While the Middle East region is going through disorienting times, Lebanon is experiencing new steps forward. An encouraging sense of hope was clearly evident in the meetings that a delegation from the European Baptist Federation, led by its General Secretary, the Revd Anthony Peck, and the Middle East Representative on the Federation’s Executive Committee, Dr. Nabil Costa, had with Lebanese officials last week.
The EBF Commission for Freedom and Justice met from 6-9 June in Sofia, Bulgaria. Following is a reflection by one of the commission members, Shane McNary. Shane and his wife Dianne are Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) Field Personnel in Europe, aiming to come alongside of local ministries to encourage, offer expertise, and support our efforts.
This past May saw the semi-annual joint conference of the Acadia/EBF Youth Leaders Institute held in the beautiful Moravian mountains of Malenovice in the Czech Republic. The conference was led by Dr Jeff Carter, the EBF Youth Leadership Coordinator.
On June 1, Pavel Unguryan, a Baptist member of the Ukrainian Parliament and the coordinator of Ukrainian National Prayer Breakfast hosted in conjunction with the parliamentarian prayer group the Sixth Ukrainian National Prayer Breakfast in the capital of Ukraine, Kiev. Many messages at this year's meeting discussed the role of young people in developing Ukraine as a country founded on the Rock.
Around five hundred French Baptists gathered in Mulhouse in eastern France last week for the annual French Baptist Congress (25-27 May). The event featured three days of worship, challenge and encouragement from leaders and churches across the Federation.
A 1960s Baptist church building in a multi-cultural area of West Amsterdam is to become a new international ‘Baptist House’. It will provide a home for the Baptist Union of the Netherlands and its Seminary, the International Baptist Theological Study Centre (IBTSC) and the official office of the European Baptist Federation (EBF).
Vienna and the Baptist Union of Austria have been hosting several international meetings this spring. From 11-14 May it was EBM International (EBMI) that brought its Mission Council to Vienna. Walter Klimt, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Austria and his team once again showed wonderful hospitality, this time to EBM International delegates who had gathered from around the world.
This story features the work of one of the EBF member bodies, the Baptist Union of Wales. Wales was once part of the industrial heartland of the UK and had thriving Baptist and other nonconformist churches. Now both the nation and the churches face the challenges of post-industrial decline and rural depopulation. The Baptist Union of Wales has sought to face up to these challenges with courage and vision, and the following is just one story of the signs of renewal and hope that the Union is seeing in these days.
The Rev Dr Arthur Brown has been appointed to the role of Regional Leader for BMS World Mission, taking over from Philip Halliday in the Europe, Middle East and North Africa region. His term in this new role will start on Monday 18th September.
Lise is from Norway. She worked as the Mission Coordinator for the Youth Department and the Baptist Union of Norway from 2001 till 2009. Since January 2015 she has been working as the Mission Director. She also served in the EBF Youth Committee in the beginning of the 2000s.