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American Baptist Churches Strive for Life-Changing Ministry

Nov 19, 2002 03:00 AM EST

American Baptist Churches USA President David G. Hunt and General Secretary A. Roy Medley, in addresses to the General Board this past weekend in Valley Forge, Pa., called American Baptists to seize and act upon a vision of life-changing ministry in the name of Christ.

"God has given us a vision of new life," Hunt said. "The question is, can we see it?" And if we do confront that vision-that includes overseas ministry, discipleship and many other opportunities currently before the denomination-we need to ask additionally, "What are we going to do about it?" Hunt noted.

Such specific areas as the potential capital campaign, considerations of structure and process, discipleship and the future direction of Educational Ministries, NEW LIFE 2010, the "Go Global" International Ministries strategic plan and the general secretary's "Centered in Christ" emphasis detail "the vision God has given us." If we act upon the vision, Hunt said, "We can do amazing things together."

Hunt, president of American Baptist Churches USA for the 2002-2003 biennium, recently was elected a Democratic state representative in Oregon.

In other business, Medley shared with the board that his first year as general secretary has been "a year of confronting challenges and discovering the fullness of God in the midst of those challenges." American Baptists, he said, "live in a time when the world needs a sense of hope.... We are a people of hope, a people who have a promise through the grace of Jesus Christ."

"Closure is needed on longstanding conversations" such as the budget covenant and the structure and process consideration, he said. As important as these and other current concerns are, "we need to open up space for vision and mission for American Baptist people...we need to create space to have these conversations." Medley said he hoped American Baptists are "seeking to be a community of people who live not out of fear and anxiety but people who are centered in Christ" through a renewed commitment to "worship, Bible study and prayer."

By Pauline J.