On behalf of the congregation at Huguenot Road Baptist Church, we express our appreciation for the ministry partnership that we enjoy with CBFVA. We have greatly benefited through Mission Madness, thematic Bible study materials such as “Beloved Community” and “Seeking Transformation,” and CBF Field Personnel, Sue and Greg Smith. Our staff and I also enjoyed attending CBFVA Pastors’ Schools. This year was no exception! The above are just some of the ways that CBFVA has come alongside us in ministry.
When we heard that CBFVA might need an alternate venue for this year’s Pastors’ School, we immediately volunteered to host the conference. It was great to connect with fellow clergy from the region and to listen and learn from others that day.
Dr. Meredith Stone, Director of Ministry Guidance and Instructor of Christian Ministry and Scripture at Logsdon School of Theology, was the plenary speaker. Her theme was “How does preaching ministry discern the faithful voices of the Bible and allow them to enliven, enlighten, and empower our congregations?” Dr. Stone helped us to listen to listen to the voices in scripture that we may not normally hear. Dr. Mark Biddle, Russell T. Cherry Professor of Old Testament at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, joined Dr. Stone for the afternoon session. We were challenged and inspired through their words and in dialogue with fellow clergy.
One specific takeaway has changed the way that we approach chapel that precedes our staff meetings each Tuesday morning. Prior to the Pastors’ School, each staff person brought their own devotional in chapel. Now, we are using the upcoming week’s sermon passage and at least one of the other Sunday readings from the Revised Common Lectionary. We read and listen. We seek to hear the voices within the text. This helps us begin the week with worship at the center.
Thank you for providing such a meaningful and helpful resource such as the Pastors’ School to clergy. We are better for it and I believe that our churches are better because of it as well.
Senior Pastor, Huguenot Road Baptist Church