VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 6/23/11)—American Baptists are gathering for the American Baptist Biennial in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from June 24 to June 26, 2011. The meeting marks a return to Puerto Rico 30 years after the Biennial meetings first took place in San Juan.
“Biennials are always a great family reunion,” said Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA. “Our brothers and sisters here in Puerto Rico are tremendous in hospitality so we anticipate their welcome! Our time here will be marked by our theme: Celebrate! We will celebrate through opportunities for mission and recreation; for worship and discernment; for learning and networking.”
In San Juan, delegates will be voting on the revised plan to restructure the denomination nationally. “We listened carefully to the concerns raised two years ago in Pasadena and the General Board revised the proposal accordingly,” Medley said. “We believe they have a plan that the delegates will warmly embrace.”
“Our speakers – Gary Nelson, Carolyn Gordon, Alyn Waller and Roberto Dieppa-Báez have been chosen by the Biennial Program Committee (BPC) for their ability to both inspire and challenge us as we celebrate the tremendous ministries of our churches,” Medley remarked.
“The BPC, together with the biennial coordinator, staff advisory group, and our Puerto Rican sisters and brothers, have worked countless hours to ensure that the Biennial meetings in San Juan, Puerto Rico, are a time of great celebration and inspiration for American Baptists visiting from around the world,” said Jeff Savage, chair of the BPC. “We pray that all who are attending these meetings will be filled with hope and joy as we involve ourselves in this important time in American Baptist history.”
“Throughout two years of planning, I have been deeply grateful for the leadership of the Rev. Jeff Savage, chair of the BPC,” Medley said. “Jeff has uncommon skills in leadership, creativity, diplomacy and planning. He has served us extremely well for two biennials now. We sincerely thank him and his committee for their good work.”
Following the Biennial, the American Baptist General Board will meet from June 27-29 in San Juan.
Follow the events at Celebrate! 2011 on the ABCUSA website, the Facebook page, Twitter account, and view a photo album of events at www.abc-usa.org. Photos and updates will be added throughout the weekend.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with 5,500 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.