Valley Forge, Pa. -- A national conference for American Baptist ministers, "Strong in the Lord," is scheduled for Jan. 26-29, 2004, in Orlando, Fla. The conference will seek to meet several goals, including shaping and strengthening pastoral ministry, connecting colleagues from various ministry specialties and geographical settings, and encouraging participation in collegial covenant groups.
The conference, which will focus on the life of the minister, will feature worship, Bible study, plenary presentations and peer group gatherings. Foundational Scripture passages include Ephesians 3:16-21 and Ephesians 6:10.
The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, executive minister of the District of Columbia Baptist Convention, is leading a planning team in coordinating the event.
Program participants will include: the Rev. Dr. Gordon MacDonald, speaker, former pastor and author of more than a dozen books including Ordering Your Private World, Renewing Your Spiritual Passion, and Rebuilding Your Broken World; the Rev. Wilma Johnson, pastor of the New Prospect Baptist Church, Detroit, Mich.; the Rev. David Wood, pastor of First Baptist Church, Gardiner, Me., and coordinator of the Transition into Ministry Program, a grant program funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc.; the Rev. Oscar Garcia-Johnson, regional minister for Hispanic congregational ministry, new church planting and leadership development, American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles; the Rev. Margaret Marcuson, consultant with clergy and other leaders who want to be healthier and more effective, and former pastor of the First Baptist Church, Gardner, Mass., for 13 years; and the Rev. Dr. Kirk Byron-Jones, Kelsey-Owens Professor of Black Ministries and assistant professor of Social Ethics, Andover Newton Theological School, and author of Rest in the Storm: Self-Care Strategies for Clergy and Other Caregivers and Addicted to Hurry: Spiritual Strategies for Slowing Down.
The conference will be held at the Sheraton World Resort, 10100 International Dr., Orlando, a 28-acre site that is within walking distance of Sea World and offers complimentary shuttle service to the Disney theme parks.
Registration details will be available soon through Web sites of the American Baptist Churches USA (www.abc-usa.org) and the Ministers Council (www.ministerscouncil.com). Further materials also will be provided at the American Baptist Churches USA Biennial Meeting in Richmond in June.
By Albert H. Lee