American Baptist Churches, USA
2017 Mission Summit Report
Dear FBCD Family & Friends:
Thank you for the opportunity to represent our congregation at the 2017 Mission Summit, a national, biennial gathering of American Baptists from throughout
the United States and Puerto Rico. The Mission Summit was convened in Portland, Oregon. Along with myself, Wayne and Ingrid Dvirnak, Adam McGowen,
and Scott Pegues served as delegates from FBCD. Our church was joined by several other congregations from the Evergreen Association. The Evergreen
Association was the only American Baptist region to have a booth in the exhibit hall. Over the course of the weekend we were able to share with
many about how unique Evergreen is and our Executive Minister, Rev. Dr. Marcia Patton, autographed her recently published book, Intentionally Inclusive: Together at the Table for Ministry.
This book tells the story of the history and development of our region and what sets it apart from all others.
the biennial gathering several national awards were announced and presented. FBCD’s own, Ingrid Dvirnak, American Baptist author and editor, received
the Judson Press Ministry Award for commitment to excellence in publishing ministry. She has authored two Judson Press books and an ABHMS (America
Baptist Home Missions Society) book. She edits The Secret Place devotional quarterly, creates online workshops for ABHMS’ Church Life & Leadership
series, and writes leader’s guides for Judson Press books. She has previously edited The Baptist Leader and has both written and edited Judson
Bible Journeys adult study curriculum.
the event, new leaders of American Baptist Churches USA had the opportunity to preach and address delegates and participants gathered in Portland.
Rev. Sharon T. Koh, executive director/CEO of International Ministries, gave the message during the Friday evening Worship Experience; Dr. Jeffrey
Haggray, executive director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies, preached during the Saturday evening Worship Experience; and new ABCUSA
General Secretary Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer gave the sermon during the Sunday morning Worship Experience. On Friday evening, Spitzer, whose role
began on June 1, 2017, was officially introduced to Biennial Mission Summit attendees as General Secretary by ABCUSA President Judy Fackenthal.
Members of the General Secretary Search Committee joined Spitzer on stage as he gave his opening remarks, and prayed around him along with those
This was an historic gathering for sure. The national leadership of our denomination has entered a new chapter of history with fresh perspectives and
people to lead us well into the future. As a local congregation we can pray for them and trust that together, with all of the diversity of our
American Baptist family, we can continue to be the hands and feet of Christ to our world, country, and local communities.
Thank you again for the opportunity to represent FBCD and to serve you in the capacities I can.
First Baptist Church of Denver is a welcoming and affirming, inclusive Christian community that embraces diversity, engages personal faith, and serves with compassion.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.