“Hate and Violence Cannot Defeat Love and Faith”

 

Read a pastoral letter from General Secretary Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer, written April 29, 2019, below. If you would like download a printable copy, please click here.

“Hate and Violence Cannot Defeat Love and Faith”

A Pastoral Letter to the American Baptist Family
By Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer, ABCUSA General Secretary

This is what the LORD says: “Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.” (Jeremiah 22:1-3)

 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)

In the past six months, American synagogues in Pittsburgh and Poway have been attacked and members killed by hate-filled gunmen. In both cases, anti-Semitism was a motive. In New Zealand, two Muslim mosques suffered horrendous loss of life at the hands of a white nationalist, while in California a driver intentionally targeted Muslims and has been charged with eight counts of attempted murder. In January, a bombing of a Catholic church in Jolo, Philippines, killed twenty people. On Easter morning, hundreds of Christians were murdered and injured in a coordinated set of bombings throughout Sri Lanka. Since March 26, three African-American churches have been burned down in Louisiana.

In response, we “mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15). As American Baptists, we stand in sincere sympathy with all people who suffer violence, injury and harm, regardless of religion, race, gender, culture or ethnicity. We oppose terrorism, violence and hateful ideologies. The Gospel of love surely shall triumph over evil.

Yet, as a committed follower of Jesus Christ, I confess that my heart feels troubled and unsatisfied with mere expressions of sympathy to those who have suffered loss of life, injury and heartache. My soul yearns for wisdom regarding how I as an individual, the Church as the body of Christ, and our wider society might creatively and constructively work to prevent future tragedies of the sort we have been experiencing. Recognizing that all violence will not be eradicated until the culmination of human history, we nevertheless remain committed to living out the virtues of the reign of God in prophetic anticipation of the coming Kingdom of Christ.

What can we do to make our world more resistant to anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-Christian and racist prejudices?

As Baptists, we may begin with the bold re-assertion of a core theological conviction that has characterized our spiritual movement for four centuries. Based on the Biblical understanding that all human beings have been made “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27), we assert that all people are living souls, and thus everyone’s life is of infinite worth. Paul preaches about this in Athens, saying that God “gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one ancestor God made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth” (Acts 17:25-26). The human race is united, even in our ethnic and cultural diversity. Accordingly, no ideological agenda that promotes hate or violence can be compatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. From a Baptist perspective, the affirmation of the infinite value and dignity of every individual necessarily leads to our promotion of individual freedom, social justice, and political equality.

Based on this core conviction, Baptists (as well as other people of faith and good-will), have a right and a responsibility to expect – and indeed demand – that our religious, cultural and political leaders promote and model the ideals that make for a free and safe society. The gradual acceptance of anti-Semitic discourse, such as the shameful New York Times’ cartoon that was published last week, emboldens those who may act on that ideology through violence. In the United States and Europe, leaders from both the political left and right have made anti-Semitic assertions. The political establishments have tolerated such hateful statements and these offenders suffer few if any punitive consequences. Indeed, I am amazed at how silent religious leaders have been in this regard; some may criticize political opponents, but strangely rationalize the same hateful discourse when the politician or leader shares their political viewpoint or party. Followers of Christ risk betraying our faith principles when we offer excuses or vote for politicians who make anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-Christian or racist assertions.

On all levels, inter-religious friendship and co-existence needs to be strengthened. People from all religious backgrounds should take responsibility for how their own actions may unwittingly or intentionally contribute to the rise of hatred and prejudice that we see across the globe. Some individuals and terrorist organizations seek to justify their acts of violence and hate on religious grounds and they hope for support from people that share their religious views. I believe religious leaders from all faith traditions have the responsibility to repudiate all forms of terrorism, and to make it clear that people and groups that pursue terrorism cannot gain the support of our faith communities. Furthermore, we can affirm that even though we may not agree with one another on theological matters and doctrine, we are committed to living alongside each other in peace, harmony, mutual respect and freedom.

