Pastor’s Blog: That List Again

Pastor’s Blog: That List Again

By Rev. Dr. Libby Grammer

Dear Church Family,

Next week, on June 11-12, 2024, the Southern Baptist Convention will gather for its annual meeting in Indianapolis and vote on the second reading of what is known as the “Law Amendment.” This proposed amendment was considered and voted on last year at the SBC annual meeting after being proposed by Northern Virginia Pastor Mike Law, and it was accompanied by a list of “offending” churches that affirm, appoint, or employ women as pastors (of any kind). With a second affirmative vote next week, the amendment would pass and become part of the SBC’s constitution.

You might remember that last year I wrote you a Pastor’s Blog Post about “The List” – outlining for you why and how our church, and I personally, ended up on this Virginia pastor’s list of churches. We haven’t financially supported the SBC in decades, but because of our historic connections, our church remains on the SBC’s list of cooperating churches.

Many women in ministry have been targeted by this list. Some, like us, have left it be. “Kick us out, fine. We aren’t in anyway.” Other churches have chosen to send letters and formally withdraw their name from any SBC lists, rallying around their female ministers. Yet other churches are facing a real dilemma being truly “dually-aligned” with CBF and SBC, and these churches are having to make decisions – either to fire/retitle their women in ministry or withdraw from longtime SBC connections (our sister church in Richmond did the latter recently).

The Virginia Baptists at the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV), who have long chosen a more moderate path, welcoming churches with and without women serving as pastors, will be present at this meeting. (See video from the BGAV Executive Director Here).

Baptist Women in Ministry will be present to support women whose voices aren’t being heard, and they have begun to pray already. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship stands ready and willing to support churches who choose to keep their gifted and called women in ministry on their staffs.

The background of this whole ouster runs deep in SBC life, as we learned in watching the BWIM documentary in March at our screening. Some of that history can be found in this article, and you will be able to watch the documentary online next week if you missed the screening.

Suffice to say, though, our prayers and support for all our girls growing up in our Baptist churches is needed now more than ever. I’m grateful for this church where girls and boys alike know that God’s call is not limited, and I continue to pray that churches discern their next steps well – choosing the loving and inclusive path – even as the SBC makes decisions to disfellowship and exclude.

Caroline and I will be attending an online prayer vigil with Baptist Women in Ministry next week on June 10th, and you are invited to pray alongside us and BWIM by clicking this link and adding your sentence to the prayer. You are also invited to sign a letter in support of women in ministry in Baptist life by clicking here.

Whatever happens in the days and weeks to come if/when this amendment is passed, our church continues to minister. I continue to minister. We may receive a letter from the SBC if the amendment is passed telling us we are being disfellowshipped. We may decide whether it passes or not to write a letter to the SBC first and withdraw ourselves from any rolls. But whatever lies ahead, we have a God-given calling to fulfill together, as the Holy Spirit calls our sons and daughters to prophesy (Acts 2), and reminds us that in Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female…for we are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3).


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