News Articles

SBC DIGEST: New prayer guides from IMB; Judson faithful say goodbye; Kentucky, Sunrise talks ongoing

Current event prayer guides made available through IMB

By IMB Staff

The International Mission Board is providing free, full-color prayer guides on recent current events – one for the COVID-19 crisis in India and another for the situation in the Middle East.

The guides are provided as downloads and also as presentation graphics that can be shown on screens.

The guides can be used as prayer reminders in personal devotions, with small groups or with families, and as a part of corporate worship.

Download prayer guides here.

Judson faithful gather on campus for goodbyes

By Cynthia Walker Watts/The Alabama Baptist

MARION, Ala. – More than 425 students and alumnae filled the Judson College campus May 22 for one last “Step Sing” and a time of sharing memories of their time on campus.

Step Sing is a Judson tradition where alumnae and current students sing together from a canon of songs that have been learned and passed down by each generation of Judson students.

Claire Kinnaird Keel, president of the Judson College Alumnae Association, said of the event, “This is goodbye and not goodnight.”

Judson faithful arrived on campus from across the United States to visit “Mother Judson” after learning the institution will close July 31 after 183 years of educating young women.

In remembrance of past dress codes, some of the attendees wore dresses and hats, which were once required attire for church on Sunday mornings. Many wore strands of pearls, another signature accessory in the Judson tradition.

During the day, alumnae walked through the auditorium where they attended concerts, plays, pageants and graduations.

They visited the chapel, where they attended weekly services and listened to guest speakers in the light of pastel-tinted windows and with music from the pipe organ.

They mingled in Jewett Hall, the site of numerous Christmas teas over the years, as well as the home of many campus offices and the dining hall.

And they crowded the bookstore, purchasing Judson shirts and remaining pieces of the Judson china, a special pattern first sold in 1941 by the famed Wedgwood china company.

Those gathered shared laughter and tears as they expressed their love for the buildings, the school, faculty, education, sisterhood and traditions.

Some of those traditions closed the day’s events. Seniors and alumnae serenaded underclassmen under the senior oak. At noon, everyone gathered on the steps of Jewett Hall for one last Step Sing.

One of the traditional songs, “Tell Me Why,” summed up the emotions of many alumnae and students in the wake of the school’s closure.

However, for Judson alumnae, the words of “There’ll Always be a Judson,” chosen to close the historic event, ring true: “There’ll always be a Judson, and Judson will ever be, if Judson means as much to you as Judson means to me.”

Negotiations between state of Kentucky and Sunrise ongoing

By Brandon Porter/Kentucky Today

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Talks between Sunrise Children’s Services and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s administration are ongoing, according to Sunrise’s lead attorney, John Sheller.

Sheller said discussions have been happening as recently as Thursday (June 3) and that a face-to-face or video meeting had been set up for late next week as the two sides continue to try to find a way to work together.

At a Tuesday press conference, Gov. Beshear indicated he would be willing to let the Cabinet for Health and Family Services continue to place children with Sunrise through August as they await possible federal action on a regulation that would grant a waiver to Sunrise based on their religious convictions.

Dale Suttles, president of Sunrise Children’s Services, says the agency has been told they should be prepared to receive up to six placements next week.

“If they’re placing children with Sunrise, then, obviously they trust Sunrise,” Suttles said. “Our hope is that if we are a viable option for them, we will continue to be a viable partner for a long time.”

The Beshear administration originally gave Sunrise a June 30 deadline to sign a new contract.

Sunrise is a 152-year-old agency of the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has been working with the state for almost 50 years.

Leaders for the agency say several new stipulations connected to foster parenting and hiring practices would cause them to violate their deeply-held religious beliefs if they are not given an addendum.

Sheller said they serve all children they are qualified to serve, but refer same-sex couples or individuals who identify as LGBTQ, who want to be foster parents or work in a child services agency, to other organzations.

Suttles said he sees the talks between the two groups as a reason to be “cautiously optimistic.”

Sheller said he is concerned about the late August timetable.

“We are hopeful,” he said, “but I would say ‘cautiously’ about whether or not the federal government is going to provide the resolution the state thinks it will provide, especially by August.”