VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 7/12/11)—At the meeting of the Asian American Baptist Caucus (AABC) held June 24 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, prior to the opening session of the American Baptist Biennial, AABC members formally agreed to approve a proposal for implementation entitled, “The Formation of the Alliance of Asian American Baptist Churches.” The proposal, which was distributed via e-mail to the AABC constituency on June 1, was the fruit of discussions held by the AABC and its steering committee over the past several years.
The new Alliance will continue to fulfill the advocacy functions of the Asian American Baptist Caucus. In addition, according to the proposal, it will set ministry priorities to strengthen the effectiveness of local churches, select and support specific American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) mission projects, plan programs to meet the needs of local churches, partner with emerging Asian Baptist groups such as the Karen Baptist Churches in USA and the Chin Baptist Churches USA for cooperative ministries, and take other actions as appropriate.
According to AABC President Rev. Kenneth Kho, “The formation of the Alliance recognizes the significant and valuable membership of Asian American Baptist churches in the regions in which they are presently member churches. Their active participation in their respective regions serves not only to celebrate ABC’s rich diversity but also to share in advancing the mission and ministry endeavors of the regions. However, God’s vast work also calls us to labor and serve together as Asian American Baptist churches to address local church challenges and mission opportunities that are unique to our different Asian cultures. The Alliance will enable and empower Asian American Baptist churches to engage in doing mission and ministry together across regional lines for the sake of the Gospel.”
Under the proposal, AABC’s member churches are being invited to affiliate formally within the next two years with the Alliance for this new ministry opportunity, while maintaining their ABC regional affiliation. They are also being invited to provide input into the writing of policies and by-laws to make it possible for the Alliance to begin functioning officially at the 2013 American Baptist Biennial in Overland Park, Kansas.
AABC President-elect Rev. Marie Onwubuariri comments, “After 40 years of mission, the AABC is embarking on a new journey as our denomination also faces a new structure and new paradigms. It is an opportune time to recommit and reimagine partnership with ABCUSA regions, ABHMS, IM, and other American Baptist agencies as we all seek and hope for renewal and transformation. May we all be prayerful and faithful in such an exciting time as this.”
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.