In 1935 in London, Rev. Dr. J. H. Rushbrooke, the general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance, rejected anti-Semitism and offered the “hand of sincere friendship” to the British Jewish community. His words served as a powerful repudiation of Hitler and Nazism. Today, as American Baptists, I hope that we all might embrace similar opportunities to reach out to our neighbors who come from other religious backgrounds; let’s offer our “hand of sincere friendship” to them as a demonstration that hate and violence cannot defeat love and faith.

 

Yours in Christ,
lee b. spitzer

 

 

 

Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer

General Secretary, American Baptist Churches USA

Religious Leaders Send Message on Religious Liberty to White House and Congress

Dear President Trump, Vice President Pence, Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer:

We are a diverse group of advocates for religious liberty for all. We sometimes differ about what religious freedom requires, but we are united around the bedrock principle of ensuring that all individuals and communities are able to exercise their faith in safety and security. We write to ask you to take action to uphold this principle.

We are grieving over the most recent heinous attacks on houses of worship. The March 15thattack on two mosques in New Zealand during Friday prayer killed fifty Muslims and injured fifty more. In the weeks since, an assailant stabbed a Catholic priest in a Montreal church during Mass, and a California mosque was set on fire and vandalized with graffiti referencing the New Zealand attacks. Moreover, to our alarm, in the aftermath of the New Zealand attacks we have seen the Jewish community falsely accused as somehow being responsible for those attacks— rhetoric that further endangers that community as well.

As you know, other houses of worship have also been targeted for unspeakable violence in recent years. In the United States, these attacks include ones on Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek; Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina; Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota; First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas; and Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The words we use matter greatly, especially the words of our leaders. In 1790, President George Washington wrote a letter to the members of Touro Synagogue, insisting that the government of the United States must give “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance. . . .”

We ask you to uphold these principles. As governmental leaders, you have a special duty to ensure that your words comport with the spirit of the Constitution and help to unify, strengthen and keep Americans safe.

Accordingly, we ask you to affirm the following principles in coming days:

Continue reading at original source…

Click HERE

The little green dove and our Journey Forward (working together)

1.21. 2019 Posted By: Mennonite Church USA

This article is the third part of a three-part blog series in which Glen Guyton is exploring MC USA structure while challenging members of the denomination to Journey Forward together.

MC USA, as a body of believers, has a lot of hard work to do over the next few years. It is going to be challenging on this Journey Forward, but that does not mean God is not with us.

If you decide to stay with MC USA, I would ask that you commit to the following things:

Be gracious to those that don’t live a life of spiritual perfection. We all must live our own lives. Christ paid the price for our sins and the sins of our neighbors.

“But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’ Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:13-14).

Have a mind to work. The walls of the city have been burned to the ground and need rebuilding. The traditional understanding of what MC USA is needs to be rebuilt. What was built in 2001 has an honorable foundation, but the current structure is not the vehicle that will carry us forward. Conferences have left, our colleges are struggling with changing demographics, and even our agencies are challenged to determine how to relate to partners that want to keep MC USA at arm’s length. We are a small but powerful denomination with a wonderful history. And we need to get back to the work that God has called us to. Just like Nehemiah did for the children of Israel, I am here to remind you what is possible when the people of God have a mind to work. Nehemiah 4:6 (NLT) says, “At last the wall was completed to half its height around the entire city, for the people had worked with enthusiasm.”

Journey forward together. Let’s leave behind our passive-aggressive culture. Let’s dismantle our institutional silos and work more collaboratively. Romans 15:1-4 says,

“We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, ‘The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.’ Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.”

Togetherness is hard work. We have to let go of our painful past in order to move forward. A denominational leader recently told me I was foolish to believe this [MC USA organizations working together] could happen. His history of hurt, disappointment and incompetence within our structure was too fresh. It was too raw for him. As a Christian, faith is often seen as foolishness. I have to trust that if God has a call for MC USA, God will work on our behalf and transform this institution to fit into that plan.

“May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:5-6).

