There were plenty of highlights for Charles and Joanne Hewlett on Day Three of the Baptist World Alliance conference in Norway. Charles is the National Leader of the Baptist Union of New Zealand.

Firstly, Charles writes, “What a privilege to have a front row seat for an informal conversation with renowned theologian Miroslav Volf - the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School (picture above). What a treat! Dr Volf mostly talked about what it means to flourish as humans, and followers of Jesus. He suggested that the things important to us were of little importance to Jesus. And, that the things important to Jesus seem to be of little importance to us. Lots to process here!”

Secondly, Charles mentions, “A massive highlight of the BWA conference is meeting people whose lives are so different from mine, yet share the same love for Jesus. In the picture below I am with Tchalieni from Niger. The Baptist Churches of Niger were welcomed into the BWA for the first time today – how awesome to get to stand next to my brother!”

Another significant event of the conference was the launch of the BWA’s Vulnerability Index (see the slide below). The index brings attention to those within our global family living in the most vulnerable and challenging countries in the world. It is defined by four key factors: hunger, livelihood, violent conflict, religious freedom challenges.

It offers a global reflection based upon a unique scoring metric in order to highlight these challenging realities and to call the global Baptist family to stand together in prayer and solidarity. Charles reflects, “This conference is challenging me, and NZ Baptists too, to think a lot bigger!”

[If you are viewing this on the Baptist NZ app and would like a zoomable version of the below image, see the website version of this article here.]

Finally, Charles reflects on Stavanger, the Norwegian city the conference is being held in (see photo below). He writes, “This place is stunning – being surrounded by such beauty makes skipping a conference session a very real temptation. On Thursday Joanne and I jump on a RIB for a sightseeing trip to one of their famous Fjords. Can’t wait!”

See previous updates from Charles at the BWA gathering:

Update from Norway: Highlight of Day 1

Update from Norway: Highlights of Day 2

Photos: provided by Charles Hewlett.

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