Help Support our Students as they Answer God’s Call on their Lives. Please Help us Raise $5000.00
On December 1, 2015, American Baptist Seminary of the West will participate in #GivingTuesday to encourage support for the seminary’s Seminary Fund. Retail stores all across America celebrate “Black Friday” and online retailers tout “Cyber Monday” we hope offer an opportunity for God’ people to leverage social media and to participate in a national movement dedicated to giving. Our goal is to use #GivingTuesday to raise $5000.00 to support our seminary fund.
All donations made on #GivingTuesday will receive a portion of matching funds, and we’re even eligible for cash prizes to further this cause – so now’s the time to get involved! Please consider making a donation and sharing this campaign with your friends and family to help us reach our goal.
Giving online is easy and fast, and your support will make a real difference.
Originally posted here, these words are a good reminder for us all.
Dear American Baptists,
In the midst of all the harsh rhetoric spoken and actions taken with regard to allowing Syrian refugees to resettle in America we can take inspiration from the Baptist community of Lebanon. Though a very tiny community, the Baptists of Lebanon have been in the forefront of compassionate efforts to assist the thousands of refugees fleeing from Syria to Lebanon. They do so out of a simple gospel principle: Christ calls them to love. As a response to this incredible response of welcome and care, many of these refugees are now found in Baptist churches on Sunday. One of the Muslim leaders put it this way, “In all the history of our faith, we have never seen such love toward us.”
In the midst of the fear mongering we can make a difference as the American Baptist community in simply being who Jesus calls us to be and extending compassion to those who have lost everything in the strife in the Middle East. We all look back and wonder how nations could have turned aside Jewish families seeking refuge as Hitler rose to power. May the same not be asked of us.
Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley
General Secretary, American Baptist Churches USA
Fear mongers abound. We are afraid of Syrians. We are afraid of angry young white men. We throw around statistics like they were meaningful data points. We prooftext holy writ as if that was ever a convincing argument to someone who disagreed with us. Words like “always” and “forever” litter my social media streams. – Tripp Hudgins
I was thinking about the reasons for my withdrawal from social media over the last couple of months when I came across a friend and colleague’s post (Thanks Tripp Hudgins.) I’ve mostly been thinking about one ethicist’s analysis of our predicament. In essence he argues that we have no shared basis for providing rational justifications for our assertions and therefore we are left with a clash of wills. (To my grad school friends – don’t worry I remain no fan of McIntyre) So we may spout off statistics and facts or pseudo-facts like we are in some rational debate but because we share no common premise of the good and the right all we are really doing in our discourse is trying to over power each other. And here of late all I see in my social media feed (Nextdoor, Twitter, Facebook, SeeClickFix) is a power struggle and it hurts. It hurts because I believe that at some fundamental level the point of communication is to work toward empathy and seeing the world from the perspective of the other. As a communal practice it should lead us toward the construction of the common good, in the parlance of the secular, or the Beloved Community in that of the sacred. Perhaps I am just too impatient as we struggle to come to grips with life’s complexities and tragedies and need to be reminded of the fuller nature of human struggle for “we struggle not against flesh and blood….”
In addition to being loved by Jesus, Leslie Bowling-Dyer is a mother, wife, daughter, neighbor, preacher, teacher, PhD student, bicycle commuter and wishes she was a good hip hop dancer. She is also an alumna of ABSW.