Understand that you are MC USA. This church does not belong to one person, one board, one church or one conference. We are MC USA, and yes, we are just as flawed and diverse as the individuals who fill the pews in our churches each week. This church isn’t perfect because you aren’t perfect and I’m not perfect. Just like a family: sometimes you just can’t pick them, but they are still family. So you choose to focus on the ties that bind.

Plant good seed. Plant good seed and let God do the sorting. Too many of us are so busy looking for fault and sin that we have neglected the work God has called us to, and we wonder why our ministries are not thriving. If you are familiar with the parable of the wheat and the tares, a farmer plants good seed, but the enemy comes and sows seeds of discord. Immediately the farmer’s workers become fixated on the weeds and are willing to attack them, to the detriment of the good seed he has sown. Matthew 13:28 says,

‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. ‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. ‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’

Too many in our church have developed a habit of looking for the bad. We are trying to pull up every root and negative weed we can find. Ultimately we find exactly what we are looking for, but we destroy all the good work in the process. We have let social media and church media sources become hotbeds of angst and discord. God doesn’t need us to be the judge, jury and executioners of one another. Let us step out of the seat of judgment and condemnation. Our job is to plant good seed, to tell the good news, to bring about reconciliation, and to share healing and hope.

Support the ministry work of the local congregation, area conference and denomination. Like the old saying goes, “Salvation is free. Everything else costs.”

In the end, I pray that as we gather as people of the Christ, in all our various contexts, we will be co-laborers in the ministry God has planned for us together as MC USA. And unlike the story of The Little Red Hen, we who have chosen to be part of the story of The Little Green Dove will all be able to partake in the fruits of our combined work.

Glen Guyton is executive director of Mennonite Church USA.

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Elect New Executive Coordinator

