Churches on the frontline
Churches and chapels in Wales and England are right on the frontline in these days of the Coronavirus pandemic and never before in the last 100 years have their leaders faced such a huge challenge, Dr Kang-San Tan, General Director of BMS World Mission, told an online meeting of the Gwent Baptist Association
Many churches were helping to support their local communities by establishing or being involved in foodbanks, volunteering and generally befriending those in need but a bigger task still lay ahead, he said.
'We need to share our resources with the deprived and the poor at home and oversees. We are called by God to be salt and light in this troubled world and we will be accountable to God for our actions.
'We must go back to Scripture and renew our sense of God-centred mission in terms of providing practical, emotional and spiritual support to all we encounter who stand in need. But God has created new opportunities for us during these difficult days and we must seize upon them while relying, as always, upon His strength,' he added.
Dr Tan and his wife, Loun Ling Lee, were the guest speakers at the Association’s Spring Event and they took as their theme “Mission Impossible?” Loun, the editor of the Lausanne Movement’s bi-monthly global mission publication, Lausanne Global Analysis, said: 'There is a dangerous tendency to turn inwards when we are in trouble. God wants us to help people outside the walls of our buildings whether in the local, national or international context.
'The gospel is not just to be preached but to be demonstrated in the life of individual believers and churches. The question must be: ‘How can we help to bring healing to a broken world?’”.
A new prayer booklet Pray without Ceasing, was launched during the event. It has been written and produced by the Revd Jonathan Forman of Blaenau Gwent Baptist Church, Abertillery and it will be one of the resources used by churches in the Association during a planned two-year prayer programme beginning in May.
Others who took part were Association chairman the Revd D Marc Owen of Moriah Baptist Church, Risca; Tim Moody, Assistant Pastor at Moriah and President of the Association; Mrs Eryl Dykes (Ebenezer Baptist Church, Abertillery) and the Revd Dr Suzanne Roberts, a retired Baptist minister and former missionary who attends Tabernacle Baptist Church, Newbridge.