January 25 – January 25, 2018
Staff members Evelyn Hanneman and Bob Spinks are representing the BPFNA at the New Baptist Covenant meeting in Atlanta this week. Here's their second postcard from the front....
Thursday was an exceptionally busy day for us as we greeted an impressive number of BPFNA friends and supporters at our exhibit booth. We were "on the job" by 9:00 a.m. and were thrilled with the steady flow of traffic until after the final plenary session of the day ended around 9:30 p.m. Twelve hours of meet and greet!
Joining us at the booth was Katie Cook, our staff colleague from Waco, Texas, who is the editor of Baptist Peacemaker, our soon-to-be-revised newsletter.
We were delighted, as well, by the safe arrival of BPFNA member and author, Paul Dekar, who, as we reported yesterday, was delayed in Toronto because of foul weather. Paul and fellow BPFNA member Glen Stassen were co-hosts and presenters at two popular and well-received Special Interest Sessions on "Peacemaking" this afternoon. In both sessions, each of them reminded those attending that books they had written were available for purchase at the BPFNA booth -- resulting in two sudden flurries of business at the booth immediately following each session!
Paul and Glen also introduced Evelyn at each of the sessions, saying "everyone here needs to join the BPFNA because you can't do peacemaking without community."
Among today's visitors at the BPFNA booth were Board President Steve Jones from St. Louis and Board members Lucas Johnson from Atlanta and Terry Brooks from Chapin, SC. We were pleased, as well, to welcome former Board member Jackie Saxon from Austin, TX.
Dan Buttry, fresh from his travels to Burma, Thailand, and India on behalf of International Ministries, ABC-USA, also stopped by the booth to deliver several copies of his latest book, Interfaith Heroes. Other guests included Chuck and Ramona Shawver, who will soon return to Mexico as ABC-USA missionaries, and Dick Ice, ABC-USA lay leader and longtime BPFNA member from Seattle, WA. Another special guest was Jenna McCarley, from Ames, IA, who was a member of the 1983 Friendship Tour to the Soviet Union that was organized by a coalition of Southern Baptist and American Baptist pastors -- an occasion that led to the eventual formation of BPFNA in 1984.
Although we were both busy at the booth all day, there were several exciting features of the NBC meeting that are worthy of note. Plenary addresses by Marian Wright Edleman, Founder of the Children's Defense Fund, and by best-selling author John Grisham were inspirational, provocative, and challenging. Perhaps the highlight of the day was the luncheon featuring former Vice President Al Gore. A sold-out crowd of nearly 2,500 guests heard Mr. Gore address issues of worldwide environmental concern. Following the program, one visitor to our booth referred to Mr. Gore as "an evangelist for the earth," describing his effective Biblical and theological insights into this urgent problem.
Friday promises to be another busy day of doing the good work of the Fellowship and having the privilege of telling our story.
Evelyn and Bob
Stay up-to-date on all the happenings at the New Baptist Covenant Celebration through their website at www.newbaptistcelebration.org. Live and archived session videos are available through the "Videos" tab at the top right of their home page.