Baxley unanimously selected to lead CBF
By Aaron Weaver and Jeff Huett
DECATUR, Ga.— The Governing Board voted unanimously Jan. 15 to elect a pastor of “theologically profound leadership,” the Rev. Dr. Paul Baxley, as the fourth executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
Baxley, who has served since 2010 as senior minister of First Baptist Church, Athens, Ga., was selected based upon the unanimous recommendation of the 11-member Executive Coordinator Search Committee formed in July 2018.
Courtney Allen, Executive Coordinator Search Committee member and pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Richmond, Va., expressed her excitement for Baxley’s selection.
“Paul exhibits theologically profound leadership, which the Fellowship, the church and our world require in these tectonic plate-shifting days,” Allen said. “Paul believes there is an urgent need for a Baptist witness the Fellowship is uniquely qualified to provide, and I could not agree more.
Through his pastoral instincts, organizational leadership capacities, deep theological commitments, and belief in the church as our best hope, Paul Baxley will lead the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship into its next chapter.
A native of Winston-Salem, N.C., Baxley has held pastorates and ministry positions in Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia and is a former member of the CBF Governing Board. He succeeds Suzii Paynter, who became the third executive coordinator of CBF in March 2013 and announced in July 2018 plans to transition her leadership of the 27-year-old denomi-network. Other previous executive coordinators include Daniel Vestal (1996-2012) and Cecil Sherman (1992-1996).
During his two-terms on the CBF Governing Board from 2013-2017, Baxley chaired the Personnel Committee as well as the Global Mission Structure and Staffing Committee, an ad hoc body that worked for 18 months to develop a comprehensive plan for Global Missions committed to the long-term presence of CBF field personnel around the world.
Baxley also provided leadership as member of the ad-hoc committee of the Illumination Project, an 18-month effort to seek ways to model unity through cooperation on matters of human sexuality in the Fellowship. Additionally, he served on the CBF Coordinating Council, the Fellowship’s earlier governance body, from 2009-2010 and chaired the Engaging Missionally Collaborative Team.
He has been a leader to two CBF state organizations as chair of the New Day Task Force of CBF of North Carolina (2006-2009) and as a coordinating council member of CBF of Georgia (2012-2015) where he chaired the missions committee and was moderator.
Baxley is a graduate of Wake Forest University (Bachelor of Arts – Religion, 1991), Duke Divinity School (Master of Theological Studies, 1996) and Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (Doctor of Ministry, 2003).
Jeff Roberts, chair of the Executive Coordinator Search Committee and senior pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C., celebrated the committee’s unanimous recommendation and shared reflections on its search process.
“As part of this process, I have been able to spend time with very talented individuals who are devoted to following Jesus and committed to our CBF fellowship,” Roberts said. “Our committee quickly discovered that our love for CBF far outweighed any of our differences. We also were reminded of how many talented individuals there are in CBF life. We were impressed with our candidates and this gave us great confidence not only in this process but for the future of our Fellowship. I am grateful for this experience and am looking forward to what God is doing in our lives together. I celebrate that our committee is unanimous in our recommendation of Dr. Paul Baxley as our next Executive Coordinator.”
CBF Moderator Gary Dollar congratulated the Executive Coordinator Search Committee and Governing Board on their selection of Baxley.
“The Search Committee and Board have done a wonderful job in selecting Paul to serve as our next Executive Coordinator,” Dollar said. Paul is a deeply committed Christian and a lifelong Baptist. He loves the church and the way it is expressed through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. I am convinced that Paul will lead all of us in CBF to new levels of service in the name of Christ.”
In accepting the call to serve as CBF Executive Coordinator, Baxley shared his optimism for the future of CBF and emphasized the central role of congregations in this future.
“I accept the call of the Governing Board and this calling from God, with the opportunities and challenges that I know they both hold,” Baxley said. “I’m aware of all the research about the state of congregations and denominations in the Western world. I’m aware that every day won’t be easy and that every question won’t be soft. But I’m not afraid. Instead, I’m confident because I have this conviction, the God who raised Jesus from the dead and who has carried His people through 2,000 years of challenge and adversity, much of it our own making, is still in the business of drawing the world to divine love through us.
“Congregations are at the center of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and CBF exists to bless and serve churches. I’m eager to see what kind of powerful collaborations can emerge between CBF pastors, lay leaders, leaders of our partner ministries and our state and regional coordinators.
Imagine the power that could come from the best kind of convening and collaboration, where we see that CBF’s future is not held by whoever is the Executive Coordinator, but our life, work and witness together. My experience as a pastor in CBF congregations has taught me that when we open ourselves to serve and lead together, God does incredible work.”
