PBA Educational Forums
Mission Banquet (Annual)
Congregations pay tribute to members of their church for outstanding ministries in the areas selected by the PBA each year. Church members attend to show love and appreciation for outstanding leadership in their congregations. During the event the PBA promotes American Baptist Mission and outreach to the local community. Our ABCUSA National (Program) Boards are invited to make presentations and the ministries of the PBA are highlighted. The special features of this festive event are music, dance, and the arts. This is the PBA’s major mission promotion event. The average attendance pre-Covid was 800 people.
Mission Café (Annual)
The Mission Café has been developed as a PBA wide annual gathering to provide opportunities for local church mission boards, mission committees, outreach workers, and clergy to gather and share strategies for keeping the work of mission in the forefront of the life of our congregations. The unique attribute of this initiative is the building of networks of persons with a passion for mission among our congregations. A mission focus is selected and experts on the topic are invited to present at the gathering. The participants share their expertise and challenges with one another in addressing the concern of the day. Written resources are provided and connections to agencies that can support church initiatives are introduced to encourage ministry development/enhancement by our congregations. We encourage intergenerational conversations and engagement in attendance and ministry development.
PBA Annual Meeting
The PBA Annual Meeting is held the first Saturday in May. Workshops are provided for congregations that are congruent with the theme for the Annual Meeting. Representatives from our congregations are the facilitators and/or presenters for the various workshops.
Missiological Conversation (Annual)
Clergy gather for a day of training and mutual empowerment in addressing a contemporary issue facing the church. A Steering Committee of PBA clergy is engaged to determine the annual emphasis.
A panel of experts on the topic is assembled to share their perspective with the clergy participants. Clergy are separated into small groups for discussion of the topic and mutual sharing. Resource materials are provided for use in building a church response to the concerns being discussed. This initiative is conducted by regional staff with the support of the PBA Ministers Council.
Periodically a taskforce is developed in which volunteers from PBA churches gather to design ministry models that can be utilized by congregations to address contemporary issues facing the church e.g., diversity, church revitalization, Christian education, leader development etc. A learning community is developed and resources and/or training is provided for a limited period of time (3-year average). PBA congregations are encouraged to participate in the Learning Community.
The PBA Ministers Council meets four times a year for mutual supports and training. In addition, they are co-sponsors with the Region office of the Annual PBA Missiological Conversation. The Ministers Council also sponsors clergy intergenerational support groups. PBA consultants with training in spiritual direction lead small groups for mutual support and spiritual reflection. The groups meet from September to June on an annual basis. If you are interested in joining a group contact Rev. Julia Bruton Sheppard at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or Ms. Janet Reedy at email@example.com. For complete details please review the attached flyer.
Christ and Cultural Humility Initiative
This is a major program effort designed to work with congregations in addressing the rapid cultural, generational, and demographic shifts in our society. In this two-year program the congregation members will review the teachings of Christ on humility and the theory of Cultural Humility. The congregation members will select a project in which they want to enhance the ministries of the local church in building alliances for justice and support within the church and/or its community. This project of experiment is part of a larger adaptive change plan of adopted by the congregation. The PBA staff and a steering committee (PBA church leaders) will support participants from our congregation through four phases: educational consciousness raising; skill development; implementation and evaluation. The church will have a team that can lead adaptive learning/change in the life of the congregation, helping the church to adapt to the constant changes that are before us in the decades to come.