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Patterns of Ministry at Home and Abroad: Change and Continuity
Discussion of ministry is very much a contemporary concern but it has been at the heart of Baptist understanding of the church’s mission from the earliest confessions of the seventeenth century onwards, and it is there more recently as a vital part of the Faith and Order document – Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry – seeking consensus amongst the churches.
How do Baptists relate to a three-fold ministry of bishop, presbyter and deacon?. The words may not come easily to Baptist lips, in this country at least, but the different functions are there – -the ministry of episcope or oversight, found in the role of messengers in the seventeenth century, later Association Secretaries, General Superintendents/Regional Ministers and the many who in subsequent years have exercised more informal patterns of episcope.. Pastors have been highly esteemed, but what are their essential functions? Preaching, pastoral care, the ministry of sacrament/ordinance.? Churches have been anxious to serve those in need though without any precise definition of diaconal office, though the nearest to this is probably to be found in the history of the deaconess order. There may be debate today about the notion of bivocational ministry, but it might be argued that this has been part of a pattern of service over many years, with the pastor who also served as schoolmaster perhaps being the most common combination. The diversity of chaplaincy services also needs analysis, and the ministry of women both in this country and in the mission field is worthy of study. What too of the argument that ministers are not college-made but Spirit-formed: how are women and men prepared for ministry? And how does the idea of the priesthood of all believers relate to all this? An evaluation of the work of a particular minister could be the subject of an appropriate entry.
Whilst the area of potential study has been deliberately set very wide, candidates are advised to limit their area of investigation to what can be properly encompassed within an essay of no more than 6,000 words for the main text. The essay should be original, unpublished, based on personal research, and not have been awarded another prize. The winning entry, and any other deemed worthy, will be published in the Baptist Quarterly. The Society reserves the right to make no award if no essay is of sufficient merit.
Submissions should be written with proper critical apparatus, for example professional footnotes, bibliography, and identification of appropriate archival material [preferably conforming to the style-guide for articles for the Baptist Quarterly]. They should be sent to the Secretary of the Baptist Historical Society no later than 31st December 2016
The Payne Memorial Essay commemorates the life and work of the Revd Dr E.A. Payne (1902-80), General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland, a President of the World Council of Churches and President of the Baptist Historical Society.
We have been sad to hear of the death of David Goodbourn, a Baptist with a great presence in the world. Read his obituary here
Our newest publications are:
Here’s what’s up on the hoardings, while renovation is underway…
If you are in or around London, you might enjoy some of these….
International Conference on Baptist Studies VII
Luther King House
15-18 July 2015
The capacity of the House is limited to 59 and so early booking is advisable
Theme ‘Baptists and Revival’
Including traditional revivals, modern crusades and the more general reinvigoration of Baptist life.
Short papers to last no more than 25 minutes in delivery are welcome. Contact Professor D. W. Bebbington, School of History and Politics, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland, United Kingdom (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Registration forms are available from Beverley Bartram, Conference Office, Luther King House, Brighton Grove, Manchester M14 5JP, United Kingdom (e-mail: LKHConferenceOffice@lkh.co.uk; tel: +44 (0)161 249 2539).
Further information is available from Nathan Finn, Associate Professor of Historical Theology and Baptist Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina (e-mail: email@example.com).
On June 21st, members from around the country met for the AGM and to listen to a lecture from Andy Vail.
A small and select group, our president encouraged us to celeberate “networks” as the centre of qwhat holds us together, including the network of those of us who tell and pass on the stories and memories of our community.
We received reports and accounts and enjoyed Andy’s lecture, which will be published in due course. With the loss of the chance to meet at Assembly, this event maty become even more important in years ahead. PLease do keep a look out for details of next year’s gathering.
WE WILL REMEMBER
By Keith Clements
Much will be said about the First World War during this time of commemoration. For Christians particularly it will be a time for reflection on how the churches 100 years ago responded to the crisis of war and the immensity of suffering that it unleashed, and on what this may still have to teach us as faith struggles with the issues of a violent world today.
We Will Remember is a collection of voices from the First World War and its aftermath, showing how faith faced up to the shock of international conflict, the moral issues of patriotism and obedience to God, of suffering and grief, of enmity and forgiveness, of the choices between bearing arms and pacifism, and of how far the churches were able to remain faithful to their calling as members of the one, worldwide body of Christ when their nations were at war with each other.
Some of the voices are from already familiar figures, whether preachers, poets, soldiers, writers, theologians or peace campaigners. But many others are heard for the first time, and there are some surprises, contradicting easy generalisations about how churches and their leaders behaved. German and Indian voices are heard too. At the end of each chapter suggestions are made for biblical meditation, and questions and themes offered for study either individually or in groups.
“Let us have the courage to face the truth. It is not particular nations or classes or statesmen who are the makers of war; it is not the Kings or Emperors, it is not militarists, it is not the scare-makers or the Press; it is you and I. They are the puppets of destiny, we are the creators of destiny.”
(Eglantyne Jebb, 1915)
We Will Remember is published as an Ebook by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) and can be downloaded FREE from the CTBI website http://www.ctbi.org.uk – go to “world war 1 centenary”.
There will be a BHS Conference in 2016, on the theme Scripture, Church and Tradition,.
It will take place in Regent’s Park College, Oxford. The dates are yet to be confirmed.
This will be a joint event with the Centre for Baptist History and Heritage.
The society is pleased to welcome Revd Dr Keith Jones as our new president. Dr Jones has recently finished 15 years of service as rector at IBTS which was then in Prague, and has returned to this country. This gives him time space and availability to resume a more active part in the society, and he has started as President at the beginning of this year.