Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Partners in Kingdom Ministries

I originally wrote this article for our Message page in the Word&Way. This past week I had the opportunity to participate in the Baptist Center for Ethics Luncheon and the Annual Meeting and Luncheon sponsored by the Religious Liberty Council of the Baptist Joint Committee. The luncheons were held in Memphis during the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s General Assembly. Both events were significant gatherings, and I am proud the Baptist General Convention of Missouri supports these important ministries.

The Baptist Center for Ethics luncheon featured a presentation on the issues of tax justice the need for the church and community of faith to be advocates for justice. Susan Pace Hamill, professor at the University of Alabama Law School, commented on high sacrifice vs. low sacrifice issues for people of faith. I also had the privilege of participating in interviews for a new DVD being produced by the Baptist Center for Ethics on Racial Justice. I am grateful for the ministry of this organization, and I encourage you to check out their work at EthicsDaily.com or on our convention website.

The Religious Liberty Council luncheon was also held during the General Assembly. The Rev. Dr. Aidsand Wright-Riggins III was the featured speaker. Since 1991, Wright-Riggins has served as the executive director of National Ministries for American Baptist Churches USA, where he is chief executive officer of ABC’s publishing arm, Judson Press. He also is a member of the BJC board, and has served as its chairman.

This past year the Baptist General Convention of Missouri became a member of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. I have the privilege of representing our convention as a member of the board. Through this organization we have the opportunity to join with other Baptists in being advocates for Religious Liberty causes. You can learn more about the BJC at their website (www.bjcpa.org).

Earlier this month our Board of Directors voted to approve some structural changes for our staff, and they elected Verlyn Bergen as our new Resources & Relationships Team Leader. Verlyn comes to this new role with tremendous gifts and experience in serving pastors and churches. Verlyn, like all of our staff, will serve on a part-time basis as we seek to utilize practitioners as convention leaders. I continue to be incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve with our entire staff. We continue to be committed to serving churches and church leaders as they fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. We look forward to hearing from you regarding how we might assist your church.

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