NEWS

Seminars on the charismatic movement. Let’s get out of Viet Nam as soon as possible. Ralph Carmichael musicals. A vote for womanhood. Jesus-movement kids and street kids in need of Jesus. Black viewpoints. Feed the poor. Show-and-tell attention for Indian Americans. Down with the system. Up with evangelism.

There were soothing sounds for just about everybody at last month’s annual meeting of the American Baptist Convention in Minneapolis. Liberal and evangelical delegates alike went home remarking about the convention’s spirit, which was almost as sweet as the gallons of communion grape juice donated by a Baptist grape-grower in California.

It was music to the feminine ear when unopposed nominee Mrs. Marcus Rohlfs was introduced as the new president of the 1.4-million-member ABC. A widowed social-action advocate from Seattle who has been ABC home-mission president for the past three years, Mrs. Rohlfs became the fifth woman president in ABC history. (Until this year the ABC was the only major denomination to have elected a woman to its top post.)

Clinking sounds resonated from the treasurer’s report. ABC income is rising ($11.9 million in 1970), though it is still below the mid-sixties level. Delegates adopted a belt-tightening budget of $12.5 million for 1972—$1.1 million less than 1970’s.

They also received a study committee’s plan to reorganize the ABC. The proposal calls for biennial conventions, the formation of a 170-member policy-making board to replace the present smaller General Council, and a change of name to “American Baptist Churches.” The restructure is designed to involve more churches at local and regional levels. Studies show that fewer than half of the ABC’s 6,000 churches have even one delegate at the ...

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