A Little More CBF....
From Patricia Heys of CBF Communications.....
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a historic city, more than 2,500 Fellowship Baptists gathered for an historic event June 28-29. The 17th annual Cooperative Baptist Fellowship was held in Washington, D.C., for the first time and featured a first-ever joint gathering with the American Baptist Churches USA.
Fellowship Baptists celebrated religious freedom, addressed global concerns of poverty, hunger, HIV/AIDS, and participated in events featuring topics such as spiritual formation, congregational life, the missional church and social justice.
At the concluding general session, the Fellowship joined together in worship with ABCUSA, which was holding its biennial meeting and celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding. Together CBF and ABCUSA co-commissioned two couples to global missions service – Marcia and Duane Binkley, who will serve in the U.S. among Karen refugees, and Nancy and Steve James, who have been serving in Haiti as CBF affiliates.
"I am delighted that we are cooperating with American Baptists in joint appointments of the Binkleys and the Jameses to their respective places of ministry," said CBF Global Missions Coordinator Rob Nash. "These joint ventures send the signal that mission engagement in the 21st century is about collaboration for the good of God’s kingdom in the world
Audio files of the sermons from the general sessions are available here. Make sure to check out the sermons from BWA President David Coffey and CBF Global Missions Coordinator Rob Nash.
And don't miss Robert Parham's piece on outgoing BWA Executive-Director Denton Lotz as he reflects on his 27-year career as the leader of the Baptist World Alliance.
Asked to pick his best day, the retiring BWA general secretary said: "It is difficult to give one day as the 'best' day…. It has been my joy to experience almost every day God's grace upon the life of Baptists somewhere."
Lotz has met world religious and political leaders including Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict, Patriarch Bartholomew, Patriarch Alexsei, Billy Graham, Fidel Castro and Jimmy Carter.
"Best days have included experiencing the growth of the church overseas," he said. "Defending religious freedom successfully has made for best days."
Noting that Baptists began with a small group of 40 dissenting believers in 1609 and have grown to 110 million members in 400 years, Lotz said that "God has blessed the BWA in many ways."
Asked about his worst day, Lotz remembers it distinctly. "The worst day was when one evening I received a telephone call from the SBC [Southern Baptist Convention] leadership telling me that the SBC had decided to withdraw from the BWA," he said. The SBC announced its decision to withdraw from the BWA in December 2003 and formalized that commitment in June 2004.
"We are still suffering the consequences of that unfortunate decision, which I believe was contrary to Jesus' prayer for unity (John 17)," said Lotz. "It is absolutely false to accuse the BWA of being left wing, liberal or anti-American." He said, "It makes me very sad that this misrepresentation of the BWA continues to be perpetuated." Continue reading here.