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  • Writer's pictureJared C. Wellman

Update #3: Concluding Research Stage

Over the past few months your Cooperation Group has been digging deep into the roots of what it means to be in "friendly cooperation" as Southern Baptists, based on the guidelines of our constitution, specifically article 3.1, and our shared statement of faith.

We dove into piles of papers, sifted through our history, and spent many hours on Zoom calls. We met in person too, for a couple of days. We prayed, shared meals, and had rich conversations that you only get when you're sitting across from someone. In that room, amidst earnest discussions, the beauty of the bonds forged within the Southern Baptist Convention was unmistakably felt.

As we near the end of our research phase, it has become obvious that this was about more than research; it was a quest to grasp the essence of our past and how it shapes our now. In a sense, the group served as a collection of historians, constitutionalists, and theologians all rolled into one. It took a lot of hours, but every minute was a step towards understanding our Southern Baptist heritage and its relevance for today.

Now, we're in a sort of sabbatical phase. December is for rest and reflection in the spirit of Mark 6:31, where Jesus told the disciples: "Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while." We want to digest what we've learned before we leap into the next phase of crafting recommendations that are prayerfully in line with our mission to move forward "together."

Come January, we'll reconvene, ready to engage in the second stage of our efforts. Our aim is to share our findings well ahead of the 2024 Southern Baptist Convention, giving messengers enough time to ponder and pray over them.

Thank you for your prayers and support, and we hope our fellow Southern Baptists have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Telling His Story,

Jared C. Wellman

Cooperation Group Chairman


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