The 2018 edition of CBF’s General Assembly did not disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Dallas and am happy to share a summary of my experience.

I often describe a General Assembly as a big family reunion – and it was! From the moment we arrived at the hotel, I began renewing friendships—many of which go all the way back to Southern Seminary (when we claimed it!) days. One could easily spend most of the General Assembly chatting in the hallways or in The Gathering Place.

My first official event at the General Assembly was the Pastor Search Boot Camp led by Craig Janney and Laura Stephens-Reed on Wednesday afternoon. Several of my state and regional colleagues also attended this session where we learned the ins and outs of assisting a congregation as it searches for a pastor or staff minister. Laura wrote a manual to help guide congregations through each phase of the journey. This excellent resource framed our time together.

The Virginia State Meeting featured testimonies highlighting ways in which our Beloved Community theme was used this year:  John DeWitt (Student.Church), Joe Lewis (Mission Box), Courtney Allen (PIVOT Puerto Rico), and Ben Brown (Mission Immersion to France). Stephen Reeves shared what is happening with CBF’s advocacy efforts around immigration, and Greg Smith told a moving story to “put flesh on” immigration in Virginia. We introduced our theme for 2018-2019 – Seeking Transformation, and Mark Snipes shared transformative experiences CBFVA will offer this coming year (stay tuned for details!).

All three worship experiences were powerful—the music memorable (the call to worship song is still an “ear worm”), the proclamation inspiring (go online and listen to the sermons) and the commissioning on Friday evening powerful.

We are The Fellowship, so I took advantage of opportunities to spend time with friends and colleagues while in Dallas. I met with colleagues to talk about partnering with Church Benefits Board on Thursday morning, I attended the New Baptist Covenant Luncheon on Thursday, I spent time with BTSR friends on Thursday evening, and CBFVA sponsored a table at the Religious Liberty Luncheon on Friday.

The work of the newly formed Fellowship Southwest was featured throughout the week. Excellent workshops on a wide variety of topics were offered on Thursday and Friday. Ample opportunities were given to learn about the mission and ministry of CBF. As you can see from this brief report, the 2018 General Assembly was uplifting and encouraging!

Plan now to be in Birmingham, AL, for CBF’s General Assembly, June 19-21, 2019.