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03
Feb

Time to Celebrate

Posted by on in General Secretary's Blog
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During this month, Baptists around the world mark BWA Day. Following the decision of the BWA General Council meeting in Izmir, the second Sunday of February and the Saturday preceding that day will be marked as such. On BWA day, Baptists unite to celebrate their common belonging to Jesus Christ and their common heritage as Baptist Christians.

Like those who belong to other Christian World Communions, Baptists acknowledge the forces that have impacted their Christian vision and they cherish what God has revealed to them through the years of their pilgrimage. The choice of corporate worship as the context for their annual celebration reflects their understanding of the place of praise, thanksgiving, confession, and hearing from, and responding to, God in commemorative events in their denominational calendar.

On BWA Day, we remember that each of our congregations is part of a wider family of Baptist churches spread out across the world in which God is actively at work molding and shaping a community for mission and service to the glory of God.

We are grateful to the Rev. Dr. Gary Furr for generously providing the worship materials we are offering for use this year. These are available on the BWA website. Pastors and worship leaders may draw from these resources as they deem appropriate and so contribute to the expression of our oneness in celebration.

Five months from now, Baptists worldwide will enjoy another opportunity to gather together for a wide range of activities, including corporate worship. The upcoming congress will showcase the global Baptist family worship in all its rich cultural diversity. In scenes that will offer us a foretaste of the glory to come, people from many tribes and tongues and nations will gather to sing the praise of the one who called us out of darkness into God's wonderful light. How we treasure the memory of past Baptist World Congresses and anticipate what God is going to accomplish in the Durban congress this July!

On BWA Day, let us remember in our prayers those who are putting the finishing touches on the plans for the congress. We are encouraged by those who have already registered for the congress and note that the USA and Nigeria are the countries with the most participants already registered. We encourage others who plan to participate to complete the registration process soon.

As a people of courageous faith, we cherish the memory of our Lord's promise to be with us always and we approach the opportunity to demonstrate our oneness with great expectation and confident hope.

May this month's observance of BWA Day and this year's celebration of the 21st Baptist World Congress remind us that Jesus Christ is the door into a new corporate existence in which concern for self is matched by concern for others. May the glory of the Lord be the reason for our joyful service and witness.

 

 

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Neville George Callam, a Jamaican, has been serving as general secretary and chief executive officer of the Baptist World Alliance since his election in Accra, Ghana in 2007.

Comments

  • Guest
    owen crooks Wednesday, 25 February 2015

    Gracious God and Father, we are thankful for this faithful leader. As he labours in your vineyard Lord we pray that you will continue to bless him, his home and ministry. In Your hand we put the upcoming Congress, new leaders, attendees, our beloved Africans and those praying for Your will to be done through this Baptist family, in Jesus name

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Guest Monday, 16 July 2018