by Dr. Pat Griffen, CBFAR Moderator
This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Global and also Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas. The 25th year is a significant milestone in the life of a marriage, a congregation and a faith-based organization. This is a time to celebrate God’s blessings, a time to reflect and perhaps most of all, a time to look ahead.
CBF Global has chosen as its theme, "Because Christ’s Love Compels Us," from 2 Cor. 5:14. Plans are underway at the 2016 General Assembly to celebrate the stories of a shared heritage and our shared future.
Compelled to worship
Compelled to lead
Compelled to impact
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 (NIV).
The theme, “Because Christ’s Love Compels Us,” raises a question and also invites a response. The Love of Christ compels us to what? The response frames the theme I have chosen this year for CBFAR, which is:
Building a Diverse and Inclusive Community through
Relationships & Social Advocacy
I invite you to continue the work of CBF/AR this year by joining me in developing this theme at the local level. Dr. Higgins and I have been meeting and collaborating over the past few months to prepare for the year.
There are several developments in the works around global missions, social advocacy, women in ministry and others that will be announced later. Our hope is that we can work collaboratively to develop relationships throughout CBFAR to activate this ministerial theme. You will be hearing more about the specifics for the year at a later date. In the meantime, we are planning to initiate personal contacts and visits during the year.
Allow me to share with you a brief vignette about one of my s/heroes, Harriet Tubman, who, by the way, has been in the news recently.
Harriet Tubman, sometimes referred to as the “Black Moses,” could not read books, but she could read the stars to find her way North to freedom. She freed not only herself from slavery, but returned to slave country again and again through forests and streams and across mountains to lead other slaves to freedom at great personal danger. She was tough. She was determined. She was fearless. She was shrewd but most of all, she trusted God completely to deliver her, and other fleeing slaves, from pursuing captors who had placed a bounty on her life.
She is quoted as saying, “’Twa’nt me. ’Twas the Lord. I always told Him, I trust You. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect You to lead me. And He always did. On my underground railroad, I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.” It is said that she made a total of 19 trips on the Underground Railroad. What a compelling response to the call of Christ.
I am humbled by being chosen to serve as Moderator of CBFAR for 2016-2017. I look forward to working with you. Let us now look ahead, let us look forward to this year, as we together build “A Diverse and Inclusive Community through Relationships and Social Advocacy.”
For photos from the CBFAR 2016 Annual Business Meeting, please click here.