Huett (S-Atlanta); Laurel Link, Winston-Salem, NC (PC); Ronald Oliver, Goshen, KY (CH) 26 Scott Jensen, Saint Joseph, MO (CH); Richard Min, Carrolton, TX (CH); Rick Sample, San Francisco, CA (FP); Erin Spengeman, Richmond, VA (PLT) 27 Peter Ott, San Diego, CA (CH); Sandra Smith, Moore, SC (CH) 28 Emily, 2000, Thailand (FPC); Daniel Fairchild, Goldsboro, NC (CH) 29 Michael Patrik Brunclik, 2006, Czech Republic (FPC); Jay McNeal, Richmond, VA (CH); Wayne Morris, Lawton, OK (CH); Karen Morrow, Aledo, TX (FP); Martha Crocker Strong, Olive Branch, MS (PLT) 30 Paul Byrd, Birmingham, AL (CH); James Francovich, Emeritus (FP); Garnett White, Midlothian, VA (PC) 31 Amber Blackwell, Inman, SC (CH); Cindy Thorpe, Greenwood, SC (CH); James Tille, Lakewood, WA (PC)

JULY 1 Debra Walters, Lawrenceville, GA (CH) 2 Jennifer Dockum, Ashland, VA (CH); Steven Smith, Houston, TX (CH); Kyle Tubbs, Round Rock, TX (PLT) 3 Nathanael Ballew, 1994, China (FPC); Ken Cook, Pinson, AL (CH); Elizabeth Ellis, Crestwood, KY (PC); Brenda Lee, Williamsburg, VA (CH); Ascanio Peguero, Fort Worth, TX (CH) 4 Rachel Coggins, Navarre, FL (CH) 5 Coy Callicott, Spartanburg, SC (CH); Jeff Fryer, Murfreesboro, TN (CH); Julie Maas, Belize (FP); Amy Moore, Atlanta, GA (CH); Bob Potts, Emeritus (FP) 6 Shelah Acker, Uganda (FP); Sam Harrell, Kenya (FP); Debbie Kubo, Arlington, TX (CH); William Womack, Columbia, MO (CH) 7 Barbara Dail, Greenville, NC (CH); Steven Flowers, Waynesboro, VA (PC); Paulo Orea, 2005, China (FPC); Julie Rowan, Washington, GC (CH) 8 Ruth Perkins Lee (S-Atlanta); Renato Santos, Miami, FL (CH); Steve Sexton, Lenoir City, TN (CH); Robert Summers, Lexington, KY (CH) 9 Miriam Dakim, Lynchburg, VA (CH); Amanda Miller, Spartanburg, SC (CH); Robert Williams, Natick, MA (CH) 10 Whitney Edwards Russell, Whiteville, NC (CH); Tiffne Whitley, Spain (FP) 11 Allie McNary, 1995, Slovakia (FPC); Steven Shaw, Norfolk, VA (CH) 12 ____, North Africa (FP); Christopher Morris, Winston-Salem, NC (CH); Stacey Pickering, Laurel, MS (CH); Mark Podgaisky, 1999, Ukraine (FPC)


I AM THE

CHURCH BENEFITS BOARD The reason I chose the Church Benefits Board over another denominational plan or a friend’s investment person is because I am committed to the Fellowship. I trust the investments and benefits that have been put into place. I trust they have the same values and beliefs that align myself as a Cooperative Baptist. I’m not in this to get rich. The people of Royston Baptist Church have given me a part of their incomes to be their pastor. I want to be faithful with the dollars entrusted to me and be a good steward. I think it’s important for us to associate with people who wake up every day and sees it as their ministry to take care of CBF pastors – that’s the Church Benefits Board. If we preach to this end and live this way, why not align our retirement practices with our beliefs?

— Jonathan Barlow, Pastor Royston Baptist Church Royston, Ga.

churchbenefits@churchbenefits.org 1-800-352-8741

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Give and Serve Celebrating mission partnerships By Terry Maples

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ttention, time and energy given in service to others ought to be a natural by-product of discipleship — helping people become like Jesus in attitude and action. Meaningful congregational mission engagement does not happen accidentally. Effective ministry results from intentional and repeated response to God’s gracious work in our lives. As Christ-followers, our greatest desire is to emulate our leader who said, “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). I’m pleased to report that many churches across the state of Tennessee “get it.” They understand spiritual vitality grows when believers learn to love what God loves. Three Tennessee churches — First Baptist Church in Chattanooga, First Baptist Church in Knoxville and Second Baptist Church in Memphis — are involved in exciting ministry with the South Africa Network. These churches collaborate with other like-minded Cooperative Baptist Fellowship congregations who also choose to make a difference in South Africa. Because of CBF’s investment in this part of the world, orphaned children are placed in safe and loving environments. Partners work with CBF field personnel Josh and Caroline Smith and Mark and Sara Williams to meet deep physical and spiritual needs resulting from the AIDS pandemic. After Stephen Cook, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Memphis, returned from his first trip to South Africa in 2012, we met for lunch. To say he was excited about what he experienced in South Africa is an understatement. He described a church there that had taken a

PHOTOS COURTESY OF TERRY MAPLES

Sister Didi (pictured right), a retired nurse, opened a medical clinic for the underserved in South Africa. After learning of the transportation challenges that Sister Didi faced, TCBF, FBC Chattanooga and Second Baptist Church in Memphis came together and secured a truck for the clinic.

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literal opening in a wall where babies were abandoned and created a ministry to care for neglected infants in four different “baby houses.” Thanks to CBF’s work at Refilwe and its community partners, children receive nourishment and care from compassionate and skilled caretakers. Stephen also shared his enthusiasm about South Africa with his friend and colleague Thomas Quisenberry, pastor of First Baptist Church in Chattanooga. The members of First Chattanooga also heard the Spirit’s call to partner in South Africa. How exciting when congregations serve together! Amazing things happen when we invite God to open our eyes to see the needs around us! Last year, Stephen and Thomas noticed another way to make a difference in South Africa. They observed the transportation challenges of a nurse who, in her retirement, opened a medical clinic for the underserved. The two pastors explored solutions for these challenges. I’m pleased to report that acquiring a truck for Sister Didi and the Bophelo Clinic is becoming a reality because of the imagination and generosity of these two CBF churches! Stephen also shared the story of South Africa’s needs with the Tennessee Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (TCBF) Coordinating Council. Desiring to support the three Tennessee churches participating in the partnership, TCBF committed $5,000 to strengthen CBF’s work in South Africa. In addition, the TCBF Coordinating Council pledged $2,500 toward the purchase of the truck. When missional churches tune in to God’s work in the world, their hearts open up to the Holy Spirit’s nudge to respond and their feet and hands move. God empowers effective partnerships and networks! The global impact even small congregations in Tennessee have is powerful. A year ago, as CBF field personnel Missy Ward-Angalla engaged in fundraising to serve in Uganda, she planned to visit Middle Tennessee. Melissa Roysdon, pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Cookeville, enthusiastically invited Missy to come preach.


Missy so eloquently expressed her love for the Ugandan people and her call to serve female refugees fleeing to Uganda that Providence members were inspired to partner with her! Though small in number, the good folks at Providence are incredibly generous. Their pastor encourages them to remain keenly aware of CBF field personnel and to pray for them. Over time, Providence members feel they really know the ones they pray for each week. Now they know and love Missy and choose to invest in her and her ministry. Providence Baptist Church and Missy Ward-Angalla are friends, co-laborers and ministry partners. I’m grateful for CBF’s commitment to serve in difficult places among neglected people. Thanks be to God for leaders in Tennessee whose convictions encourages compassionate engagement around the world. Let us celebrate the courage and boldness of pastors who point to opportunities to support and partner with CBF’s global mission enterprise. By regularly lifting up places of need and providing opportunities to respond, these leaders model the love of Christ and powerfully influence the Kingdom impact of the congregations they serve!

