Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dr. Medley to Reaffirm Vision; General Board Slated to Do Business as Usual in June Meeting

The General Secretary will share his vision for where God is leading American Baptists in the future at the June meetings of the General Board, according to board members. Medley will be focusing on the "challenges ahead with our work in the Key Ministry Areas of Church Planting, Healthy Missional Congregations, Leadership, Radical Discipleship, and Youth as we live out our yearning to be Centered in Christ."

According to members of the General Board, the agenda for the upcoming GB meeting of the ABCUSA looks like "business as usual" with the typical reports and a long litany of changes in standing rules. One change in the rules, for example, would clarify the relationship of congregations to the ABCUSA during a time when their regional “home” withdraws from the denomination (Standing Rule 5.1.2). There will also be a time to explain to the full board why declining finances have led to the decision to reduce GB board meetings to one per year in place of the former two. A couple of additional items drew my interest.

How is the ABCUSA responding to the PSW plebiscite of April 29 and board vote of May 11? According to members of the GB, they will be tackling the subject as ONE of twelve agenda items being considered in a two hour time frame on Thursday, June 22. The following describes the way in which the board will process the matter.

ABCPSW and Other Region Concerns A. Roy Medley
Table Group Responses

At its November 2005 meeting, and by request of the General Board Executive Committee, the General Board spent time in table group discussion, focusing on three points addressed in Dale Salico's November report to the Board in regard to "What would it take on the part of the ABCUSA to cause the ABCPSW Board of Directors to reconsider its action?" The compilation of responses from the table groups was presented to the General Board Executive Committee at its March 3-4, 2006 meeting, and is coming to the General Board for review at this meeting.


PSW churches participated in an advisory vote on April 29 and the PSW Board of Directors met in a decision-making meeting on May 11. A number of efforts have been made by the General Secretary and others on behalf of the denomination. We will hear updates during this time on the agenda.

Pastoral Response

Our General Secretary will lead us in a time of reflection and prayer.

Those from California will also take note of the presentation on Radical Discipleship, being led by Dr. Glen H. Stassen of Fuller Seminary that same Thursday evening. Stassen, a member of the FBC of Pasadena, belongs to a congregation intending to remain with the ABCUSA.

Focus on Radical Discipleship Glen H. Stassen

American Baptists understand that radical discipleship demands lifelong commitment to the pursuit of Christian discipleship; a commitment that is made evident by the nurturing of authentic relationships, spiritual vitality, and our engagement in hands-on ministry. Among American Baptists a commitment to personal radical discipleship is an essential first step along the road of living for Jesus.

Dr. Glen H. Stassen, life-long American Baptist, and Lewis B. Smedes Professor of Christian Ethics Chair at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA, will help frame the Key Ministry Area of Radical Discipleship. Dr. Stassen earned a Ph.D. from Duke University, a B.D. from Union Theological Seminary, and a B.A. from the University of Virginia. He is author of, among other works, “Living the Sermon on the Mount” and co-author of “Kingdom Ethics: Following Jesus in Contemporary Context.”

Table Group and Plenary Discussion

The General Board will meet in table group discussion and plenary reflection as a followup to Dr. Stassen’s presentation. We will conclude discussion with a time of prayer around the tables.

[His Barking Dog yips and yaps about all things ABC. My barking, however, has no connection to any entity or organization within the Pacific Southwest; just barking on my own, I guess]

No comments: