It’s VBS time. I hope you are praying for our week of VBS. VBS provides one of the best opportunities we have all year to share the gospel and engage with children in our community. The theme this year is Created in Christ Jesus: Designed for God’s purpose (based on Ephesians 2:10). We will have a kick-off (block party) this Sunday at 6:30 PM and VBS will be Monday through Thursday evening. We have some VBS invitations if you have children in your neighborhood. Also, we will be going out visiting this Wednesday evening and inviting children to VBS and offering some gospel materials.
Last week, I wrote about the sexual abuse task force report that was released on May 22nd. The response to this report has been encouraging. In response to the report, the SBC Executive Committee publicly repented, vowed to listen to survivors, and committed to releasing the hidden list of alleged abusers that was discovered by the Guidepost investigation. The database of alleged abusers was released on Thursday evening and included cases that spanned from 2000 to 2019. A hotline has been established to allow those affected by sexual abuse within Southern Baptist churches to report the abuse. The number is 202-864-5578. The number will be facilitated by Guidepost Solutions and all information will be held as confidential but appropriate actions will be taken to investigate any reported abuse. Last week, I shared some of the actions that the Kentucky Baptist Convention is doing in regards to reviewing procedures, training KBC staff and pastors, and providing a handbook to address prevention, identification, response and care for victims of sexual abuse. The North American Mission Board released a plan to identify and prevent incidents of sex abuse. Overall, the response has been very encouraging and I think messengers will take action at the SBC convention in June to put some of the Guidepost recommendations into practice.
Last week, America was shaken by the terrible school shooting in Uvalde, Texas where 19 children and 2 teachers were killed. We are grieved by the tragic loss of so many lives and the pure evil we see when somebody would open fire on helpless children. Somebody said to me on Sunday, “I know you mentioned the possibility of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. What is your feelings about guns and all of these shootings?” First, all lives are valuable and I think we should do all that we can to protect lives. I have guns, grew up with guns, enjoy shooting guns, and believe we should protect the Second Amendment. At the same time, if there is something we can do to prevent mentally ill or
threatening individuals from getting guns, I support doing all we can to protect lives. When I grew up, most trucks had gun racks with guns in them. These guns were never used to shoot others. I don’t have all the answers to this problem but as Christians, we want to value and protect lives as much as possible. For now, we pray for the people in and around Uvalde. I can’t imagine the grief, anger, and array of emotions being experienced by this community. I hurt for the children, parents, grandparents,
responders, and all who have been impacted for the rest of their lives by this evil shooting. There will be lots of funerals the next couple of weeks and we pray for comfort and for the good news of the gospel to be proclaimed even in the midst of such a horrible tragedy.
Finally, Gavin Roberts and his family will be with us this weekend. Gavin, and his brother Chase, are church planters in Morgan, Utah (outside of Salt Lake City). We will have a luncheon after the 10:45 service on Sunday for you to hear more about opportunities to support their church plant (Morgan Grace Church). We are planning to partner with Morgan Grace Church the next few years and hope to schedule a couple of trips to Utah later this summer and fall to help them with community outreaches. This partnership will provide us with some great opportunities for both individual and family mission trips. Let us know if you think you can attend the luncheon.