Learn more about how to partner with the CBF field personnel mentioned in this story at the websites below: Caroline and Josh Smith — South Africa www.thefellowship.info/smith Missy Ward-Angalla — Uganda www.thefellowship.info/ward Mark and Sara Williams — South Africa www.thefellowship.info/williams

CBF field personnel Mark and Sara Williams (top left) and Second Memphis pastor Stephen Cook (top right) gather with members of a church in Emmaus, South Africa, to pray at the spot where the community discovered water and prepared to dig a well.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF XXXXX XXXXXXXX

Terry Maples is field coordinator for the Tennessee Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

When you support the CBF Offering for Global Missions, you support all CBF field personnel. To give to the CBF Offering for Global Missions and for more information on how to promote it in your congregation, visit the Fellowship’s website at www.thefellowship.info/ogm

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IN THE

FACE of persecution, CBF field personnel “cannot imagine living anywhere else” By Emily Holladay

field personnel SPOTLIGHT

O

ver the past 14 years, “Rick” and “Susan” have served as Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel in the Middle East, seeking to share Christ’s love and hope with people of different faith and cultural traditions and to support local Christian churches in the area. Rick and Susan are designated as “Level 4” field personnel, which means that they serve in a secure location where Christian persecution is a daily reality for them. “It means that most of our constituency back in the United States does not have a really good picture of exactly what we do and where we do it,” Rick explained. “We aren’t really concerned for our own safety, but we are concerned that nothing we say or do should adversely affect the national Christian population.” Throughout their ministry, Rick and Susan have sought to develop relationships with the people in their community and

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deepen the impact of the local church they serve and helped start. The couple often invites neighbors into their home for food and fellowship, mutually sharing their lives with the people in their community. “We have visitors over to our house on a regular basis,” Susan said. “In this culture, relationships are strengthened in a home setting. When you open up your home, you find that people are more open to you. They become warmer as a result of being invited into your home.” Nurturing these relationships, Rick and Susan have been able to provide for the people in their community in richer and more transformative ways, including basic necessities like food and clothing, resources to deepen their faith and a home and family to come to when they face persecution from their own families. But these relationships have also led them to some of the most difficult places along their journey.

“One of the workers who was with us and helped us to start the church in which we still serve moved to another city in a more difficult area of the country and was killed by radical Muslims,” Susan recalled. “It took me a while to come to terms with this. This is a country that I had grown to love, yet there were some people who did not want us here.

“Giving to the Offering for Global Missions is crucial to the work here. It’s hard to go out and really publicize what is going on here, because these things are sensitive. So, giving enables us to stay here and to have a presence here.”


“Even our national friends were cautioning us and expecting us to leave the country after this happened. We, however, still knew that God wanted us to stay and continue working for Him.” Living as Christians in the Middle East, persecution is a daily reality for Rick and Susan, either personally or in the lives of those they serve. And though ministering in a high-security setting was not necessarily their goal when seeking commissioning as CBF field personnel, they continue to persevere in their ministry, because they feel so deeply called to join God on mission in the community they serve. “We were not particularly looking for opportunities to serve in a closed location, but this is the area of the world where the need seemed to be the greatest,” Rick said. “There are fewer Christians per capita in this part of the world than in others. We’ve come to love this part of the world and the people.

We can’t imagine serving anywhere else now.” enabled local believers to not only hear the Though Rick and Susan cannot share the gospel but also to become disciples.” full details of their ministry in the Middle The CBF Offering for Global Missions East, and they are not able to host large is the best way to support Rick and Susan mission groups, they have places for shortfinancially, as it is their primary means of term volunteers to serve or ministry partners monetary support. who would be willing to dedicate more than “Giving to the Offering for Global two years of their life to serving alongside Missions is crucial to the work here,” Rick them in the Middle East. In addition, they said. “It’s hard to go out and really publicize request prayers for the people they serve and what is going on here, because these things help in accessing written materials for new are sensitive. So, giving enables us to stay believers. here and to have a presence here.” “This couple has excelled in learning Rick and Susan are one of many CBF field the local language,” said Jim Smith, CBF’s personnel units who have followed God’s call director of field ministries. “They think, to serve the most marginalized and neglected speak and pray in this language which people in our world. Even when the call enables them to do much-needed discipleship was scary or discouraging, they couldn’t see work for the courageous believers who have themselves serving anywhere else. decided to follow Jesus despite great opposition from family members. Their To give to the CBF Offering for long-term presence has

Global Missions and for more information on how to promote it in your congregation, visit the Fellowship’s website at www.thefellowship.info/ogm.

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Giving Hope

and building relationships

in

Kentucky Baptist Fellowship offers church-led partnership model

Morocco By Emily Holladay

Pictured: Rabat Congregation in Rabat, Morocco. (Keith Stillwell photo)

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“If you can do nothing for us today, can you at least give us some hope?” This is the question that rings through Robert Davis’ mind as he reflects on his involvement in the Kentucky Baptist Fellowship’s (KBF) Morocco partnership. On one of his four trips to the North African country, Davis, a member of Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., was visiting with a group of young refugee men who had arrived in Morocco from the Ivory Coast. “These young men spent their days taking turns going out on the streets and seeking what little work they could get for whatever wages and often working for the day and then not getting paid,” Davis recalled. “They talked about the never-ending cycle of hunger and not knowing how they would eat or how long they would have the rooms that they were all sharing. “After a period of time, the young man who was acting as the spokesperson asked us very pointedly, ‘What can you do for us today?’ He repeated the question a number of times and finally said, ‘If you can do nothing for us today, can you at least give us some hope?’ “That question is forever burned in my mind. ‘Can you give me hope?’” In 2005, KBF began the Morocco partnership as an attempt to offer such hope to a global community. Through relationships with Karen Thomas Smith, a pastor in Morocco and a Kentucky native, and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel David and Julie Brown who served in Morocco, the organization felt led to partner with Eglise Evangélique au Maroc (EEAM), an association of Protestant churches in Morocco. Since EEAM already had a foundational partnership with CBF, which funded the work of David and Julie Brown, this seemed to be a natural place for KBF to integrate and serve. When the Browns ended their service in Morocco, CBF decided to continue this partnership. In 2011, CBF made a threeyear commitment of $10,000 per year to KBF to support a new leadership structure with EEAM to connect more closely with indigenous leadership.

KBF and the Protestant Church of Rhineland (EKIR) matched this commitment to comprise the salary for a new secretary general of EEAM. The goal of this partnership has been to empower local leaders to determine the scope and focus of their work together. Morocco is unique in that it lies on the border between Africa and Europe. Due to its location, the country hosts many migrants and refugees trying to make their way from desperate situations in their home countries, including war, violence and human trafficking. In developing this partnership, KBF sought to find a way to create sustainable relationships with the communities represented through EEAM, working with them to offer hope to the people they serve. Through the leadership of Rhonda Abbott Blevins, former KBF associate coordinator for missions, the organization moved forward using a church-based model for their partnership. Presently, nine KBF congregations are in a church-to-church partnership with EEAM congregations: • Third Baptist Church in Owensboro with Casablanca Congregation • Living Faith Fellowship in Elizabethtown with Fez Congregation • Immanuel Baptist Church in Frankfort with Tangier Congregation • Faith Baptist in Georgetown with Marrakech Congregation • Lexington Avenue Baptist in Danville with Rabat Congregation • Buechel Park Baptist in Louisville with Oujda Congregation • Highland Baptist in Louisville with Refugees and Migrant Ministry (CEI) • Deer Park Baptist in Louisville with Agadir Congregation • First Baptist in Frankfort with Oujda CEI

Each church-to-church partnership is unique based on the needs of the partnering congregation, but each has the goal to develop and sustain transformative, long-term relationships that help develop leaders and contribute to improved cultural and social understanding between the two groups. Members from each congregation also visit each other yearly, with Americans traveling to Morocco one year, and Moroccan church members coming to the United States the next. “Our church has partnered with the Protestant church in Rabat since 2007 with a focus on ministry with African refugees,” noted Keith Stillwell, associate pastor for discipleship at Lexington Avenue Baptist Church in Danville, Ky. “This partnership helps our church get involved and build relationships with one of the most tragic situations in our world — African refugees who flee poverty, famine and war in their home countries seeking a better life. Their situation is desperate.” With Morocco being a predominantly Islamic nation, the Protestant churches that partner with KBF congregations also experience tension and isolation due to their minority beliefs. Many of the American participants have noted that the relationships with their partner churches have also helped them develop a more compassionate stance fellowship!

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2013 Caravan for Women participants pose in front of Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco where Karen Thomas Smith serves as chaplain. (Josh Speight photo)

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KEITH STILLWELL PHOTO

towards Muslim-Christian relations in their own context. “As a predominantly Muslim country with a history of tolerance and acceptance of religious minorities, Morocco offers a context for Muslims and Christians to engage and dialogue on matters of faith and politics,” observed Roy Fuller, assistant professor of humanities and religious studies at the University of Louisville and member of Highland Baptist Church in Louisville. “By partnering with believers in Morocco, we can learn what life is like for religious minorities in a context where the dominant tradition often holds inaccurate ideas about your religious faith and practice.” “The partnership helps our members understand and build relationships with Muslims in Morocco,” Stillwell added. “Due to the tensions and hostilities in our world among Christians and Muslims, we need more understanding, dialogue and constructive relationships. We meet many friendly, peace-loving Muslims in Morocco and hopefully they see the same in us.” Developing these relationships globally has inspired Lexington Avenue Baptist to

connect around similar issues on a local level, and become involved in modeling these interfaith relationships in the United States. Instead of an individual church partnership, Highland Baptist Church in Louisville felt led to partner with CEI, which is the social service arm of the Protestant Church of Morocco, as its aims resonated with the church’s mission and vision. “By supporting them financially, we are partners in direct aid to persons who find

themselves in a place they would rather not be, with little or no support, and little opportunity to improve their situation,” Fuller explained. “This aid ranges from assistance in obtaining and paying for necessary medications to help with medical bills to financial supplements for housing, food, micro-enterprise development and support and vocational training.” Members of the Highland Baptist partnership team have expressed a similar experience of feeling led to replicate their work abroad at home. “This partnership has been important to our church as it has opened our eyes to the realities of refugee needs and the issues of human trafficking, racism and the challenges of humanitarian assistance with transient populations,” Fuller explained. “Approximately 25 persons have traveled to Morocco on various trips, and our engagement not only focuses on immediate physical needs of refugees and migrants, but also on growing the network of partners, both inside and outside Morocco, who Shawna Stomberg, a member of Lexington Avenue Baptist Church in Danville Ky., poses with a child from Lexington Avenue’s partner congregation in Rabat, Morocco during the 2011 Fellowship Without Borders trip.


