|"Good Will for the Common Good: Nurturing Baptists' Relationships with Jews" is a 30-minute video that begins by pointing out Baptists' poor relational legacy with their Jewish neighbors, but it quickly moves on to highlight examples of how some Baptist and Jewish leaders have overcome historical blunders to blaze a new trail together and build good will for the common good.
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"Good Will for the Common Good" features the stories of:
In each instance, key figures share what made, and makes, the relationship work.
- Immanuel Baptist Church and Congregation Ohabai Sholom in Nashville, Tenn. Each year these congregations sponsor a community run and give the proceeds to benefit the homeless.
- Southside Baptist Church and Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham, Ala. When the temple underwent renovation in 2001-02, it worshiped at nearby Southside. Their shared experience continues to motivate positive action.
- Pastor Mike Smith and Rabbi Rami Shapiro in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Smith and Shapiro co-wrote Let Us Break Bread Together: A Haggadah for Christians in 2005.
Between an introduction and conclusion offering ways forward, the video delivers four chapters: wisdom, balance, courage and justice. These four cardinal virtues are essential for building good will between Baptist and Jewish neighbors.
The video is designed for various viewing options. Users may watch the entire video in one sitting with discussion afterward, or they may opt to watch one chapter each session, thereby digger more deeply into the issues at hand. BCE has also produced a thorough companion guide for study, which is available as a free PDF download to those who purchase the DVD.
- Steve Jones, pastor, Southside Baptist Church, Birmingham, Ala.
- Debbie Maxwell, member, Immanuel Baptist Church, Nashville, Tenn.
- Jonathan Miller, rabbi, Temple Emanu-El, Birmingham, Ala.
- Robert Parham, executive director, Baptist Center for Ethics, Nashville, Tenn.
- Suzii Paynter, director, Christian Life Commission, Baptist General Convention of Texas
- Phil Russ, member, The Temple, Congregation Ohabai Sholom, Nashville, Tenn.
- Rabbi Rami Shapiro, director, One River Foundation, Murfreesboro, Tenn. Mike Smith, pastor, First Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
- Carol Ann Vaughn, director, Christian Women's Leadership Center, Birmingham, Ala.
The video also includes clips of Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss, director of adult Jewish educational outreach at Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham, Ala., and Jonathan Levine, director of community services at the American Jewish Committee in New York. Hausman-Weiss and Levine spoke at a 2004 Baptist-Jewish goodwill luncheon sponsored by the Baptist Center for Ethics.
"During the past quarter century," says BCE Executive Director Robert Parham in the DVD, "the relationship between Southern Baptists and Jews has hit rock bottom. Of course, goodwill Baptists have sought to advance the common good with their Jewish neighbors."
"In an era of rising religious conflict, goodwill Baptists would do well to remember the best of our tradition, advocating the separation of church and state, articulating the need for democracy over theocracy, asserting civility over ideology, and acting for the poor," says Parham. "We would also do well to reclaim the centrality of Jesus, who taught us to love our neighbors, not as a means towards conversion, but because it's the right thing to do."