It was great to have Elijah Brown of @baptistworld in #Missouri last week as the keynote speaker for Churchnet's Spring Gathering (photo 2). We took him across the state so more #Baptists could hear from him about the BWA, with stops in Lee's Summit, Liberty, & Columbia (photo 3) before the gathering in Webster Groves. Glad we could help more people learn about the global Baptist family. . Look for coverage in the May issue of Word&Way and my interview with him in an upcoming episode of the Word&Way podcast Baptist Without An Adjective. #tbt
Four Baptist ministers walked into a Senate hearing room... . It's not a joke! We went to testify in the Missouri Senate's Education Committee against #HB267 (which encourages #BibleLiteracy classes in public schools). From left: Brittany McDonald-Null, pastoral resident at First Baptist Church in Columbia; Carol McEntyre, pastor at FBC in Columbia; @brianwford, executive director at Churchnet; & me. . I was the lone voice against the bill during the House hearing in February (after about 8 people testified for it). So, it was great to be joined by other advocates for true #ReligiousLiberty for all. We were also joined by Cynthia Holmes (a Baptist attorney) & a few other witnesses. While only 4 testified for the bill, 9 offered remarks against it (photo 2 is Carol holding up a children's book about Jonah as she made a point about why churches & families should teach the Bible, not public schools). . I'm not optimistic about the committee, but hope we set the stage to beat this at the full Senate level. #moleg
Watching the news as Notre Dame burns is devastating. It's a gorgeous cathedral with rich history. My favorite place in Paris. Here are a few photos from 2015 when I had opportunity to worship there in special ecumenical service with Christians from around the world (photo 2). There is so much art & history in the building (in addition to the building itself), much of which might be lost. Truly irreplaceable items from hundreds of years ago are burning. And during holy week...
Great to see Elisey Pronin from #Ukraine again yesterday. Latest issue of Word&Way has an excerpt from his book Chronicles of Undeclared War, so it was good to be able to give him copies of the magazine. He was a pastor in eastern Ukraine until war there in 2014 (& now he's a church planter & seminary professor in western Ukraine). . If you don't get Word&Way & missed this powerful story, just buy his book from Amazon! You can also hear my interview with him last year in episode 9 of the Word&Way podcast Baptist Without An Adjective, & an excerpt from his book in episode 22. Find both at podcast.wordandway.org.
One of my favorite parts of the annual convention of the Evangelical Press Association was meeting people who lead Christian magazines in other nations. Their struggles through harassment & financial/infrastructural challenges are inspiring. Here are 3 I met: Photo 1 - Gokhan Talas of Miras, the only Christian magazine in Turkey. Photo 2 - Lara Odebiyi of Dabira Magazine, which is for women in Nigeria. Photo 3 - Joseph Benjamin of Gujarati Christians, a magazine in western India.
I've enjoyed being at the annual convention of the Evangelical Press Association. Been learning from other Christian journalists some key tips to improve Word&Way. But I've also recorded a couple interviews for upcoming episodes of the Word&Way podcast Baptist Without An Adjective. . Photo 1: Scott McConnell of LifeWay Research. Photo 2: Mark DeYmaz of Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas. Photo 3: Rodney Calfee of the International Mission Board. #EPAideas
Happened to be passing thru Joplin, Mo., today, so stopped & grabbed a newspaper since I'm quoted in a front-page story. I offered some thoughts for the article 'Bible literacy' bill raises questions. . I testified against the #BibleLiteracy bill in a Missouri House committee hearing. The House since approved the bill & now the Senate will consider it. So, I appreciate the opportunity to speak about it in @joplinglobe. #moleg
Had a great time last night at the #BeatingGuns service in #JCMO. Churchnet (where I serve as associate director) cosponsored the event along with Missouri Faith Voices. It was a powerful night inspired by the prophetic imagination of Isaiah & Micah about beating swords into plowshares. . Photo 1 - Michael Martin of @rawtoolsinc at the forge. Photo 2 - Shane Claiborne speaking about gun violence. Photo 3 - @pastahj leading us in music Photo 4 - Lincoln University student Tilley Watson sharing about the shooting deaths of 2 students last semester. Photo 5 - W.T Edmonson, associate pastor at 2nd Baptist Church, reading from Martin Luther King Jr's last sermon from 51 years ago that night. Photo 6 - Me with host pastor Cassandra Gould, Claiborne, Martin, & Brooks.
I really enjoyed the @baptistjointcommittee #ShurdenLectures earlier this week. And I've been chewing on some of the things Aidsand Wright-Riggins said in his 2 excellent, challenging addresses. I'm looking forward to sharing more from him in the May issue of Word&Way magazine & an upcoming episode of the Word&Way podcast Baptist Without An Adjective. . Photo 1: 1st lecture at @williamjewellcollege. Photo 2: 2nd BJC lecture at @centralseminary.