PHOTO COURTESY OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY

are all working to raise awareness of the issues associated with refugees and human trafficking. “Many of us who have been engaged in the partnership will say that our relationship with Morocco has impacted how we see the world.” “My prayer is that we as a community of faith can continue to be a financial partner in this work, along with finding ways to be a catalyst for change in foreign policy at the national level that will help provide legal status of some sort for all of those who are stranded in Morocco and do not have the ability to return home or to move forward to their hoped-for destination in Europe,” Davis added. “We have to educate ourselves on how to engage with our leaders politically to change how we look and deal with the issue of migrants and refugees all around the world.” What began as a small dream for KBF to find new ways to engage globally has expanded into a new model of churchled partnerships. And in the cyclical nature of this type of engagement, the partnerships have gone on to benefit the local communities in Kentucky. “The partnership between Kentucky Baptist Fellowship and Eglise Evangélique au Maroc has been an enriching and rewarding experience for all involved,” said KBF Coordinator John Lepper. “In reality, this partnership exists on at least three levels. The initial level began between these two larger groups: the Protestant Church of Morocco (EEAM) and the state Baptist organization in Kentucky (KBF). Soon thereafter, the church-to-church

partnerships developed. The level at which passion for this partnership has thrived is at the individual level. Individuals and congregations an ocean apart and worlds apart culturally benefit through reciprocal exchanges of immersion experiences, missional involvement and sharing of faith and life.” What began as a dream for KBF to find new ways to engage globally is now an example for others to join in this churchled movement. Through this partnership, relationships are built, lives are changed and hope is offered. “Find a context where you can partner with Christians in an international setting,” Fuller urged. “Listen. Listen some more. Hear the issues which are already facing your potential partners. Work together to deal with issues and potential solutions to the problems.” For those involved in the partnership, the experience has changed their way of looking at the world, and has opened their eyes to the many ways they can be a presence for good. “That question of hope was still out there,” reflected Davis. “How can I as a white male from the West provide hope to these young men who are basically living in limbo in a land that was not their home? “For me, these partnerships hinge on our willingness to work for the long term. The issues will not be solved overnight and it will be hard work. …Our work with the CEI of the EEAM allows us to develop means of being a voice for those without a voice.”

(Left) Members of the 2010 Voices United Choir stand with Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear in Frankfort, Ky., while visiting the state capital. The choir toured the state singing at various churches and visiting Kentucky landmarks and KBF partners. (Right) Hand-woven rugs and purses on display in Tarmilat, a Berber village just outside of Ifrane, Morocco. The KBF/ EEAM partnership helped to bring a local school to this area where illiteracy was high due to the inaccessibility of Moroccan schools.

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Strategic, innovative leader named CBF Global Missions Coordinator DECATUR, Ga. – A strategic and innovative former field personnel and former director of one the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s flagship urban ministries was named CBF’s new coordinator of Global Missions at an April 30 press conference. Steven Porter, who served as the executive director of Touching Miami with Love from 2001 to 2005, will lead CBF’s 125 field personnel in the United States and around the world, as well as the organization’s Decatur, Ga., -based Global Missions staff. Touching Miami with Love was founded in 1995 and aims to share the love of Christ by providing hope, opportunities and resources with the city’s Overtown community. Porter holds ordination in the National Baptist Convention, USA, and currently teaches the history and theology of Christian mission, including a course titled Evangelism: A Contextual Approach, at one of CBF’s partner schools, George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University. His academic pursuits have provided connections to other CBF partner schools as well. Porter earned an M.Div. at Candler School of Theology at Emory University and is pursuing a Th.D. from Duke University Divinity School, where he has been involved in the Baptist House of Studies. He has also taught courses in evangelism at William Jewell College, in Liberty, Mo., and served as a teaching assistant at Duke Divinity. Porter was commissioned as a field personnel on CBF’s Urban Team in 1998 and served in Miami until 2005. In his work with Touching Miami with Love and through his various academic pursuits, Porter has connected with many of CBF’s state and regional organizations, including CBF of Florida, the Kentucky Baptist Fellowship, CBF of Missouri (now CBF Heartland), CBF of Texas and CBF of North Carolina. In North Carolina, Porter served on the Wealth 14

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PHOTO COURTESY OF BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

By Jeff Huett

and Poverty Task Force; and in Texas, on the national CBF Missions Council. He was chair-elect of the council. CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter lauded Porter’s strong connection to the Fellowship and its state and regional organizations, as well as his effective leadership at Touching Miami with Love. “Steven is the right person at the right time to lead CBF’s Global Missions efforts into the future,” Paynter said. “His commitment to collaborative mission efforts, to recognizing and replicating best practices and to investing in long-term mission engagement has me excited about where we’ll go and what impact we will make together as a Fellowship and with our mission partners.” Paynter also pointed to Porter as the right person to lead CBF’s Global Mission efforts as the organization carries out the 2012 Task Force Report that calls on the Fellowship to continue to follow its passion to obey the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:34-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), through global missions engagement “with the least evangelized and most neglected persons of the world through sending vocational and volunteer missionaries.” While in Miami, Porter served as a chaplain in a federal prison and a street

Steven Porter, a former field personnel who directed Touching Miami with Love, will begin his work as CBF Coordinator of Global Missions on September 1.

pastor for a homeless congregation. He was pastor of Downtown Mission, Central Baptist Church, in Miami from 1998 to 2005. In his leadership at Touching Miami with Love, Porter focused the organization on its core strengths — ministry to the homeless community and families at risk in the Overtown neighborhood. Part of the decision to narrow the ministry’s focus also included a concern to identify more closely with their neighbors — to be the presence of Christ in that place. Consequently, Touching Miami with Love relocated from downtown to a new ministry center in the heart of Overtown, which opened doors for expanded advocacy and community organizing. Internationally, Porter has developed a passion for building relationships with Christians from the Global South having served three stints as an international student, leading an international student ministry in Miami and participating in the work of the Baptist World Alliance and the International Association of Mission Studies. In 2010, he was the recipient of a Henry Luce Foundation Research Grant for work


at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. At CBF, Porter looks to build on the organization’s strengths to help it become more collaborative in its Global Missions work, including closer integration with local congregations and the congregational ministries side of CBF. “There are incredible people giving their lives away every day in some of the most difficult contexts imaginable through CBF Global Missions — but the same can be said of Christians in CBF congregations,” Porter said. “We must do a better job of learning from each other within and beyond the Fellowship to leverage that wisdom and wise practices to advance God’s reign in the world.” To help select CBF’s new coordinator of Global Missions, a 12-member search committee chaired by CBF of North Carolina Missions Coordinator Linda Jones formed in October. The committee was made up of individuals from across the Fellowship, including pastors, former field personnel and staff members from CBF state and regional organizations. Jones said Porter is precisely what CBF Global Missions needs at this time. “The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship needs a shared vision for mission engagement for the future,” she said. “This requires someone with strategic vision who understands CBF, the local church and understands our field personnel — their passion, commitment and difficulties of being Porter, pictured below with CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter and CBF Moderator Bill McConnell, will be introduced to the Fellowship at this summer’s General Assembly in Atlanta. Porter will give the keynote address at the June 25 comissioning banquet for field personnel, church starters, chaplains and pastoral counselors.

on the field. It requires an understanding of our culture and what we need as an organization to lead us forward to effective, strategic, innovative and holistic ministry in our world. Our team believes that Steven Porter is that person.” Members of the committee were: • Linda M. Jones, (chair) Missions Coordinator, CBF of North Carolina, Winston-Salem, N.C. • Ryan Clark, Specialist and Training Manager for Global Missions, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Decatur, Ga. • Bill Coates, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Gainesville, Ga. • Arville Earl, Retired CBF Field Personnel, Talmo, Ga. • Chris Ellis, Minister of Mission and Outreach, Second Baptist Church, Little Rock, Ark. • Beverly Greer, Retired Missions Coordinator at CBF of South Carolina, Belton, S.C. • Bill McConnell, CBF Moderator, Knoxville, Tenn. (Ex-officio member) • Michael Oliver, Senior Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Madison, Ala. (Missions Council representative) • Joe Phelps, Pastor, Highland Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky. • Rob Sellers, Professor of Theology and Connally Professor of Missions, Logsdon School of Theology, Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, Texas

Steven Porter shared his vision for CBF Global Missions at an April 30 press conference to announce his appointment at the CBF headquarters in Decatur, Ga.

