Called the Highest Goal
, the document was published in February this year and reflects on the progress BMS has made towards the themes described in its previous vision document ‘For God…’, published in 2010.
It also articulates a revised set of themes, which will guide BMS’ planning and actions in the coming years.
The first theme to be highlighted was ‘Supported by Joyful Giving'. Treasurer Robert Ashurst shared how there had been a net surplus of £50,000 in the last financial year, and gave thanks for that. However, there were challenges as below this headline figure, he said that giving hadn’t kept pace with inflation for the last five years. The theme for the rest of the year is ‘careful stewardship’, he continued. The vibrant finance video update
was also played.
The next theme was ‘refreshed by deep wells’, and Catalyst Live
, the successful two-day 'mission of the mind' conference which took place for the first time last year, and is happening again in October, was advertised.
Other themes included ‘Committed to the great commission’: here Margaret Swires was thanked for all her efforts in Brazil. David and Jenny Mewes spoke of their work in China to help explain the ‘Inspired by prophetic imagination’ theme.
In the autumn BMS will launch a new campaign centred on Gender-based violence, and this was used to highlight the ‘Shaped by global voices’ theme of the mission document. One in three women will experience gender-based violence in their lifetime, said BMS’ Laura Gill. Annett Ttendo, project director for the Ugandan Christian Lawyers Fraternity (UCLF), shared how her work in Uganda was helping to give a voice to women there.
The final theme is ‘Engaged in UK mission’, and UK Field Co-ordinator Graham Doel explained BMS’ work in this area; through consultancy, partnerships and education.
The session also saw introduction of new chair of trustees Maureen Russell, who succeeds Jeff Taylor, while David Kerrigan paid tribute to outgoing finance manager David Locke, who had been on secondment to the Baptist Union and will officially become the Support Services Team Leader in July.