BWA Connect April 2017
From the General Secretarygensec

Facts and judgments


William Thomas and Florian Znaniecki's sociological classic, The Polish Peasant in Europe and America,is a study of the conditions of Polish immigrants in America. This exhaustive work illustrates how important it is to develop an accurate "definition of the situation" if we are to properly understand social reality. 

Member Bodies in Action mbody

 Mandwi Baptist Circle choir in Tripura, India

Tripura is a small state located in Northeast India, bordering Bangladesh, with a population of roughly four million.
 
Christians are about 5 percent of the population, of which Baptists are the largest group, numbering close about 100,000.
 
The Gospel first came in with New Zealand missionaries in 1911 but the Tripura Baptist Christian Union (TBCU) was formed in 1938. Currently it is led by C.K Debbarma, who is its general secretary.
 
TBCU is headquartered at Agartala, the capital city of Tripura, and is composed of 17 associations and 850 local churches. It runs a Bible college which offers bachelors degrees. St. Paul School, located in the TBCU compound, is considered one of the best schools in the state with nearly 2,000 students. The union plans to restart a defunct hospital.
 
Being a minority has its challenges. A case in point is the Agartala City Baptist Church which could only build its sanctuary in 2013, after nearly 20 years of procuring land due to resistance from the neighborhood.
 
Yet there is much excitement about sharing God's love and that is seen in the growth of the churches.
 
Excerpts from a report by Bonny Resu, BWA regional secretary for Asia and general secretary of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation, to the BWA March 2017 Executive Committee
Church Spotlight church 


The Columbia Baptist Fellowship (CBF) in Maryland in the United States "has implemented a 'Purpose-Driven Structure' and is aligned according to ... five purposes." These are worship, connection (fellowship), growth (discipleship), service (ministry) and go (mission).
 
The church summarizes its purpose as expressing "God's love through our relationship with Jesus the Christ by going deeper in our worship, fellowship, and discipleship and by going wider in our ministry and mission."
 
In its commitment to mission, members tutor in the local public school system, conduct a Backyard Bible Club which targets elementary and middle school aged children and put on activities for local children at the Forrest Ridge apartment complex. All these are located in Howard County, where the church is located.
 
CBF congregants provide food and small items to the homeless as well as serve in local soup kitchens. They put on an annual C.R.O.P. Walk to raise funds for local, national and international hunger relief.
 
The Ladies Organized for Volunteering and Encouragement (L.O.V.E.) ministry sponsors an Annual Scholarship Tea, a fundraising event for tuition and book scholarships for college students. L.O.V.E. is the main support for the church's Food Pantry, which offers a three-day supply of non-perishable food and cash voucher to individuals and families in need.
 
The Men in Ministry sponsors a Prison Ministry and the Angel Tree program each year. On the fourth Sunday of each month, CBF visits the Lorien Nursing Facility in Columbia to put on a service for residents.
 
CBF constantly "strives for a more perfect society in keeping with the Spirit of God" and "to be faithful stewards" of their time and resources. "  
Memoriam memoriam 

Robert Parham , founder and director of Baptist Center for Ethics (BCE) and its website, EthicsDaily.com, died on March 5, in the city of Nashville, Tennessee, in the United States. He was 63 years old.
 
Parham was among a group of Baptist ethicists in the United States who joined forces in 1991 to create BCE to "address issues of personal ethics, 'consensus issues' such as racial reconciliation and substance abuse, and 'cutting-edge issues' such as health care and endangerment of the Earth."
 
He resigned his position as associate director of the Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention to become executive director of BCE.
 
He was a well known advocate, appearing on established television stations and programs such as Fox News, CNN Talk Back Live, MSNBC News Chat, ABC World News Tonight and NPR's Morning Edition.
 
His written columns appeared in daily newspapers such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Dallas Morning News, the Orlando Sentinel and the Tennessean. He was a regular contributor to the Washington Post's "On Faith" webpage.
 
Parham produced or directed several EthicsDaily.com documentaries, including the award-winning "Beneath the Skin" and "Different Books, Common Word," which aired on more than 130 ABC-TV stations in early 2010, and "Sacred Texts, Social Duty."
 
His books included Walk Right: A Christian Guide for Proactive Discipleship, Loving Neighbors Across Time: A Christian Guide to Protecting the Earth and What Shall We Do in a Hungry World? 
 
He served on the Baptist World Alliance's Commission on Freedom and Justice, Commission on Christian Ethics, Commission on Religious Liberty, Commission on Social and Economic Justice, Commission on Christen Ethics, Commission on Creation Care and the Resolutions Committee.
 
In 2011 Parham became the first recipient of The Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board Century of Service Leadership Award.
 
Parham held degrees from Baylor University in Texas, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky and Georgetown University in Washington, DC, all in the United States.
 
Funeral service was on March 13 at First Baptist Church, Nashville, in Tennessee.
 
He leaves wife, Betsy; son, Chris; and daughter, Elisa. 
Memoriam memoriam 

Henoque Quiavauca, pastor of the New Alliance Baptist Church in Luanda, Angola, and former general secretary of the Baptist Convention of Angola (CBA), died on January 14.

Quiavauca led the CBA from 1994-1996.

Funeral service was held on January 18. 
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To Ron Bobo, pastor of  West Side Missionary Baptist Church in Saint Louis, Missouri, in the United States, and a member of the BWA Human Resources Committee and the Mission, Evangelism and Justice Advisory Committee; on being  appointed chair of the Foreign Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA Inc.
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To Reginald McDonough, former executive director of the Baptist General Association of Virginia and past chair of the BWA Commission on Church Leadership Study, and member of many other committees, commissions and workgroups of the BWA; on the passing of his wife, Joan
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Baptist World Aid Bwaid

The following are disbursements by Baptist World Aid during the month of March. Unless otherwise stated, amounts are in United States currency.

Africa
Central African Republic        Agriculture Project                $3,000.00
    Food Relief                          $2,250.00
South Sudan                         Refugee Adult Literacy           $3,460.00
Zimbabwe                          Agriculture Project                $3,750.00

South America
Ecuador                             Seniors                                $350.00
*New BWA Publications* Book

Engaging the Jubilee: Freedom and Justice Papers of the Baptist World Alliance (2010-2015)

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Jesus Christ, the Door: The Official Report of the Twenty-first Baptist World Congress

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About the Baptist World Alliance
The Baptist World Alliance, founded in 1905, is a fellowship of 235 conventions and unions in 122 countries and territories comprising 45 million members in 177,000 churches. Its priorities are nurturing the passion for mission and evangelism; promoting worship, fellowship and unity; responding to people in need; defending human rights and justice; and advancing relevant theological reflection.
 
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