|Statement on March 12 New Baptist Covenant Followup Meeting||| Print ||
About seventy Baptists assembled at The Carter Center on March 12, 2008, to assess the hundreds of comments and suggestions that poured in following the New Baptist Covenant assembly in Atlanta. Almost of all of the participants represented conventions, associations, universities, or other organizations. They divided into ten groups to discuss issues related to evangelism and nine other subjects.
After sharing their reports, there was a more general forum that addressed the long term status of the New Baptist Covenant. An earlier decision was reconfirmed that we would not form a separate official organization, but would continue to build upon the excitement and inspiration that was shared by more than 15,000 of us who attended the Atlanta assembly, and work harmoniously with other Baptists. There was a consensus that we would reconvene the New Baptist Covenant in 2011, in the historic Baptist pattern of triennial meetings. We will be as active as possible during the intervening years. To allow for more diversity, including women and young people, our original steering committee will be expanded from five to about a dozen members.
The possibility of convening at least five regional meetings in the next year as we expand participation in the New Baptist Covenant was explored, including special efforts to encourage participation among young people. Other local New Baptist Covenant gatherings are encouraged.
Expert counseling will be sought concerning how we can assist actively in such major social issues as global warming, health care, poverty, criminal justice, human rights, religious liberty, elimination of nuclear weapons, and peace in the Middle East and elsewhere. Representatives of other Baptist organizations that deploy domestic and foreign missionaries also will be invited for advice on expanded personal participation by individuals, church congregations, and with financial contributions.
In addition to suggestions for our group as a whole, an extensive list of specific recommendations is included below and published on our Website, www.NewBaptistCovenant.org, for church congregations and individual Baptists who desire to expand their Christian ministry by reaching out in their own immediate neighborhoods to other ethnic congregations ministering, in Jesus’ name, to the “poor, the brokenhearted, the captives, the blind, and those who are bruised.”
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