January 14 – May 31, 2019
In a momentous board meeting in 2014, we agreed to affirm the name “Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America” as an important part of the history that grounds us while beginning to refer to ourselves as BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz. We acknowledged this as an aspirational move – reflecting not so much who we already were but who we wanted to become.
At the same time, we adopted a five-year plan we called No Longer Strangers: Crossing Borders for Peacemaking in which we affirmed a vision of how we saw ourselves:
Scattered like salt across Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the United States, we are a movement of individuals and congregations from a wide variety of cultures and Baptist heritages who share a common call to witness to God’s Peace . . . We take the biblical image of “no longer strangers” as an overarching theme [that] allows us to address many “border crossings” including language, culture, race/ethnicity, geography, faith traditions, nationality, generation, class, gender, and sexuality. We recognize that despite the many “borders” between us, God has made us one.
Living into those words has been an exhilarating journey that has taken us places we could not have anticipated when we wrote them. The journey continues with disparate voices in different places in diverse ways all calling us to continue to move out of the Center which has been our home and into something wholly new, centering voices and perspectives previously marginalized.
2019 will be a crucial year in this journey!
- We will be welcoming an Interim Executive Director and initiating a process to imagine our next five years of gathering, equipping and mobilizing peacemakers scattered throughout four countries (Puerto Rico, Mexico, the US, and Canada). We are seeking to embrace more deeply our commitment to centering marginalized voices and to growing the diversity in our midst.
- We’re continuing to push our relational boundaries to embrace the global south by participating in the 2019 Global Baptist Peace Conference (GBPC) in Cali, Colombia.
- We’ll be integrating the most diverse group of board members we’ve ever had.
- We’ll be gathering our staff (also the most diverse group we’ve ever had, spread now over multiple countries and two continents) for a retreat in Mexico City.
- We’ll sponsor another immigration immersion trip and start planning for Summer Conference 2020 to be held on the US-Mexico border.
- We’ll be making the Baptist Peacemaker a fully bilingual--Spanish and English publication by summer 2019.
YOU are crucial to this journey!
This journey of courageous and radical love takes a deep commitment from us all; it requires us to commit to reflection, action, and a deep sense of generosity at multiple levels; and we invite your participation. We need your prayers, your participation, and your financial support to make it possible. Board President Mayra Picos-Lee calls 2019 “a year like no other in the life of BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz” – YOUR SUPPORT will make it a year to remember.
On the financial side of things, we have great news! A small group of donors have put forward $26,000 in matching funds to encourage new and increased giving in 2019.
- If you are a current donor and you give more than you gave in 2018, the increase will be DOUBLED!
- If you are a lapsed donor and you renew in 2019, your full gift will be DOUBLED!
- If you have never been a donor and you make a gift in 2019, your gift will be TRIPLED!
You’ll also be invited to contribute in other ways throughout the year. Your presence in Cali would be a wonderful gift, as would your participation in the Immigration Immersion tour. You’ll receive an invitation to complete a membership survey, and your input will be hugely important to us. We’ll need your help identifying potential new members. And, of course, we covet your prayers.