connections                                         allianceofbaptists.org





Alliance News

Plans underway for the Alliance of Baptists' 2018 Annual Gathering 

by Toya Richards
           
Alliance members and supporters from near and far will unite under the theme "Earth: Beloved Community" at the 2018 Annual Gathering set for April 26-29 in Dayton, Ohio. Registration is open!
 
"We are excited about once again co ming together as a movement of people, faith communities and ministry partners who are deeply passionate about ecumenism, partnership in mission, relentless hospitality and social justice," said Sarah Macias, chair of the 2018 Annual Gathering planning committee.
Ched Myers
 
"Additionally, we are energized about joining together under a theme designed to empower and equip us to participate as co-creators with God in bringing about earth as beloved community."
 
Noted activist theologian Ched Myers will be the guiding force behind that theme as the featured speaker at the gathering, taking place at Harmony Creek Church in Dayton, Ohio. Myers' peace and justice work spans 25 years and includes numerous books and work with various social justice organizations.  Keep reading...

News and Analysis

Alliance supports Gilles Bikindou, and scores of others being detained by ICE

by Paula Clayton Dempsey
           
Gilles Bikindou 
Individuals threatened with deportation today serve in our communities in various ways -- as caretakers, childcare workers, small business owners, gardeners, cooks, builders and also as contributing members of congregations. One such committed member at Alliance congregational partner Greenwood Forest Baptist Church in Cary, N.C. -- Gilles Bikindou -- was handcuffed and detained by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials on Jan. 9 during a routine check-in. That, we believe, is unacceptable.
 
Gilles, a member of Greenwood Forest since March 2006, is law abiding, compliant with all requirements of immigration officials, a productive worker, a devoted Sunday school member and a regular worshipper at the church. He also has been in the process of pursuing political asylum. Gilles fled the Democratic Republic of Congo after witnessing state-sponsored violence and murder in his role as a civil servant, and because of his refusal to perjure himself in a public trial.  Keep reading...

Members of  Greenwood Forest Baptist Church, the local community and the larger Alliance family gathered for a press conference in support of Gilles Bikindou.

Practicing Congregation

Between fear and exhilaration  

by Tim Moore

With my college-age children enjoying a longer Christmas break than exists in high school, we drove up to West Virginia for a day of skiing once the holidays had passed. With school-age children back in class the slopes were generally clear for us to ski wherever and however we wished.
 
After a couple of easy runs, my three were ready to head to the top of the mountain. As I stood at the top of a steep black diamond slope a brief wave of fear swept over me--as it always does when I return to ski after nearly a year's absence. What am I thinking? Can I still do this? One false move and I will surely break something. A moment later I lived into the fear, pushed off and in seconds felt the exhilaration of flying down the slope.
 
I've felt similar moments in ministry.
Around the  Alliance

Unity Flag a symbol of justice for all

by Christian McIvor
  
As a minister at College Park Baptist Church in Greensboro, N.C., I am proud to serve a congregation whose members live out the Alliance of Baptists' commitment to the pursuit of justice on a daily basis. As this work is carried out through a variety of methods and in diverse community settings, it is clear that many social justice streams continue to intersect in profound ways.

Unity Flag
While the work done on behalf of each of these individual causes is no doubt crucial in its own right, a positive symbol that integrates visual aspects of these different movements into one design could potentially be meaningful to all communities that support basic human and civil rights for all people. The Unity Flag is an attempt to do just that, utilizing designs and colors from several human rights/social justice causes and bringing them together in one design.


Days Left to Register! CAIRN Retreat


Join Beth Jackson-Jordan and Eric Cain, featured in this video, for the inaugural Alliance clergy retreat (CAIRN) Jan 28-31 at Lutheridge Retreat Center in Asheville, N.C. Registration extended to Jan. 12.

Alliance Board Positions

The Alliance of Baptists' nominating committee would like your input regarding vacancies that need to be filled at the Alliance annual meeting in April 2018. 
Several board members are rotating off this year, including three officers: president, vice president and treasurer. E mail recommendations by 12 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15 to 
Please note If your recommendations are for a board vacancy or for specific office vacancies.

  Martin Luther King Jr. Day/Black History Month Resources


Explore these Alliance 
resources as you prepare to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this month and to celebrate Black History Month in February.

Summer Communities 
of Service


Applications are live  for the Summer Communities of Service (SCOS) program, an ecumenical collaboration between the UCC Volunteer Ministries and Alliance of Baptists. 

"Positive Visions" 
HIV Study

Do you identify as a religious leader and have a story, either personal or related to someone you know, about the stigma of HIV? If so, consider adding your feedback to a study of the School of Health Professions at the University of Missouri, Columbia. It explores the impact of a website called Positive Visions on clergy or other church, religious or spiritual leaders. Email TetiM@health.missouri.edu to add your story to the site.

Ecumenical Partner Highlight

Make plans to participate in the kick-off of Act Now: Unite to End Racism , an initiative of the National Council of Churches supported by the Alliance. Events April 3-5 in Washington, D.C., will include a worship service at St. Sophia's Greek Orthodox Cathedral on April 3; an interfaith service at the Lincoln Memorial the 
morning of April 4, a massive rally on the National Mall later in the day, and a time of commitment at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the evening; and a day of advocacy on Capitol Hill April 5. To join the Alliance in the effort, email paula@allianceofbaptists.org.


Calendar

Jan. 13 - Toya Richards, Alliance communications specialist; and Jason Smith, congregational engagement specialist; will attend the Alliance Regional Gathering, Dallas, Texas.

Jan. 28-31 - Carole Collins, Alliance director of operations and finance; Paula Clayton Dempsey, director of partnership relations; and Ken Meyers, faith formation specialist, will attend the CAIRN Retreat, Asheville, N.C.


The Alliance of Baptists is a vibrant movement of people, faith communities and ministry partners who are deeply passionate about ecumenism, partnership in mission, relentless hospitality and social justice.

Leadership Team
Carole Collins, director of operations & finance
Paula Clayton Dempsey, director of partnership relations

Staff
Cathy McGaughey, operations specialist
Ken Meyers, faith formation specialist
Kristy Pullen, website specialist
Toya Richards, communications specialist
Jason Smith, congregational engagement specialist