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Baptist Assembly Report 2024

A short piece about my time at the Baptist Union Weekend in Telford

 

Link to Baptists Together Website - Baptist Assembly

 

On the 17th and 18th May 2024, I attended the Baptist Assembly in Telford in a personal capacity. It was great to see Nathan McGuire, who was brought on stage as one of the "Sent" cohort of young leaders who went to Norway last year, and Rachel Waitt, who are both well. Both were former Ministers at SBC who went to new roles during 2023.

Rev Nathan McGuire, Rev Rachel Waitt and SBC Member Peter Grant

The theme was around Pentecost, and the main stage talks and bible studies focused on Acts 2. Lynn Green, the General Secretary of the BU, did the keynote addresses on both Friday and Saturday nights. The worship led by Catshill Baptist was very inspiring. I was particularly struck by the focus from Acts 2 on hearing the gospel in your heart language.  God comes to us and speaks our language. The more diversity we have as a church, the more "touch points" we have to reach people where they are.

 

I was interested by the "Everyone, everywhere" initiative, which aims to equip Baptists to share their faith. They will be holding a national day of prayer and fasting for evangelism on Thursday 26 September. Their website is https://www.everyoneeverywhere.church/

 

There was reflection on the recent BU vote on "Marriage and Ministry". On 20 March the BU voted decisively against accepting same sex marriage for ministers. Lynn Green noted that every generation has its red line issues and every generation finds a way through. 

 

I attended a seminar on the forthcoming General Election by the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT), jointly presented by Nathan McGuire. We will need to decide whether we are willing to run a hustings event for the election and who will organise this.  It would be great to do this with the other Love Streatham churches. JPIT is seeking to set up a Constituency Network, which I think we should be part of. There is also opportunity as a church to be "Voter Registration Champions" to help people in our community to register to vote.

 

BMS World Mission are great.  They showed a recorded interview with a staff member in Afghanistan and reflected on their work on gender justice in the context of global violence against women. They are running a programme for asylum seekers and refugees called "To help the journey." 

Edwin Pena
Alex Fisher

In addition to all the above, I bumped into a number of old friends, and on the Saturday night we welcomed newly accredited ministers, including Edwin Pena from Pevensey (ex SBC) and Alex Camp from Streatham Vale Baptist Church (both pictured on the right of each image above receiving a welcome handshake). 

The Baptist Assembly is a great way to reach out and make contacts across the wider Baptist world and to contribute positively to our denomination. It is also a great time of worship, teaching and fellowship. I warmly recommend the experience.

 

They have not yet announced the venue for next year's meeting but it will be over the weekend of 16-18 May. Perhaps I'll see you there?

Peter Grant, SBC Member

and Leader responsible for Discipleship and Local & International Mission

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