Last year I reminded you of HEBA’s vision and values – ‘Growing Healthy Churches’ and committed to companionship, generosity, diversity, learning and innovation. Whilst we want to develop all the values, our focus this year is ‘diversity’. — ‘We share a common purpose in growing God’s kingdom, yet celebrate the reality that in Christ we are a diverse mix of people, communities, context and approach. We respectfully explore our diversity in ethnicity and culture; in theological position and style of worship; in age profile and size of congregation. When we disagree, we do not allow difference to stand in the way of grace and mercy.’
As an Association we are seeking to model diversity within our staff team and Board of Trustees. It can be easy to walk with those ‘like us’, but God’s family has a rich variety and there is much for us to learn from others who may be ‘different’ to us. Let me encourage you to listen to God through different voices and different perspectives.
During this year we plan to share what God is doing through the churches of the Heart of England Baptist Association and each story will be different but each one will reflect the life changing power of God. We would love to hear from you so please pass on what is happening to your Regional Minister and please don’t think anything is too insignificant. There is a fresh way of God’s Spirit blowing across the West Midlands and we are certainly excited by what we are seeing God do in our churches.
‘Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.’
Regional Minister – Team Leader