RESPONSE TO RACIAL INJUSTICE

I have grieved over the murder of George Floyd and grieved for his family as he was laid to rest this past week. Outrage over the incident has spread across the country. People are angry, disturbed, heartbroken. That includes us as leaders of CBAmerica. We are frustrated that these incidences continue to happen with no change in sight. We lament and recognize they are part of American history where thousands upon thousands of names could be added.

I believe that we cannot shy away from these issues. CBA believes that God has created every person in His own image, with inherent value that cannot be taken away. We recognize and repent, that we have not been more proactive as followers of Jesus Christ, that we have allowed indifference, politics and our agendas to divide us. Satan would love nothing more than to see us divide over these issues rather than applying the gospel to them.

When we say that the gospel changes everything, we need to be willing to examine ourselves to see where we need heart change. We recognize that we have not been listening well to the brokenness of all those in minority communities. We have not taken the time to learn about the injustices that they have experienced and endured. We confess that needs to change. Isaiah says, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (53:4)”. We want the heart of our Savior, to bear griefs and sorrows, to heal the brokenhearted, provide liberty, righteousness and justice. We ask for forgiveness of any way we have not walked in step with the gospel concerning these issues.

“…the gospel changes everything, we need to be willing to examine ourselves to see where we need heart change.”

We grieve with our brothers and sisters in the African American community, along with all minorities who have similar experiences in life. We can’t possibly understand how this makes them feel, but we do choose to listen to them when they talk about their anger, fears and frustrations.

“We believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ tears down barriers, and that the Church is to provide hope that through Jesus …”

We oppose any kind of injustice. We believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ tears down barriers, and that the Church is to provide hope that through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, the hostility and division that exist between peoples are reconciled. “For he himself is our peace, who…destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…to create in himself one new humanity…thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility (Ephesians 2:14–16). We believe we should use our resources and the influence that we have to bring true peace.

We also oppose lawlessness as a means of addressing these issues. We believe all authorities, (including police and civil authorities) are ministers of God (Romans 13:1-7). We also believe that all authority and their policies should be under accountability and that there are legal means by which grievances can and should be dealt with.

We are committed to listening, learning and leveraging our network to listen to the voices that need to be heard. We will take action to be a part of the solution, asking the question of Micah 6:8…And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

God calls us to the ministry of reconciliation through the gospel. He gives us the responsibility to call people in broken and estranged relationships to be reconciled to God and to one another through the work of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18-21) …to bring peace.

God calls us to the ministry of reconciliation through the gospel.

CBAmerica will deeply examine where we have missed God’s calling. It is our prayer that we will join with our Lord, who enjoys the diversity of human creation, which He created for His glory and good pleasure. Regardless of our racial and cultural differences, we will hold the clear and uncompromising teachings of Scripture as our final authority in all matters.

It is our prayer, that our Lord’s Kingdom will come, that His will is done, on earth as it is in heaven. That we will celebrate now, what all followers of Jesus will one day experience:
And they sang a new song, saying: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10).

Thank you all for coming alongside us as we develop a better CBAmerica as we venture together, advancing gospel-centered transformational churches in every community we touch!

Sincerely,

Dr David Whitaker
President, CBAmerica
on behalf of the Regional Executive Directors

COVID19 Ministry: Reaching Airmen through Innovative Means

Chaplain Torrey Garrison, USAFR, Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS

Chaplain Torrey Garrison is a United States Air Force Reserve Chaplain Major assigned to RAF Mildenhall north of London.  He is married to Carrie and has three children and two grandchildren. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic the military grounded all reserve members from traveling overseas.  He fell back to Keesler Air Force Base to tele-work.  During this time, he was assigned to provide a series of sermon videos to be used for their members on Sunday morning.  This is his sermon from Memorial Day Sunday, “Five Qualities of a Good Soldier.”

Also, you can keep up with Chaplain Garrison a little at www.torreygarrison.com

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Join us in thanking God for inspiring creative response to COVID19 restrictions through modern means.  Despite, limitations due to social distancing, Chaplain Garrison, along with other CBAmerica chaplain colleagues, have taken a lemon and made lemonade.  Pray for their resilience and sustainment through these difficult days.

For more stories by and about CBAmerica chaplains, visit http://cbamerica.org/category/chaplaincy/.

To discuss endorsement for a wide variety of chaplain subspecialties, email Randy Brandy, director of chaplaincy, at chapbrandt@cbamerica.org.

Air Assault: A Chaplain’s Reflections

Chaplain (CPT) Phil Persing
Regimental Engineer Squadron
3d U.S. Cavalry, Fort Hood, Texas

April 2019

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend U.S. Army Air Assault School at Ft. Hood, my current home station. Affectionately billed as “The Ten Toughest Days” in the Army (a highly debatable statement, but it makes the point), Air Assault students are subjected to rigorous and relentless physical and mental demands. The training focuses primarily on helicopter operations, training Soldiers in everything from aircraft hand and arm signals to external load inspections to actually rappelling from Blackhawks. Graduates must complete an obstacle course, multiple written and hands-on exams, and two timed ruck marches (6 mi. and 12 mi.).

