Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches @2017

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My Evergreen Story

Testimonies

Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches @2015

Evergreen Association

Of America Baptist Churches

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Kent, WA  98032-5843


This reflection is written using the Evergreen Association’s Mission Statement (shown in italics below) as a guide. It has been my pleasure to serve in Evergreen and to watch the mission come to life.

Evergreen Mission

Preamble:

Being a culturally diverse people who are one in Christ and who value the liberties of our American Baptist heritage, the Evergreen Baptist Association will:


Build bridges between communities


Evergreen introduced me to many people through a number of committees, gatherings, and programs.  I like the people and it has been enjoyable and useful.  I feel I can call them for advice and cooperation.  I learned about their churches and some of their joys and struggles.  They in turn learned a little about Japanese Baptist Church by meeting me.  


At our meetings, the caucuses pray together.  Different communities lead prayer and often it has been inspired and a window into the diverse ways of speaking to God.  


There have been BBQs, fundraising events, and other social activities that were often fun.  Nothing brings people closer together than having a good time.  


Evergreen has as a goal to create a balanced relationship between racially diverse caucuses.  I am inspired by that aim.  The Asian Caucus is thrilled to have a voice and is grateful it is not required to follow the direction of the other caucuses.  The struggle for balance is real and continues.  


An example of cooperation between caucuses is the ability of the Black and Euro Caucuses to support the Evergreen Mission to Haiti, while the Asian Caucus continues its mission focus towards Japan/Philippines.  

Provide resources to equip member churches to share Christ and teach God's word

Evergreen has devoted its equipping efforts primarily to the formation of leadership.  So far, there has been mixed results to this challenging endeavor.  Leaders in the caucuses are drawn together for a variety of programs and Eric Law’s workshop was the highlight of these events in my opinion.  


I have served on the Ministerial Standards Committee and participated in the process of recognizing the ordinations of several ministers.  It was a rewarding experience and an important part of Evergreen’s duties.  The learning that I received in this committee is assisting me as I begin my role as Moderator of JBC.  


The Evergreen staff has been ever welcoming.  Marcia always finds the best thing for Evergreen leaders and churches to use.  Clem always holds the ship together in the best and friendliest of ways imaginable.  

Translate our unity to the world  

The unity vision has not been completely realized, and it will always be a challenge given the liberty of each American Baptist Church.  However, the dedication of the caucuses, the faithfulness of the staff, and the understanding among churches are a sign that the unity exists and has a place to grow.  



Bob Fukano