• Rachel Gunter Shapard, Associate Coordinator, CBF of Florida, Jacksonville, Fla. • Steve Wells, Pastor, South Main Baptist Church, Houston, Texas (Governing Board representative) Jim Smith has served as CBF’s interim coordinator of Global Missions since Rob Nash left CBF to be professor of missions and world religions and associate dean at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology. Nash led CBF’s Global Missions work from 2006 until June 2012. During Nash’s tenure, Global Missions implemented a new strategic plan that reiterated CBF’s commitment to the most neglected while building innovative structures for engagement. Under Nash’s leadership, the Fellowship commissioned the first network of field personnel, churches and individuals as a ministry team among people in China at the 2009 General Assembly. CBF Global Missions has also implemented eight mission communities through which churches and individuals can engage alongside field personnel.

For more information on Steven Porter, including photos, endorsements and a video, visit www.thefellowship.info/porter.

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2014 General Assembly June 23-27 Atlanta, GA Hyatt Regency Hotel

Join us this year in Atlanta, Georgia to celebrate how our stories as Cooperative Baptists are

Woven Together with each other and with God’s mission.

2014 CBF General Assembly Atlanta, Georgia

Threads of faith and fellowship

A cord of three strands is not easily broken

Scan the bar codes below with a smartphone or tablet to visit the websites listed.

SIGN UP

Woven Together

Make Plans Now to Attend

Faith and Fellowship The onsite Prayer Retreat begins Monday, June 23 and will focus on Dawnings. Learn about this exciting process for intentional congregational ministry. On Wednesday, June 25, the Leadership Institute will be led by Dave Odom from the Leadership Education Initiative at Duke Divinity School to implement practical tools for assessing our communities. Register for the Prayer Retreat and Leadership Institute at thefellowship.info/assembly/specialevents.

SCHEDULE

- ECClesiastes 4:9-12

Issues facing the church New trends in ministry Models for mission involvement

Teaching resources Personal growth Worship/music

Fellowship with friends old and new at meal events with CBF networks, partners and seminaries including:

THURSDAY Lunch sponsored by the New Baptist Covenant with keynote speaker Allan Boesak, the Desmond Tutu Chair of Peace, Global Justice and Reconciliation Studies at Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Ind. 16

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FRIDAY The Baptist Joint Committee’s annual Religious Liberty Council luncheon featuring Melissa Rogers, Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

TRAVEL

Attend workshops on Thursday and Friday with topics such as:

Save time on-site and preregister. It’s free and fast. As we near Assembly, preregistrants will receive e-mails with the latest event information and details. thefellowship.info/assembly/preregistration

Worship, workshops and business sessions take place Thursday and Friday, but there are events all week! Check out the abbreviated schedule to the right, or review the detailed version here: thefellowship.info/schedule-of-events.

The 2014 Assembly is being hosted and held under one roof. Book your travel and hotel accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta and get the special event rate. thefellowship.info/assembly/hotels

To learn more about the activities for preschool, children, youth and college/ graduate students, visit: thefellowship.info/assembly/family


Featured Speakers Daily Schedule MONDAY 6/23 1 p.m.

On-site Dawnings Prayer Retreat begins (runs through 11 a.m. Wednesday)

6 p.m.

Atlanta Sessions for college and graduate students begins

TUESDAY 6/24 All Day

Dawnings Prayer Retreat continues

All Day

Atlanta Sessions continues

ANDREW YOUNG Andrew Young is a former Ambassador to the United Nations and was the first African-American appointee to that position. Young was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981.

BILL MCCONNELL & KASEY JONES Moderator Bill McConnell is a member of Central Baptist Church of Bearden in Knoxville, Tenn., and served as chair of the Finance Committee of the former Coordinating Council. At the Assembly, Kasey Jones, the current moderator-elect, will assume the role of moderator. Jones is senior pastor of the National Baptist Memorial Church in Washington, D.C., and is the first woman and African-American to hold this pastorate.

SUZII PAYNTER Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter will preside over her second General Assembly. During the past year, Paynter has traveled extensively, connecting with CBF congregations, partners and individuals and carrying a message about our identity and the importance of “Being a Fellowship.”

WEDNESDAY 6/25 12 p.m.

On-site registration opens

1:30-4 p.m.

Leadership Institute

7 p.m.

Banquet and commissioning service

THURSDAY & FRIDAY 6/26-27 7 a.m.

Ministry network and partner breakfasts

8:45 a.m.

Preschool Assembly, Children’s Day Camp and Youth Assembly begin

9 a.m.

The Gathering Place opens

9:30 a.m.

Business Session

11:30 a.m.

Partner meals and events

CHUCK POOLE Chuck Poole is the senior pastor of Northminster Baptist Church in Jackson, Miss. A native of Macon, Ga., Poole has served as a visiting preacher and teacher on numerous college campuses and is the author of six books.

Worship and Business Sessions Enjoy worship focused on giving thanks for what God is doing in our churches, and imagine what more God will do...

WEDNESDAY

Celebrate CBF and co-missioning during an evening banquet and commissioning service for new field personnel, church starters and newly-endorsed chaplains and pastoral counselors. Join us for a family-friendly meal and hear stories from the mission field. Make reservations at thefellowship.info/assembly/commissioning.

1:30-2:30 p.m. Workshops 2:45-3:45 p.m. Workshops 4:15-5:15 p.m. State and Regional meetings (Thursday), Networking with CBF partner schools (Friday) 5:30-7 p.m.

Partner meals and events

7:30-9 p.m.

Worship

9-10:30 p.m.

Fellowship reception in The Gathering Place (Thursday)

THURSDAY Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter will address the morning business session. The evening worship will feature a keynote address from former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young about the church’s mission in the world as well as music from world-renowned operatic and concert soprano Indra Thomas.

FRIDAY

Moderator Bill McConnell will address the morning business session, where he will officially transition this role to Moderator-elect Kasey Jones. Jones will bring a proclamation and vision for CBF. The Friday evening worship will include communion led by Suzii Paynter and a keynote address from Chuck Poole.

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Confronting poverty and injustice CBF field personnel in Macedonia face challenges, focus on reconciliation

W By Greg Warner

hich is more important? Funding a kindergarten for persecuted children in Macedonia or feeding your family? It’s the kind of choice sometimes faced by Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel who raise their own support to live and minister in a foreign country — while surrounded by overwhelming needs that can’t be met without additional money. Alicia and Jeff Lee, who were commissioned as CBF field personnel in 2011, are partner-funded and rely on churches and individuals to fund their ministry and projects. “We would have had to raise another $50,000,” Alicia said, in order to maintain funding for Future of the Family, the Christian-backed kindergarten that trained and cared for children of ethnic Albanians living in Skopje. The Lees spent their first six months in Macedonia learning the Albanian language in hopes of ministering to the families of kindergarteners, who received medical and food assistance in addition to education. Within a few months of their arrival, however, the kindergarten closed due to lack of

