This post comes from Ruth Perkins Lee, member of the 2012 Task Force and minister of students at First Baptist Church, Auburn, Ala.
I have loved working with this group of people. Some of us had actually met in real life. Others had heard the name of a few around the table. For the most part, we were a group of unknowns.
Over that last 20 months, we met with each other and lots of different people who care about CBF. We met together as a large group. We met as small groups and presented to each other. We started with blank paper and blank white boards with all dreams possible. We drew multi-colored lines and arrows and circles and people. We sang. We prayed. We stayed up at night, talked through meals, emailed, texted and wrestled with the task before us. It has been an extended retreat – we’re both wrung out and completely energized.
I have loved CBF for a long time. I have worked with many great people. This group afforded me the opportunity to see even more potential, not just in the recommendations but in the spirit in which we worked. We truly believe that God is in our midst and will continue to move among the people. We have lived into our calling to vision for the future, holding in our hearts and minds the faces of CBF, seeking constantly the leading of the Spirit.
I am excited about the recommendations before you. I believe that CBF will be made stronger.
Last week, on the afternoon before the Task Force presentation, my husband and I walked a labyrinth. I couldn’t help but compare my journey to the center to the journey of the Task Force and CBF. About the time I was sure I was nearing the center, I would find myself on the far side, again. The key, for me, was to keep on walking.
As CBF continues on its journey, there will be times when we will feel far from the center, yet, we may actually be closer than we realize. With a spirit of cooperation and trust, while loving our neighbor, desiring the best for each other, and focusing on God, we will continue to move forward. It is our calling to be the presence of Christ in the world.
Throughout this process, I have made new friends and renewed friendships with old ones. I have rediscovered a love of CBF from those all over the community. I have seen the passion and love of God shown to all the people of the world. I have watched as we have come together to make our work even stronger.
I am encouraged. I am excited. I will keep on walking.