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CBFVA 2019 General Assembly Retrospective

by Terry Maples, Coordinator

This year’s CBFVA General Assembly took place on September 17 at Bethel Baptist Church in Midlothian. Those who gathered enjoyed wonderful fellowship, were inspired by Paul Baxley’s thematic presentation, were challenged by Faithful Voices workshops, and were moved by meaningful worship. Participants learned about CBFVA missions and ministries and discovered ways to connect with the Fellowship. Here are a few highlights for those who could not attend.

  • Each participant received a Ministry Planner outlining CBFVA ministries for 2019-2020. Click here to view the Ministry Planner on our website (www.cbfva.org). In addition to focusing on this year’s mission/ministry initiatives, the Ministry Planner contains a summary of last year’s accomplishments to prompt thanksgiving for who we are and what we do together for God’s kingdom.
  • Mark Snipes described major youth initiatives for 2020: Mission Madness 10th Anniversary Celebration on March 27-29 at Second Baptist Church in Richmond and Youth Winter Summit taking place over Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend at University Baptist Church in Charlottesville (focus: racial justice). Mark reminded folks of ways local congregations can partner with CBFVA in the area of mission engagement.
  • Terry Maples highlighted several new initiatives:
  • Projects CBFVA will fund with the $100,000 block grant from CBF.
  • Bill Leonard is our keynote for Pastors’ School on January 30 with several satellite viewing locations made possible in addition to on-site participation at Huguenot Road Baptist, Richmond.
  • Art Wright is CBFVA’s Theologian in Resident for the upcoming year. Art’s primary task is to help us think more theologically, and he will create resources to assist our congregations.
  • To be released in October, CBFVA produced eight Faithful Voices Bible studies written by clergy from Virginia.
  • Terry Maples engaged Paul Baxley in a Q & A so folks in Virginia could learn more about CBF’s Executive Coordinator.
  • Below is a summary from the business session:
  1. We modified CBFVA’s bylaws to allow Michael Cheuk to serve a two-year term as Moderator (this is a pilot project). David Haun will serve as Vice Moderator (a position created to keep five people on the Advisory Council).
  2. Kris Aaron (First Baptist, Bristol) was elected as Region 1 Representative on the Coordinating Council, and Marnie Fisher-Ingram (River Road, Richmond) was elected as Youth Representative on the Coordinating Council.
  3. The Assembly expressed gratitude to Laura Davis for serving as CBFVA’s Moderator during 2018-2019. We also thanked Todd Blake and Mary Russell who are rotating off the Coordinating Council.
  4. The Assembly approved a new ministry budget of $308,291.00 for 2019-2020 (an increase of 10.8% from the previous year).
  • Four excellent and timely workshops inspired us: Faithful Voices for Racial Reconciliation with Jim Somerville and Herbert Ponder, Advocacy as a Spiritual Discipline with Austin Almaguer and Andre Towner, Faithful Voices with Immigrants with Sue Smith, and Learning Faithfulness Among Those Experiencing Homelessness with Josh and Jessica Hearne.
  • Closing worship was very meaningful. Our proclaimers did an incredible job of speaking to the theme with their faithful voices: Alice Cates Clarke and Daniel Glaze. Paul Baxley led communion.

We express gratitude to the staff and members of Bethel Baptist Church. The hospitality offered to us was warm and welcoming, and we are thankful! We appreciate all who helped make this a wonderful General Assembly experience for all who gathered!