SBC agency heads join call for prayer. A Nov. 12 open letter calling Southern Baptists to observe a day of prayer in January declared Americans “live in desperate times” and need “a heal-the-land kind of blessing” from God. The call to “solemn assembly” issued by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Great Commission Council—composed of heads of the convention’s entity organizations—echoed an invitation by SBC President Bryant Wright for churches to observe a day in January to seek God in prayer and repentance. The challenge to hold a nationwide solemn assembly was an element of the Great Commission Resurgence task force report adopted at the June 2010 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Orlando. In preparation, the North American Mission Board has launched a website with resources. The website www.namb.net/sbcdayofprayer provides an eight-step guide on how to incorporate a prayer emphasis one Sunday in January.
BWA accepts nominations. The Baptist World Alliance is receiving nominations for the 2011 Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award. Nominations will be accepted until Feb. 1, 2011. The BWA presents the award annually for significant and effective activities to secure, protect, restore or preserve human rights. Details on the nomination process are available at http://www.bwanet.org.
Central Seminary to receive $1.7 million. Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kan., is slated to receive two foundation gifts totaling $1.7 million. The Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation pledged $1.1 million for general expenses, while an unnamed Kansas City foundation awarded $600,000 for a new master-of-divinity program aimed at attracting younger students. In 2009, the Baugh Foundation pledged $2 million toward an $8 million Central Seminary capital campaign. That gift earned naming rights for a new chapel on a campus to which the seminary relocated in a series of cost-cutting measures in 2006. Founded in 1901, Central Seminary is aligned with both American Baptist Churches USA and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
Early registration open for young women’s event. National Woman’s Missionary Union offers discounted early registration for Blume, a four-day focus on missions for teenaged and collegiate young women, July 13-16 in Orlando, Fla. Participants will have the opportunity to take part in hands-on ministry projects, interact with missionaries, participate in worship and Bible study, and experience a unique and interactive cultural activity in EPCOT customized for Blume through Disney’s Youth Education Series program. Chandra Peele, author of Radiant: Discovering Beauty from the Inside Out and Priceless: Discovering True Love, Beauty and Confidence, will be the keynote speaker. Early-bird registration through April 30, 2011, is $299 per person if staying within the Blume block of reserved rooms, or $399 per person if reservations are made outside the Blume block of rooms. Registration fees May 1, 2011, and after are $349 per person inside the reserved Blume block of rooms, or $449 outside the Blume block. For more information on Blume, visit www.blumeforgirls.com.