The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is meeting this week in Tampa, Florida to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
Check out a few articles about this gathering of moderate and progressive Baptists:
Female pastors on rise in progressive Baptist bodies (Houston Chronicle)
The number of female pastors in Baptist churches has grown by a third in the past five years….Baptist Women in Ministry found that women’s involvement in ordained ministry is slowly growing among organizations like the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
Reduced financial contributions still a problem, CBF council told (Baptist Standard)
Sagging financial contributions remain a challenge for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, members of the group’s Coordinating Council were told June 22. Current receipts are running at about 82 percent of the $14.5 million budget for 2010-2011, said Bill McConnell, a Knoxville, Tenn., businessman who chairs the council’s finance committee.
…The 66-member council will recommend to the general assembly this week a reduced operating budget of $12.3 million for 2011-2012, a $2.2 million drop from this year’s budget goal. But if projected trends continue, even that lower figure won’t be met, said McConnell.
CBF marks 20th anniversary with laughter, hope (Baptist Standard)
Celebration emcees Clarissa Strickland, a CBF staff member, and Brett Younger, a professor at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology, acknowledged the “Baptist battles” produced many tearful moments. Those tears spilled over into the early years of the Fellowship’s existence, when their beloved SBC institutions fell into the hands of their adversaries, they noted.
But despite the memory of tears, they kept the anniversary crowd laughing. They chuckled at the names SBC leaders called them, such as “skunks” and “liberals.” They hooted at the idiosyncracies of their movement and the organizations it has produced. They cackled at comparisons between their own leaders and some of the SBC firebrands who ousted them.
Anniversary speaker labels CBF ‘movement of the Spirit’ (Associated Baptist Press)
“The Spirit works in freedom, calling the church to new forms of service in the world, and discerning that call is a demanding spiritual practice,” she said. To help, she outlined seven questions to be answered to gauge whether “CBF is called as a movement of the Spirit.”
A hearty party (Baptists Today)
There were serious moments, however. Christy McMillin-Goodwin, minister of education and mission at Oakland Baptist in Rock Hill, S.C. and CBF’s current moderator, compared her spiritual/Baptist journey to Dorothy’s travels in The Wizard of Oz, growing up in a church that was open to women in leadership, later realizing she “wasn’t in Kansas anymore,” and finally finding a home in CBF, which was creating a new “Kansas.”