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Saturday at the Alliance Annual Gathering!
"The poison of hatred can be cured not with more hatred but with love. The poison of fear can be cured not with more fear but with compassion. The poison of ignorance can be cured not with more
ignorance but with wisdom," proclaimed Malkhaz Songulashvili, Metropolitan Bishop Tblisi of the Republic of Georgia in his Saturday evening homily with the theme of partnership. Songulashvili, an Alliance ministry partner from the Evangelical Baptist Church of the Republic of Georgia preached in a three-part homily alongside Christine Wiley and Cody Sanders.
Christine Wiley, pastor of Covenant Baptist UCC, Washington, D.C., and a newly elected Alliance board member preached on the idea of home, that there is room in God's home for all, a seat is waiting. Cody Sanders, pastor of Old Cambridge Baptist Church preached his homily with the theme of the pursuit of justice, reminding those gathered that the work is done in community.
In the workshops, Sanders alongside Michael-Ray Mathews celebrated the release of their new resource, which they co-edited with Marie Onwubuariri, Trouble the Water. All who were in attendance received a copy, encouraged to take back to churches for discussion groups and study.
From sexuality education to sanctuary movement to creation care and so much more, the Annual Gathering workshops were a significant component for this year's programming. There were 24 presenters that led 11 workshops. Workshops offer resources both in leadership experience and in curriculum materials to promote the praxis of congregational ministry and other places of justice-love. We are most grateful for the presenters. And, grateful for the workshop planning team: Leah Grundset Davis, Julio Hernandez, Ken Meyers (staff liaison) and George Reed.
The Alliance of Baptists’ membership came to consensus to support four statements:
- A Statement on Protecting Welcome, Restoring Hope for Immigrants and Refugees
- A Statement in Support of the Freedom of Religion and Freedom from Persecution and Harassment Based on Religion
- A Statement on Supporting the Right of Dissent
- A Statement on HB-2 (revised)
The statements can be read in full here.
The Alliance affirmed a slate of seven new board members, secretary to the board and two members to the endorsing council. A full slate with biographical information can be found here. President Mike
Castle said, "It is a delight to welcome new board members and new Endorsing Council members. They reflect the best of our Alliance and the breadth of the Alliance’s witness across the country. They love the Alliance of Baptists and bring a strong commitment to its covenant, vision and mission. It is exciting to welcome their voices and their leadership."
Nominating committee chair, Paul Richardson said, "We on the Nominating Committee are pleased to present an outstanding slate of nominees. These persons bring a range of skills and perspectives that will serve the Alliance immediately and shape it for the years ahead. They are varied in experience and outlook, and represent the diversity of the partners–individuals, congregations, and ministries–who join in the work of the Alliance."
Top: Saturday proclaimers
Middle: Christine Wiley speaks at the Racial Justice & Multiculturalism Workshop
Bottom: Justice in Palestine & Israel community.
About the Alliance of Baptists The Alliance of Baptists began in 1987 as a prophetic voice in Baptist life. Today, we are a faith community comprised of male and female laity and clergy, people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, theological beliefs, and ministry practices. We are Christians knit together by love for one another and God, combining progressive inquiry, contemplative prayer and prophetic action to bring about justice and healing in a changing world. allianceofbaptists.org
Rev. Leah Grundset Davis, communications specialist, email@example.com
Rev. Dr. Mike Castle, president, Alliance of Baptist, senior pastor, Harmony Creek Church, Dayton, Ohio
Photo: Christine Wiley, Malkhaz Songulashvili, Cody Sanders