By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent
TOWSON, Md.— To be held Nov. 8-10 at the Sheraton Towson on 903 Dulaney Valley Road in Towson, Md., this year’s annual meeting will offer several opportunities designed to help messengers “Connect” with God, each other and the community.
“This year’s theme is embodied in one word—Connect,” explained David Lee, BCM/D executive director. “The Order of Business Committee felt that we needed to remind one another that we are ‘connected in Christ’ and must ‘connect’ with one another in order to accomplish the Great Commission.”
This year’s messengers will enjoy a variety of guest speakers, from author Kim Hardy to New Orleans pastor, Fred Luter, to Southwestern Seminary Professor Scott Preissler, among others. Some of the guest speakers will also be speaking at brunches and breakout sessions.
SPECIAL MUSIC AND WORSHIP
This year’s annual meeting will kick off with a multi-church mass Gospel choir, led by worship leader Dee Jones of Oak Grove Church.
Special musical guests, Keith and Kristyn Getty, will lead a workshop for worship leaders as well as several times of worship throughout the meeting. The Gettys have been at the forefront of the modern hymn movement over the past decade demonstrating the ability to successfully bridge the gap between the traditional and contemporary.
Keith and Kristyn Getty are currently living in the United States where they write have just finished their second album together “Awaken the Dawn,” a collection of hymns that takes you on a lyrical journey of grace and hope for all the nations. This follows their first collection of hymns, the successful 2006 release “In Christ Alone.”
CHANGES IN THE ANNUAL MEETING FORMAT
There are several changes in this year’s meeting:
• The Annual Meeting will start on Sunday evening rather than Monday afternoon.
• Monday morning will feature a series of “brunches” providing dialogue opportunities with key national leaders. There will be brunches for ministers, ministers’ wives and lay leaders.
• In a series of equipping breakout opportunities, messengers can explore with national and local church and ministry leaders on the topics: helping hurting people, ministries that impact, building an evangelism strategy, discipling believers, impacting our changing culture, or they may take a firsthand missions tour of Baltimore.
• There will also be a two-session workshop for worship leaders and a money management workshop.
• The Monday evening session will be similar to past years except that messengers will hear both the President’s Address and a message from the Executive Director. Election of Officers will still be held on Monday evening.
• Tuesday morning will be a business session with two keynote addresses, one from Southwestern Seminary’s Scott Preissler and another by Larry Steen, who serves as pastor of Westminster Church.
• Convention reports will be primarily delivered via brief video presentations.
David Lee, BCM/D executive director, shared, “I sincerely believe that Maryland/Delaware Baptists will leave ‘Connect: A Conference Celebrating the Great Commission’ with a renewed spirit. I encourage each church to send their leaders this year to what I believe will be a fresh experience.”