|From the General Secretary |
Hear the Spirit: Proclamation 4
By Neville Callam
The church is called to proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God. It does this through verbal witness - spoken and written - whereby the word of God is shared with others. It does this through prophetic social action whereby the truth of God is made plain for people to see. It also does this through faithful participation in the sacraments/ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper that dramatically convey the Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Words are a powerful vehicle of communication. Whether written or spoken, they are the main means whereby communication takes place. So too are complementary social action and liturgical action, such as the sacred rites we do in obedience to Christ. There is another way in which we may also declare the praises of the one who calls us out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).
In a world in which words have such powerful effects, many people remain unimpressed by what we say. Our words are buried under the weight of the hypocrisy we exhibit. And even when our deeds of kindness and acts of love penetrate the hardness of a skeptical and weary world, sometimes they are still not enough. To enable people to take seriously the message we share, they may call for more.
This is what they need: the message we speak, the complementary social and liturgical actions we pursue, and also the character we exhibit. Who we are influences the way people receive the message we share. Our world is in need of people whose virtuous life brings rich melody where cacophonous noise torments us in the caverns of daily life.
Of course, we know that the truth of the saving message of Jesus Christ does not depend for its efficacy on our words, actions and character. These are but signs of the response we make to the news of the kingdom of God. Yet, for those who do not believe, it is often not so much what we say, but who we are that will lead them to a life-transforming encounter with the risen Lord. The times in which we live require of Christians nothing less than our leading a holy life that can support the credibility of the fundamental religious claim that we make.
Of course, holiness is a gift that God gives to the church. The people of God are sanctified (e.g. 1 Cor. 1:2). By receiving the benefits of Christ's saving work (Eph. 5:25-26), by sharing in the new covenant of grace (1 Peter 2:9; cf. Exodus 19:6 & Deut. 14:2), and through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:16), the church shares in the holiness of the Triune God. The holiness of the church is rooted and grounded in the holiness of God.
The church that receives this gift of holiness is called to lead a life of holiness. The people of God are to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:16). In the words of Charles Wesley, Christians are to "continually to offer up every thought, word, and work, as a spiritual sacrifice, acceptable to God through Christ." The Australian Baptist leader, Morling, put it this way: "It is not enough to have God's pardoning grace which, as a robe of righteousness, covers the sinful life. The sinful life must itself become righteous... Justifying righteousness ... declares divine amnesty... [I]n the opulence of grace ... sanctifying righteousness ... from within, transforms ... life."
To fulfill this ministry of proclamation, we need to hear the Spirit. It is the Spirit who enables our walk in holiness and righteousness before God. Because people are able to detect consistency between our word and our life, some observers will take seriously the Gospel message we announce. By the grace of God, they will come to God earnestly seeking and faithfully accepting that precious gift that leads to eternal life.
The community of Christ's faithful people needs to keep asking, "Does our life together model the sort of relations, and reflect the values, that are proper to the kingdom of God?" And individual Christians may need to engage in the self-examination that leads us to understand the extent to which we, in every sphere of our lives, bear consistent witness to the one who is our Lord and Savior.
Let our full-orbed proclamation go up to God who deserves our unquestioned loyalty!
|What BWA Member Bodies are Doing|
Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention
The Lott Carey movement was founded in 1897 by African American Baptists who were committed to a substantial foreign mission thrust, especially on the African continent, and is named after Lott Carey, one of the first American and Baptist missionaries to West Africa.
Its core ministries include the alleviation of poverty, the empowerment of women and the building of civil societies through education; the offering of preventive, restorative and reproductive healthcare; and ministry programs such as evangelism and discipleship, and the development of indigenous church leadership.
Lott Carey runs a Pastoral Excellence Program designed for the building of networks, broadening of visions, and the enhancement of African American pastoral ministry, and includes "multiple ministry immersions in African and African Diaspora contexts."
There is an Annual Youth Seminar, the most recent of which was held June 25-30 at Norfolk State University in the state of Virginia where approximately 400 youth between 14 and 20 years old attended. The organization inaugurated the Calling Congregations Project that helps churches "to notice, name, and nurture adolescents who may be open to ministry as vocation."
