June 21, 2016
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter opened the final session of the CBF Fellows Cohort Two with a blessing and challenge Monday during the first day of the 2016 General Assembly in Greensboro, N.C.
“This is a fluid and formational time for you,” Paynter said. “Cultivate connections and continue developing your leadership. We are blessed by your energies and insights.”
The group of twenty-four pastoral leaders in their “first call” positions is completing a two-year journey of learning and fellowship together. This final gathering focused on ‘synthesis’ of all the learning experiences of the past two years. Paynter challenged the ministers to “continue learning and leading.
“Spend time understanding the reality of the context in which you find yourselves,” Paynter said. “Think and pray about where you are, what is happening around you and what you are feeling. Fully immerse yourselves in understanding and discerning your calling and your gifts for ministry.”
The 2014-2016 CBF Fellow cohort spent time in dialogue with Paynter on a variety of issues including women in ministry, human sexuality, racial reconciliation and future ministry placement. She continued to encourage the Fellows to keep the conversations flowing.
“One of the best things you can do for our Fellowship is to keep showing up and modeling leadership for the rest of us.”
Faculty presentations from the staff of the Center for Congregational Health, CBF staff and congregational leaders conclude the cohort learning experiences this week. The final learning experiences will be participating in Baptist Women in Ministry’s annual gathering and the CBF Leadership Institute on Wednesday in Greensboro.
Josh Speight, CBF’s missional congregations resources manager and director of CBF Fellows, expressed his hopes for the Fellows as they continue in their ministries.
“These 24 ministers are living out of their calling to serve God faithfully and with integrity. To be empowered and affirmed by CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter was a gift for these Fellows as they end their two years together. It is my prayer that they stay committed to congregational ministry and connected to one another for the long-term.”
CBF is a Christian Network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support.The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.