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ABC President Final Report November 14, 2015

In my final report, I leave you 3 “I”s.

Integrity

In everything that we are about, I pray that we act with integrity. Integrity means to be real, honest, and not artificial. We have striven to be representative and inclusive. You see this around the room. Some may say that it’s “denominational engineering,” but I say that whenever we have the heart and energy to do it, we must reflect closer to the family of God in Jesus. We have racial/ethnic, gender, regional, and age diversity. When we return home, we may not look like this but even if it’s for 3 days when we can look like the Body of Christ, it’s worth all of the funds, all of the energies, all of the days away from home to become the foretaste of what is to come.

Integration

In the past few years with the introduction of new by-laws, we are beginning to see a deeper sense of integration in the ministries before us. We are seeing the relationship that the Biennial Mission Summit has to do with the Mission Table and how that relates to future programs and initiatives. We are seeing the inter-related impact that United Mission has. With the emergence of new and hopeful servant leaders, we are intentionally integrating more ideas and plans with the trust and hope that what we can’t do by ourselves with God’s help, we can do together. A pizza is not a true pizza unless there are many slices for many people to eat.

Identity

I have been an American Baptist from birth. It’s my birthright because if it weren’t for FBC of Boston, I would not have been born. I have been a proud American Baptist with no apology because it’s my identity. Who would champion American Baptist Churches if not us? In our ABC identity, we come to understand and appreciate other religious faiths. In our ABC identity, we recognize our distinctiveness to that of others. When we know our ABC identity in who we are and where we are, we would only then know where we want to go. In an increasingly pluralistic world, let us become clear in our identity as American Baptist to bear witness in Christ.

Read Related Sermon  ABC President’s Report November 11, 2015

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