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funding. Supporters would like to reopen it, but recent changes in government regulations will make that much more difficult. “The requirements for space, food service, facilities, teacher-student ratio, etc., would continue to increase, in turn increasing the cost to run the program,” Alicia said. “Raising the additional funding required to run the kindergarten on top of our budget would become increasingly difficult.” “Because of the kindergarten closing, we switched to learning Macedonian,” Alicia said, a quite different but equally difficult language. They also have turned their ministry focus largely to victims of human trafficking, a huge problem in Eastern Europe, and to medical relief, a food bank and an orphanage. The transition and uncertainty with the kindergarten, which has been the centerpiece of CBF’s Macedonia ministry, have made it all the harder for the Lees to raise their own support, say their supporters. “Our church is learning first-hand the difficult task they have in raising funds,” said Butch Pesch, longtime pastor of Priddy Baptist Church in Central Texas. The tiny church has had a huge impact on ministry in Macedonia by funding the kindergarten, beginning in 2006, and now the Lees directly. Early on, the 30-member Priddy Church provided more than half the cost of the Future of the Family kindergarten for an entire year, and a total of $87,000 in the first six years. When church members met the Lees as they prepared to


go to Macedonia in 2012, “our folks fell in love with them,” Pesch said, and promised to fund them as well. The extra commitment proved difficult. Now, after the closure of the kindergarten, Priddy Baptist is unsure what its relationship with Macedonia will be, but the congregation continues to support the Lees. “Priddy Baptist has learned one church cannot fund both field personnel and their projects — at least not alone,” Pesch said. The church will continue to support the Lees, he promised. But Pesch added, “It has taken us some time to come to this conclusion — a church our size cannot completely support a missionary.” Working together is the only way to do it, he said. Like the Priddy church, the four other Texas congregations that currently support the Lees have remained supportive through the transition. “That’s a real heartbreak for a lot of people who were really connected to the kindergarten,” said John Moore, pastor for missions at First Baptist Church of Abilene, Texas, which has supported the school, the Lees and their predecessors in Macedonia — Kathy and Darrell Smith and Arville and Shelia Earl. Both Alicia and Jeff are from Abilene and were members of the church before being commissioned. In fact, Alicia went on a mission trip with the church to Macedonia when the couple was considering appointment as field personnel. Skopje [pronounced SKOPE-ya], is Macedonia’s capital, a city of more than half a million people 300 miles north of Athens. Ethnic Albanians have been a permanent part of Macedonia for decades, comprising one-fourth of all residents. Yet, like the Roma, they remain largely outcasts, have fewer rights and suffer persecution. Ethnic strife is ingrained in the region’s Slavic culture, spawning a decade of war after the disintegration of the Soviet Bloc beginning in 1989. Little-known Macedonia was the southern tip of what was Yugoslavia, the former Soviet-influenced country that after the Cold War returned to traditional ethnic boundaries and became six separate, independent republics. Albania, a remnant of the Ottoman Empire, is predominantly Muslim; Macedonians are a Slavic people and predominantly Orthodox Christian. Macedonia is landlocked, bordered by Albania to the east, Greece to the south, Bulgaria to the west and the Balkan republics of Kosovo and Serbia to the north. In the context of so much ethnic tension, the Lees focus their ministry on reconciliation by building relationships of trust with Macedonians as well as Albanians, Roma and other marginalized people. Because of poverty and persecution, such minorities are vulnerable to human trafficking. Macedonia is both a destination for trafficked people and a way-station for their transport elsewhere. The purpose of the kindergarten was to help Albanian children learn the language of their adopted homeland so they could succeed in first grade, giving them a better chance of avoiding poverty and exploitation. Learning Macedonian

would be impossible without basic training — like how to write the alphabet and even how to hold a pencil. Although the kindergarten is not functioning now, the Lees remain in contact with many of the families, providing them food and other assistance. “As we minister among Macedonia’s most marginalized people, we’re confronted with poverty and injustice,” Jeff said. “But we also see God’s goodness in the care, love and tireless work of our partners. This serves to challenge and encourage us and reminds us that God will redeem his creation.” As part of their ministry philosophy, the Lees partner with established ministries — like the kindergarten, the 11-year-old anti-trafficking group Open Gate and the new Food Bank of Macedonia — rather than launching their own. Each month the Lees visit families affected by trafficking. “These are mostly extremely poor families,” Alicia said. “We make sure the kids are in school and doing well.” “God has revealed and opened doors for ministry we didn’t think were possible,” Jeff said. “We didn’t expect a formal partnership with the antitrafficking agency or the food bank, largely because of their need to remain ‘non-religious’ due to ethnic-religious tension in Macedonia and the fact that we are a faith-based, Baptist organization. We believe that God is revealing the areas of ministry he is calling us to and the work he has for us to be a part of.” In a country where volunteering and donating are seldom practiced, ministries like a food bank and orphanage present a powerful image. Learning the local language is crucial to that process, Alicia said. Macedonians are difficult to get to know, but when you learn their language, she explained, “a wall drops immediately.” Alicia sees God’s hand in those growing relationships. “With the people we minister among, we are experiencing deeper levels of trust and vulnerability,” she reported. “They have allowed us into their homes, among their families and into the most intimate parts of their lives.” Mission trips from CBF churches are important for building trust as well, Alicia and Jeff said. Not only does it reinforce the field personnel’s credibility with Macedonians, it undergirds support from back home. The key to that is the face-to-face connections — “to get people to see the work with their eyes and touch it, feel it,” Jeff said.

Alicia Lee (pictured left) works to build relationships with families in Macedonia as well as with a local food bank and anti-trafficking group. The Lees work to ensure that kids such as “Irina” (pictured right) stay in school and thrive.

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“On difficult days...it would be easier to pack up and go home. But not once, on any of those hard days, have we felt that God is done with us,” said Jeff Lee (pictured center).

For partner-funded personnel, the benefits emerge most when the teams return home. “The most important thing is for them to become advocates for us — to say, ‘I’ve seen what Jeff and Alicia are doing and it’s good.’ They become the most powerful advocates for us.” “The Lees still need funding,” Abilene’s Moore said, noting it takes about $100,000 a year to support a family on the mission field. “Funding is very much on our minds right now,” Jeff conceded. He recently left Alicia and their 5-year-old son behind to make an unplanned trip to the United States, a year earlier than scheduled, in search of funding to continue their ministry. “We are asking them to invest in what God is doing here — not in us,” Alicia said. Moore said the Abilene church’s partnerships with specific CBF field personnel in Macedonia and elsewhere have helped the 135-year-old congregation cultivate a global focus to match its extensive benevolent work in Abilene. That was Moore’s objective when he joined the staff six years ago. “It’s been a real great connection for First Baptist,” Moore said of the partnership with the Macedonia field personnel. “God has just really been moving us. It’s been exciting to see.” In May, Moore led a five-member mission team from FBC Abilene — its third — to Skopje “to support and undergird the work of the Lees,” he said,

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adding the group’s goal was “cultural engagement.” Despite the occasional discouragements, the Lees keep looking forward with confidence. “In preparing to come, and in our first couple of years in Macedonia, we have learned to trust God in deeper ways, in the areas of our lives we tend to hold on to [and to] control more tightly,” Alicia said. One big test of faith came even before they left the United States. After the Lees were commissioned in June 2011, but before they left for the field, Jeff was diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation — a snarled, tangled web of blood vessels in the brain that can hemorrhage or cause seizures and other neurological problems. Brain surgery was necessary in January 2012, which itself can result in a loss of speech and/or movement. Jeff had several of those symptoms, which required months of speech therapy and physical therapy. “He worked hard, had great medical professionals to help, prayers from many and a faithful, healing, powerful God,” Alicia recalled. “We were able to stay on schedule with our planned departure to the field June 2012.” Jeff ’s surgery and recovery; the move to Macedonia and its effects on their five-year-old, Ethan; and answers to their financial prayers “are just some of the ways God has said, ‘trust me,’” Alicia said. “And he has been faithful.” “On the difficult days,” Jeff said, “when language learning causes doubt and tears, when cultural misunderstandings cause frustration and often embarrassment, when fundraising woes cause uncertainty and more tears, it would be easier to pack up and go home. But not once, on any of those terribly hard days, have we felt that God is done with us or with the work he called us to in Macedonia. “On those days we are reminded that he has called us, compelled us, and he will continue to be faithful.”

Read a special profile of Priddy Baptist Church and their partnership with the Lee’s at www.cbfblog.com/featured.


Who are

partner-funded

field personnel? ENGAGE

Engage by becoming an Encourager Church with field personnel around the world. thefellowship.info/serve

The partner-funded model of CBF Global Missions unleashes the power of personal relationships in a hyper-connected and socially-networked world to transform lives in congregations and on the field. These field personnel are commissioned ministers who engage in close, collaborative relationships with churches, agencies, small groups and individuals like you to faithfully answer God’s call to serve among the most neglected around the world. Nearly 50% of field personnel are partner-funded, raising the majority of their financial support.

PRAY

Pray with our field personnel. thefellowship.info/pray

GIVE

Give generously to all areas of Global Missions. thefellowship.info/givenow

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Seminary fosters church connections

Central embraces creative opportunities By Robin Sandbothe with communities of faith

partner

SPOTLIGHT

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CENTRAL SEMINARY

CBF churches regularly host events for Central Baptist Theological Seminary, such as the commencement ceremony pictured below at Holmeswood Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo.

M

OLLY T. MARSHALL, president of

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship partner school Central Baptist Theological Seminary, is fond of saying, “The church

can exist without the seminary, but the seminary cannot exist without the church.” Of course, she likes to add that the churches who partner with the seminary have an even better existence!

At Central, partnerships are the best expression of our missional relationships.

