Dear Beloved Community,
I’ve returned from a week away, shared with our larger Baptist family and First on Fifth denominational partners, and what a gift it was! I, along with our Amy McClure, Mary Kaylor, Ka’thy Gore Chappell, and Scott Hudgins, gathered with over 200 other Baptists in Louisville, Kentucky for the 40th anniversary celebration of Baptist Women in Ministry (BWIM). Centering the stories and courage of the 33 foremothers whose work brought forth what we now know as BWIM, the gathering was full of hope — for what was, what is, and what will be. It was an absolute honor to bear witness to these ones who came before and paved the way for people like me to serve precisely as God calls.
From Louisville, I traveled to Washington, DC, for the annual board meeting of the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty (BJC). BJC’s laser focus on advancing the cause of faith freedom for all sits right at the center of our historic Baptist principles of soul freedom, Bible freedom, church freedom, and religious freedom. In an age where Christian nationalism presses into our common life, threatens the freedom of many, and betrays the heart of God who celebrates all people in their fullness, the work of BJC has never been more urgent or necessary.
Know that every time I’m away, I relish the opportunity to learn from our friends and neighbors, and of course to tell the story of you, how First Baptist on Fifth continues to live into the shape of our obedience to God in this time and place. We are so fortunate to be encouraged by these brilliant partners that help give shape to this path we follow!
Together in God’s work of Love,