FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA – May 8, 2020) As part of the “Standing Together” Global Baptist Response Plan, the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) is inviting Baptists worldwide to unite together Pentecost weekend for a time of prayer, praise, and giving in response to people in need. “Standing Together at Pentecost” is a global initiative on May 29-31 (Western) and June 7, 2020 (Eastern).
“Two thousand years ago, Pentecost marked the beginning of a truly global church called to reach the nations. As we approach Pentecost this year, our world is truly in need of the hope that only Christ and His church can provide,” said Elijah Brown, BWA General Secretary. “We invite Baptists around the world to join together in a unified movement of prayer, praise, and response that helps us stand together with a global church that is suffering. Imagine the mountains God will move if every Baptist church in every region of the world stands together at this critical time.”
The initiative will include opportunities to stand:
- Together in Worship – The BWA will host an online worship gathering featuring praise, prayers, and testimonies from around the world on Friday, May 29, at 8 pm EDT and Saturday, May 30, at 2 pm EDT. Each service will be broadcast simultaneously on the BWA Facebook page and YouTube Channel.
- Together in Focus – Families, small groups, churches, and ministries are invited to focus on the global Church by sharing a unique prayer, sermon illustration, video, or other element within Pentecost weekend worship services on May 30-31 (Western) or June 7 (Eastern). Free shareable resources are available at BaptistWorld.org/pentecost.
- Together in Giving – Individuals are invited to give and churches are encouraged to designate a portion of the offering received on Pentecost to the BWA “Standing Together” Global Response Plan, which is already serving the most vulnerable around the world. Since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, the response has included the approval of more than 100 grants impacting over 100,000 lives in 80 countries. Secure online giving is available at BaptistWorld.org/give.
The “Standing Together at Pentecost” initiative is a collaborative effort among all six regional fellowships within the Baptist World Alliance: All Africa Baptist Fellowship, Asia Pacific Baptist Federation, Caribbean Baptist Fellowship, European Baptist Federation, North American Baptist Fellowship, and Union of Baptists in Latin America.
“Covid-19 respects no boundaries, borders, race, or color; therefore, it is our responsibility now to be united and battle this pandemic together as one Baptist family,” said Vesekhoyi Tetseo, General Secretary of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation. “May this Pentecost gathering remind us of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, giving the disciples the power to be his witnesses. As the Church and as Baptists, let us then ‘Stand Together’ again as powerful witnesses to the world.”
People from more than 30 countries have already joined the initiative with the number expected to rise in the coming weeks.
“God in his wisdom has chosen such a time as this to unite us in the common global challenge of Covid-19, which has led us to draw even closer both to him and to each other,” said Peter Mugabi, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Uganda. “This message is going to all Ugandan Baptist leaders and churches to remember and renew the biblical and historical commitment set before us by our predecessors. We will participate in this global opportunity by singing ‘Oh God Is Good!’ in different languages here in Uganda, setting up a prayer chain that weekend to pray for the world continent by continent, and challenging those who are able to give.”
Another element of the “Standing Together at Pentecost” initiative will be a compilation of video messages from around the world. To be included, participants are invited to record a brief, 5-second video and to speak the words “Standing Together” in their language. If using a cellphone, the video should be recorded horizontally. The video should then be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than May 24 with a notation of the participants’ name(s), church or ministry name, and location. This will be one of many reflections of unity among diversity throughout the weekend.
“The BWA reminds our church that we are part of a larger Christian community that transcends ethnic, racial, language, and political divides. We will encourage our church to participate in this global worship experience to strengthen our commitment to our world Baptist family,” said Jim Holladay, Pastor of Lyndon Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. “May Pentecost remind us that God intended to bring ‘every nation under heaven’ into the Kingdom of God’s shalom.”
For more information or to sign up to participate, visit BaptistWorld.org/pentecost.