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BPFNA Hires Hortensia Azucena Picos Lee as Spanish Resource Manager!

BPFNA Hires Hortensia Azucena Picos Lee as Spanish Resource Manager!

May 26, 2015 | BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz welcomes Hortensia Azucena Picos Lee to the BPFNA staff as the Spanish Resource Manager! This is a new, part-time position that will focus on editing Spanish materials, translating English materials for Spanish-speaking audiences, and assisting fellow staff in communicating with Spanish-speaking partners and congregations. Read more »

On High Holy Days

On High Holy Days

May 25, 2015 | In 1996, I responded to a request from an older adult in the retirement community where I work as a chaplain to provide services for Rosh Hashanah. "The High Holy Days are coming soon. What are you going to do for us? Surely that was a part of your training." I laughed, but she was serious, so we embarked upon a series of discussions on how to make this a possibility for the handful of people who might come. Together Esther and I constructed two one-hour services to honor Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Signs went up in the community announcing the services and inviting people to attend. Read more »

Crossing the Borders of Difference and Joining Together as One

Crossing the Borders of Difference and Joining Together as One

May 18, 2015 | A congregation I once served was a merged congregation of a larger progressive congregation and a smaller conservative congregation. At the time of the merger, neither congregation was welcoming to lgbt people. When the time came for that discussion, it tended to be the remnant of the smaller congregation that was opposed to the decision to become Open and Affirming. Nevertheless, the whole congregation voted to cast its lot with those who were welcoming of lgbt persons and virtually no one left the congregation. Arriving several years later, however, I wasn’t sure how being out would play with those now older and more conservative folks. I knew they loved the church and would be polite, but I wondered how receptive they would be to me.  Read more »

Ayotzinapa: Where Are Our Disappeared?

Ayotzinapa: Where Are Our Disappeared?

May 15, 2015 | From the Latin America Working Group: Over seven months have passed since 43 students from a rural teachers college in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero were forcibly disappeared in the town of Iguala, yet many questions about the case remain unanswered. We know that students were attacked by local police, who allegedly turned them over to a local criminal group, the “Guerreros Unidos,” to be killed. To date, the remains of only one student have been identified. The Latin America Working Group is joining with our Mexican human rights partners and the families of the disappeared to say that these lives matter and justice must prevail. Read more »

The Borders I Cross

The Borders I Cross

May 11, 2015 | The first time I ever went into a strip club, I was there as an outsider, an observer, a learner. I was being trained to visit strip clubs and build relationships by a Texas pastor who made his living as a parole officer. I remember him approaching the manager to ask for permission to enter. I remember the pastor sitting next to me and pointing out things—who might be pregnant, how the dancers related to the customers, what the bouncers were watching, and where the house-mom’s influence was. I remember asking, “Should we tip?” and being told to always remember to honor the people you are visiting and that tipping honors the dancers. I remember the final thing the pastor pointed out was, “Always notice where the exits are.” Read more »

Crossing Many Borders to Make Peace

Crossing Many Borders to Make Peace

May 4, 2015 | I always hear many white folks from the Western world saying; "I am going to Africa!". Unfortunately, every nation in Africa is “Africa” to them. They do not put any geographical boundaries within and among different African states... Perhaps you will come to visit us – perhaps you will pray for us – do not say you are visiting and praying for “Africa” – think instead of Zimbabwe, Uganda, Malawi, and more, a continent of many countries, many peoples, many languages, many troubles, many joys – a land in which I cross many borders to make peace! Read more »

Responses to Baltimore

Responses to Baltimore

April 29, 2015 | These are the responses we have received thus far to the ongoing situation in Baltimore. If you have written something you'd like to share (on Baltimore or the larger issues involved) we'd love to have a copy. You can email your responses to allison@bpfna.org. Read more »

Becoming an Ally

April 29, 2015 | It’s easier to be an ally to someone whom you know and love. It’s also easier to be an ally around the “little things” – like helping someone across the street or with packages they can’t carry. But the justice work of equity and inclusion can be difficult – especially when it is around difficult issues of race and sexuality. And often those who are marginalized and underrepresented feel they are the only ones educating others and fighting the battles of oppression and bias. They need allies. Read more »

BPFNA Members and Friends Receive ABHMS Ministry Awards

April 28, 2015 | Selected by American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) board of directors from nominations submitted by clergy and laypersons across the United States and Puerto Rico, a number of American Baptist clergy and lay leaders will receive awards for significant faith-based work. Many of them are members and/or friends of BPFNA! Read more »

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