Wrapping Up

July 11, 2014

Paul Msiza
(photo credit: Brian Kaylor)
The business sessions at the Annual Gathering of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) in Izmir, Turkey concluded today. Leaders of the Union of Baptists in Latin America, Caribbean Baptist Fellowship, All Africa Baptist Fellowship, and North American Baptist Fellowship presented reports on their work. Six resolutions were passed, each of which offers a good prophetic witness (I will cover those in an Ethics Daily article next week). The leaders of the Alliance of Baptist Churches in Turkey were recognized for their courageous ministry and for serving as our amazing hosts for the week. And Paul Msiza of South Africa was elected to be the next BWA president, starting at the BWA World Congress next July in Durban, South Africa. The BWA released a statement about Msiza that notes his background and accomplishments. Twelve new vice presidents were also elected.

View from a hotel balcony
(photo credit: Brian Kaylor)
This afternoon I attended a forum that featured Middle Eastern Baptists talking about Baptist life and identity in their countries. The panelists came from Syria, Israel, and Iraq. My Ethics Daily article on Monday will cover their presentations. I also attended the meeting of the North American Baptist Fellowship (NABF). The meeting started with a panel of Canadian Baptists talking about the unique challenges of ministry in their nation, which one panelist said is more like a "stew pot" than a "melting pot." Their remarks offered a different perspective on religion, politics, and society than those heard in the United States. The NABF meeting also included comments from BWA leaders, and a panel on the nature of Baptist preaching in North America that featured Joel Gregory. The various sessions today helped to bring the BWA business to a nice close. You can view photos from my sixth day in Izmir here.

At Aegean Sea during sunset
(photo credit: John Kok)