Key Church Internships Probably the most obvious example of this symbiotic relationship is the ministry praxis or internship requirements for each student in the Master of Divinity degree program. Students find a place to 22

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implement some of what they’re learning in seminary. While there are many churches which provide mentoring settings for these learners, the following Fellowship churches excel in fully grasping the advantages of a close connection to the seminary: • Holmeswood Baptist Church, Kansas City, Mo. • Second Baptist Church, Liberty, Mo. • First Baptist Church, Jefferson City, Mo. • Third Baptist Church, St. Louis, Mo. These churches have repeatedly invited students to complete their internship requirements with them. In addition, they have hosted events for the seminary, including commencement ceremonies, have taken advantage of the space and faculty and staff of the seminary to host and lead church events and have called freshly-minted seminary students to be their ministry associates. They have created cultures of calling within their congregations, have sent church members to Central to receive their degrees and have added Central to their church’s budget line items.


“We give thanks to God for Central Seminary and feel privileged to share both students and mission together. Because of this partnership, we are a better church. Because of our relationship with Central students, we celebrate what God is doing in the lives of women and men who are exploring their call.” — Keith Herron, Senior Pastor, Holmeswood Baptist Church

kaléō /kal-eh’-o/, [from Gr καλέω I call]: called! April 26 marked the third of a series of events sponsored by Central’s Transformed by the Spirit Leadership Center. These events are designed to foster a culture of calling within congregations, especially for youth. Representatives from a variety of local faith communities have come together to design events and resources to help youth explore questions of identity and purpose — vocation. About 100 youth and their leaders from several Kansas City metro-area churches gathered last fall for worship, community ministry and conversations about calling.

Economics of Ministry: from Classroom to Congregation A Lilly Endowment-funded initiative is resulting in further partnering opportunities for Central and local congregations. For the Economics of Ministry: from Classroom to Congregation initiative, the seminary will collaborate with a group of key churches to assess student debt and church compensation and the implications of these realities. Central’s ultimate goal is to transform the economic landscape for individual ministers, congregations, judicatories and the seminary.

FOUNDATIONS Judson Communities As CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter suggested recently, the global engagement of local CBF congregations and partnering seminaries like Central has become a part of the Fellowship’s greater mission enterprise. At Central the FOUNDATIONS Judson Communities ministry certificate program is evidence of how churches and seminaries are collaborating to address global issues that are in our own backyards. Duane and Marcia Binkley, field personnel dually appointed by CBF and American Baptist Churches USA, are working with Central Seminary to provide seminary training for ministry leaders of refugee communities from Myanmar (Burma) who are resettling in the United States. On April 27 President Marshall joined the Binkleys at First Baptist Church, New Bern, N.C., to present ministry certificates to 21 Karen ministry leaders from three cities in North Carolina. The church has hosted this group of students since September and is the third of five locations. The impact of the classes is felt both by the hosting church and the groups of refugees with whom the recipients will minister. Central Seminary partnered with CBF field personnel Duane and Marcia Binkley to provide seminary training for ministry leaders of refugee communitees from Myanmar.

Central’s Transformed by the Spirit Leadership Center offers opportunities for young leaders to explore questions of identity and purpose.

A New Model for Ministry An exciting emerging partnership currently in development involves Central, CBF Heartland, Second Baptist Church of Liberty, Mo., and Englewood Baptist Church of Kansas City, Mo. In this new model for ministry, Central master of divinity students, for the duration of their degree, would serve as the ministry team for Englewood, supervised by the pastoral team of Second Baptist, with support from CBF Heartland for connecting these pastoral scholars with CBF resources and other CBF scholars. The opportunities for partnership continue to grow as the Spirit changes the very landscape of the church. “At Central we seek, with great enthusiasm, to embrace the creative opportunities we sense the Spirit is breathing into the Church.” –Molly T. Marshall

Robin Sandbothe is director of seminary relations at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kan.

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On

Pilgrimage with

God

North Carolina church pursues its place in God’s mission through field personnel partnership in Belize

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By Blake Tommey

ather Greg Boyle says that the “Jesus Strategy” is one of kinship, of not serving the other in the lowly place, but being one with the other in the lowly place. In this way, Jesus was not a man for others; he was one with them. There is a world of difference in that, Boyle says. There is now a world of a difference in the work of Oakmont Baptist Church in Greenville, N.C., because of its partnership with Eric and Julie Maas, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel serving in Belize.

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF OAKMONT BAPTIST CHURCH AND ERIC AND JULIE MAAS

Since 2008 when the Maases were commissioned as field personnel, Oakmont has fostered a deep relationship with the couple as well as with God’s mission in Belize. Oakmont has not only sought transformation among those living in Belize, but has also sought transformation among its own congregation and vision of mission. They have done so through years of sending medical personnel to Belize to attend to the health of local communities, construction teams to assist in providing infrastructure for ministry and formation groups to partner with local churches. “God is at work, and it’s not our work,” explained Jimmie Hughes, Oakmont’s director of missions. “Eric and Julie have been so intentional about working side by side with those in Belize, and we’re all working with each other. We’re not American saviors with the right answers, coming down to fix things. This really is a partnership, one that has strengthened our understanding of God and how God works. And that means we are connected to the fate of our own community just as much as a community across the world.” Prior to being called as field personnel, the Maases opened themselves to a clearer vision of God’s mission by engaging in the Oakmont faith community and its mission

Oakmont Baptist’s construction team, dubbed the “Band of Brothers,” has partnered with CBF field personnel Eric and Julie Maas since the couple was commissioned in 2008.

teams. As new members of the church, the couple participated in Operation Inasmuch, helping to build a model of church that goes beyond walls and connects with the community in solidarity, as well as in a construction team in Honduras to assist churches there. Hughes recalls witnessing the Maases’ passion as they first heard a call to field personnel work. “It was so convicting for our church to see them called, to see them give up their jobs,” Hughes said. “We held a yard sale and they sold everything. That gave me a radical perspective on mission and really gave the church an up-close-andpersonal look at what it means to follow Jesus. It put a name and a face on mission.” As with any community, Julie said, there is a lot of need in Camalote, Belize, where the Maases build relationships with schools, churches, justice organizations and individuals. Through these relationships, the Maases identified three primary needs for which they have eagerly mobilized mission teams each year from Oakmont: construction of facilities for local organizations, free medical care for communities without access to healthcare and formational partnerships with local churches.

“God is at work, and it’s not our work.”

Calling themselves the “Band of Brothers,” the Oakmont construction team traveled to Belize just three months after the Maases were commissioned and have returned at least once a year since. The team first built a bathroom, playground and stairs at a local school and repaired some of the teachers’ homes. Because of the Maases’ relationship with Bethel Disciples International Church, the team is also in the process of building a fully air-conditioned church building, a caretaker’s home and a covered outdoor play area for children. Medical personnel, including doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants and pharmacists, from Oakmont have taken three pilgrimages to Belize to provide medical care to local communities lacking access. The team

“God is helping us lead a lot of different people in their missional journey, Belizeans and Americans,” said Julie Maas, pictured above with Eric and their children.

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returns each year to monitor local health, and one medical professional even identified a cancerous mass on the abdomen of a young Belizean woman who is now undergoing chemotherapy and other treatment to remove the cancer. In a country that is largely Christian, the Maases are also working with local congregations and individuals to grow together in relationship with God and form each other toward the image of Jesus. Through a partnership with Bible Study

Fellowship, a local organization, the Masses and Oakmont teams have collaborated in Vacation Bible Schools, church Bible studies and simple meals in which deeper faith questions emerge. This work is as much about growing the teams themselves as it is about growing local communities, the Maases noted. “God is helping us lead a lot of different people in their missional journey, Belizeans and Americans,” Julie Maas said. “We call these mission trips pilgrimages because, yes, you come down to help other people but it’s just as much about you as it is about the people you’re helping. That is why God has us here. With us on the ground in Belize, it allows churches like Oakmont to leave their comfort zone, be stretched and go on that pilgrimage with God.” Through its many pilgrimages to Belize, the Oakmont congregation has caught a radical vision, not only of what God’s mission looks like across the world, but of what God is doing in Greenville, N.C. Following their work among the Belizeans, the medical care team began to ask questions about medical needs right around the corner in Pitt County, Hughes explained. And because of a high population of immigrants, unemployed individuals and other groups without much access to healthcare, the medical

team now provides free care to nearly 50 individuals one Sunday each month. Others at Oakmont are expanding this through pilgrimages to Belize to partner with the Maases. One college student, Andi Justice, now returns to Belize at least once a year on her own to work with the Child Development Foundation (CDF), an organization that raises awareness about abuse and exploitation. CDF also serves as a rescue home for victims of human trafficking. Justice has assisted with marketing needs as well and has taught in local schools about the reality of human slavery. Hughes agrees that Oakmont’s missional experience with the Maas family has grown Oakmont’s own calling and place in God’s mission. “Oakmont has so many people committed to being with those who are distressed or in need now,” Hughes emphasized. “Whether at a Tuesday night homeless ministry, tutoring for kids in the community, medical clinics or handicap ministry, you will find people who have been active participants in Belize with the Maases. Our awareness has been raised. We see more clearly than ever where God is at work, and we’re relying on God to continue to call us as partners.”

