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Baptist Steering Group - October 2016

General Secretary Lynn Green shares key messages from the October gathering of the Baptist Steering Group

Gathering at Clanfield in Oxfordshire, Baptist Steering Group met with Ministers from the West of England Baptist Association:
  • Dianne Tidball led us in worship focussing on our Holy God.  Out of this we spent time praying for our world, our churches and the issues before us for the meeting.  Other biblical passages and themes came to the fore as we met; Haggai 2:1-9, The Feeding of the 5,000 and the exodus and wilderness experience of God’s people in the OT.
  • During our time together, the communion table was at the centre; the bread and the wine a powerful symbol of our worship, mission and relationships.  Dan Hatfield, our Accompanier [*], led All Team Leaders in sharing communion.
  • We wrestled together, with deep reflection and prayer; over a number of issues.  It was good to affirm our common vision and resources and yet also to recognise the challenges that we all face together as we seek to be faithful to God’s mission.
  • It was wonderful to meet ministers from the Cotswold Cluster (WEBA) and hear about how their mission and ministry is being encouraged and developed through their working together.  Matt Frost (Cirencester BC) and Anne Dunn (Stonehouse Community Church) were inspiring as they shared their stories.  Together and individually they were a brilliant example of what our vision looks like in practice… “Growing healthy churches in relationship for God’s mission.”  Take a look at their websites to find out more…
  • Dave Ellis and Mike Lowe shared with us about the recent Sam Sharpe lecture (which is available to view on line).  This is another great example of our collaborative working enabling us to promote significant thinking in key areas.
  • We were pleased to hear from the Baptist Together Mission Forum of the recognition of three pioneer co-ordinator roles (part-time).  Pioneering is one of our key areas for investment across Baptists Together and this is one way that we want to achieve this.  Roy Searle will be fulfilling this role for our Northern, Yorkshire, North Western, East Midlands and Heart of England Associations; Simon Goddard for the Eastern, Central, London and South Eastern Associations and Nigel Coles for the South and West Partnership
  • The Baptist Together Mission Forum brought a recommendation that Baptist Together become part of Fresh Expressions, and this was agreed.
  • We received a final update from the Collaborate project team working on our shared database.  They have been able to fulfil the brief for this project within budget and the train the trainer dates were highlighted.  BSG were very grateful for the work the Collaborate team had done on this project and wanted to pass on their thanks to everyone involved. It was great to see how the team had worked in a way that demonstrated true collaborative working for Baptists Together. 

    The team comprises of:
            Chris Fry - SWeBA
            Debbie Gamble - YBA
            Hayley Beckett - EBA
            Rachel Tole - BUC
            Ruth Whiter - WEBA
            Tim Presswood - NWBA
            Tracey Vallance - F&S

*To make space for the Lord and His prophetic insight amongst us BSG have a group of Accompaniers who take it in turns to come to BSG gatherings to listen and reflect back to us what they perceive and observe.  The Accompanying Group consists of our President (Rupert Lazar), our Past President (Jenni Entrican) and our President Elect (Dianne Tidball), Roy Searle, Eric Aidoo and Daniel Hatfield. 
Lynn Green
21 October 2016

The Revd Lynn Green is General Secretary of our Baptist Union

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