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Welcome to Beyond 400 - Baptists imagining life after the first 400 years. You can read and contribute articles in Go Fly a Kite, read the first 40 Baptist Voices that are now all submitted and comment on them, buy the Beyond 400 book, and share your thoughts on developing this site.

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Posted by on in Go Fly a Kite

As I opened my front door this morning I was greeted by fog.  I got into the car to take my husband to the station.  I knew the direction I wanted to go in but I couldn’t quite see everything in front of me.  It wasn’t until I was right upon something that it became clear.  Inch by inch the direction of our path was revealed in front of us.  I dropped him off at the station where he took the express train to London.  I went back home.  I was cold and my bed that I had not long left seemed inviting.  The pull was strong. I couldn’t resist.  I got back into bed.  Snuggling down I felt the familiarity of the warmth that was still there from before.  Pulling the covers back over my head I felt the comfort and reassurance of my bed.  I began to dream…

This is a popular and attractive philosophy. It demands nothing, expects nothing and changes nothing. It is a sentiment detached from our involvement and influence. It is beyond us. I’m way too young to remember Doris Day, who first uttered these words in her song (I was born when Sly and the Family Stone did a cover version of it in 1973) but I am only too aware of how Que Sera, Sera is sung in the heart of every football fan who dreams of the journey towards Wembley (I’ve only followed the dream once with my team).

My main beef with this phrase is the hopelessness and resignation that the future is outside of our influence and the utter disregard for the resurrection. St Paul was frustrated by this kind of worldview too when he quoted those who did not believe in resurrection by saying “Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die.” I wonder whether now, through this forum and discussion what we are all crying out for is a resurrected Baptist movement. I certainly am.

Spring 2018

Dear Church Secretary,

Better Together: Baptist Networks Mission Initiatives Programme

Enclosed with this letter you will find this year’s Better Together Mission Voucher. I am delighted to say that the Voucher Scheme introduced after the 2012 Futures Process has proved so successful that giving to our Mission Initiatives Programme has grown considerably which means this year we are able to send every contributing church a voucher for £2500.

The scheme remains the same. The money must be spent on a UK mission initiative organized in partnership with others. You need to register your intention to use the voucher by the end of June. Then you have until the end of November to decide how the funds should be allocated. Any money not allocated by then will be saved and be shared among all the churches next year. The use of the voucher must be supported by a minute from the meeting where the use of the money was discussed.

Remember, the money can go to a Baptist project or to a project organized in partnership with other churches. Here are some of the different things churches have done with their money.

Posted by on in 40 Baptist Voices

I finished up my street performance in the middle of Norwich on a hot summers day and jumped around exuberantly and I must admit, slightly hot and sweaty, holding above my head the straight jacket that I had just escaped from. It was a good show and I looked around awaiting the cheers but on this occasion the small crowd gave polite applause more akin to a cricket match then a wild escape challenge with blearing music from Florence And The Machine. That was until two women and their dog staggered by and shouted and cheered their hearts out and sat down right in front of me. They looked somewhat wasted, I wondered what to do and then I just thought the best thing would be to ask them what they thought about my show. ‘What show?’ one of the women said. Great... They hadn’t seen any of it! They asked what I had been doing so I spoke about my hope to show something of my faith and what Jesus had done in my life. I mantioned something about how much God loved people which provoked a loud repsonse. ‘God!’ one of the woman cried. “There is no ******* God! How can you say that there is a God, you don’t know he exists”, she snarled.

The Beyond 400 book is available online online here.

Photo of Andy Goodliff

This book provides an intriguing and lasting snapshot of Baptists in conversation in the 400th year, gathering together insights from a divers group of contributors looking back, looking forward, looking in, and looking out.

The book comprises of the 40 articles and many of the 1000+ comments shared in the conversations that started at www.beyond400.net in 2012.  118 pages, A5.

For larger volume and international orders email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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