June 22, 2016
CBF Governing Board forms task force on clergy sexual misconduct
By Aaron Weaver
Greensboro, N.C. — The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Governing Board approved the creation of a new task force on clergy sexual misconduct put forward by the CBF Ministries Council Tuesday at the 2016 General Assembly in Greensboro, N.C.
Born from a partnership between CBF and Baptist Women in Ministry, the task was launched in the Memory of the late Diana Garland, the founding dean of the Baylor School of Social Work, which has since been renamed in her honor.
The Clergy Misconduct Task Force will focus on the prevention of clergy sexual misconduct, and will formulate and distribute policies and educational resources for CBF churches. The task force will also offer resources for survivors and aim to promote healthy ministers and churches within the Fellowship.
CBF Moderator Matt opened the meeting with personal reflections on the tension that comes in the wake of the tragic mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando and the 25th Anniversary celebration of CBF this week at the Greensboro Assembly.
“It feels strange to be gathering with two very different faiths in mind,” Cook said. “On one hand, we gather in the wake of a terrible tragedy, and on the other hand we gather in celebration of what God has done over the last 25 years in our Fellowship.
“Who we are at our best is to be the presence of Christ in exactly these kinds of moments,” Cook said. “Every Holy Week I am struck by the phrase ‘Good Friday,’ because violence done to a human being is never good, but the death of Jesus and the promise of what God had done for us was good. I pray that in these days we line into that same redemptive work and celebrate that work as good.”
One of the things I am most grateful for over these 25 years is that while CBF is important, it has never been all about CBF,” Cook said. “CBF is a means to an end. All aspects of CBF are tools to bring reconciliation to the world. We give our time and energy for the flourishing of God’s people and to let people know that they are God’s children. For that we celebrate.”
Cook expressed his gratefulness to outgoing Governing Boards members who have concluded their terms of service with this 2016 Assembly. These include Jane Lyons, Camille Snyder, Jean Willingham and CBF Past Moderator Kasey Jones.
Cook also offered thanks to new incoming Governing Board members Bill Leonard, Bill McConnell, Rebecca Wiggs, Jim Somerville and Steve Wells, who was nominated to a second term. The Assembly will vote on these nominees as well as nominees to the Missions Council, Ministries Council, Nominating Committee, CBF Foundation and CBF Church Benefits during the Friday morning business session. For a complete list of nominees, click here.
In other business, the Governing Board heard updates and reports from the Ministries Council, Missions Council, Nominating Committee and Board sub-committees.
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.