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Lamenting Injustice*

Fall 2012 Issue

By Cheryl Davis, member of Highland Baptist Church, Louisville

Family and friends anxiously awaited my return from a recent trip to Morocco and welcomed me home with open arms. One by one, they ask, How was your trip? Their faces are expectant, smiling, hopeful. I pause. Well, it was . . . my voice trails off as I search for words. Good, I mumble hesitantly, knowing some dont have time for my vagueness. Wanting to be honest with folks who have time to talk, I usually say, It was hard. I notice their looks of discomfort. Oh, all the travel must have been tough. Or they think perhaps the accommodations

KBF Open House

December 14; 1-4 p.m. Please come see us in our new office: Broadway Baptist Church 4000 Brownsboro Rd. Louisville, KY 40207 Refreshments will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there!
Cheryl Davis, Mark Howell, and Josh Speight interviewed these men who are Nigerian refugees living in tents outside of a major city in Morocco.

werent the best. Or that the heat was oppressive or the culture itself felt repressed. Without sounding overly dramatic, what I really want to say to those who ask about our experience is that I have come to understand human suffering in a new and deeply disturbing way, along with my own complicity in it. And that my heart is aching and tender for the young men, women and children who are barely managing to eke out a living in a country that will not even acknowledge their existence. And that my mind is reeling with the intricacies involved with the refugees situation and that despite our will, our benevolent desires and our resources, dramatic changes in their circumstances are unlikely or maddeningly slow, at best.
Lamenting Injustice, contd on back of insert

The Spirituality of Financial Resources

by John Lepper, Coordinator, Kentucky Baptist Fellowship Many people have found the writings of Father Henri Nouwen to nurture their spiritual growth. Nouwen wrote 40 books about spirituality. His works were simple yet profound. One of his books that I have found most insightful was the little treatise titled, The Spirituality of Fund-Raising. The title doesnt, at first, seem to be congruent. Perhaps in our minds, we have placed fund raising in one compartment and spirituality in another compartment. Nouwen reminds us to connect those two compartments and ideas! I observed this connection just this past weekend when I led a retreat for deacons and spouses. It was interesting that, as we talked, I became aware that a spiritual high point in the life of this congregation was their Legacy Campaign held a few years ago. Had I not known beforehand, I might not have noticed from their description that the Legacy Campaign was actually a capital fund-raising campaign. That campaign had to do with spiritual values and those spiritual values translated into many people giving sacrificially in order to provide better facilities. But the outcome was far more than money or a renovated building. The Legacy Campaign resulted in significant spiritual growth for this congregation. Their experience resonated with my own. Over a quarter century ago, I served as pastor of a congregation that was involved in a capital campaign. In that case, we were raising funds to renovate and update the sanctuary. During the four or five weeks of the concentrated emphasis, we had new members every Sunday! Both of these experiences point to the truths Nouwen lifts up in his book, The Spirituality of FundRaising. Nouwen sees fund-raising as a ministry! It is a way of connecting resources to needs. Fund-raising is proclaiming what we believe in such a way that we offer other people an opportunity to participate with us in our vision and mission. When this happens, we are called into a new, more spiritual relationship with [our] needs and [our] resources. So during these last days of 2012, we move into the season when you may spend large amounts of money on gifts. As you do so, I encourage you to also connect your resources to those causes that you value. Perhaps Kentucky Baptist Fellowship is such a cause. If so, please remember us this season by sharing of your financial resources so that we can continue to provide ministries in Kentucky and beyond.

Were building our community!

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KBF Youth Missions Weekend April 12-14, 2013 Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY

Words from our Moderator

By Adam Schell, Pastor, Melbourne Heights Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky Last Sunday, after the benediction was prayed bringing morning worship to an end at my church and before our quarterly business session was called to order, I spent part of my afternoon installing a new car seat for my daughter. Its hard to believe that only six months ago my wife and I were bringing home our little bundle of joy, but now she isnt so little anymore. Shes rolling all over our apartment. Shes almost sitting entirely on her own. Shes building on her vocabulary, discovering new sounds almost everyday. And being the proud daddy that I am, I love to brag to everyone of her accomplishments. Its also hard to believe that six months ago I became the moderator for the KBF, largely because so much has happened in Fellowship life since then. Over the last six months, we officially launched our Mission Asset Map. We completed our seventh Extreme Build home. Weve sent a group of Kentuckians to Morocco, continuing to strengthen our partnerships with the EEAM and local churches there. Weve seen the structure of our Coordinating Council change, as we adapt to better serve congregations across this state. In a matter of weeks, well see the KBFs office officially relocate. And being the proud moderator that I am, I love to celebrate all that the KBF is accomplishing. Yet regardless of how much is being accomplished in KBF life, we strive to remain focused on who we are and what were about. At our core we are always about God and building Gods kingdom. We do this through offering you opportunities to serve, whether its Extreme Build or partnering with churches across the globe. We do this by creating times for you to fellowship with other KBF congregations and individuals, whether its our Spring Gathering or a peer learning group. And we do this by trying to serve you and the church you attend, whether you are bridging to the interim or trying to become more missional. So even though a lot of things are happening in KBF life right now, never forget that the KBF is here for you. Call upon us. Ask us for help. Learn our story. And let us help you as we continue to build Gods kingdom together.