Outgoing CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter welcomed the selection of Baxley as her successor.
“Paul Baxley has already been an exemplary leader for CBF. I welcome him into the Executive Coordinator’s role with enthusiasm and certain hope for the future,” Paynter said. “God has shown faithfulness to CBF by preparing the way in every era and through each transition and so it is with Paul.
“As a pastor, he has the respect and admiration of generations across CBF life. His wisdom and energy are gifts that he generously contributes in every endeavor. Personally, he is a true friend and warmly regarded colleague. One keystone of his leadership is building consensus and participation by charting a purposeful course worthy of engagement. He has asked big questions and sought high callings. His love for the church, his Lord, and the people of the world have equipped him with God’s gifts and God’s blessing to be the best-ever Executive Coordinator of CBF.”
Former CBF Executive Coordinator Daniel Vestal praised Baxley as “a person of impeccable integrity and deep Christian conviction.”
“Paul’s wisdom and spiritual discernment is equaled by his energy and maturity. He has demonstrated his love for CBF through the years, and he is poised to lead us with vision and passion. I am looking forward to our future together.”
Baxley previously was senior minister of The First Baptist Church of Henderson, N.C. (2004-2010), where he served as associate minister from 1992-1999. His ministry journey also includes four years of service at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, where he directed the Lilly Grant Proposal Team from 2001-2002 and later served as director of Congregational Ministries and Vocational Awareness for the CBF partner school from 2002-2004.
Other ministerial roles at CBF churches include serving as interim pastor at Wingate Baptist Church in Wingate, N.C. (2000-2001) and interim minister of youth and college students at First Baptist Church, Winston, Salem, N.C. Additionally, Baxley was campus minister and adjunct instructor in Religion at Wingate University in Wingate, N.C. (1999-2002).
Baxley has also held a variety of leadership roles with CBF partner organizations including the Board of Visitors of Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology (member, 2012-2018 and chair, 2015-2016); Board of Directors of the Baptist House of Studies of Duke Divinity School (member, 2006-2012; chair, 2009-2010); and the Board of Directors of the Center for Congregational Health (member, 2004-2010; chair, 2009). In 2012, Baxley gave the Lawrence Hoover Lectures at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond and delivered a sermon titled “Preaching as Participation” at the Mercer Preaching Consultation.
A respected faith leader in his local community of Athens, Baxley currently is a member of the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens and chairs the steering committee of the Interfaith Clergy Partnership of Greater Athens.
Baxley was ordained to gospel ministry in 1993 at his home church of First Baptist Church on Fifth in Winston-Salem, N.C. Baxley and his wife, Jennifer, a licensed physical therapist, have four children: Olivia (age 17), Maria (age 11) and twins Caroline and Matthew (ages 8).
Longtime CBF staff leader Bo Prosser described Baxley as “uniquely qualified to lead CBF into our next chapter.”
“He is pastor, scholar and congregational leader. He knows this Fellowship, has helped shape this infrastructure, and will unify us around the major challenges of congregational ministries and the global mission enterprise,” Prosser said.
Search committee member Juan Garcia, pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista, Newport News, Va., said Baxley is a “pastor at heart who loves the church, loves missions and loves immigrants.”
“He is a leader who understands that God does his missional work through the local church and through immigrants who God sends our way in cooperation with CBF,” Garcia added.
Mack Dennis, pastor of First Baptist Church, Asheville, N.C., noted Baxley’s “extraordinary gifts as a Baptist pastor.”
“He is one of the most compelling preachers of our time—a confessional disciple with a penetrating theological mind and deeply compassionate heart,” Dennis said.
Duke Divinity School Dean Greg Jones called Baxley’s appointment a “wonderful and hope-filled sign for the future”
“He is a gifted pastor, a visionary leader, and he sees the need and the opportunity for new and re-newed commitment to theological education and equipping transformational Christian leaders,” Jones said.
Search committee member Jackie Baugh Moore, vice president of the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation, cited Baxley’s hope, creativity, energy, spiritual resilience and strong faith in her endorsement and asked Cooperative Baptists to pray for the Baxley family.
“Paul’s wisdom, theological maturity and knowledge coupled with his desire to listen and love people will help him guide CBF through this next chapter in our narrative,” said Baugh Moore.
“His leadership style reflects deep faith and authenticity. Paul is dedicated to equipping and strengthening theological education, mission work, the church, partner organizations and all of us involved in the life of CBF. Please join me in committing to pray for Paul, his family and CBF as we all seek to follow our God-given mission.”
Baxley will begin his duties as Executive Coordinator in March 2019.
Learn more about Paul Baxley and read additional endorsements at www.cbf.net/baxley.

