|From the General Secretary |
Not to be deprived!
By Neville Callam
The 20th Baptist Word Congress is over and what a congress it was!
It was a gathering where Baptists assembled to discern together what the Spirit is saying in many areas of our life and witness. The issues discussed in the 34 Focus Group sessions ranged from conversations around the ethics of genetic engineering to bearing witness in multi-faith and multi-cultural contexts.
It was a gathering where Baptists combined efforts to serve those in need. Much more can be said than has been said about the fact that, during the congress, in partnership with the Virginia Baptist Mission Board and Stop Hunger Now, congress participants prepared 30,000 food packages for families in Hawaii. Each bag contained enough to feed an entire family.
In partnership with Passport Incorporated, youth attending the congress met for fellowship, worship and training. Approximately 100 youth participated each day. Their work included visits to homeless shelters and cleaning graffiti from walls in the city. They also hiked to Diamond Head.
The congress was a gathering where Baptist children met for Bible teaching and arts and crafts projects. They also presented a group song in the plenary on Saturday. The ministry of the Korean children's choir was exceptional. Their presentation during the evening celebration on Thursday was unsurpassed in beauty and richness.
It was a congress where, through the ministry of music, Baptists sought both to receive and to communicate the truth of the Gospel. Choirs and singers came from all regions of the BWA. What rich blessings we derived from their ministry during the international music fest each afternoon during the congress! Their ministry during the major daily corporate worship events was outstanding.
The congress was a time that was rich with opportunities for fellowship. Baptists from 96 countries were in attendance at the congress. For one reason or another, more than 1,000 registered delegates did not show up for the congress, including all the delegates from nine countries, who registered. We regret their inability to grasp the opportunity to participate. It was very pleasing that, although the BWA has no member body in Hawai'i, hundreds of Baptists from the state attended various sessions of the congress. Furthermore, the leadership of Local Arrangements Committee chairman, Rick Lazor, and his team, was outstanding.
The Women's Leadership Conference which preceded the congress, together with the women's and men's events during the congress, was a source of enrichment for participants.
At the 20th Baptist World Congress, Baptists celebrated BWA's irrevocable commitment to evangelism. The Living Water event was a time to recall BWA's efforts in furthering the churches' resolve to fulfill the evangelistic ministry that God has given to the church. The unity of the church's evangelistic and social ministries was reaffirmed.
Above all, the congress was a time for Baptists to engage in corporate worship. Evening celebrations were marked by powerful declarations of the Gospel. Morning Bible studies were times of rich sharing. Biblical truth was communicated with great erudition and passionate conviction.
When Baptist Christians assembled in Honolulu, Hawai'i, they were determined to hear the Spirit. They listened intently and they listened together because, too often, we listen by ourselves alone and do not follow up by accounting to others concerning the audition. As a result of this, we lose the benefit of the common discernment that is needed for the preservation of harmony in the church and cohesiveness in mission faithfulness. Furthermore, we lose the mutual sharing that corrects the audition we believe we received.
As happens so often when we engage in spiritual contemplation, in Hawai'i, we were not deprived. And what we heard together was about the need for greater openness to the Holy Spirit that must characterize both our inner life as individuals and as churches and our life together in service and witness. We were constantly reminded of the need to be both objects and agents of the Spirit's transforming work - a fact that is carefully reflected in the Congress Message.
As we begin a new quinquennium, by God's grace, let us seek constantly, to keep in step with the Spirit. This way, we will never be deprived of the blessings of the Lord.
Back to top
|What BWA Member Bodies are Doing|
Canadian Baptist Ministrieshttp://www.cbmin.org/cbm/home
Canadian Baptist Ministries (CBM) is an amalgamation of four regional groups, Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec, Canadian Baptists of Western Canada, the Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches, and the Union of French Baptist Churches in Canada.
The Baptist Federation of Canada was formed in 1944 with three of the regional groups, and was joined by the Union of French Baptist Churches in 1970. The federation merged with Canadian Baptist International Ministries in 1995 to form the CBM.
The CBM now represents more than 1,000 churches compromising more than 250,000 members.
Strategic emphases of CBM include leadership development such as seminary and less formal training; community development such as food security, water supply, micro enterprises, children at risk, as well as prevention of HIV/AIDS and care from those affected by the disease; and discipleship programs such as encouraging people to live simply, justly and faithfully.
Canadian Baptist Ministries is actively engaged in a number of countries. In addition to Angola, Indonesia, El Salvador, Lebanon and other countries, CBM has provided assistance in disaster situations such as the January 12 earthquake in Haiti and the recent floods in Pakistan.
Back to top
Second Baptist Church of Lubbock, Texas, in the United States, began as a mission of First Baptist Church Lubbock in 1958.
Second Baptist helped to found the Sick Children's Clinic, which offers free medical attention to needy children, and a food bank. There is a ministry to HIV/AIDS patients, a child development project, and a student and college ministry program. It participates in several ministries with other partners, including Meals on Wheels.
