connections                                         allianceofbaptists.org





Sarah Shannon-Wildt and Anna Strickland were among those who enjoyed fellowship and learning at the Alliance regional gathering Jan. 13 at Royal Lane Baptist Church in Dallas. See  Around the Alliance below.
Alliance News

Spirit abounds in young adult network
 
by Benjamin Smith
 
There is a fresh wind and fresh fire blowing through the Alliance of Baptists, and it comes in the form of a new Young Adult Network.

As the Alliance intern 
this semester I am excited to help usher in this new spirit, and I invite others  to join in as we connect  on experiences and issues relevant to the life of progressive-minded  young adults.
 
I come to this work as a student at Wake Forest Divinity School, and I have as my base Alliance congregational partner Grace Baptist Church in Statesville, N.C. There are scores of young adults like me who identify with the values of the Alliance, and for whom a network such as this simply makes sense. If that is you, welcome. 

News and Analysis

A moment of change for Zimbabwe
 
by Phillip Mudzidzi
 
"We thank God at least there's peace in Zimbabwe," said a woman I gave a lift to town some six months ago.
 
I struggled on how to respond and reasoned, "Peace does not only mean the absence of war. We could say, 'there's no war in Zimbabwe, but it's difficult to say that there's peace.' How can we say there's peace when there's 90 percent unemployment, if there are parents who are failing to send their children to school, if many are struggling to feed their families? How can we say there's peace if many people are fleeing their own country to seek employment? How can we say there's peace when the police system is a menace to motorists and the public because of corrupt tendencies?"
 
The above scenario described the Zimbabwean situation during the administration of Robert Mugabe before the army's intervention on the 14th of November 2017. And still today there's hardly much change. 

Voices

Living the beautiful gospel story 

by Daniel Miles

This past Christmas was the first Christmas that my daughter knew Santa wasn't real.  She actually found out back in the fall once she realized that I was the one who snuck
quarters under her pillow for her teeth .
 
When I confessed to being the Tooth Fairy, a chain reaction of concrete logic took her to Santa Claus. This was far more traumatic a loss for her, and we cried together at the loss of a little magic. 
And then a week later, seemingly out of nowhere, she brought up the next step in the logic chain: "Daddy, are you God too?" 

Around the Alliance

Gathering lifts up six faith leaders who exemplify  hand-to-the-plow activism

by Toya Richards
   
Martin Luther King Jr. ... Abraham Joshua Heschel ... Dorothy Day ... Fannie Lou Hamer ... Thomas Merton ... William Barber II.
Stephen Sprinkle
 
They are past and present religious and social icons who each individually made and are making an impact on the world. Together, however, the group of American faith leaders is a collective example of hand-to-the-plow engagement the Church could and should learn from.
 
That was the message shared by practical theologian Stephen Sprinkle during the Alliance of Baptists' Regional Gathering Jan. 13 in Dallas, Texas. 


Alliance Annual Gathering


Register now for the Alliance of Baptists'  2018 Annual Gathering April 26-29 in Dayton, Ohio. The theme is "Earth: Beloved Community," and activist Ched Myers will be the featured speaker.
 
Black History Month Resources


Explore these Alliance 
resources as you prepare to celebrate Black History Month in February.


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.


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. 


HIV Study

Do you identify as a religious leader and have a story, 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. Email TetiM@health.missouri.edu


Calendar

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