|Joint Midwinter Meeting||| Print ||
Daily joint sessions will feature forums designed to address topics pertinent to Convention delegates. Each focus forum presentation highlights a challenge to the work of the four National Baptist Conventions in America - Faith in a Global Perspective; Faith in Health Disparities; Faith in Justice and Public Policy - and will offer dialogue and discussion on social justice and civil liberties, healthcare funding, child advocacy, HIV/AIDS, the judicial system, voter education and obligation, the war in Iraq, and more. Church leaders and laypersons are responsible for the continuation of these dialogues and discussions once they return to their respective Conventions, from which initiatives are to be developed that will effect global change.
According to Presidents Shaw, Thurston, Smith, and Robertson, the purpose of this gathering is greater than the second reuniting of four great religious bodies. For these leaders, this gathering represents the body of Christ joining together as they collectively do effective work, crossing racial lines, to confront world crises.
“Cooperative opportunities to address various Challenges of Faith within our respective communities would not have been possible if we, the four National Baptist Conventions in America, had not confronted our own demons as we came together in 2005 for the first time in history to forge the Joint Midwinter Board Meeting of the National Baptist Conventions, states Dr. William J. Shaw, president, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. Now, as one voice in 2008, we continue to effect change as we reach out to embrace other denominations in support of the New Baptist Covenant.
“We appreciate the invitation extended by former President Jimmy Carter to be a part of the New Baptist Covenant and relish the prospect of forming new relationships with Baptists of all races and ethnicities. As humanity must recognize all of as one, so too must we as Baptists. Let us shape the role of Baptist ministry and witnessing worldwide, together.”
Joint session programming will also focus special attention on the distinct literary form of metered hymns, a centuries old sacred music tradition of the African American church, in an effort to keep customs such as lining out, and many others, alive and relevant.