Washington (BWA)--More than 300 Baptist leaders and delegates from around the world are traveling to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, for the Annual Gathering of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) from July 4-9.
The Annual Gathering involves the meetings of a number of BWA groups, including the General Council and the Executive Committee; executive sub-committees and divisional advisory committees; women's, men's, and youth departments; regional groupings; and commissions of the divisions of Freedom and Justice, and Mission, Evangelism and Theological Reflection, and others.
One of the first events will be a communication training seminar aimed at leaders and communicators from conventions and unions in the Asia/Pacific region and interested delegates who attend the Gathering. Topics include how-to skills -- writing press releases and news stories; producing a newsletter; news and social media; developing a strategic communication plan for conventions and churches; and using audio visual media for more effective communication.
Included also are three forums that highlight Baptist work and witness in the Asia-Pacific region; the recent crisis in Japan following the earthquake, tsunami and radiation leakage from a nuclear plant; and a discussion on the topic, "The Bible and Religious Pluralism."
Affinity groups for pastors, youth and youth ministry workers, missioners and mission leaders, and Baptists in higher education will also be held, as well as that of the Denominational Leaders Network.
The Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award will be presented to Wati Aier, principal of the Oriental Theological Seminary in Dimapur in Nagaland state in Northeast India. Aier, who is convener of the Forum for Naga Reconciliation is being recognized for his efforts over nearly two decades in seeking to broker peace between various Naga factions. The conflicts, which began more than 50 years ago, have led to political instability and more than 2,300 insurgency-related fatalities between 1992 and 2009.
Among the commission topics are "The Nature of the Church" by David Wyman of Canada, "The Role of the Seminary in Promoting a Thoughtful Christianity" by Brian Harris of Australia, "Peace and the Mission of God" by Donald Berry of the United States, and a paper by Pablo Moreno of Colombia on the formation of Christian leaders.
Each day begins with worship. In addition, a "Celebration with Malaysian Baptists," a special worship service, is planned for the evening of July 8.
Persons may view updates of the meetings on the BWA website at www.bwanet.org, as well as follow the meetings on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.