From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ABCUSA: ABC Discipleship Task Force Set to Begin Work

From "SCHRAMM, Richard" <>
Date Tue, 14 Jan 2003 08:26:00 -0500

American Baptist News Service (Valley Forge, Pa. 1/14/03)--The ABC
Discipleship Task Force, formed in response to a need articulated by the
Board of Educational Ministries at its November 2002 meeting, is set to
begin its work.

The Board of Educational Ministries had called upon the General Board in
November " instruct the ABC President in consultation with the General
Secretary to appoint a task force to recommend to the General Board specific
steps by June 2003 to secure the denomination's education mandate and its
commitment to making disciples.  This shall include, but not be limited to,
the allocation of United Mission funds for this purpose.  The future of
Judson Press Books shall be a part of this process."

Educational Ministries' action was motivated by several concerns: the future
of Judson Press book publishing, implementation of its Strategic Mission
Plan within the resources Educational Ministries will receive through the
proposed new budget covenant, and determining the best way to support
American Baptist congregations in making disciples if Educational Ministries
is not deemed viable as a separate agency.

In fall 2001 Educational Ministries began an extensive effort to develop the
Strategic Mission Plan.  The three-phased process involved a working group
including denominational officers, board members, regional executive
ministers, staff and consultants.  The result was the adoption by the Board
of Educational Ministries of the Strategic Ministries Plan "Discipleship
Matters" in June 2002.	At its meeting in November 2002 the Board of
Educational Ministries, following extensive discussions, voted to postpone
the election of a new executive director and to recommend to the General
Board the formation of the task force.	

Dr. Robert Shaw, of Overland Park, Kans., and former executive minister of
American Baptist Churches of Michigan, will chair the ABC Discipleship Task
Force.	Other members include: Dr. William D. Apel, former president of the
Board of Educational Ministries and a faculty member at American
Baptist-related Linfield College, McMinnville, Ore.; Dr. Thomas E. Clifton,
Board of Educational Ministries member and president of American
Baptist-related Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Kans.;
the Rev. H. Jay Flu-Allen, Board of Educational Ministries president and
pastor of New Salem Baptist Church, Columbus, Ohio; Dr. Bernadette
Glover-Williams, General Board chaplain and assistant pastor of The
Cathedral Second Baptist Church, Perth Amboy, N.J.; Dr. Arlee Griffin,
former General Board member and pastor of Berean Missionary Baptist Church,
Brooklyn, N.Y.; Dr. Mary A. Hulst,, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church,
Denver, Colo.; Mr. David G. Hunt, American Baptist Churches USA president,
Milwaukie, Ore.; the Rev. Susan Maybeck, president of the Board of National
Ministries and a retired pastor, Pittsford, N.Y.; Dr. Osvaldo Mottesi,
faculty member at American Baptist-related Northern Baptist Theological
Seminary, Lombard, Ill.; the Rev. Dr. Donald T-M Ng, former Educational
Ministries staff and pastor of First Chinese Baptist Church, San Francisco,
Calif.; and Dr. Michael A. Williams, executive minister of American Baptist
Churches of Michigan, East Lansing, Mich.

The task force will hold its first meeting Feb. 6-7 at the American Baptist
Churches Mission Center here.

In a letter to task force members, American Baptist Churches USA General
Secretary the Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley, noted that the work to be done
"requires that we ask 'How does the national structure of American Baptist
Churches best help our local congregations accomplish this task?'  Our
charge is to be at our most creative, to not rush just to fix things, but to
ask 'How do we best achieve EM's historic mission of making disciples.'"  


American Baptist News Service: Office of Communication, American Baptist
Churches USA, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851; (800)ABC-3USA x2077
/ (610)768-2077; fax: (610)768-2320;;

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