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SBC DIGEST: Editors commend Page, NAMB; GuideStone hosts church business officers

State editors commend Frank Page, NAMB

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (BP) — Baptist state paper editors commended Frank S. Page of the SBC Executive Committee and the North American Mission Board in resolutions adopted during their Feb. 9-12 meeting in Orange Beach, Ala.

Page was commended by the Association of State Baptist Publications for “consistently and persistently encouraging churches to increase their support of state convention and SBC missions and ministries by giving more through the Cooperative Program,” the channel by which churches provide funding for Baptist causes.

The North American Mission Board, meanwhile, was thanked for hosting a contingent of editors to interact with church planters and NAMB staff and trustees in the Boston area last October.

The ASBP resolution expressed appreciation “to Kevin Ezell and NAMB for recognizing the critical role of state Baptist papers in communicating news and interpreting the activities of CP ministries to Southern Baptists.”

The resolution “On Encouragement to Frank Page” highlighted such initiatives by Page as the 1% CP Challenge to reverse trends among churches toward decreased CP giving. Even in years of CP growth, the resolution noted, it hasn’t kept pace with inflation and population growth.

In recent years, though, the ASBP noted:

— A 2012 LifeWay study and the 2012 Annual Church Profile showed that 7 percent of SBC churches had increased the percentage of their giving through the Cooperative Program by at least 1 percent.

— An Executive Committee survey last year facilitated by LifeWay Research showed that 8 percent of pastors said they plan to lead their churches to accept the 1% CP Challenge this year.

“Continued growth in Cooperative Program,” the editors noted, “will result in more resources for state and SBC mission work and ministries, enabling state conventions and the SBC to do more to reach people with the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

The ASBP resolution of appreciation for Ezell and NAMB noted that the mission board, by hosting the Oct. 5-7 vision trip, “facilitated editors of Baptist state papers in the responsibility to inform Southern Baptists about the results of their gifts to the Cooperative Program and gifts to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions,” which fund such NAMB initiatives as the Send North America focus on church planting in 32 key cities across the continent.

The ASBP, in addition to commending NAMB’s awareness of state Baptist papers’ role in providing key information to Southern Baptists, encouraged the mission board “to continue such efforts to help editors understand and interpret other aspects of NAMB’s ministries to Southern Baptist readers.” And the ASBP encouraged its members “to take advantage of opportunities for greater involvement provided by NAMB and report their experience to Southern Baptist readers through news and editorials.”

GuideStone to host church business officers

DALLAS (BP) — Business officers from Southern Baptist churches and ministries are invited to attend the annual Southern Baptist Business Officers Conference, March 16–18 at GuideStone Financial Resources’ headquarters in Dallas.

The conference will feature sessions on the latest news on human resource policies, employment law and health care reform. Continuing education credit for select sessions during the conference is available for CFP, CPA, CCA or PHR/SPHR certifications or designations.

“This conference is the one go-to event for business administrators from Baptist churches and other ministry organizations,” said Susan May, SBBOC secretary and treasurer. “There is no other conference that touches on such a wide variety of subjects that affect their everyday work.”

The gathering also provides administrators from Baptist churches and other ministry organizations numerous opportunities for networking.

This year’s conference speakers include Richard R. Hammar, a CPA, attorney and author who writes extensively about legal and tax issues for churches and clergy, including GuideStone’s annual Ministers’ Tax Guide; Dan Busby, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability; Gayla Crain, a seasoned trial attorney with more than 30 years of experience in labor and employment law and litigation; Michael Batts, a CPA and managing partner of Batts Morrison Wales & Lee, a national CPA firm dedicated exclusively to serving nonprofits and their leaders; and Danny Miller, a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Conners & Winters, LLP, an Oklahoma-based law firm and outside benefits counsel to GuideStone and other large and historic church pension groups.

Additionally, many of GuideStone’s team of experts in the fields of training, human resources and employee benefits packages will speak on current topics of interest.

The conference fee of $145 includes all materials, a thumb drive containing all presentations and three meals. For the second year in a row, SBBOC is offering an optional dinner and tour of the newly expanded First Baptist Church in Dallas on Monday evening. There is an additional $25 charge to cover costs for the meal and transportation to the church. For more information, go to www.SBBOC.com or contact Susan May by email at [email protected]. SBBOC’s website also includes specially negotiated rates at nearby hotels. GuideStone’s headquarters, near downtown Dallas, is convenient to both Dallas Love Field and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

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