View from Castillo San Cristobal, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Photo by Curtis Ramsey-Lucas

From the editor: Greetings from San Juan 

June 23, 2023
Dear Reader,

Greetings from San Juan, Puerto Rico where the air is warm, the water is blue, and the people are beautiful.

I’m here for the American Baptist Churches 2023 Biennial Mission Summit, looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones. If you’re in San Juan, be sure to stop by the ABHMS space in the exhibit hall. I’ll be there throughout the week including Saturday afternoon for a special broadcast of Ministry Mondays with Meg. I’ll be talking about my book #InThisTogether: Ministry in Times of Crisis with other Judson Press authors.

I’m also excited that one of our contributing writers, Michael Woolf, is co-recipient with Michael Nabors of this year’s Edwin T. Dahlberg Peace and Justice Award. Rev. Woolf is pastor of Lake Street Church, Evanston, Illinois. Rev. Nabors is pastor of Second Baptist Church, Evanston, Illinois.

Second Baptist Church was formed in 1882 when ten Black members of Lake Street Church (then First Baptist) resigned to form the first Black Baptist Church in Evanston. Pastors Nabors and Woolf began a conversation about the rightful ownership of Lake Street Church’s historic and valuable property and their congregations have acknowledged together that Second Baptist is a full and rightful partner in the ownership of the Lake Street property. Discernment continues about how that partnership will be lived out, but the work of reparation is under way by these two faithful congregations, inspired by their prophetic leaders.

Greetings from San Juan, Puerto Rico where the air is warm, the water is blue, and the people are beautiful.

“In our increasingly separated and polarized society, we celebrate the prophetic and courageous witness and leadership of pastors Nabors and Woolf in leading their congregations toward racial justice and reconciliation,” said Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, executive director of ABHMS and CEO of Judson Press.

“In their pursuit of reparations and the restoration of the relationship of their two congregations, pastors Nabors and Woolf exemplify the pursuit of peace and justice that was the hallmark of the life and ministry of Edwin T. Dahlberg,” said the Rev. Dr. Jamie Washam, president of ABHMS’ Board of Directors.

Rev. Edwin T. Dahlberg was an American Baptist minister committed to social justice and peacemaking. A disciple of and sometime secretary to Walter Rauschenbusch, Rev. Dahlberg served as president of American Baptist Churches USA from 1946 to 1947 and president of the National Council of Churches of Christ USA from 1957 to 1960. He helped found the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America.

This week, ABHMS celebrates its long partnership with Baptists in Puerto Rico including rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Maria. ABHMS coordinated 104 volunteer teams that included 1,391 people contributing 41,868 hours of work. These volunteers, including a team from my church, University Baptist in College Park, Maryland, helped repair 35 churches, 11 organizations or retreat centers, and 118 homes damaged by Hurricane Maria.

Next week, I’ll be in Spartansburg, South Carolina, leading a youth mission trip from my church. Look for The Weekly from me there.

Be well, take care, and thanks for reading!



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Curtis Ramsey-Lucas is editor of The Christian Citizen.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of American Baptist Home Mission Societies.

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