by Carole Collins and Elijah Zehyoue
Happy New Year Alliance of Baptists Family!
As we begin 2022, we are grateful for the year that we have had and excited for the year that is before us. When we reflect on last year, we are proud of how the entire Alliance of Baptists community dealt with change and transition. We celebrated the many years that Paula Dempsey devoted to this organization and thanked Jason Smith for his service as development specialist. We also welcomed a new co-director in Elijah Zehyoue. We did all of this while continuing to support our partners in the U.S. and around the world and living with the daily reality of a global pandemic. 2021 was full of its ups and downs, but together we weathered it strongly.
That’s the Alliance spirit. That is also the strength we will need as we forge ahead and start a new chapter in the life of the Alliance and why we are excited about the year ahead. We know what the Alliance is capable of when we put our hearts, heads, and hands together. This year we will lean more deeply into our antiracist commitments so that every aspect of our body can know and embrace the theological, biblical, historical, and organizational mandate to be antiracist. To this end, we will work more deeply with our partners, more intentionally with ourselves, more critically as we examine our past, and more compassionately in our engagements with each other so that all of us meet the challenge of following Christ in this way.
We know this work will be hard, but we also know that we can and must do it. The Alliance of Baptists has an opportunity, if we get this right, to do what very few people, organizations, and societies have done—and that is to become antiracist, pluralistic, and liberating. We could become a home for so many more people who need it. This is the dream of Martin Luther King Jr., Maya Angelou, and Jesus of Nazareth. It is our dream, too. And it is a dream deeply rooted in the bold and expansive ministry of the Alliance of Baptists. You are a people who believe that the world really can be made to bend towards the vision that Jesus has for it— a world where everyone is accepted, loved, and liberated. Our antiracist work this year and in the years to come is a significant continuation of that vision. So it is our hope that this year will be a year we see more of that dream become a reality. We look forward to seeing you and working with you in 2022.
Peace and Blessings,
Carole and Elijah