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SBC DIGEST: Alabama Baptists cancel annual meeting; Spurgeon College fields volleyball team; Churches offer custom masks

Alabama Baptists cancel annual meeting

By Jennifer Davis Rash

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) – Alabama joins the nearly 20 state conventions adapting or not holding an annual meeting in 2020. Instead, a special online State Missions Celebration will take place on Nov. 17.

The executive committee of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions made the decision today (Sept. 10) during a special-called meeting. The committee was authorized to make the decision during an Aug. 14 regularly scheduled meeting of the State Board.

In a statement released by Rick Lance, executive director of the State Board of Missions, and Tim Cox, president of the Alabama Baptist State Convention, the leaders explained the unanimous decision was made “after months of careful and prayerful consideration of the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in our state. … The decision was made after receiving input from the medical community and from our legal counsel.

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The 2020 annual meeting had been scheduled for Nov. 17–18 at First Baptist Church in Montgomery and was to include an International Mission Board Sending Celebration.

IMB president Paul Chitwood, who was scheduled to speak during the Tuesday evening session of the annual meeting, said the Sending Celebration would still take place but would be switched to a virtual celebration, much like what they did earlier this year, also because of COVID-19 concerns.

Read the full story here [2].


Spurgeon College launches volleyball era with hard-fought battle

By T. Patrick Hudson

[3]KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) – The volleyball era at Spurgeon College got off to a rousing start Sept. 1, as the Knights battled Calvary University in a five-set match – taking the Warriors to the brink of elimination before falling just short – losing 20-25, 11-25, 25-18, 27-25, and 16-18.

The historic evening at the Mathena Student Center saw a raucous crowd whose spirit wasn’t dampened by social distancing in the stands or by masks on faces. After the initial excitement of the game was briefly tempered by losses in the first two sets, the crowd urged the Knights to climb back into the match and roared louder and louder throughout the comeback.

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President Jason Allen praised the Knights for their strong effort saying, “This was an electric night in the Mathena Student Center. The atmosphere we experienced here is all we had hoped for when introducing collegiate sports to our campus.

“I can’t be prouder of the effort our Knights made in battling a very talented Calvary University varsity squad to the very end. Obviously, we were pulling for the win, but thanks to the great work of Coach Evie Stanton and the tremendous effort of our team, they played tough and the future is bright.”

Calvary took the first two sets handily and had the third set under control when the Knights’ comeback began. The Knights then staved off a match point in the fourth game before going on to force game five. The decisive game saw the Knights one point away from victory, when the Warriors stormed back for the win.

Read the full story here [5].


Churches offer custom masks during pandemic

By Daniel Porter/Baptist New Mexican

ALBUQUERQUE (BP) – Several New Mexico Baptist churches are offering custom face masks to their congregations in an effort to abide by the state’s mask mandate. The masks also raise awareness about the churches and the Gospel.

[6]Rio Church in Albuquerque, which encourages mask use during its worship services, ordered black face masks with its logo printed on one side. It gives away the masks to members and guests. Rio’s pastor, Bryne Palmer, has encouraged church members throughout the pandemic to view mask-wearing as an opportunity to love their neighbors. “I think, in general, it has been a really well-received kind of thing,” he said.

The masks also provide an opportunity to raise awareness about the church.

“We want to have people wearing them in service, but we’re also hoping they’d be able to proudly represent their church at the same time,” Palmer said. “Having your church logo on there, in my experience at least, has increased people’s desire and willingness to wear them.”

Paragon Church in Rio Rancho created two different types of custom face masks. One mask has John 10:10 printed on it. The other mask features the phrase “America Bless God.” The church is asking for a $5 donation per mask.

X Factor Church in Albuquerque also printed facemasks with its logo across the front. Pastor Luke McKinnon’s brother-in-law, Chris Wood, designed the masks. Wood, who goes by “Big Chris,” is a Colorado-based graphic designer and artist. A second design features praying hands with the phrase, “Trust God, but wash your hands.”