WCC Search for New General Secretary

At the Central Committee meeting of the World Council of Churches June 2018, it was announced that our General Secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, will not be seeking a third term. We give thanks for his ministry and leadership over these past years.

We are now in the position of seeking a new General Secretary to lead this historic and critical ecumenical fellowship of the one church of Christ.

A Search Committee was elected by the Central Committee and had its organizing meeting in November 2018. With this letter, we are inviting member churches and our ecumenical partners to solicit nominations for the position, following the timeline described below. You will find the essential documents attached to this letter to aid your process of identifying and encouraging qualified nominations: The “Role and Responsibilities of the General Secretary of the WCC” and the nomination and application forms.

The deadline for submitting an application with the nomination form from the member church is 1 May 2019.

For more information go HERE

Cultural Awareness Project

This is an innovative program created by the San Diego County District Attorney Interfaith Advisory Board.

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Interfaith Advisory Board is committed to supporting and fostering culturally competent law enforcement officers. In order to provide equitable and effective public safety, law enforcement professionals need to be able to function effectively within the context of the cultural beliefs, behaviors, and needs of all members of the community. Understanding a person’s practice of cultural norms can allow officers to quickly build rapport and ensure effective communication. The board conducted focus groups with various cultural groups to gather content for this app that law enforcement officers can use to respectfully respond to non-emergency situations.

David Beckmann announced that he will retire as president of Bread for the World

Press Release

Bread for the World

425 3rd St. SW, Ste. 1200 | Washington, DC 20024 Tel: 202.639.9400WWW.BREAD.ORG/MEDIA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:

page1image60032896

January 10, 2019 Chris Ford, 202.688.1077; cford@bread.orgDavid Beckmann Announces Plans to Retire as President of Bread for the World

Washington, D.C., January 10, 2019 – David Beckmann today announced that he will retire as president of Bread for the World and the Alliance to End Hunger in June 2020.

“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to lead Bread and the Alliance. The progress our country and the world have made against hunger in recent decades has been an experience of our loving God’s continuing presence in our world,” said Rev. Beckmann. “All the people involved in Bread and the Alliance have helped to make it happen.”

Board chair John Carr recognized David’s long and exceptional service. “Bread for the World has been blessed by David Beckmann’s outstanding leadership for more than two decades. His faithfulness, knowledge, skills and commitment have transformed Bread, lifted up millions of people who are hungry or poor and enriched the Christian and Washington communities in countless ways. We look forward to David’s ongoing leadership as Bread searches for his successor and to his continued engagement in overcoming hunger and poverty.”

“Bread for the World and the Alliance to End Hunger will thrive under fresh leadership,” said Beckmann, “and I’m announcing my retirement early so that the organizations have plenty of time to plan.” Carr reported, “A leadership committee of the board of Bread for the World has carefully prepared for this succession. The board has selected Korn Ferry, a leading executive search firm, to assist us in choosing a new president who can build on Bread’s many strengths and has the vision, experience, and leadership to help Bread achieve its mission of ending hunger.”

Bread for the World is a Christian advocacy movement to end hunger. Its network includes 2.5 million people, 5,000 local churches, 500 leader activists, and partnerships with many church bodies. The Alliance to End Hunger engages a wide array of organizations in building the political will to end hunger–nonprofits, corporations, universities, and diverse faith bodies.

Bread for the World has a remarkable record of legislative achievement. During the budget controversies of 2011-2017, Bread for the World and the faith community played significant roles in protecting domestic and international poverty programs from funding cuts. In 2018, Bread and the Alliance helped pass the Global Food Security Act, a Farm Bill without cuts to food assistance, and assisted others in helping pass criminal justice reform. Beckmann was awarded the World Food Prize in 2010 in recognition that “the policies he has fought for have brought hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.”

For further information about this leadership transition, contact Michele Sumilas, Bread for the World’s managing director (msumilas@bread.org). To inquire about the search or recommend candidates, please contact Divina Gamble at Korn Ferry (divina.gamble@kornferry.com).

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Bread for the World (www.bread.org) is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

Bautistas por la Paz Search for Interim Director

We’ve begun the search for an Interim Executive Director! We would love to have your help in sharing the attached job description and call for applications. Our hope is to have someone in place mid-May so that I’ll be able to help orient him/her before I leave at the end of May.

This position does NOT have to be based in Charlotte.

We are looking for someone who is Baptist or has strong Baptist connections. I know most of you are not Baptist — but I am sure you have friends and colleagues who are.

Here’s a little about the position and what we’re looking for:

The Interim Executive Director, in coordination with the Board of Directors, has overall responsibility for the fulfillment of the BPFNA~Bautistas por la Paz mission. The Interim Executive Director takes the lead in creating conditions in which board and staff; individual, congregational and institutional members; and like-minded partners can indeed “witness to” and  “work together” toward God’s peace rooted in justice as our mission statement says.

