The reflection below was written by ABCUSA President Ruth Clark. This is the second in a new featured series, “Proud to be an American Baptist.” Check the ABCUSA website and other publications in the future to see more stories! View the first piece, by ABCUSA Vice President Don Ng, by clicking here.
As I look at the changing demographics of our country, I am proud that American Baptists have been on the cutting edge of inclusivity! We are the most diverse denomination in the United States.
Why does that make a difference? More and more families are no longer made up of one ethnicity. While that may have been true for our families of origin, many of us are discovering the blessing of adding other cultures and ethnicities to our own for a beautiful blending, moving toward what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the “Beloved Community.”
Admittedly, we do not always live into the reality of what community intends. We are working on that! American Baptists have not been afraid to take steps toward reconciliation. We are intentional about making certain that voices are heard, constituencies are represented, and that rotations insure that leadership is representative of all those who make up who we are.
We have the opportunity to lead the way in showing how God intends the Church to be as we move beyond the differences and become the community that accepts all our best, choosing to look at one another through loving eyes and continuing to make deliberate efforts toward inclusion.