VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 2/17/21)—The American Baptist Churches USA Board of General Ministries on Wednesday, February 17, released a statement on a recommended Interim Proposal timeline for the denomination. Read the statement below.
“Through many dangers toils and snares, I have already come; ‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home”
These words from the beloved hymn “Amazing Grace” serve as a testimony to the lived experience of the American Baptist Churches USA. Tracing its historical roots to the soil of America before the founding of this country; through periods of war, natural disasters, civil unrest, the march towards justice and equality, pandemics, epidemics, economic collapse, and global uncertainties, American Baptists have been and are being kept and led by the grace of God, personified in the person of Jesus Christ. It is grace which allows American Baptist Churches USA to face the future, confident that God’s amazing grace is still leading this great denomination.
It is in the spirit of grace that we the Board of General Ministries (BGM) at our November meeting, voted unanimously to move forward with the Executive Committee’s recommended Interim Proposal timeline for our denomination. This proposal provides for a season of continuity as American Baptists unite around questions of identity, as we have in the past, in our sincere effort to discern where God’s grace is leading us.
According to the approved timeline, the BGM Nominating Committee will now begin the process of nominating a General Secretary for a two-year term from 2022-23 to continue the transitional work of the board. During this intentional interim period, the Board and its Executive Committee will engage in a period of prayer and discernment regarding the role of the Office of the General Secretary. Out of this period, we will create an identity statement for the Office of the General Secretary; outline critical issues, primary duties, and a process for a General Secretary Search Committee; and commission the Committee. This Search Committee will then complete its work during the two-year term of the General Secretary.
We, the members of the Board of General Ministries, ask that our churches and members continue to hold our leaders and this discernment process in prayer, that “love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight… to determine what is best” (Philippians 1:9-10).” We are honored to have been entrusted with the opportunity to work for you “in such a time as this” and renew our commitment to timely communication and transparency, as we journey together in grace.
The Board of General Ministries
American Baptist Churches USA
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.