Dr. Bill Fowler speaks at convention in Paraguay, attends conference in Canada
After teaching in our Yellowstone Summer Scholars program in mid-July, I made an unexpected trip to Paraguay to speak to the annual pastors retreat of the Convencion Evangelica Bautista de Paraguay. Filling in for a Garland, TX, pastor whose illness prevented him from going on the mission trip with his church, I preached at a church in Asuncion, led devotionals for the mission team, and spoke four times at the retreat through my able interpreter Angel Ibarra. I had asked the Lord to enable me to “sustain the weary with a word (Isaiah 50:4)” and He did not disappoint!
With only an 18-hour layover at home in Bozeman, Dianne and I left for Canada the day after I returned home from Paraguay. I had already been scheduled to attend the annual meeting of the Association for Ministry Guidance Professionals at the Baptist seminary in Cochrane, Alberta. It was a wonderful time to connect and network with university and seminary leaders from across the U.S. and Canada who are tasked with preparing leaders for the 21st century. But it held another blessing for me. Over thirty years ago I had served on the original board of trustees that had overseen the founding of the seminary in Cochrane. It was sweet to return and see all that God had done, and listen to the seminary leadership share how they are going about “Training Leaders for Tough Places.”
We were also able to return briefly to Saskatchewan where Dianne was born and where I served from 1975-1997. That Sunday I preached at Scarborough Baptist Church where I had been associate pastor 1975-1976 and pastor 1982-1989. It was ironic that I had gone from 32 degrees latitude south one Sunday to 54 degrees latitude north the next!
Dr. David Wilmington delivers BTS Lectures in Singapore
In August, Dr. David Wilmington delivered the annual BTS Lectures at Baptist Theological Seminary of Singapore. Dr. Wilmington was accompanied by his 10-year-old daughter, Anna Grace, on the 8-day trip. They enjoyed amazing hospitality, fellowship, and theological discussions with the faculty, staff, and students of BTS—often with amazing food—and were able to attend worship and classes with their hosts.
Titled “Discipleship, Imagination, and Improvisation,” the lecture series focused on imaginative, practical approaches for the theological education and formation of Christian ministers and disciples. Using numerous video examples of jazz and soccer training and performance, Dr. Wilmington presented an argument for using the classical trivium as the core for an imaginative and faithful approach to forming Christians for improvisational discipleship and leadership. The lectures were translated live into Mandarin.
According to Baptist Theological Seminary, “The annual BTS Lectures aim to edify the general Christian audience in the application of theological thinking in the contemporary ministry setting.” A variety of church leaders and members from across Singapore, in addition to educators, attend the lectures.