Students Conduct Their Final Rappel
From a UH-60 (Blackhawk)

Participation in Air Assault School is completely voluntary. No one asked me or expected me to sign up for this. So, why would a chaplain care to subject himself to Air Assault School?
Aside from the general fulfillment of pushing oneself to new levels and learning new skills, there are reasons why Air Assault School is a particularly valuable opportunity for chaplains.

Students Conduct Their
Final Rappel From a UH-60 (Blackhawk)

First, chaplains are much more likely to “win a hearing” with other Soldiers if we go where they go and experience what they experience. I developed quick connections with fellow students during those weeks because we trained and suffered together. This opened doors for conversations about the gospel and our public Christian witness through words, as well as prayer with students as we approached the final assessments in the school.

Graduation Day
(That’s Me in the Middle!)

Additionally, Air Assault experience has positioned me to be an informed encourager and cheerleader for future Soldiers in my unit who aspire to this training. It is yet another point of connection to develop relationships with those I serve, and I now know better how to pray for each one who goes through the school.
I thank God for the opportunity for this training—may He use it to declare His glory and goodness among Soldiers!

Graduation Day
(That’s Me in the Middle)

CBAmerica Board Appoints New President

At the Winter Meeting of the CBAmerica Board, January 29th and 30th held in Laguna Beach, CA, Dave Whitaker was appointed President of CBAmerica. He is taking on the newly defined position:

“In recognition of the covenantal commitment of CBA, the President shall serve the member networks, facilitating national vision, coordinating and managing the network of national resources and services; he shall be a part of the selection process for any new Executive Director of a member network; he shall facilitate the expansion of CBA into more networks.”

Church ministry is woven into the fabric of Dave’s life. A “preacher’s kid” born in Iowa, Dave grew up in the East San Francisco Bay Area town of Pleasanton. After receiving undergraduate and seminary degrees, Dave served seven years as an associate pastor of his home church in San Ramon, CA, then thirteen years as senior pastor of Heart to Heart Bible Church in Phoenix, AZ. During the years in Phoenix, Dave received his Doctor of Sacred Ministries degree from Northland International University. Dave’s burden to return to the Bay Area led him in 2004 to become the lead pastor of Morgan Hill Bible Church, serving also as a volunteer chaplain with the Morgan Hill Police Department.

For over eight years, Dave served as the Executive Director of Next Generation Churches in northern California, one of eight regions in CBAmerica. Along with serving on the various boards of CBAmerica, Dave serves also as Vice-Chairman of Western Seminary.

Dave & Lanette Whitaker

Dave and his wife, Lanette, have been married for 37 years. Their daughter Kaylan lives in Manhattan and son Jonathan and wife Carrie, and their first grandchild, Sylvia, live in Brooklyn, NY. Dave enjoys hanging out with family and friends, reading, playing golf and playing with his Apple gadgets. Even more, Dave loves communicating the Word and is passionate about seeing local churches and pastors flourishing in the gospel, connecting people into a vital relationship with Jesus Christ.

Dave will continue as the lead pastor of Morgan Hill Bible Church but will be handing off his role of director of Next Generation Ministries with the appointment of a new Regional Director.

Commissioning of the USS Colorado Invocation and Benediction by Chaplain Andrew Meverden

CBAmerica’s Director of Chaplaincy Andrew Meverden at the Commissioning of the USS Colorado a $2.6 billion Virginia class fast attack submarine at the Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, CT.

Chaplain Meverden is introduced at 7 minutes and delivers the Invocation at around 15 minutes and the Benediction at 1:12:00.

Click here for a good article with photographs of the USS Colorado.

Hurricane Harvey Relief in the Houston Area

Follow-up to a natural disaster, such as Hurricane Harvey requires an anchor church or ministry that has a passion to provide the framework for receiving, supporting and coordinating teams from outside of the affected area.  Crossover Bible Church of Houston and their partners, the Houston Church Planting Network are exactly what is needed to bring aid to churches and families needing assistance.  If you are considering engaging in the relief efforts in the Houston area by desiring to send a team here is a link:

http://www.hcpn.org/teamform

The following videos will help you grasp the scope of the work of recovery and the strategy that Crossover Bible Church has initiated.

Invitation to churches from Crossover Bible Fellowship’s Pastor Blake Wilson

Jeff Denlinger’s reaction to Houston devastation and challenge to churches to serve

WorldVenture/Crossover Bible Fellowship “He Is Able” Music Video

CBAmerica is receiving designated gifts for Hurricane Harvey and other disaster relief  efforts click HERE.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Jose; Fires in Western US and the Mexico Earthquake

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Jose; Fires in Western US and the Mexico Earthquake

Our hearts break for those who are experiencing such great loss of life and property in the face of multiple catastrophic events in our sphere of influence.  The number and scope of the current needs are so great that you and your congregation may feel paralyzed, not knowing what to do.

