The annual Baptist World Alliance General Council meeting has gathered more than 400 Baptist delegates from over 50 countries in Mexico City for its annual gathering.
The weeklong General Council commenced on July 3 and will close today, July 8. A major focus of the gathering has been on the meetings, workshops, forums and worship services.
Over the years, the event has grown and seen a transformation in both the content and quantity of meetings.
While departments such as the men, women and youth; divisions such as Study and Research, Evangelism and Education, and Baptist World Aid; and continental federations such as the Asians and Africans meet as in past gatherings, there has been a new focus this year in the Mexican capital.
Being placed as the core focus are the forums which look to highlight issues that affect the lives of Baptist members and churches and affinity groups, which bring together like-minded persons based on vocation, age, and other interests.
The BWA reports that during these sessions, the BWA and its member bodies and affiliates have been able to explore issues such as HIV/Aids, the prosperity gospel, the Churchs response to migration, and Christian presence and witness amongst Muslims.
Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world, with approximately 20 million inhabitants. It is built on the ruins of Tenochtitlan, the ancient Aztec capital. Reminders of past civilization pervade the city.
During the General Council theological educators, denominational leaders, and pastors, have met diligently to share concerns and issues that affect them.
The July 3-8 meetings, held at the Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel in the heart of the city, have been enriched by multicultural worship, drawing on the worship experiences and practices from countries and regions around the world. Mexican songs, praise tunes from Pakistan, and South African hymns have been sung.
President David Coffey and General Secretary Denton Lotz have guided the proceedings throughout. The Implementation Task Force, led by Keith Jones, also has provided much guidance in the organizing of the event, along with the BWA staff headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, in the United States.