News

BTSR to hold final commencement

Posted on May 03, 2019

Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, which the Alliance of Baptists helped found, will confer degrees and certificates on 21 students at its final commencement on May 25.  

It will be the seminary's 27th commencement and the final one in its life as a traditional seminary. The institution announced in December it was closing due to financial pressures. Students enrolled in 2018 but not able to finish their studies at BTSR also will be recognized during the service.

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A new commandment

Posted on May 03, 2019

This Maundy Thursday I found myself in a hospital conference room participating in a goals of care conversation with the large family of a heart surgery patient, the ICU attending physician and a consulting team of palliative care providers. I will admit I was frazzled as I settled into the space. I knew it could be a long and intense meeting, it was already mid-afternoon and I was scheduled to assist with a service at church in a few hours. As is so often the case in my work as a chaplain, I was drawn into the present through the magnetism of storytelling.

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Gathering unpacks liberty without liberation

Posted on May 03, 2019

Some 300 members and friends of the Alliance of Baptists converged on Washington, D.C. last weekend to explore liberty through the framework of liberation, and to consider the call to dismantle racism in their faith and community contexts. 

All aspects of the April 26-28 Annual Gathering held at Calvary Baptist Church were infused with the theme "What is Liberty Without Liberation?" and many walked away from the yearly all-call with new or renewed energy to break down the multitude of barriers that separate individuals and the deeply rooted systems that privilege the white, dominant center.

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Getting to Easter through Good Friday

Posted on Apr 22, 2019

Good Friday stands on the calendar like an obstacle that must be crossed to get to Easter. You can't get there without going through Good Friday -- at least on the calendar. Theologically? Maybe that's up for debate.  

The prevailing view in the Church is that Jesus died on the cross to save humanity from their sins. Open a hymnal and you'll see what I mean. But there's a lot to question about this view of the cross. Did God really kill Jesus because God was angry at the sins of humanity? Why couldn't God be forgiving, instead of wrathful? And why would your sins and mine destroy our relationship with God? Can't God's love look beyond our problems?

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Reflections on the Alliance covenant, mission

Posted on Apr 22, 2019

As one who was part of writing the founding covenant of the Alliance of Baptists, I delight in this recommendation for a new covenant and mission statement. It's timely.  

It's time to find fresh words for our identity and purpose. The process behind this recommendation, as well as its product, is a witness to the collaborative relationships at the heart of our Alliance life.

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No way to treat a child

Posted on Apr 21, 2019

We’ve all seen the pictures of wailing toddlers separated at the United States-Mexico border. We’ve read accounts of teenagers from south of the border warehoused in makeshift prisons. Less well known is the plight of children in detention in Israel. UNICEF reported in 2013 that the “ill treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic, and institutionalized throughout the process.” A recent report found that in 2018, 54 Palestinian children were killed and 900 were detained, forcibly separated from their parents.

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Statement on sex, gender and sexuality

Posted on Apr 05, 2019

I along with Shawn Warner-Garcia, Jennifer Wilder, Micah Bucey, Malu Fairley-Collins and Rob Marus are pleased to offer a STATEMENT ON SEX, SEXUALITY AND GENDER for consideration by the Alliance of Baptists membership when we gather later this month at Calvary Baptist Church in Washington D.C. The statement begins with this sentence: We, the Alliance of Baptists, have been on a journey of deepening acceptance, understanding and accommodation regarding sex, gender and sexuality. 

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Urgent need for family accompaniment

Posted on Apr 05, 2019

Church World Service (CWS) is sounding the call for faith communities to step in and walk alongside 5 to 7 asylum-seeking families in urgent need of accompaniment.

Many asylum-seeking families are now traveling throughout the United States to reunify with family members or friends, but there is often not enough support in their destination locations to help them find legal support and meet their basic needs, according to CWS.

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New Alliance communities sound the call

Posted on Apr 05, 2019

Alliance communities--groups formed around a specific issue or concern--are a vital part of the work of the Alliance of Baptists. A number of communities focused on a diversity of topics already exist, and members are always encouraged to form new ones whenever they feel called. 

This year three new communities are being birthed, and organizers are inviting all who feel inclined to join them in their efforts.

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A living covenant

Posted on Mar 21, 2019

The Alliance of Baptists formed around a covenant 32 years ago. "In a time when historic Baptist principles, freedoms, and traditions need a clear voice," the covenant began. It created clarity from which the Alliance thrived. For more than three decades seven commitments have inspired the Alliance to become a community dedicated to the inclusion of all persons, to pursuing justice and to developing partnerships in mission.  

But it can only be "in a time" for so long.

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