Medical personnel from Oakmont Baptist have taken three pilgrimages to provide health care to local communities that lack access. The team returns yearly to monitor and attend to needs.

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W

for

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oven Toget 2 0 Y e a rs

Celebrating CBF Foundation partnerships with CBF churches Fund management services Estate planning/planned giving services Promoting church financial health through: • Long-term income streams • Strategies to develop stewardship as a spiritual discipline • Promotion and growth of robust memorial gift and legacy programs • Developing mission, building, scholarship and other endowment funds

“After our 50th Anniversary we started dreaming about the next 50 years of ministry. We saw the need to grow our endowment and build an income stream through legacy giving. The spiritual discipline of planning and giving generously will help us do creative ministries in the community and sustain what was started decades before this time. The Foundation is our partner in planning, promoting and investing.”

– Ben Boswell, Pastor

Greenwood Forest Baptist Church, Cary, N.C. “Rolling Hills has a substantial endowment from a generous neighbor which we used to keep in CDs! Our participation with the CBF Foundation has provided income to our church that has not only relieved us of nagging capital concerns but, most importantly, has allowed us to do missional work at the national, state and local levels. The Foundation assisted us in developing documents that govern its use, assisted us with investment services and is currently helping us to develop a memorial and legacy gift program. God has blessed us beyond our dreams. The Foundation is a vital partner.”

– Steve Sheely, Pastor

Rolling Hills Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Ark. Other pastors and church leaders add: • “We would not be this far along without the partnership of the Foundation.” • “Last year our endowment earned 17.8 percent after fees and provided us a steady income of just over 5 percent. The balance was reinvested to protect the fund for years ahead.” • “Monthly statements are easy to understand.” • “Our church is supported by tithes and offerings. The Legacy Fund provides added financial health.” fellowship!

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CBF congregational initiative invites transformation

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OU WON’T FIND a simple checklist. You won’t find a how-to booklet. You won’t find pre-fab goals. You won’t even be guaranteed that your church will add numbers to its rolls. But you will find questions. Who is God calling us to be? What is God calling us to do? Dawnings, an initiative of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, is a discernment process guiding churches to seek their identity and purpose in God’s calling and in God’s work. The process offers a way to respond to the changing culture around us. Understanding that many congregations are facing great challenges, including declining memberships and aging facilities, Dawnings provides a way out of this perceived crisis. Dawnings invites churches to listen for the voice of God and to open up to God’s presence in life together as a congregational community. The invitation to join in the Dawnings process is an invitation to life together in God’s work and identity. CBF launched Dawnings in 2012 with several churches participating in the pilot process. The process begins with a retreat that includes representatives from six to eight congregations. Each church brings a small leadership team of three to five and all participants discern together, pray together and dream together. This is not your standard leadership retreat! Following the retreat, churches are invited to engage in the process as a congregation, focusing on the three central aspects of Dawnings: vision, formation and engagement. During the vision stage, conversations, prayers and scripture focus on the following questions: “How do we see as Jesus sees?” and “How do we see as God sees?”

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Dawnings encourages participants to seek God’s movement and God’s plan in the midst of those questions. By looking at ways God has worked in the past through scripture and stories, participants imagine how God might work in the surrounding world. Churches move through this aspect with a shared vision and sense of identity as God’s people. Formation is critical to Dawnings, recognizing that spiritual formation is a constant process and a constant seeking. With the understanding that we are all continuously being formed as disciples, Dawnings incorporates spiritual disciplines and practices to further the individual and congregational discernment process. Finally, a focus on engagement helps churches discern ways to become missional communities and develop missional identity and work. Dawnings invites churches

By Meredith Holladay

Charles Krause, minister of discipleship at Grandin Court Baptist Church in Roanoke, Va., takes a moment to reflect during a Dawnings retreat in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 1-4, 2012.

to engage the world locally and globally. Recognizing that spirituality is often defined by a strictly inward search or a personal experience alone, the engagement aspect, along with vision and formation, ensures a holistic perspective on how God works in our lives — as individuals and as churches. For many churches, participating in Dawnings may be a dramatic change. Instead of offering individuals and churches step-by-step plans to guarantee an increase in membership, attendance or financial commitment, Dawnings asks congregations to participate in shared spirituality and to be together in what God is doing. Dawnings looks different for each congregation that participates because it is


intended to be contextual. At each step of the way, those who participate work to develop a contextual design — focused on the current resources and needs of the church and its community. Providence Baptist Church in Hendersonville, N.C., was one of the first churches to participate. Julie Lee, who serves as Providence’s pastor, noted that during her first Dawnings retreat most of the time was spent developing spiritual practices and just listening and praying. From the outset, Lee knew this would be different than any other “strategic planning” process or plan that her congregation had used. “The vision, formation and engagement aspects of Dawnings helped give needed structure to our congregation and helped give us a rhythm for our church life together,” Lee said. In Memphis, Tenn., Second Baptist Church felt at a high point in 2012, as they celebrated the congregation’s 50th anniversary. The Memphis church began to ask what God was calling the congregation to do for the next 50 years. So, in May 2013, senior pastor Stephen Cook invited Bo Prosser, CBF’s ministries coordinator, to visit and give an introduction to Dawnings to a group of the congregation’s leaders. A few months later, Prosser returned and led a retreat at Second Baptist as the congregation began the Dawnings process. In reflecting on the process, Cook remarked that together Second Baptist had become really good at doing, but participating in Dawnings helped them to become more intentional Dawnings participants discern together at the Ignatius House Retreat Center in Atlanta, Ga. Pictured are leaders from the following churches: First Baptist Church, Abilene, Texas; College Park Baptist Church, Orlando, Fla.; and Centerville Baptist Church, Chesapeake, Va.

in developing spiritual conversations and focusing on formation as a piece of discipleship. Kevin Ritter, pastor of Centerville Baptist Church in Chesapeake, Va., echoed this reflection. One of the shifts that has happened for him comes in assessing resources. “As part of the congregational design team’s work, we have taken an inventory of the resources that we have at the church already, and it has helped me to work from a position of abundance instead of scarcity,” Ritter explained. “God has already given us every resource that we need to do the work God is already doing and the work God is calling us to do. It has lessened my stress — I am not the one who has to create out of nothing. I am a co-partner with God leading the way in what needs to be done.” Cook sees deep transformation happening in the lives of his congregation — from the way he preaches, to the way church leaders work together, to the way they talk about relating to the surrounding community. “The experience of Dawnings has uncovered a deep level of honesty in our church,” said Karen Pope, a Second Baptist member. “In the process of being vulnerable before God, we seem to have found a new freedom to be honest with each other about faith.” As the clergy participants in the process have attested, Dawnings is an added value to their pastoral ministry. “Dawnings helped me realize the significance of gathering leaders, praying together, engaging in spiritual disciplines together, which aided a really organized process of where we, together, sense the church should go and what we needed,” Lee emphasized. “It takes a lot of pressure off me as pastor because we are working together in very intentional ways.” “This isn’t a prescription for strategic planning,” Cook added. “Instead, it is an opportunity for deeper formation and meaningful engagement.” For Prosser and CBF Missional Congregations Director Harry Rowland, Dawnings is an invitation to find newness in the shared life of a church. “CBF’s Dawnings initiative is an invitation into a spiritual conversation about

Pictured is Matt Cook, pastor of First Baptist Church, Wilmington, N.C., who will begin his term as CBF Moderator-elect at the upcoming CBF General Assembly in Atlanta. The Assembly will begin with a Dawnings retreat (June 23-25). Upcoming retreats are being planned for Kansas City, Kan., Rome, Ga., and Eastern North Carolina.

congregational renewal. This is about people with a deep passion for their church pulling apart for a while and really seeking the heart of God for their church,” Prosser said. “Every congregation that has participated has come away with a newness of spirit, of ministry and of fellowship!” “There is a counter-cultural rhythm to Dawnings,” Rowland said. “Rather than relying on predicting, planning and inventing to determine how the church navigates, Dawnings invites the church into the spiritual rhythm of prayer, preparation and discovery. This rhythm places the church in rich dialogue with God and one another where the Spirit acts and the next step in the journey ‘dawns.’ The realized shift is from doing a church-shaped mission to being a mission of God-shaped church.”

Dawnings is an innovative and holistic approach to church visioning, which seeks to engage the whole person and community, while seeking God’s kingdom already at work in the midst of God’s people. To learn more, visit www.cbfdawnings.org. fellowship!

