Saturday, 17 December 2011

Baptist Futures

Hopefully the following is self-explanatory .... (I did begin to wonder about adding a photo, but then, what? ...)

Welcome to the first update from the BUGB Futures group. The intention is for this to become a regular publication through which Baptist Christians can be kept updated and encouraged to participate in this important process.


apparently future updates should appear on http://www.tlresource.nwba.org.uk/Futures%20update%201.pdf 

The Futures Group was established by BU Council at its meeting in November 2011, in response to an increasingly likely, significant budget deficit. While it was something that could not be ignored, this was seen as an opportunity to seriously reflect on what our key priorities should be in the decades ahead. 

Baptist Christians in the UK have been responsible and generous in their giving to the work of God’s Kingdom beyond their local church, and it is vital to be equally responsible in the way that those resources are used.
There are important decisions that need to be made, and some of these may well be difficult. That is why it is important to ensure that the consultation is as wide as possible and everyone is encouraged to think creatively as we seek to engage with the challenge before us. This will involve reviewing current expenditure, exploring potential new sources of funding and engaging with existing and potential partners, to consider whether there are tasks that might be undertaken more effectively together. This will certainly not preclude initiating new areas of work, if these are perceived as significant priorities by those that the Futures Group is called to serve.

Our world is in a state of unprecedented change at the moment; many accepted certainties and ways of doing things are becoming increasingly questioned. As Baptists we cannot expect to be immune from that, and it is vital to re-examine how we engage in mission and sustain our shared life in the light of this. Our prayer is that we might emerge better equipped to fulfil our common calling within the purposes and mission of our God.
The work of the Futures Group will be enabled by a small steering group, who have been appointed in recognition of the insight and experience that they will bring to the task. It is not for them to make decisions on behalf of others, nor to represent the interests of any party, but to ensure that those who do are properly informed and supported in their task.

One of their initial concerns is to ensure that as many people as possible are included and listened to in the consultation process. They will be using on-line resources, working with Associations, Union departments and committees and Special Interest groups to name but a few. The first full meeting of the Futures Group took place on Tuesday 13th December; the first phase of consultation is now being finalised and is expected to be released on-line on 20th December. Details of this and all future updates can be found on the BUGB website http://www.baptist.org.uk

All Baptist Christians are invited to share in this journey by praying for the Futures Group, the Steering Group and offering your reflections and insights when opportunities arise. Our desire is that together we might be led by the Spirit of God, and act in response to His leading.
BUGB Futures Group

10 comments:

John said...

I would really like to be involved in the consultation process. I feel I have a lot to contribute and have important points to make. How can I get involved?

Thanks

Nigel Coles said...

If you keep your eye on the BUGB website link, there will be a questionnaire sometime very soon I understand. Alternatively, e-mail me, or anyone else you know who might have an ear to listen.

John said...

I'd really like to do more than fill in a questionaire because I want to be part of the conversation. Moreover, I don't really have many contacts with 'politically' influential Baptists who might have an ear to listen.

julietkilpin said...

Helpful update. Thank you for sharing :-)

Toglyn said...

Listen to the voices from the margins ...especially the 'awkward' ones

Jon Stannard said...

Looking forward to this...

ian tutton said...

Is this another self-appointed 'secret society' who have assumed the responsibilty for 'our' future? As a Baptist Minister I hear nothing at all of what is discussed at Council; have heard nothing about a so-called 'futures' group...I would love to email anybody with an ear to listen...perhaps being told who comprsies the 'futures' group would help...

Nigel Coles said...

Well, for your information there is a 'steering group' of about 7 or 8, but the "Futures Group" as such equals Senior Management Team from Baptist House (departmental heads), Regional Team Leaders, College Principals, BMS reps, I think that's all, but that's enough!
So, as far as I see it, you can e-mail anyone of them & if you know no one try me on nigcoles@tscali.co.uk - I can listen, but I guess wont enter into correspondence (only because of time factors).

John said...

Nigel - Thanks for the information you have given and I really appreciate your offer. However, I am wary of just sending an email.

While this futures group might numerically have "enough" people, it is hardly a very broad selection. Without wishing to be unkind (particularly to yourself), do we really want a futures group fundementally consisting of the same individuals that steered us into this financial and ecclesialogical crisis in the first place?

Frankly, I sadly think that there is little future for BUGB if it does not communicate with the local Baptist church. I am not accredited myself but it is frankly incredible that even Baptist ministers are not fully informed about the incredibly important discussions that are taking place behind closed doors.

Nigel Coles said...

Some good points & I must post on connecting the centre and the edges of a movement! However, you can e-mail me can be done anonymously if you have particular points you want aired.