The YBA Assembly - Part Two


Mary welcomes LizREGIONAL Minister the Revd Mary Taylor opened this part of the programme saying: “We are Yorkshire Baptists in association together – we are going to try bring the annual report alive and make it about movement,life, mission and discipleship.”
She introduced Liz Allen, the newly-elected Chair of the YBA Executive, and prayed God’s blessing on her. Liz then welcomed everyone to the 95th AGM of the YBA and said its purpose was to receive the annual report. But first the focus would be turned on achievements and performance, looking at signs of fruitfulness and God’s blessing, celebrating what God has been doing among us.

Mary then introduced Sally Nelson, Kez Robinson, Lisa Holmes and Beauty Edebor, who spoke about how God was at work in their particular area.

The Revd Sally Nelson, former YBA Training Officer, is a Baptist tutor at St Barnabas Theological Centre (SBTC) in Sheffield, of which the Association is a partner. Several YBA ministers in training are studying with SBTC and eight were supported with grants made to their placement churches in 2015. The Baptists train alongside Anglican ordinands and independents.
StudentsThe prospectus foreword sums it up well: “St Barnabas is about training people for the future, not the status quo. We believe the best training happens when we combine rigorous academic teaching with practical missional experience. Our students are practitioners in formation; learning while doing.Our prayer is that God will use them to grow, plant and revitalise churches in this region and beyond.”
Sally said the centre was three years old and its first students would graduate this summer. She welcomed three of the students to the Assembly  – Adrian, Phil and James. Phil said it was a privilege being part of SBTC with ministers who were missional and wanted to reach out to see the Kingdom of God coming.

The Revd Kez Robinson, the YBA’s Home Mission Enabler, spoke about how she had been getting to know people in the Association’s Home Mission-supported churches. At Buttershaw Baptist Church in Bradford, the church had looked at its child care provision and had set up a nursery for the community. The people there were passionate about what they were doing. They were meeting people outside the church – and the nursery was making money, which enabled more to be released into the community.
At Hope Baptist Church in Hebden Bridge, which suffered severe flood damage, a negative had been turned into a positive in that the church had developed “Pop-up Hope” – meeting in different places in the community, getting alongside different people. “I went to worship with them one morning and we hung out in a pub! We were drinking coffee and it was nice and relaxed.”
Kez speaksAt Hope Whitby she had enjoyed fish and chips and joined in the Hope Hub in a café. Hope Whitby had several small, diverse church groups meeting in different places. It was a great witness.
Kez encouraged churches of 40 members or less to sign up for the YBA’s Small Churches’ Day on September 24th at West Lane Baptist Church, Haworth, when the focus would be turned on common needs, desires, frustrations – and encouraging and inspiring one another.

The Revd Lisa Holmes, senior minister at Skipton Baptist Church, spoke about an exciting expansion project called “The House”. The current church building dated back to 1861 and was fully used all week by church groups and the community and on Sundays it was full to capacity.
The church had spent time in reviewing how it operated, architects had come up with some grand schemes but none were possible and time had been spent in prayer asking: “What is God saying?”
The leaders felt compelled to stay in the town centre – the answer was right next door, four cottages which had been knocked into one and stood vacant!
Someone had done a calculation and worked out that the price of the building equated to the same price in today’s terms as the original building when it was founded.
In September 2015, the church bought the property, which needs full refurbishment. More than 80 people aged from 8 to 80 had helped to clear the building.
The church aims to redevelop “The House” into a place of welcome, hope, life, acceptance and care, integrating its foodbank, debt counselling and staff offices as well as developing further support for the community. 
Lisa added: “I am excited about the future. It is a massive project and we still need money so we can reach out into the community and introduce people to Jesus and a God who loves them.”

Beauty EdeborBeauty Edebor, of Wakefield Baptist Church, was one of the participants in the Esther Collective over the last nine months. The Esther Collective is a partnership between the Association and the Girls’ Brigade and aims to equip and enable younger women leaders.
Beauty said the name came from the story of Esther. Being part of the Collective had helped Beauty reflect on her calling – “Who am I? What am I doing?” She had found where she belonged in Christ and how much He loved her. She realised it was now time for her to go out and share what He has done.

Liz Allen announced that the YBA was seeking to appoint a Trust Officer because Richard Mason was standing down as Chair of the Trust Group, a post he had held for many years. She encouraged people to support the YBA's Small Churches' Day. “We want to resource small churches to engage in mission.”
She then introduced Treasurer Dean Thorpe, who shared an encouraging story about how after coming to worship at The Well Baptist Church a few weeks ago his 12-year-old son had taken Communion for the first time.
“It is fantastic – he is on his journey with God,” said Dean.

(See Dean's presentation under Assembly Part Three - the YBA AGM financial matters and the afternoon session) - click here

(YBA Assembly Photo Album) - click here

​                                                                                                                                 Report compiled by Joolz Walker




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Webpage icon The YBA Assembly - Part Three