Questions Answered, Myths Dispelled at August 2013 Conference

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Questions Answered, Myths Dispelled at August 2013 Conference

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 5/17/13)—What does it take to be a cross-cultural missionary? What are the misperceptions about global Christian service in today’s world? Are missionaries always college and seminary graduates?

These questions and more will be tackled at the weekend conference, Embrace the Cause, on August 9-12 at the Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, Wisconsin. Anyone who senses a call to cross-cultural Christian service is invited to attend.

This intensive three-day event is sponsored by American Baptist International Ministries (IM), a leading U.S-based Christian mission organization that has been sending missionaries, working with global partners and partnering with U.S. and Puerto Rico churches for 200 years. To learn more, go to

Conference participants will have time to reflect on their calls, worship and talk one-on-one with current and former missionaries. IM staff will be available to provide information and guidance on the practical steps in the process of discerning a call to IM missionary service.

Recognized speakers and an inspiring worship leader will guide attendees through the process of recognizing and following a call to cross-cultural mission.

The Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer will share his expertise on the importance of spiritual formation, including the value of friends when it comes to thriving on the mission field. As Executive Minister and Senior Regional Pastor of the American Baptist Churches (ABC) of New Jersey and a published author, Spitzer has pastored three ABC churches and has preached the gospel and taught on spirituality in the former Soviet Union, Estonia, Japan, Myanmar (Burma), the Philippines, Brazil, Egypt, the Congo, Zambia, Uganda and Haiti. While on sabbatical, Spitzer interviewed dozens of missionaries about their relationships with people on and off the field. He compiled his research into a book, Friendship and the Mission, which highlights the spiritual vitality to be found in circles of friendship.

The Rev. Dr. Stan Slade, current IM global consultant and associate executive director program for IM, will talk about what makes IM unique as a mission organization. A global specialist in Theological Education, Slade provides his unique and intriguing position on what it means to be a missionary today. Slade’s passion is to see followers of Jesus energized for mission through a fresh encounter with the Lord, one another, the world and the Word.

The Rev. Dr. Reid Trulson, executive director of IM and a former missionary and area director, will lead one of the tracks on IM’s distinct culture and history. Trulson will focus on the geographic areas in which IM serves, IM’s partners and the vital relationships that support the work of every missionary.

Attendees will have personal time for reflection and prayer, as well as a chance to experience international praise and worship with leader Jared Messer. Since 2009, Messer has been the Director of Worship at Calvary Bible Church in Neenah, Wisconsin. His passion for worship and music spans 20 years. He is open to new opportunities to expand his understanding of God, and then share that with others.

The cost for the three-day conference is $80; meals and housing are an additional expense. To register, call the Green Lake Conference Center: (920) 294-3323. Limited scholarships are available from IM. Write to or call 800 222-3872 ext. 2245.

American Baptist International Ministries was organized in 1814 as the first Baptist international mission agency in America. It began its pioneer mission work in Burma and today works in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas serving more than 1,800 long-term and short-term missionaries. Its central mission is to help people come to faith in Jesus, grow in their relationship with God, and change their worlds through the power of the Spirit. It works with respected partners in over 70 countries in ministries that meet human need.

American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.