BWA Annual Gathering in Thailand
Approximately 300 Baptist leaders, pastors, theologians, seminary presidents, professors and interested Baptists from almost 50 countries are traveling to Bangkok, Thailand, for worship, fellowship, study and decision meetings
The Annual Gathering of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) takes place 2-7 July and will include meetings of the General Council and the Executive Committee, the two governing bodies of the BWA.
A highlight of the week will be the election of a new general secretary for the BWA who will succeed Neville Callam, who retires in December after more than 10 years of service in that position.
A dinner will be held in Callam's honor on Thursday, 6 July, in addition to a special event to be held in the state of Virginia in the United States in October. The Callam Unity Fund has been established to strengthen the bonds of oneness and unity among Baptists and beyond.
Dr Callam's newest book, From Fragmentation to Wholeness: Race, Ethnicity, and Communion, published by Judson Press, will be made available during the Annual Gathering.
The 2017 Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award will be presented to medical doctor Cynthia Maung who has devoted nearly 30 years to providing healthcare to refugees from Myanmar living on the country's border with Thailand. Maung was among the displaced Karen who fled Myanmar and settled in Mae Sot on the border between the two countries.
In addition to committee meetings, commissions will host presentations on a wide array of subjects in theology, mission and evangelism. Internationally recognised Baptist scholar, Anthony R. Cross, will be the presenter at a special forum on baptism.
Other subjects to be covered by commissions are Spiritual and Moral Formation of Christians, Contextualization of Theological Education and Constructing a Spirituality for the Dislocated, among others.
Justice issues related to human rights, religious freedom, social oppression, poverty, gender, the environment and other areas of concern will also be explored, such as How to Create Environmental Awareness Among Churches, Reframing our Relationship to Creation and Understanding the Global Issue of Modern Slavery.
A crisis management and communication training seminar will explore how to conduct a threat assessment and the basic principles to be applied in the event of a crisis.
A special welcome event is being planned by Thai Baptists.