SecondB, as the congregation refers to itself, offers theology courses and lessons to its members. Courses include systematic theology, Christian ethics, theology of worship, and Baptist heritage. The aim is "to provide opportunities for lay persons to participate in faith instruction at a deeper level than the typical restraints of Sunday school," and "to encourage the building of personal lay libraries and study resources for life-long learning and maturation in the faith."
A Baptist World Alliance Global Impact Church since 2004, Second Baptist began giving its support to the BWA since at least 1999.
To Sam Chaise, new general secretary
for Canadian Baptist Ministries, effective October 1. Chaise succeeds Gary Nelson, former BWA vice president, who is the new president and chief executive officer of Tyndale University College and Seminary in Toronto.|
To Ross Clifford, principal of Morling College in New South Wales, Australia, and a BWA vice president; for being conferred as a Member of the Order of Australia; for service to the Baptist Union of Australia, to religious education,
and to the promotion of interfaith dialogue and Christian media; by Queen Elizabeth II.
|To director of Baptist World Aid, Paul Montacute, on the death of his aunt, Betty Montacute; in England.|
|In Memoriam: Roger Andre Waka|
Roger Andre Waka, general secretary of the Association of Baptist Churches (AEBC) of the Central
African Republic, died on August 20, from complications due to typhoid fever.|
Waka, a member of the General Council of the Baptist World
Alliance, was elected general secretary of the AEBC in 2005. He was pastor of Ouango
Baptist Church, and previously served as pastor for Bangui Mpoko Baptist
He earned a masters degree from the Bangui Faculty of Evangelical
He is survived by his wife and seven children.
|In Memoriam: Ruby Scott|
Ruby Scott, from
the state of Oklahoma in the United States, died tragically in a motor vehicle
accident while returning home after attending the BWA Women's Leadership
Conference in Honolulu, Hawai'i.|
Scott and another member of the Native Praise Choir were driving home from an airport in Oklahoma
on July 29 when their vehicle got out of control and turned over after hitting
a utility pole and a tree. Scott died shortly after.
Scott was lead singer for the Native Praise Choir which sang at the Women's Leadership Conference,
held July 24-27. She was 70 years old.
She was a member of Sandy Hill Baptist Church; secretary for
the Chi-Ka-Sha Baptist Association; and an original member of the Native Praise
Choir, for which she was a lead singer for 11 years. Scott also served on
the Board of Directors for the Native American LINK ministry and participated
in various mission trips to native peoples through the years.
Scott graduated from Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas,
and attended East Central University. She worked at the Solo Cup Company
for 30 years. After retirement, she cooked at the Senior Citizen Center
in Ada, Oklahoma.
Predeceased by her husband Chester Scott in 2003, she is
survived by two sons, Tim and Bryce, and seven grandchildren.
"I am deeply saddened by
the news of the passing of your mother, Ruby," BWA General Secretary Neville
Callam wrote to the family. "She was with us in Hawai'i and her performance as the lead singer
with the group, Native Praise Choir, provided us with much inspiration." He
expressed the hope that "God will give you grace to endure during this time of
deep disappointment," and stated that the BWA is standing in solidarity with
The funeral service was held at the Chickasaw Nation
Community building in Ada, Oklahoma, followed by burial at the Rosedale
Cemetery, on August 3.
Back to top
Baptist World Aid
|BWAid grants for the months of June and July|
Grants recorded in United States dollars unless otherwise noted
Landslide Relief - 2,500.00
Sudanese Refugee Feeding Program - 4,150.00
Democratic Republic of Congo
Groundnut Project - 12,353.00
Nutrition Project - 3,867.00
Post-tsunami Project - 33,250.00
West Sumatra Earthquake Response - 26,268.50
Orphanage Project - -1,450.00
Hill Tract Community Rehab Program - 3,000.00
Asia Pacific Baptist Aid
Support - 10,000.00
European Baptist Federation
Kyrgyzstan Aid - 5,000.00
House Construction - 30,000.00
Delmas 19 Complex Construction - 20,000.00
Medical Shipment - 1,706.20
Caribbean Baptist Fellowship Expenses -1,910.74
Monthly Prayer Guide
Each week, the staff of the Baptist World Alliance prays for conventions and unions throughout the world.
We invite all other Baptist conventions and unions, and individual Baptists everywhere, to join us in these prayers.
For the month of September we will remember the following:
August 29-September 4
Baptist Union of Czech
Baptist Union of Poland
Baptist Union of Slovakia
Baptist Church in
Baptist Union of Croatia
Union of Christian
Baptist Churches in Serbia
Union of Baptist Churches in Serbia
Baptist Churches in Slovenia
Baptist Union of Bulgaria
Baptist Union of Hungary
Union of R.S. Romania
Convention of Hungarian Baptist Churches of Romania
Union of Evangelical Christian Baptists of Belarus
of Evangelical Christian Baptist of Moldova
Euro-Asiatic Federation of
Christian Baptist Union
Union of Evangelical Christian Baptists of Russian
All Ukrainian Union of
Assocs. of Evangelical Christian Baptists
September 26-October 2
Union of Evangelical Christian Baptists of Armenia
Evangelical Christian Baptist Union of Azerbaijan
Evangelical Baptist Church
European Baptist Federation Council, Italy, September 22-25Back to top