I was privileged to attend a meeting of the North American Baptist Fellowship this past Thursday and Friday in Philadelphia. We met at the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, a large, predominantly African American congregation of 15,000 members. The focus of the meeting was to seek to identify and define some major initiatives that could elicit collaboration from the various bodies that make up the NABF as we looked ahead to the next 50 years. The occasion of the 50th anniversary of the organization provided this opportunity to focus on common concerns and to seek to hammer out in small group dialogues some areas that we all felt our entities could collaborate on together. The three main areas selected were: (1) congregational renewal/transformation, (2) systemic reform aimed at economic oppression, and (3) authentic evangelism.
All of the staff of Churchnet were able to attend so I enjoyed the time with colleagues as well as making new friends from other member bodies of the NABF. I was able to personally meet Tony Cartledge, professor at Campbell University as well as a writer for Baptists Today, whose blog I read regularly. He has a nice article today about the gathering.