ALLIANCE BLOG

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  • 2017 Annual Gathering Workshops


    We are excited for our 2017 Annual Gathering. Our workshops will be offered twice on Saturday, April 29. Make sure you stay up to date with all the latest info about Annual Gathering by visiting that page. Not yet registered? Register today!

    Introducing the new resource, Trouble the Water and ways congregations/individuals may use it to address the intersectionality of race and other forms of oppression.

    Michael-Ray Mathews is the director of clergy organizing with PICO National Network, and co-convener of the Racial Justice & Multiculturalism Community of the Alliance of Baptists. He is the co-editor of the Alliance of Baptists' new congregational resource on racial justice, Trouble the Water.

    Marie Onwubuariri has been serving as Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin since August 2014. She has been involved with the Alliance of Baptists since 2008, particularly in the work of "Equity for Women in the Church" and the "Racial Justice and Multiculturalism" communities.

    Cody J. Sanders is pastor of Old Cambridge Baptist Church in Cambridge, Mass., and the American Baptist Chaplain to Harvard University. He is the co-editor of the Alliance of Baptists' new congregational resource on racial justice, Trouble the Water.


    Loving our neighbor is at the heart of the gospel and is reflected in how we care for the earth and her interconnected communities. We will talk about the ways in which your local church can participate in transformative ways through Spirit, Justice and Stewardship. 

    Sarah Macias is the Co-Director of the Green Seminary Initiative and represents the Alliance on the Board of Creation Justice Ministries. She and her husband, Rodney, are in the process of developing an eco-spiritual farm retreat space in north Texas.

    Caroline Rutledge Armijo is a mixed-media artist, environmental advocate and mother, who lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her work incorporates her concern for environmental issues threatening her home community - coal ash and fracking. She advocates for Residents for Coal Ash Cleanup based at Belews Creek, N.C., and Alliance of Carolinians Together (ACT) against Coal Ash. Her website: http://www.carolinearmijo.com/

    Dennis Testerman is the Presbytery of Charlotte's Stewardship of Creation Enabler. God first became rural to him on a Appalachian mountain farm that's been in his family since 1789. He was commissioned by Pullen Memorial Baptist Church following seminary to work with an agricultural mission project in Pakistan.


    The church ought to be a context for discussion and learning about human sexuality. OWL curriculum (Our Whole Lives) offers a faith-based and brilliant pedagogy for congregations.

    Carole Collins is the Director of Operations and Finance as well as the Endorser for the Alliance of Baptists. She attended the OWL training for grades 10-12 this past fall 2016. Carole is excited to get the OWL resource into the hands of Alliance of Baptists' churches.

    D. Houston Hall describes himself as a trans-denominationalist (his own word creation). For over eight years he has been an Intentional Interim now serving in his fifth congregation.
    For over 13 years he has been a Trainer of Teachers for Our Whole Lives – sexuality and faith curriculum He is trained in all six levels. 

    Ken Meyers serves as (part-time) faith formation specialist for the Alliance following his 36 years in church ministerial roles. His Alliance ministry focuses on the congregation and other venues for theological education. Ken also assists in the development work of the Alliance. Ken received the OWL training for young adults last year.


    Clergy Affiliate Information & Resource Network (CAIRN) CAIRN is designed to foster a greater sense of community and support for Alliance clergy as they are called to be prophetic voices in their local contexts and beyond. This workshop is for clergy, seminary students, congregational leaders, and others interested in learning more about this new network.

    Eric Cain is program director with the Cothran Center for Vocational Reflection at Furman University. He serves on the CAIRN leadership group and has enjoyed being involved in the development process for this new network. Eric is a member of First Baptist Church, Greenville, S.C.

    Paula Clayton Dempsey serves as director of partnership relations for the Alliance of Baptists. To that position she brought more than 25 years of ministry experience as a pastor, campus minister, hospice chaplain, and director of Advent Spirituality Center. Paula lives with her family in Western North Carolina and travels from there to be with Alliance of Baptists' congregations and ministry partners.

    Ken Meyers serves as (part-time) faith formation specialist for the Alliance following his 36 years in church ministerial roles. His Alliance ministry focuses on the congregation and other venues for theological education. Ken also assists in the development work of the Alliance. Ken is the Alliance staff liaison for CAIRN. 


    In the past administration we experienced 2.5 million deportations. Under the new administration 3 million deportations were promised. This could have a significant impact in our communities. Some churches are organizing to create safe havens for immigrants and those left behind after the immigration enforcement. We will hear from different churches about their work in the community and reflect on what we can do in our own context.