The Interim Executive Director is responsible for providing stability and continuity to the mission of the organization during a two-year time of transition; and to work, in collaboration with board of directors, staff, members and partners toward becoming an anti-racist and multicultural organization.

This is a full-time exempt position hired by and directly accountable to the BPFNA~Bautistas por la Paz Board of Directors; it is a two-year contract and not eligible for a permanent posting in the organization. The person in this position does not need to live in Charlotte, NC.

The Interim ED will be responsible for: Staff supervion; budget management & fundraising; networking  & representation and board relations.

Knowledge & skills:

  • college degree required,
  • graduate degree in theology or ministry such as M.Div., MTS, or related areas preferred,
  • strongly grounded in progressive Baptist theology,
  • proven commitment to the work of peace and justice,
  • excellent written and verbal communication skills in English language
  • knowledge and fluency in Spanish language preferred,
  • previous supervisory experience required; minimum of 7 years,
  • experience working in a non-profit organization required; minimum of 10 years,
  • good organizational abilities including attention to detail and follow-through,
  • self-motivation and ability to take the initiative,
  • excellent proven interpersonal skills,
  • ability to travel nationally and internationally,
  • computer literacy and facility with Microsoft Office suite, databases, spreadsheet management,
  • ability to master new computer-based programs,
  • financial management competence,
  • previous fundraising experience,
  • desire and ability to work as a member of  a team (i.e. staff and board relationships),
  • proven commitment to diversity and decentering white power and privilege,
  • affiliation with a Baptist congregation,
  • willingness to learn new skills as needed.

 

If interested email me and I will forward the job description: carlos@cctusa.net

Cooperative Baptist (CBF) coordinates ecumenical, nonpartisan ministry to immigrant caravan

By Marv Knox

Pastors and ministry leaders on both sides of the Mexico-United States border are gearing up to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the immigrant caravan that began in Latin America and now is marching through Mexico toward the United States.

A coalition of churches on both sides of the border, including pastors from Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa, Mexico, and from Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, met with Jorge Zapata, associate coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Texas, and other leaders to plan frontline ministry to the immigrants.

Key clergy involved in the effort include Alvaro Corales, pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista in Alamo, Texas; Chad Mason, missions pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, Texas; and Lorenzo Ortiz, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Emmanuel in Laredo, Texas. They will create a Facebook page and website to provide consistent updates on the coalition’s ministry, as well as opportunities for supporting the missions endeavor.

Read more HERE

A Prayer of Lament for the Violence in America

October 27, 2018

A Prayer of Lament

Today, once again, the cries of American families are heard; this time in Pittsburgh, a few days ago it was in Louisville. The pain of our Jewish brothers and sisters joins the pain of mothers and fathers in the inner cities of America. Violence and mass killings are taking a toll on the soul of our country. It appears as though we are suffering from some kind of moral paralysis. We witness this senseless violence happening, but we are unable to say enough is enough.

Our God, we raise our voice to you this day:

– For our brothers and sisters of the Tree of Life Synagogue. “Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. Isa.40:1
– For the families of our black brother and sister killed this week in Louisville. “As one who his mother comforts, so I will comfort you… Isa. 66.13
– For the hundreds of families that have lost loved ones because of the pervasive violence throughout neighborhoods and cities in our land.
– For our callousness when we hear of someone violently killed, and we move on with our lives.
– For our community and political leaders that they may surrender their power to the will of God.

As we mourn with those who mourn today, when their tears and ours are still fresh on our cheeks, we pray that we find the moral and spiritual strength to confront the violence and other ills that are holding our country captive.

God give us courage, because we lack it today.
We need courage against the threats of violence and against its seductions.
We need courage to bear the pain of your people.
We need courage to fight against terror, trouble, violence, powers, greed, and insolence.
God, we need your help.
Strengthen us and give us the capacity to discern evil, and to confront it.
Console your loved ones who are crying today.
And grant us the courage to call out evil for what it is and confront it without fear.
In your Holy name we pray.

Rev. Carlos L. Malavé
Executive Director