Here we are.
Well, everyone is present and accounted for here in Portland. While Tasha has been busy with board work already and Lyn came in a couple of days early to see Portland, the bulk of the Biennial really begins tomorrow. Tonight I did have the opportunity to gather with 81 other people in a program called “Orientation to American Baptist Life.” Together we will venture through these busy days with a special focus on learning the structure, ministries, programs, and culture of ABCUSA. Tonight’s event was just a mixer, but it occurs to me that something of the ABC spirit was already present. I met seminary students, pastors of small, rural congregations, a pastor of a storied church situated just six blocks from the White House in Washington D.C., a guy who pastors a church and runs a ministry out of a coffee shop.
Through there, I joined Tasha for the last bit of Worship sponsored by the ABC Black Caucus. Rev. William Barber, founder of the Moral Mondays Movement and President of the North Carolina NAACP, was supposed to preach, but missed his flight. In his stead Rev. James Forbes stepped up. He was the pastor of Riverside Church in New York City for 18 years and is a graduate of Colgate Rochester Divinity School. His fiery (and funny) sermon called all people to the work of reconciliation in these trying days.
Much more from me tomorrow.