By Terry Barone
FRESNO—After a 24-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, California Southern Baptist Convention is scheduled to meet October 26-27 at Clovis Hills Community Church in Clovis for fellowship, inspiration, and business. More information at csbc.com/annualmeeting.
Stephen Jones, chairman of the Committee on Convention Operations and associate pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Highland, said the past two years have “been tough and have taken a unique toll on Christian leaders. It’s time we meet for refreshment, encouragement, and equipping.”
Jones said that barring any new mandates related to COVID-19, California Southern Baptists will be able to meet for its annual sessions, find resources from exhibitors, and take advantage of auxiliary meetings such as the CSBC Pastors’ Conference.
Originally scheduled for West Sacramento, the committee recommended the Executive Board to move the meeting to the Clovis church “to provide more space and flexibility for our meetings, exhibits, breakout sessions, and auxiliary events. As COVID continues to throw us curveballs, we felt Clovis was a better environment to control and scale our programs as needed,” Jones said.
“Re-Engage” is the theme of the annual meeting and Jones noted, “Whether you are just starting to engage or are ready to re-engage, this would be the perfect year to be involved in the annual meeting.”
He added the committee has sought to bring some level of “normalcy” to the annual meeting. “You can expect the same kind of fellowship, worship, and auxiliary events you normally experience. However, we’re streamlining some of the business meeting agenda and adding a couple of leadership panels featuring our institutions and partnerships that I’m very excited about.”
This year, messengers will elect a new president and other officers, something which hasn’t been done since 2019 because of the pandemic. Since CSBC didn’t meet in 2020, officers of the Convention remained in place for an additional year. Shawn Beaty, the senior pastor of the host church, Clovis Hills, has served the maximum term as president.
Other business to be considered include electing persons to serve as directors and trustees for The Baptist Foundation of California and California Baptist University, respectively; electing persons to serve on CSBC committees; approving 2022 Proposed CSBC Executive Board Ministries Budget, and considering CSBC Constitution and Bylaws amendments.
Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway Seminary, will be the keynote speaker on Tuesday evening and will speak directly to the theme of “Re-Engage.” Also addressing the event will be Beaty and Bill Agee, CSBC executive director.
In 2021 CSBC is using a hybrid registration approach – online pre-registration and registration at the annual meeting by presenting a verified messenger card at registration.
The online pre-registration system is open until 5 p.m. on Monday, October 25. To pre-register online, go to SBCWorkspace (sbcworkspace.com) and log in using the username and password which was emailed to eligible churches on Friday, September 10.
Valid messenger cards for the 2021 annual meeting are blue and dated 08/2021. These will be the only valid messenger cards accepted at registration. Cards are available in association offices or can be ordered by emailing Beth Ketcheside firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 559.256.0831.
Although in its 81st year of existence, this will be the 80th annual meeting of California Southern Baptists because of the 2020 cancellation due to COVID-19 The annual sessions will be preceded by several auxiliary meetings. More information about the annual meeting – complete program, housing, childcare, resolutions, and messenger registration – can be found at csbc.com/annualmeeting.