    Julio Hernandez a father, husband, community builder, and student of life. Julio passionately supports movements that consider the immigrant community, currently he serves at Buckingham and Gates of Arlington Tenants Association, as well as the Director of Youth and Children Ministries at Ravensworth Baptist Church, and as a technology personal trainer. With Lisa, his wife of 12 years and a Montessori teacher, they are raising a multiethnic family; representing United States, Syria, Finland, and El Salvador. One day he hopes to visit the Shire and have multiple breakfasts, lunches and dinners with the Hobbits. 


    Our Faith, Our Vote: A Workshop About How Churches Can – and Should – Be Involved in Helping People to Vote. This workshop is for churches and other groups who want to increase the number of voters in their area. It will discuss the UCC's  “Our Faith Our Vote” program, and other specific steps churches can take.

    David Massengill is a member of the Alliance Board of Directors and a member at Metro Baptist Church, New York. He and his wife Anita are long-time supporters of the Alliance of Baptists. 

    Amanda Tyler is executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. She leads the organization as it upholds the historic Baptist principle of religious liberty, defending the free exercise of religion and protecting against its establishment by government.


    Music has power to embed the Alliance’s prophetic message in our hearts to help us transform our world. Come, experience expansive, transformational music for various settings and all age groups.

    Larry E. Schultz, currently Minister of Music for Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, in Raleigh, N.C., is a widely published, award-winning composer of congregational hymns, choral anthems, and instrumental music.

    Jann Aldredge-Clanton, an Alliance of Baptists ordained minister, currently serves as co-chair of Equity for Women in the Church and adjunct professor at Richland College, Dallas, Texas. Jann is a widely published, award-winning author and lyricist. 


    A lively roundtable on prophetic preaching and discussing together, what is our calling in a time such as this as preachers? 

    Ben Boswell is the senior minister at Myers Park Baptist Church, Charlotte, N.C. He also serves on the board of directors of the Alliance of Baptists. 

    Leah Grundset Davis is the communications specialist for the Alliance of Baptists. She will have just presented her defense of her final project for her DMin at Candler School of Theology two days before the Annual Gathering on Alliance of Baptists' women preaching the Magnificat in connection with their Baptist identity.

    Nancy Petty is pastor of congregational partner Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. She has been involved in Moral Mondays and also serves on the Annual Gathering planning team. 

    Elijah Zehyoue is the Director of Programs and Communications at New Baptist Covenant. He also serves as pastoral resident at Calvary Baptist Church, Washington, D.C. 


    A veteran North Carolina political commentator offers lessons and suggestions based on his state’s pitched political battles to progressive advocates grappling with the Right’s surge nationally and in other states.

    Rob Schofield is the Director of Research at NC Policy Watch – a progressive public policy news and commentary shop that is a special project of the North Carolina Justice Center. He joined the project in 2006 and has more than three decades of experience as a lawyer, lobbyist, writer and trainer.


    Child Loss. Infertility. Divorce. Suicide. We avoid these topics in polite church circles like the plague. Come join the conversation on how to be good to one another in church.

    Elizabeth Hagan is an ordained American Baptist minister who serves churches through short term interims in the Washington, D.C., area. She has recently published her first book a spiritual memoir called Birthed: Finding Grace Through Infertility. She’s also the Executive Director of Our Courageous Kids, an foundation which raises money for grants for education for kids living in international orphanages. And loves to be married to Kevin and mother to Amelia. 


    Defending Religious Freedom for All Americans: Countering the rise of anti-Muslim bigotry in the United States"

    Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons is an associate with the Security and Rights Collaborative at ReThink Media, where he works to amplify voices countering the rise of anti-Muslim bigotry. He is a member of Highland Baptist Church in Louisville and completed his Master of Divinity at Union Theological City in New York City. His writing on faith and public policy has appeared in the Washington Post, Religion News Service, Louisville Courier-Journal, Texas Tribune, Sojourners, Religion Dispatches and other media outlets.  

    Abdullah Antepli, Durham, N.C., is the Chief Representative of Muslim Affairs, Duke University/Adjunct Faculty of Islamic Studies. In his current work at Duke, Antepli engages students, faculty, and staff across and beyond campus through seminars, panels, and other avenues to provide a Muslim voice and perspective to the discussions of faith, spirituality, social justice, and more. Imam Antepli also serves as a faculty member in the Duke Divinity School, teaching a variety of courses on Islam and Muslim cultures.