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Opportunities to

June 2014

MORE RESOURCES

Visit thefellowship.info/affectonline for additional Opportunities to Affect, including: • Around the Table: At Home discussion guide • In Small Groups discussion guide

LEARN

Learn more about the Kentucky Baptist Fellowship at www.kybf.org

PRAY

Pray for the work of CBF field personnel and staff as well as chaplains and pastoral counselors. Prayers of the People is available in multiple formats at thefellowship.info/pray

NETWORK

Interact with field personnel and other mission and ministry leaders who work with internationals at missioncommunities.org/ internationals

Church-to-Church Partnerships Around the Table: At Church

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Serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission

The outline below is designed to guide small group discussion around the table during a mid-week study, prayer or fellowship time. Consider providing extra copies of fellowship! for individuals who want to learn more. 1. During this session, you’ll be talking about the theme of “giving hope,” based on the article about Kentucky Baptist Fellowship’s (KBF) Morocco partnership on pp. 10-13 of this month’s fellowship! magazine. 2. Before a Wednesday night supper or another event or service, gather copies of fellowship! to pass out. Also, secure blank index cards, markers and pens for church members. 3. During the event, either give individuals time to read the article on pp. 10-13, or have someone summarize the article and talk about this work, particularly mentioning the partnerships that are created and the question posed to one volunteer, “Can you at least give us some hope?” 4. After the summary of the article, ask participants to use the index cards to create

postcards with a Building message of hope. Relationships in Morocco Challenge them to write down what they might have said if they were asked the same question. 5. After the activity is completed, encourage participants to take the postcard home and place it where they can see it, so they will remember to give hope to those they encounter each day. 6. End by praying for those who participate in the KBF/Morocco partnership and for those mentioned in the Prayer Calendar on p. 4. Kentucky Baptist Fellowship offers church-led partnership model

Opportunities to

Reading Guides 2014-15 Visit www.thefellowship.info/resources/missions-education/book-clubs/ for Reading Group study guides.

August

January

A powerful historical novel about a child of war who becomes a man of peace, Never Fall Down is the unforgettable story of Cambodian advocate Arn ChornPond, told from his point of view as a young boy. The story follows his journey to survive the Cambodian genocide of 1975-1979 and the labor camps of the Khmer Rouge.

In this visceral first-hand account, Katz takes readers inside the terror of the earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, the devastation visited on ordinary Haitians and the monumental—yet misbegotten—rescue effort that followed.

September

The Fellowship is supported by gifts from churches and individuals. Find out ways you and your church can make a difference at thefellowship.info/give

COOPERATIVE BAPTIST FELLOWSHIP | WWW.THEFELLOWSHIP.INFO

Missions Education Resource

Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick

GIVE

fellowship!

CBF JUNE/JULY 2014

SAM HARRELL PHOTO

The Kentucky Baptist Fellowship partners with Eglise Evangélique au Maroc (EEAM), an association of Protestant churches in Morocco.

The Big Truck that Went By by Jonathan Katz

February

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment and expression will leave no reader unmoved.

Set in present day Appalachia, Flight Behavior concerns a young wife and mother who experiences something she cannot explain. Her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world.

October

March

Gary Rivlin

(Young Adult novel) Since emigrating from Bangladesh, fourteen-year-old Nadira and her family have been living on expired visas, hoping to realize their dream of becoming legal U.S. citizens. When Nadira’s father is arrested and detained at the U.S.-Canadian border, it’s up to Nadira to be strong and bring her family back together.

Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc. by From the author of the New York Times Notable Book of the Year Drive By comes a unique and riveting exploration of one of America’s largest and fastest-growing industries—the business of poverty.

November

Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos

Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard by Liz Murray

April

Breaking Night is the stunning memoir of a young woman who at age fifteen was living on the streets and who eventually made it into Harvard. The book is an unforgettable and beautifully written story of one young woman’s indomitable spirit to survive and prevail against all odds.

Taylor asks us to put aside our fears and anxieties and to explore all that God has to teach us “in the dark.” Through darkness we find courage, we understand the world in new ways and we feel God’s presence around us, guiding us through things seen and unseen.

December

May

In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but also brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor and sacrifice for one another.

Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Reading Groups Each month CBF considers a book related to a missional topic. Reading group study guides are available to help lead group discussions about the book. The 2014-15 reading list, which begins in August, features historical novels, fiction, memoirs and non-fiction. These books promise to enrich and challenge as you explore important missional topics. The 2014-15 list is available at thefellowship.info/resources/missions-education/book-clubs/


Opportunities to

July 2014

MORE RESOURCES

Visit thefellowship.info/affectonline for additional Opportunities to Affect, including: • In Worship: Communal Prayer resource • Around the Table: At Home discussion guide

NETWORK

CBF churches and field personnel work together to join God’s mission in the world. Engage in conversation and share experiences online at missioncommunities.org

SERVE

Learn about other medical and construction service opportunities at thefellowship.info/serve

PRAY

CBF’s Prayers of the People can help you pray specifically for CBF missions and ministries around the world. Visit thefellowship.info/pray

GIVE

Your generous gifts are vital to the work of CBF field personnel and other Fellowship ministries. Find out more at thefellowship.info/give

Field Personnel Partnerships In Small Groups

fellowship!

CBF

Missions Education Resource

COOPERATIVE BAPTIST FELLOWSHIP | WWW.THEFELLOWSHIP.INFO

JUNE/JULY 2014

Serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission

The outline below is designed for adult mission groups, Bible study classes and other small groups. Share copies of fellowship! with group members prior to the meeting and have extra copies available. These suggestions are for a 45-minute time frame. 1. The goal of this session is to think about what it means to have true ministry partnerships. Before the session, secure copies of fellowship! magazine for each person in your small group. Also, bring index cards, large Post-It notes (index card size), pens/markers for everyone in the group and two pieces of white paper. 2. As you start the session, pass out fellowship! magazine and give everyone time to read the article, “On Pilgrimage with God” on pp. 24-26 of fellowship!

Engage each age Teaches preschoolers about missions and the missional life by engaging their five senses in learning Teaches elementary-aged children through experiential learning and mission engagement Engages teenagers though an introductory activity, equips them with biblical understanding and invites them to extend their faith into their schools, families and communities

Building 3. After everyone Relationships in Morocco has had time to read, begin by discussing the article together. After you’ve discussed key themes in the article, transition to a more focused discussion on partnership. Draw the group’s attention to the quote by Jimmie Hughes on p. 25 where he talks about the difference between an “American savior” and a true partnership. Ask the group to reflect on this quote. 4. On one of the two sheets of paper, write the phrase “American savior” and then on the other write the phrase “True partner.” Hang these on the wall or on a white board and then pass out Post-Its and pens to the group. 5. Ask group members to think of characteristics for each category and post their responses under the category. 6. After the group has had the opportunity to respond, allow time to discuss their responses. If time permits, end by asking the group to come up with a working definition of “true partnership” for ministry. 7. End by praying for the Oakmont-Belize partnership and for your own church as it looks for ways to partner in places both near and far. Be sure to also pray for those mentioned in the Prayer Calendar on p. 4. SAM HARRELL PHOTO

Since 2008, Oakmont Baptist Church in Greenville, N.C., has worked side-by-side with Belizeans and CBF field personnel Eric and Julie Maas.

fellowship!

Kentucky Baptist Fellowship offers church-led partnership model

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Cooperative Baptist Fellowship 160 Clairemont Avenue, Suite 500 Decatur, GA 30030 www.thefellowship.info • (800) 352-8741

Take Note!

address CBFJu’slyn20e13w ) (as of

ip aptist Fellowsh Cooperative B t Avenue 160 Clairemon Suite 500 030 Decatur, GA 30

tions to

tribu Send con 2014) (as of April

Delete these old addresses Cooperative Baptist Fellowship 2930 Flowers Road South Suite 133 Atlanta, GA 30341 Old contributions address PO Box 101699 Atlanta, GA 30392-1699

2 PO Box 10297 368-2972 Atlanta, GA 30

Connect with the Fellowship KEEP UP WITH THE WORK and ministry of CBF churches, partners, field personnel and individuals through our online networks. Learn about ways to get involved in CBF life and plug in! facebook.com/cbfinfo — “Like” Cooperative Baptist Fellowship on Facebook for the most up-to-date news on CBF missions and ministries. twitter.com/cbfinfo — Follow us on Twitter and join the conversation about how CBF individuals and churches are being the presence of Christ globally. thefellowship.info/subscribe — Subscribe to fellowship! weekly for regular updates on CBF events as well as breaking news. cbfblog.com — CBFblog is the place where you can always find the latest news and views in the Fellowship.


2014 June/July fellowship!