By Baptist I mean Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Sorry SBC you have broken my heart one too many times. You have been replaced by a Fellowship of Baptist that love me back.
Last week was CBF's General Assembly in Houston, TX. I appreciated the excuse to go home and my other post about Houston will express my joy of being in the Lone Star State.
The theme of GA focused on loving your neighbor, in a very active sense.
My friend Julie preached an inspiring sermon. I missed the sermon due to slow service at a fabulously cheap sushi place but I found the sermon on You Tube. This woman is amazing. I was proud of CBF for choosing to follow through with their commitment to empower women. It is one thing to say that you believe women can preach; it is something much more to actually let them do it, and Julie did it. My CBF people really do love us woman pastors.
Rewinding a bit: the main reason was there is because I have the joy of serving on the Current Leadership Missions Team.
Those meeting started on Monday, and as all good Baptist activities should it began with an eatin' meetin'. South Main Baptist in Houston was kind enough to host us. Among many other wonderful qualities SMBC is within walking distance to Tacos A GoGo. Tacos a GoGo boasts a taco that made Texas Monthly's 63 tacos to eat before you die list. The Barbacoa taco (lamb) was worthy of its title. It was so good! Plus our cashier was from San Francisco. How small is our little world?
Now I know that tacos have little to do with Baptist life, but they were worth mentioning. After the tacos we pondered how we are want to see young leaders engage in Baptist life, we planned our fall simultaneous day of service across the country and day dreamed ways to make this world a better place. I am looking forward to the Current Retreat in Nashville this spring, where we can do all of this some more.
After meeting all day Tuesday all we had to Wednesday was set up during the day and attend a commissioning service that night. My friend Christy was recommissioned for her work with Touching Miami with Love. It was exciting to hear what CBF missionaries are doing all over the world.
Thursday the conference got going. The exhibit hall was filled with booths of CBF partner organizations. It was inspiring seeing the way CBF has partnered with amazing organizations such as:
Bread for the World is an amazing organization that works with churches to help them engage in policy issues that affect hunger all over the world. I attended their workshop on Thursday.
Baylor and Truett were well represented with a monstrous booth that required professionals to build. I think we had 5 booths total between Baylor's Ethics journal, the School of Social work, Baylor Press and something else. Truett in general represented well- so many of my old friends were in attendance. It brought joy to my heart to see us all together.
On Friday I had the privilege of attending the Baptist Joint Committee luncheon. My ticket was purchased by a wonderful woman from First Baptist Austin. I have never met this woman, but I have a few dear friends at FBC Austin and they were gracious enough to invite me to join them.
Chet Edwards spoke and I loved being in a room of Baptist that thought having religious license plates was wrong- and unconstitutional. Seriously it makes me proud to hang with people on the right side of the Religious Liberty conversation. I also learned more of what the first amendment really is intended to mean. It was very insightful.
I heard a ton of talk about human trafficking and the need to get churches involved in the re-abolition of slavery. The Christian Life Commission just hired a wonderful friend of mine to work with Good News Goods- a line of Fair Trade products by Trade as One- that can be sold in churches to help them get involved in helping end global slavery.
I could go on and on. Overall both my time with Current Leadership (a wonderful collection of friends) and my time at GA (an astounding gathering of Christians seeking to serve the Bride of Christ guiding her to justice and a life of love) was beautiful and empowering.