CBAmerica’s strategy in light of these needs is:

Encouraging individuals and congregations to consider initially giving to those organizations best prepared for early relief efforts.  Our early response agency of choice would be Samaritan’s Purse. Other options would include the Salvation Army, Red Cross and the North American Mission Board (Southern Baptist).

To help meet long-term recovery efforts we are encouraging individuals and churches to give to CBAmerica’s ACTS Fund. Along with WorldVenture, we are partnering with Crossover Bible Fellowship of Houston and the Houston Church Planting Network.  They are an anchor relief church and organization that are receiving teams from church wanting to help (use this hyperlink to access a team form).

Mission Mid-Atlantic Director, Jim Leary is in contact with CBAmerica Churches in Florida in advance of Hurricane Irma’s landfall on Southwest Florida.  Pray for Parkway Baptist Church, Pastor Len Anderson, in Fort Meyer, FL as Irma is projected to have a great impact on this area.

We continue to communicate with our CBNorthwest Region in regard to the fires that are devastating the area.  Additionally, we will look to Missions Door for disaster relief efforts in the Caribbean and Southern Mexico.




Responding to Hurricane Harvey

Responding to Hurricane Harvey

How can we help?  In the face of a disaster like Hurricane Harvey, this is the cry of hearts inundated with images of the flooding and interviews of those displaced, having experienced the loss of all of life’s possessions. Our hearts are heavy, our eyes are teary and our prayers are intercessory in the face of so many loosing so much.

Having been involved in relief efforts from Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy and flooding here in Colorado along Saint Vrain, I have some observations with regard to responding to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.

First, it is impossible to assess the totality of the disaster while it is still occurring.  The area of impact is experiencing complete infrastructure failure at this point.  Roads, water, sewer and electrical components continue to be compromised or destroyed. It will be several more days before Harvey is done. As disasters go, the current operations would be labeled as “Search and Rescue” and “Emergency Relief”.

There are several groups that a church can support that are well suited for these stages of disaster relief.  I would suggest that if churches want to engage immediately that they consider sending their support to Samaritan’s Purse.  Other early responders equipped to move into disasters in these early stages are the Salvation Army, the Red Cross and the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.

Once these groups have done the work that they are best prepared do, the recovery stages can begin. The recovery stage, when people can begin rebuilding their lives, can only begin when basic infrastructure components are restored and people are no longer worried about safety and survival.

This is a long-term disaster that will require long-term support that over the next several weeks and months will move from “Search and Rescue” and “Emergency Relief” to recovery.  The recovery stage can have very distinct stages that require different support needs. Those stages are:

  • Early RecoveryThey have a place to get food and water and a temporary or transitional shelter that can withstand wind and rain. They can go about their daily lives, beginning to resume some kind of normal existence.
  • Medium to Long-Term RecoveryDuring medium to long-term recovery, the work of building permanent physical structures to replace tents, trailers, or plywood houses begins, as does restoration of social structures.
  • Community DevelopmentCommunity development is a means of improving on the “normal.” Traditionally, this phase is not considered part of emergency response.[1]

We are currently looking for strategic partnerships – organizations and churches that will become staging areas for ongoing relief.  Our long-term strategy will be prioritized by:

  • Helping churches that desire to minister to their communities as staging or resourcing areas of relief.
  • Helping families in those churches gain stability in their lives so that they can help minister to their community.
  • All the while looking for opportunity to share the love of Jesus with neighbors by helping them rebuild their lives.

Like Katrina relief, we hope to discover opportunities for churches to send teams to assist in recovery.

CBAmerica will be receiving designated gifts for Hurricane Harvey Relief CLICK HERE.

To give to Samaritans Purse Hurricane Harvey Relief CLICK HERE.

[1] http://reliefweb.int/report/world/phases-disaster-recovery-emergency-response-long-term

 

3 Myths of the 501(c)(3)

A recent article in Church Executive was titled “3 myths of the 501(c)(3): When misunderstandings lead to misguidance”. The three myths discussed in the article are:

  • Misconception #1:      Obtaining 501(c)(3) approval means my church will be a ‘state controlled church’; therefore, the government can tell me what to preach.
  • Misconception #2:      Obtaining 501(c)(3) approval would subject my church to participate in activities it does not condone.
  • Misconception #3:      Obtaining 501(c)(3) approval is not required.

Each week CBAmerica is contacted by churches seeking verification of their 501(c)(3) status under the CBAmerica Group Exemption Number 1719. A church is covered by the CBAmerica Group Exemption if the church is in good standing with their region, has its own Employer Identification Number (EIN) and is included in the CBAmerica Database of active churches.

If you church desires a letter of verification of their coverage under CBAmerica’s Group Exemption for the current year please submit the following completed FORM.

The Pacific Church Network and Next Generation Churches are covered by their regions Group Exemption. Please contact your regional office to receive verification of your status under their Group Exemption.