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Where Will AWAB'S Next National Gathering Be?
In 2013 AWAB held it's first gathering in a triennial cycle that we are establishing as we enter our third decade. Our 20th anniversary celebration was held in Providence, RI as an historic time of both looking back and looking forward. We met at the First Baptist Church in America and drank deep from the well of our Baptist foundations of freedom for religious beliefs that are life giving and based in the Gospel imperative to love as we first have been loved.
In 2016 we will gather again but with a new imperative and a new global landscape of what being welcoming & affirming means. Because of that we are looking for a location for our next gathering that speaks to the global nature of our community while remembering the places where freedom has yet to rise here in the US.
To that end we are looking to the south as a center point of the need for freedom in the next decade. Do you have a thought about where the next gathering should beheld? If you do, send us a note and tell us where and why. Send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
Pew Research Article Explores SBC "Third-Way" Church in CA
As the Southern Baptist Convention began its 2014 annual meeting in Baltimore, the country’s largest Protestant body confronted an issue agitating many conservative evangelical Christian churches: How to navigate the rapidly shifting landscape of same-sex marriage and homosexuality.
The denomination, which claims 16 million members but also has been struggling with declining membership, defines God’s plan for marriage and sexual intimacy as between “one man and one woman,” and teaches that homosexuality is “not a ‘valid alternative lifestyle.’” According to its constitution, if a congregation decides to “affirm, approve or endorse homosexual behavior,” it is considered no longer “in cooperation with” the wider body.
To read more click here.
AWAB Calls on the SBC to Recant Anti-Transgender Resolution
The Board and Staff of the Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists (AWAB) is angered by the Southern Baptist Convention's resolution condemning the transgender community as particularly "fallen" and, if not repentant of their very nature, outside the fellowship of the church and communion with God. We are gravely concerned about the message this sends to transgender persons, a message that says "if you pray and give your life over to Christ you will be healed.”
To read more and to sign the statement click here.
AWAB Joins Federal Lawsuit Challenging North Carolina's Marriage Laws, Including Amendment One
On May 5, 2014 AWAB joined the General Synod of the United Church of Christ vs. Cooper as a plaintiff in the pending Federal District Court lawsuit challenging North Carolina's marriage laws, including Amendment One. Among the suit's charges is that North Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage restricts the rights of clergy to practice freely their beliefs and therefore violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Read more...
Other stories on the NC Lawsuit
United Church of Christ Announcement on Landmark Lawsuit
Alliance of Baptists and other Join UCC Lawsuit
Religious Liberty Bills in the USA Miss the Mark
With the increase in bills designed to protect personal religious liberty states grapple with the conflict between the declining importance of religion in general and the very vocal minority who see much of their power and former status as the keepers of the American Ideal being lost.
AWAB Makes Believe Out Loud's top ten list for 2013!
While the new Pope was making headlines and Exodus International was apologizing for the harm their ex-gay ministries have caused over the years, AWAB was celebrating 20 years of being the Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists and 40 years of working for the inclusion of LGBTQ people within Baptist communities in the USA. Read more here.
New LGBTQ and Faith Conversation Resource Available
Groundswell, an initiative of the Auburn Seminary Media department, has created a new resource to help people have fruitful dialogue on LGBTQ families and faith. The Friends and Family Plan offers people a customizable tool that will equip you to speak with friends, family members, co-workers and others from this specific context both relationally and geographically.
You can find this new resource at http://www.friendsandfamilyplan.org/
Not All Like That Christians Project