TAMPA, Fla. — The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Virginia will spend the next year focusing on the Latino concept of familia as a way to broaden the scope of the CBF state affiliate’s ministries.
“We want to talk about what it means to widen our family as CBFVA and understand what that means,” field coordinator Rob Fox said at the group’s meeting June 23 during the CBF General Assembly. “CBFVA has done a great job of connecting with clergy. We want to widen that conversation to laity and missional families.”
Fox said an interpretation of the family focus — and a proposed a 2011-2012 theme based on Ephesians 3:14-19 — will be developed in close cooperation with LUCHA Ministries, an outreach ministry based in Fredericksburg, Va.
“We’re going to be looking this year at Latinos and issues of immigration as we work with LUCHA Ministries coordinators Greg and Sue Smith,” he said. “We want to know how our understanding of family can be broadened by the Latino understanding of familia.”
Sue Smith said the initiative will involve family events in settings across Virginia focusing on Latino culture.
“This is a chance move our understanding of family to familia, a much broader cultural understanding,” she said. “This is our chance to learn what another culture has to teach us.”
Four CBFVA “innovations,” first proposed at its General Assembly last March, will enhance the family theme, Fox said:
- Officially incorporating the organization will “protect the family” from legal liability.
- Changing the fiscal year to match the national CBF’s will “put us on the same family calendar.” The new fiscal year will be Oct. 1-Sept. 30.
- Hosting four regional missional gatherings across the state “will make it easier for the family to attend.”
- Electing CBFVA leadership and adopting its budget during a fall General Assembly, rather than the spring, will “allow more of the family to participate” in decisions.
Those changes will be considered at the next state General Assembly, which will be held Sept. 16, rather than the traditional March date, to facilitate the fiscal year change. The event, to be held at Central Baptist Church in Richmond, Va., will feature CBF moderator Colleen Burroughs as keynote speaker.
Fox also reported that the CBFVA luncheon held each year in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia will hear from Larry Hovis, executive coordinator of the CBF of North Carolina, who will discuss ways the two affiliates can “work as one family.” The event is scheduled for Nov. 8 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.
In other news, Fox announced that Passport will hold three weeks of camp next summer at Averett University in Danville, Va. Passport is a Christian summer camp program with links to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship held across the United States each year.