OVERLAND PARK, KS (ABNS 6/23/13)—American Baptists gathered this weekend for Mission Summit 2013: An American Baptist Biennial Gathering in Overland Park/Kansas City, Kansas, from June 21-23, 2013. The event featured dynamic speakers, powerful worship, and a new Mission Summit Conversations component, during which attendees engaged in dialogue about mission challenges faced by churches across the denomination.
Reflecting on Mission Summit 2013, Ruth Clark, president of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA), said “When God’s people come together to worship and pray, God meets us in ways we cannot foresee. We thank God for all who came with open hearts and open minds, willing to share about the ways their churches are ministering while learning about effective ministries from others. We pray that what has occurred here will be the inspiration for multiplied ministries that will build the Kingdom of God and bring blessing to those who need to know God’s love as each of us become the hands and feet of Christ wherever we are.”
“We have come to expect wonderful and inspiring services of worship but we were exceptionally blessed this weekend,” said Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley, general secretary of ABCUSA. “Michelle Alexander opened our sessions with a challenge to us on Friday night to embrace a new issue, the mass incarceration of minorities and the poor, and the resulting creation of a new caste system in our society.”
“Saturday evening was rich as we celebrated the stirring history of the Judsons’ mission to Burma,” Medley said. “The several mass choirs from Burma thrilled us and we were encouraged by General Secretary Yam Kho Pau from Burma and the strength of the Baptist Churches in Burma. We were also inspired by a powerful message from Baptist World Alliance President Rev. Dr. John Upton. And then to end Sunday with a message from Rev. Matthew Sturtevant, senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lawrence, Kansas, and with Mark Hayes choral piece, “To Love our God,” is truly awesome.”
A key component to Mission Summit 2013: An American Baptist Biennial Gathering was the Mission Summit Conversations. American Baptists attending Mission Summit met in small groups during three separate sessions, focusing on self-selected topics in order to share learnings, surface insights, and suggest experiments related to those topics. Click here to learn more about the Mission Summit Conversations.
At the Sunday morning business session of ABCUSA, voted on the persons nominated by the ABCUSA nominating committee. They are: for President, Rev. Dr. Donald Ng, FBC Chinese Baptist Church, San Francisco, California; for Vice President, Rev. Judy Fackenthal, Garfield Park Baptist Church, Indianapolis, Indiana; and Mr. Paul Higgins, Federated Church of Green Lake, Green Lake, Wisconsin.
A unanimous vote affirmed that the slate of Officers nominated by the ABCUSA Nominating Committee were elected. The slate of directors was also elected to terms on the Board of General Ministries.
Rev. Don Ng, current vice president and president-elect of ABCUSA, said, “The 2013 Mission Summit will soon become history as we pack up and return to our places of discipleship and service. The places where you are returning are truly the places where you bring hope and joy to the lost, justice to the oppressed, new insights to the blind, and healing to the broken. What we did this weekend, we pray will strengthen you to remain faithful to your commitment to serve Christ always. Where you are returning is where you must keep Christ’s light burning.”
Read about the events at Mission Summit 2013 on the ABCUSA website, Facebook page, Twitter (#missionsummit2013), and view the photo album at http://www.abc-usa.org/feedback.
American Baptist Churches 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.