Beacons of Hope – Baptists Together Magazine Summer 2017
The latest Baptists Together Magazine has been landing on people’s doorsteps in recent days - so what’s in this edition?
About the magazine – and a message from General Secretary Lynn Green
‘I believe we are called to share and embody this hope we have, more than ever before.’ – Lynn Green, Baptists Together Magazine Summer 2017
Baptists Together is an A4 magazine sent to churches three times a year. It is hoped the magazine is an entertaining and stimulating read that helps people in their personal journey of discipleship, and is an encouragement to see themselves as part of a family that extends beyond their local church.
Each edition explores a different theme: leadership, justice, evangelism, children, young people and families, mission, covenant and equipping have all been the focus of recent editions. The theme for this latest edition is “Beacons of Hope.”
Beacons of Hope has developed from General Secretary Lynn Green’s call to prayer in 2015. When she offered this call, Lynn had a deep sense that God wanted to do a new thing, that God was calling all across Baptists Together to prayer to make space for the Spirit to speak and move.
As she and others reflected on Beacons of Prayer a year later, there was a sense it was developing into a call for our churches to be Beacons of Hope, sharing the good news of Jesus in the places he has put us.
Lynn contributes the opening feature to the magazine, asking “What does it mean to be Beacons of Hope in a world where hope is so often in short supply?”
We have a hope rooted in the steadfast nature of God, and the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, she writes. Though it’s a hope with a very definite future orientation, it’s also one which cannot fail to affect the present. ‘Hope experience is hope overflowing,’ Lynn says.
Reflecting about what it looks like to be a Beacon of Hope, Lynn offers a series of images for our churches and all those in them to reflect on.
‘One of the things I love about being a Baptist is our capacity for beautiful, creative, Spirit-inspired variety!’ Lynn continues. ‘And nowhere is this truer than when we are being Beacons of Hope.’
Each edition of Baptist Together magazine seeks to share a range of stories of how our Baptist family is serving God in mission and ministry, and this latest edition is no different.
Many of our churches have been reaching out to the asylum seekers and refugees in their midst, and the story of one whose ministry has grown significantly in recent years is told here. As its minister Tim Fergusson writes, what Olton Baptist Church in Solihull offers is quite simple, and it may be replicable in other Baptist churches.
The powerful partnership between a group of Baptist churches and a drug and alcohol recovery centre in Berkshire is shared. The centre changes people’s lives – and as it chief executive admits, it couldn’t operate without the support of these churches.
Elsewhere there’s a feature about how young people are transforming both themselves, and the town they live in, while a Baptist army chaplain gives an insight into a sometimes overlooked but vital ministry. A pioneering ministry in Southend explains how it discovered the way in which it could bring hope to its community.
As Baptists, we are part of a global family, and each edition of the magazine aims to reflect that. This edition features Baptist ministries in Ukraine, Egypt and Uganda. Previous editions have taken us to Asia and South America.
Information about developments within our Union
Through news stories, longer features and the Transform section, Baptists Together magazine seeks to keep you up to date with developments within our Union.
As well as Lynn’s exploration of Beacons of Hope, this edition sees incoming President Dianne Tidball outline “As In Heaven”, her theme for 2017-18. There’s also news of Multiply, a new project to help Baptist churches explore a multi-congregational future; Lest We Forget, a series of study reflections to provide further reflection on the Apology, which is nearing its 10th anniversary; and Pentecost People, a new resource to help churches embrace the different cultures within them.
Each edition also contains Transform, the four page pullout which contains all the latest reference material for church ministers and church officers.
Personal testimonies and reflection
We learn from each other, which is why the Baptist Together Magazine always aims to share different testimonies and ideas. For this edition people were invited to share the reason for the hope they have. Another feature looks at our response to Brexit, and how we can offer hope across our divided political landscape, whatever side of the debate we are on.
In previous editions there have been longer reflective contributions from talented writers such as Paul Fiddes, Catriona Gorton, Stephen Holmes, Sarah Fegredo, Nigel Wright, Derek Tidball, Ruth Whiter, Glen Marshall, Simon Jones and Krish Kandiah. There have also been interviews with and contributions from people working in a host of ways across Baptists Together.
Resource, equip and challenge
As part of its aim to equip you in your ministry, the magazine aims to feature the latest resources, as well as sharing events of interest.
Each edition also features a prayer section, which again draws from the wisdom and practices of those across Baptist Together. The magazine has previously featured contributions from Clare McBeath and Tim Presswood (Dancing Scarecrow), Craig Gardiner, Roy Searle, the Order for Baptist Ministry, Chris Duffett and Charmaine Howard. The latest edition introduces the new resource Pentecost People, which aims to help churches to embrace the different cultures within them, to learn hospitality in a new way and to experience multicultural worship and prayer.
The magazine was launched in September 2013, and this current issue is the 12th. Each edition is available to read online through the digital publishing platform Issu or via download from our resource library. Additional copies can be bought from our online shop.
A number of articles from each edition can also be accessed in The Baptist Times.
Getting hold of your copy of Baptists Together magazine
So, have you seen the latest Baptists Together? Four copies are sent to each Baptist church, either through the secretary or the minister.
To get your own copy subscribe through our online shop.