Lott Carey is the major funder of the Lott Carey Mission School in Liberia in West Africa, and provides significant support to Rick's Institute, also in Liberia.
Lott Carey provides significant support in disaster relief in North America and elsewhere.
It helps churches extend Christian witness around the world, providing prayer partnerships, technical and financial support, and works alongside partner nations on most continents.
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First Baptist Church
Danville, Virginia, United States
First Baptist Church in Danville, Virginia, in the United States, was planted in 1834. "The church has been a strong center of religious life in Danville," and the congregation has always "been ecumenical," as they describe themselves.
The church places "strong emphasis on missions and education" and had significant influence in the founding of Averett University, which grew out of the Danville Female Institute, which was founded by the church. "The church and the university have served the community well. Pastors and laypersons have intertwined their responsibilities at the university and the church."
FBC Danville also helped to establish other churches in Danville, such as the Union Hall (now Glenwood), Lee Street (now College Park), Second Baptist (now Woodberry Hills), and Melville churches.
Missionary couples from the congregation have served in Japan, South Korea, Belgium and Nigeria. The church declares that its "members have taken seriously Jesus' command to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and tell the good news that Christ's Kingdom may come on earth."
FBC Danville, a Baptist World Alliance Global Impact Church, commits itself to being "a community of faith that believes that when our worship together ends, our service truly begins." FBC members are, therefore, "committed to embodying our faith in Christ." As such, worship, community and service are central to the life of the church. "We're striving together to be a church that makes disciples instead of just members."
|To BWA General Secretary Neville Callam, who received the Caribbean American Heritage Luminary Award from the Institute of Caribbean Studies, in Washington, DC, on November 11.
To Solomon Ishola, immediate past general secretary of the Nigerian Baptist Convention and a former vice president of the Baptist World Alliance, on receiving National Honors in the rank of Member of the Order of Niger, from the president of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, on November 11.
|BWAid Director to retire|
|Paul Montacute, Director of Baptist World Aid, retires in July 2012. |
The Baptist World Alliance is currently conducting a search to fill the position. Applications may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed at 1-703-893-5162. Application deadline is January 10, 2012.
|Movements and Changes|
|All Africa Baptist Fellowship|
Michael Okwakol of Uganda and Isaac Durosinjesu Ayanrinola of Nigeria, elected president and general secretary, respectively, of the All Africa Baptist Fellowship. Okwakol succeeds Paul Msiza of South Africa and Ayanrinola succeeds Harrison Olan'g of Tanzania.
Ayoola Badejo of Nigeria, elected president of the All Africa Baptist Men's Fellowship
Craig Vernall, elected national leader of the Baptist Union of New Zealand, succeeding Rodney Macann, who has retired.
Ruth Clark, of the state of Kansas, will succeed Frank Christine as president of American Baptist Churches in the USA, on January 1, 2012
Baptist World Aid
|BWAid grants for the month of November 2011|
Grants recorded in United States dollars unless otherwise noted
Malaria Prevention Program -
RwandaChickens, Eggs and Cassava Growing Project
- 3,960.00ZambiaPoultry and Vegetable Farming
- 10,000.00MalawiFood Aid Relief
- 5,000.00KenyaMedical Clinic
- 7,000.00Sierra LeoneSchool Development In Rural Areas
- 10,000.00Peace Building Workshops
- 10,000.00AsiaBangladeshHealth Education Program
- 7,924.00IndiaCommunity Income Generating Project
- 9,500.00EuropeBosnia & Herzegovina
Winter Relief - 3,000.00Back to top
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 December we will remember the following:
Baptist Union in The Gambia
Baptists scattered in Cape Verde, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Senegal
Union of Protestant Baptist Churches in Benin
Meridional Evangelical Churches in Ivory Coast
Togo Baptist Convention
Ghana Baptist Convention
Mambilla Baptist Convention (Nigeria
Nigerian Baptist Convention
Christmas Prayers for all BWA Member Bodies worldwide
New Year prayers for peace
European Baptist Federation Aid conference on social involvement, Prague, Czech Republic, January 11-14
European Baptist Federation Children and Youth workers Conference, Beirut, Lebanon, January 13-18