Daniel Vestal, far right, speaks to CBF staff and Coordinating Council members, who ate lunch together at the CBF Resource Center. CBF photo
ATLANTA – During its meeting Feb. 18-19, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Coordinating Council moved the $14.5 million budget for 2010-2011 forward in the approval process by recommending adoption by the General Assembly in June in Charlotte.
Rob Nash, the Fellowship’s coordinator of Global Missions, reported on the progression of the response to the earthquake in Haiti. In collaboration with partners such as American Baptist Churches USA, Conscience International, Haiti Baptist Convention and Baptist World Alliance, the Fellowship’s field personnel Nancy and Steve James and Scott Hunter are establishing two bases of operations in Cap Haitian and Gran Guave. Construction teams are being called upon now to deploy in next few weeks.
The response is moving from the short-term to the long-term, transformational phase. Because of the generous response of Fellowship churches with more than 6,000 pounds of medical supplies, the workers in Haiti are well stocked. Churches should send medical supplies to North Stuart Baptist Church no later than Feb. 28. After that date, the medical supply effort will end.
“When it comes to the devastation in Haiti, I thank God for the church,” Nash said. “I’m also grateful for partners. We are collaborating with others on Haiti, we are figuring out who can do what and no one owns it. We are in together. We are all aware of the challenges, and we hear it in the voices of our folks on the ground there. Please pray for them.”
Finance Committee Chair Colleen Burroughs presented the proposed $14.5 million budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, and moved it be approved. The Coordinating Council did so, sending it on for final approval by the General Assembly in June. The total budget for 2010-2011 is $16.7 million, which includes the $14.5 million approved by the Council as well $2.2 million from designated gifts in prior years.
Larry Hurst, the Fellowship’s controller, reminded the Council that the Fellowship is currently operating at an 80 percent financial contingency plan. As of Jan. 31, the total revenues were at $4.2 million, 71 percent of the projected amount, and the expenses were at $4.3 million, 80 percent of projections.
In addition, the Council approved a Covenant of Partnership and Missional Collaboration between the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina and the national CBF organization, a record retention and destruction policy and intellectual property policy.
The Council also received a proposed national framework to address poverty in the U.S., presented by the Interacting with the World Community Collaborative. Created in response to the 2008-09 priority discernment process, the Collaborative offered a seven-point plan designed to alleviate domestic poverty.
The proposal designated the Poverty/Transformation Ministries Community, one of eight ministry groups recently created, as the Fellowship’s framework to alleviate poverty. The poverty community’s virtual convening space is at http://fellowshipportal.ning.com
. The community will meet during the 2010 General Assembly.
The framework will include participants from the Fellowship’s rural poverty initiative leadership team as well as the CBF Global Missions Urban Team. A volunteer national facilitator for the group is being sought as well as regional participants to serve as local coordinators.
In his report, CBF Executive Coordinator Daniel Vestal said that in late April leaders of the Fellowship, state and regional CBF leaders and leaders of partner organizations will meet to talk about the Fellowship’s upcoming 20th anniversary. The three-day retreat will be hosted by Vestal and Babs Baugh, the chair of the 2011 General Assembly steering committee. The Baugh Foundation is funding the event.
“I believe our 20th anniversary celebration should be more than CBF, but a celebration of the whole movement, of which these organizations are a part,” said Vestal. “We will celebrate what God has done through us, but you can’t talk about the past without talking about the present and future. So, this retreat will be a time of both celebration and planning, including planning for the 2011 Assembly in Tampa.”
Vestal also highlighted five challenges the Fellowship faced in the future: defining the relationships with state and regional organizations, addressing relationships with partners, increasing ethnic and cultural diversity, financial stability and starting new churches.
“The future of CBF is not converting churches from other Baptist bodies, but the future is in starting new churches,” he said. “Our future is in fulfilling our mission.”
Connie McNeill, the Fellowship’s coordinator of administration, brought a report on this year’s CBF General Assembly June 23-26, in Charlotte, N.C.
“Build your own Assembly – that’s exactly what we want people to do,” McNeill said. “We are well aware that people have different rhythms to their life, and we want to offer as much flexibility as possible.”
This flexibility to the program includes the debut of the Essentials Conference, specifically designed for lay leaders, and opportunities for individuals to discover their passion and connect with ministry communities related to that passion. More information on the General Assembly and registration is available at www.thefellowship.info/assembly
The Coordinating Council’s next meeting will be June 23, at the General Assembly.
CBF is a fellowship of Baptist Christians and churches who share a passion for the Great Commission and a commitment to Baptist principles of faith and practice. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.