June 23, 2016
By Aaron Weaver and Carrie McGuffin
Greensboro, N.C. — Cooperative Baptists opened up the Thursday morning session of the 2016 CBF General Assembly with a time of prayer and remembrance for victims of gun violence over the past year.
CBF Past Moderator Kasey Jones, who serves as senior pastor of National Baptist Memorial Church in Washington, D.C., joined leaders of CBF’s 18 partner state and regional organizations, on stage to pray and reflect on the names of those lives lost.
“It has been two weeks since a gunman killed 49 people and injured 53 others at a gay nightclub in Orlando,” Jones said. “Last week marked the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, where nine people were gunned down as they gathered for the Bible study. Lives of these precious people were taken and communities were left reeling. Let us remember today all those who have lost their lives to mass shootings in the U.S. since we last met at General Assembly.”
All of the names of those who lost their lives in mass shootings in the following locations were presented during a video of remembrance: Charleston, S.C., Chattanooga, Tenn., Lafayette, La., Rochester, N.Y., Roseburg, Ore., Colorado Springs, Colo., San Bernardino, Calif., Kalamazoo, Mich., Hesston, Kan., Bethesda, Md., and Orlando, Fla.
“We also lift up all of those who lost their loves through gun violence not listed here,” the video read. “We hold them and their families as well as the LGBTQ, African-American, Muslim and Latino communities in prayer.”
Watch the video here.
For the Joy Set Before Us — Global Missions Renewal
Missions Council Chair Alan Sherouse, who serves as senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Greensboro, N.C., reported on the collaborative process of the council over the past year, as CBF Global Missions adopts a new strategy to meet the needs of a new missionary situation through a commitment to the long-term presence of CBF field personnel around the world.
“I’m here today representing a collaborative process led by our Missions Council involving months of work by a wide range of individuals asking what faithfulness requires of CBF Global Missions in the rapidly changing context of our 21st century world,” Sherouse said. “Today, we are asking you to join us in approaching that new situation with hope and joy.
“After 18 months of conversations with field personnel, state and regional leaders, staff, the Governing Board, pastors and other stakeholders, we’re excited to present a plan called For the Joy Set Before Us — a plan for the next generation of CBF’s mission engagement that rests on the firm foundation of 25 years of faithful witnesses to be the good news of Jesus Christ around the world. The plan involves three broad steps to renew Global Missions in service of CBF’s mission to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.”
This plan offers a simplified funding model that brings clarity to churches and equity to field personnel, Sherouse explained, noting that it reaffirms the Fellowship’s longstanding commitment to cooperative mission through the placement of long-term personnel and fostering close personal connections between field personnel and mission supporters.
“The future of CBF Global Missions is bright,” Sherouse said. “We believe the Spirit is at work throughout the world…and with that hopeful outlook, in addition to the appointment of new field personnel, we discern two strategies for growth in this new missionary situation.”
These strategies include renewed church engagement as CBF churches have moved from a model of mission engagement based on sponsorship to one focused on participation in recent years. A second strategy involves encouraging additional conversations on best practices across the Fellowship as CBF Global Missions seeks to be the premier mission partner of churches. To do so, “CBF is creating and curating new resources to support churches in their engagement,” he said.
“The future of CBF Global Missions depends in part on our ability to cross boundaries and borders to cultivate deep friendships with Christians who do not look like us, talk like us or think like us — not only abroad but in our communities,” Sherouse said.
Watch the video on the renewal of CBF Global Missions here.
To learn more, read “CBF ‘doubles down’ on long-term presence in new Global Missions renewal plan.”
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.