Bible Study Sessions Announced for 2017 Biennial Mission Summit

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Bible Study Sessions Announced for 2017 Biennial Mission Summit

VALLEY FORGE, PA (3/3/17)—The 2017 Biennial Mission Summit will feature a selection of seven Bible Study sessions on Saturday morning, July 1, in Portland, Ore., at the Oregon Convention Center.

“How do we pick one Bible Study from the list of simultaneous offerings? This is the challenge for attendees at this year’s American Baptist Churches (ABC) Biennial Mission Summit,” said Interim General Secretary Dr. Susan E. Gillies. “The impressive array of presenters represents various aspects of ABC life and experience. Take time to select yours and if you are coming with others from your church, my advice is to have each person attend a different one and compare notes afterwards.”

The Bible Study sessions to be featured include:

“Making Connections When Crossing Over into Unfamiliar Territory” Acts 10
Rev. Dr. Cheryl Dudley
This interactive bible study will help us explore our pre-conditioning as persons of faith, who are often called to explore new territories for mission, service, connection and relationship. Fear of God, the perception of others, and abandonment prevents us from entering into unexplored territories. We will explore ways to envision God at work, guard our faith, and then invite others into new life in Christ, as well as deepen our own experiences of the Jesus we follow.

Using the experience of Peter, Acts 10 will help us explore how we sort out God’s call from our own voices, and quell the fears that might inhibit our greatest faithfulness. It will also explore how we prepare ourselves for faithful success if called to serve and connect in unfamiliar or frightening territory.

“Go the Distance” Galatians 6:1-10
Rev. Kathy Longhat
In the days we are living, we often hear about the end times, “the sky is falling” so what is the church to do?  Hopefully this bible study will start some conversation to provide us with a sense of hope in the face of the coming resistance to the Gospel.  You will, Jesus says, face adversity as a disciple.  But know that, through all things, Christ is there with us, sharing in our suffering, even as we share in His. So I invite you to come and let’s talk once again about how the church will arise and build for posterity, to plant seeds that will take generations to bear fruit, to nurture forms of culture that will be seen as blessings by our children’s children.  If we are serious about flourishing, across space and through time, we will be serious about our holy institutions.  For I believe that “whatever comes our way, may we hold tight to the One who is the way!”

“Connecting: How far will you go?” Luke 15:6-18
Dr. Doris Garcia Rivera
When the stakes are high – how far are we willing to go to accomplish that specific goal or solve a difficult situation?  This Bible study will explore two parables of lost things – a coin and a son – one a material thing, the other a human being. From the literary, religious, and cultural perspectives we will gain knowledge on the multiple levels of meanings surrounding these texts and how they can help us understand the implications of our choices to develop healthy connections in our lives.

“The Journey: Separation to Connection” Acts 10
Rev. Dr. Philip K. James
Reflecting on the journey to connection experienced by Peter of Jewish heritage and Cornelius a Gentile/Roman citizen, what take aways can empower our gospel witness in a season of great divisions in our nation.  

“Mission or Misconnection: A summary of the book of Jonah”
Rev. Robin Stoops
“Can you hear me now? The book of Jonah is the story of a conversation between God and one of his people. Jonah may not have liked what he heard, it did not fit well into his understanding of God’s mission. The adventure starts there and ends up a little too close to home.  Are we listening?”

“Covenant Sensibilities and Values in a Broken and Shattered World” Philippians 1:3-11
Rev. Joseph DeRoulhac
This study will lift up and explore how the love of Christ empowers us to connect more fully with our best selves and God’s best for our lives and world by deepening our spirits, widening our hearts, and sharping our minds. We will begin with the Apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 1:3-11 and how they affirm the importance of vulnerability in forging those connections that allow Christ’s love to touch the lives of those whose struggles we are called to share. A central theme will be the covenantal dimensions of life and how the promise of life is fulfilled in faithful embrace of all that God loves.

“Body of Christ” Ephesians 4:4-6 in the Burmese language
Dr. C Duh Kam
When we came into the new millennium of the 21st century, the world started feeling pains like childbirth pain, breathing the air that is filled with smoke and sound of gunfire. It needs Jesus Christ, the Son of God for healing and peace. Although we are different in race, color, language, skin, and culture, Jesus accepts us as parts of His body. We are one body in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit indwells each believer individually as she indwells the Body of Christ. The Lord needs many hands of the poor and the rich as well to build His peaceful Kingdom on earth. We, the Baptists of ABCUSA are called to make peace in this world by holding His hands together as we were called to bring the Good News to the entire world in the 19th and 20th century.

Delegates and participants are asked to preregister for a Bible Study session when they register as individuals for the Biennial Mission Summit. Individual registration is open; more information is available here.

For more information about the Biennial Mission Summit, visit

American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.