December 14: KBF Open House, Broadway Baptist Church, 4000 Brownsboro Rd., 1-4 PM January 2-5: Academy of Preachers Festival of Preaching, Atlanta, GA January 10-11: Pastors and Ministers Conference, Georgetown College January 25-26: Wakeful Parenting, FBC Frankfort February 25-27: CBF ChurchWorks! Conference, Ft. Worth, TX March 2: Coordinating Council Meeting, Midway Baptist Church April 26-27: KBF Spring Gathering, Third Baptist, Owensboro June 9-15: Extreme Build 8, McCreary County June 8-14: PassportMissions2, Broadway Baptist, Louisville June 16-21: PassportMissions2, Broadway Baptist, Louisville June 27-29: CBF General Assembly, Greensboro, NC

Please note our new mailing address!

Kentucky Baptist Fellowship P.O. Box is 7098 Louisville, KY 40257

Rachel Held Evans leads 2nd Annual KBF Current Retreat for Young Baptist Leaders
KBF was pleased to welcome author, blogger and speaker Rachel Held Evans to share with us at the Current Young Leaders Retreat on October 18 and 19. On the cusp of releasing her second book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, Rachel spoke about her experiences writing and collecting material for the project. In her disarming style of speaking, which is both poignant and humorous, she offered advice about accepting criticism and fostered discussion about shaping our faith stories. KBF is thankful for our partners in ministry who helped make the retreat possible: Baptist Women in Ministry, Georgetown College, and Kentucky Baptist Seminary of Kentucky.

Rachel Held Evans (center) with Becky CaswellSpeight and Josh Speight.

Wakeful Parenting Retreat for Anyone Raising Children

January 25-26, 2013 First Baptist Church, Frankfort 201 Saint Clair Street | 502-227-4528 Registration Fee: $65 per family Register online: Led by Michael D. Sciretti, Jr., Ph.D. and Rev. Rachel Sciretti of Epiphany Ministries Children are a gift from God, and parenting can be the path by which God transforms the parent into the image of Christ. Wakeful Parenting is a workshop encounter for parents, grandparents, guardians and anyone who works with children, including teachers and childrens ministers. Wakeful Parenting provides practical suggestions on how to parent more effectively and offer you a vision of parenthood that is more about transformation than training. The Wakeful Parenting Program brings a different understanding of wakefullness to your parenting. Would you like to know how to: be less fearful as a parent be a happier and calmer parent parent with intention rather than out of reaction have self-quieting time for you, your children be gentle with yourself when you blow it see failures as opportunities learn ways to take care of yourself

Lamenting Injustice, contd

How can I explain the pain I heard in Stephens voice as he told the story of living in the forest near Oujda or the anguish in Benjamins simple plea that they be treated with human kindness and dignity rather than as if they were animals. How can I respond to Elizabeths appeal that she and her children, Sarah and Jacob, be given some measure of hope for a better life? My mind turns to the refugees we met in Fez, most of whom were from Cameroon, one after another sharing their heartrending stories with us. Patrick stays near the train station and though he has only been there one month, has already been sent to the Algerian border three times. He never dreamed how difficult it would be in Morocco and is desperate to return home. Joshua is the only one of three friends who left Cameroon together who has survived their arduous journey and subsequent beatings while imprisoned. He has been in Morocco three years and though he attends church regularly, has not asked for help until now. His only request is for pots with which to prepare food. Peter lost his parents at a young age and walked for nearly two years before arriving in Morocco. He needs medical attention for the facial wounds he received from his latest encounter with the police. And 12-year-old Phillip looks tired and bewildered as he explains how he and his brother are simply trying to survive day by day. I desperately want to gather him in my arms and find a way to take him from this hellish existence. Then there are the kids at the Bible school we helped provide in Rabat. Reflecting the dreams and hopes of their mothers, their given names are Wisdom, Success, Destiny, Blessing, Gift, Heaven and Peace. The children are not accustomed to a structured environment and they stretch our inner and outer resources in unimaginable ways (ask Joe Phelps!). But there are glimpses of their namesakes as we corral, cajole and comfort them with stubborn love. And we sing together and make beautiful, lively music and pieces of art and learn stories with their moms. On our last day gathered with these women, two things happened we hadnt expected or planned. Someone had brought body lotion to share, so we went to the women and used it to massage their hands and necks and shoulders. These were simple acts of love and compassion and though they could not solve the womens problems or reduce the hardships they endure daily, it was a powerful time of connection and solidarity. We ended our time with worship. The women dramatized the story of the Good Samaritan with flair and humor and then concluded with an impromptu time of singing and praising God. As the song says, heaven came down! Now I am left with all these images and thoughts and desires to make a difference. With a clearer understanding of the complexities involved in addressing the injustices the refugees face, I sometimes feel overwhelmed and sad. Yet I am also determined in a new way, too . . . to lament the injustices and keep them ever before myself and our community, to write and speak about them. To dream and imagine and pray and work for Gods will to be done on earth . . . in our own neighborhoods and towns and in far-off places like Marrakesh and Oujda and Fez and Rabat . . . as in heaven. *This reflection piece was written by Cheryl after her recent partnership trip to Morocco in October, 2012. Names have been changed to protect the identity of the migrants and refugees.

The KBF group hosted a wedding shower with EEAM friends Tresor and Ursula. Tresor was a part of both Voices United Choirs in 2009 and 2010.

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KBF ofces are moving in December!

Please note our new mailing address:

Kentucky Baptist Fellowship P.O. Box is 7098, Louisville, KY 40257

Please come see us in our new office:

KBF Open House December 14; 1 - 4 p.m.

Broadway Baptist Church, 4000 Brownsboro Rd., Louisville, KY 40207 Refreshments will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there!

KENTUCKY BAPTIST FELLOWSHIP 4000 Brownsboro Road, Louisville, KY 40207

KBF Coordinator John Lepper - KBF Associate Coordinator for Missions Josh Speight -

KBF Administrative Assistant Valarie Shoulta -