Reflections from the 2019 ABCUSA Biennial Mission Summit
Rev. Dr. Marie Onwubuariri, Regional Executive Minister
The Mission Summit occurs every two years for the whole American Baptist family. It is a time for learning, renewal, and for meeting and reconnecting with many across the denominational family. It was a joy to run into close to twenty Wisconsin American Baptists at the June Mission Summit in Virginia Beach—some in the airport, some on the beach boardwalk, most in the convention center! Our ABC/WI attendees participated in a variety of activities, including national Board meetings, the 50th anniversary events of the Black Caucus, meetings of the Asian and Hispanic Caucuses, Orientation to ABC Life briefings, a variety of ministry-equipping workshops and mission-focused conversations, informational and celebratory meal events, plenary worship services, a breadth of networking and fellowship gatherings, and served as leaders of sessions and worship.
A topic that continues to be on my heart following this year’s gathering is the well-being of our clergy. I attended two different sessions that addressed this widespread concern. The mental, emotional, and physical health trends of those who commit their lives to vocational ministry continues to raise concerns, even in comparison with other adult populations in the U.S.
“When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him…”Matt 14:13 NIV
How does your church contribute to the poor health of its ministerial leaders? In what ways does it support health? I pray we can collectively foster healthy expect-ations and practices, especially of those who spend their lives pouring out for others.