Lutherans in Black ministry gather to share ideas

Ten regional Black ministry convocations are being held this summer and fall to give Lutherans involved in Black ministry opportunities to discuss local issues and hear about the “vision” of the Synod’s Board for Black Ministry Services.
 
The local events also are designed to promote attendance at the next national Black ministry convocation, according to Dr. Phillip Campbell, executive director of the Black ministry board.  That event is scheduled for July 19-23, 2006, at Concordia College in Selma, Ala.
 
Campbell and his associate, Dr. Willie Stallworth, are attending the regional convocations to share theblack convo.jpg board’s Ablaze!-related vision of sharing the Gospel with a million African Americans in North America by 2017.

Tied to that vision is a stewardship emphasis designed to raise $1 million over the next three years.  That $1 million figure can be reached, Campbell said, if each of the Synod’s 70,000 members of Black-ministry congregations contributes $5 annually to the effort.

“The amazing thing is [the vision] is so well-received,” Campbell said.  “People say, ‘We can do this.’  And I’m happy about that.”

The regional convocations replicate the national convocation, but on a smaller scale.  Like the larger event, which is held every two years, the “mini-convocations” include worship, choirs, presentations by Black ministry leaders, and workshops for sharing ministry ideas.  Attendance ranges from 50 to several hundred people at each event.

Campbell described the regional convocations as “celebrations of local accomplishments and local dreams” for Black ministry.

The events are planned locally by congregations, he said, which “helps raise up new leaders” for Black ministry, and most include sessions for teenagers.  Planners for the regional convocations are receiving funding assistance from a $30,000 grant from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

The first three events were held last month in New Orleans; Orlando, Fla.; and Chicago.  Others are planned for Aug. 12-14 in Houston, Sept. 23-24 in Detroit, and Oct. 7-9 in the Southeastern District (city to be determined).  Dates and cities still are being finalized for gatherings in the Synod’s Indiana, Mid-South, Missouri, and Pacific Southwest districts.

For more information about the regional convocations, contact Campbell at (800) 248-1930, Ext. 1755, or phillip.campbell@lcms.org.

Posted July 28, 2005

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