GLENWOOD, Md—The Mid-Atlantic Summit on Faith and Culture will be Nov. 16 at Gethsemane Baptist Church and it will unlike any conference you’ve ever attended, says Joel Rainey, Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network team strategist for evangelism and missions. God has brought the world to our door, Rainey says.
The Summit is designed to provide an opportunity for open, honest discussions with people from different faith traditions, discovering similarities and differences.
Summit participants are:
• Joel Rainey, formerly the executive director for the Mid-Maryland Baptist Association. He leads the Engagement Team for Evangelism and Missions at the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network.
• Doug Heifetz, is a rabbi, entrepreneur and interfaith activist. He serves as the Rabbi of Oseh Shalom, a Reconstructionist Jewish congregation in Laurel, Maryland.
• Jim Edmonson served as Senior Pastor at Elders Baptist Church for 15 years and is the rising Moderator of the Mid-Maryland Baptist Association. He was also involved in MMBA’s ongoing relationship with the American Turkish Friendship Association and leads the Association’s India Partnership with Tamil Baptists.
• The Honorable Gail Bates has served as delegate for district 9A in the Maryland State legislature since 2002.
• Suhail Khan is the Senior Fellow for Christian-Muslim Understanding at the Institute for Global Engagement.
• Emre Celik has served as President of the Rumi Forum, a Washington, D.C. based organiza-tion committed to intercultural and multi-faith dialogue, since 2009.
• Murat Ozbas is President of the American-Turkish Friendship Association (ATFA). Established in 2003 as the Maryland Turkish-American Inhabitants (MARTI), ATFA is dedicated to addressing the social and cultural needs of Turkish, Turkic and American friends living in or around Maryland.
• Bill Simpson, is the founding chief executive officer of Open Door America, located in Baltimore. He is a highly experienced personnel and project manager with more than 30 years experience in government, private industry, and non-profit sectors.
• Kara Brown is the director of volunteer operations for Araminta Freedom Initiative, a nonprofit organization that seeks to end domestic minor sex trafficking in the Baltimore region.
• Bilal Anyaya,is imam at the Ezher Mosque, and program director of the Institute of Islamic-Turkish Studies in Fairfax, Virginia.
• Larry Steen is Senior Pastor of Westminster Baptist Church where he has served for the past 29 years. Under his leadership, the church has more than tripled in size and continues to impact the city of Westminster and surrounding areas with the Gospel.
Calling it a unique experience, Rainey said, “In days past when we would talk about engagement and missions we would gather together on this side of the world and talk about people on the other side of the world and how we can best reach them with the Gospel but you see, those folks live across the street from you now. So we’re in a day and age where we have to stop having conferences where we talk about the world and start having the kinds of meetings where we talk with them.
“Our commitment to the exclusivity of the Christian Gospel is unmoved, and we are holding this event while still believing that all people need that Gospel, including our Jewish and Muslim friends. But faith is best shared in the context of unconditional friendships, and friendships are built on understanding, trust, and clear communication. We hope this summit will be the starting point for building those things.”
Registration begins at 1:30 pm. The event will offer group and breakout sessions that include the topics: religious freedom; economic development and human trafficking. There will also be special breakout session for youth. Click here for more information and registration information.
“Our commitment to the exclusivity of the Christian Gospel is unmoved, and we are holding this event while still believing that all people need that Gospel, including our Jewish and Muslim friends. But faith is best shared in the context of unconditional friendships, and friendships are built on understanding, trust, and clear communication. We hope this summit will be the starting point for building those things.