Thursday, July 13, 2017

Weekly Words - 7/13/17

American Baptist Churches, USA

2017 Mission Summit Report

Dear FBCD Family & Friends:

Thank you for the opportunity to represent our congregation at the 2017 Mission Summit, a national, biennial gathering of American Baptists from throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. The Mission Summit was convened in Portland, Oregon. Along with myself, Wayne and Ingrid Dvirnak, Adam McGowen, and Scott Pegues served as delegates from FBCD. Our church was joined by several other congregations from the Evergreen Association. The Evergreen Association was the only American Baptist region to have a booth in the exhibit hall. Over the course of the weekend we were able to share with many about how unique Evergreen is and our Executive Minister, Rev. Dr. Marcia Patton, autographed her recently published book, Intentionally Inclusive: Together at the Table for Ministry. This book tells the story of the history and development of our region and what sets it apart from all others.

During the biennial gathering several national awards were announced and presented. FBCD’s own, Ingrid Dvirnak, American Baptist author and editor, received the Judson Press Ministry Award for commitment to excellence in publishing ministry. She has authored two Judson Press books and an ABHMS (America Baptist Home Missions Society) book. She edits The Secret Place devotional quarterly, creates online workshops for ABHMS’ Church Life & Leadership series, and writes leader’s guides for Judson Press books. She has previously edited The Baptist Leader and has both written and edited Judson Bible Journeys adult study curriculum.

Throughout the event, new leaders of American Baptist Churches USA had the opportunity to preach and address delegates and participants gathered in Portland. Rev. Sharon T. Koh, executive director/CEO of International Ministries, gave the message during the Friday evening Worship Experience; Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, executive director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies, preached during the Saturday evening Worship Experience; and new ABCUSA General Secretary Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer gave the sermon during the Sunday morning Worship Experience. On Friday evening, Spitzer, whose role began on June 1, 2017, was officially introduced to Biennial Mission Summit attendees as General Secretary by ABCUSA President Judy Fackenthal. Members of the General Secretary Search Committee joined Spitzer on stage as he gave his opening remarks, and prayed around him along with those in attendance.

This was an historic gathering for sure. The national leadership of our denomination has entered a new chapter of history with fresh perspectives and people to lead us well into the future. As a local congregation we can pray for them and trust that together, with all of the diversity of our American Baptist family, we can continue to be the hands and feet of Christ to our world, country, and local communities.

Thank you again for the opportunity to represent FBCD and to serve you in the capacities I can.


First Baptist Church of Denver is a welcoming and affirming, inclusive Christian community that embraces diversity, engages personal faith, and serves with compassion.