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10 of My Favorite Things from 2018 in the Life of EthicsDaily

Looking back on EthicsDaily.com’s 2018 is an exercise in gratefulness.

In the spirit of lists, here are a few of my favorite things (in no particular order) from 2018 life at EthicsDaily.com:

  1. Producing “No. 1: Mary Alice.”

We are producing, along with Baptist Women in Ministry, a series of short documentaries on senior pastors. Who are Baptist. Who are female.

Our first film featured Mary Alice Birdwhistell, senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, Texas. It premiered in November and is freely available online. Folks should watch “No. 1: Mary Alice” to see what is possible in the pastorate.

  1. Attending the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Zürich, Switzerland, in July.

I’ve been attending BWA meetings for several years now, and I always look forward to being with Baptist Christians from across the planet.

BWA General Secretary Elijah Brown and President Paul Msiza bring grace and courage to their roles.

A favorite memory involves seeing my son, Jack, sit at a hotel bar in Zürich and eat treats brought and shared by Nabil Costa from Lebanon while watching the World Cup. In such moments, our planet feels small, different and lovely.

  1. Editing “Mercy.”

EthicsDaily.com Executive Director Mitch Randall traveled to Beirut with his friend, Imad Enchassi, imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City. Imad grew up in Beirut as a Palestinian refugee there. Mitch accompanied Imad on a visit back to his childhood home, gathering footage of new and old friends.

I edited the footage into a short film, “Mercy,” in which Imad pays tribute especially to the memory of a Catholic nun, known affectionately as “Ms. Mercy,” who was one of his teachers. Imad’s witness of and to Mercy must be encountered.

  1. Attending the Angela Project.

I traveled to Louisville in September to gather interviews at the Angela Project, which is a three-year movement marking the 400th anniversary of enslaving people in this land.

It invited me to continue thinking about racism near and far, my role in it, what I and others can and should do about it and much more.

  1. Working with the New Baptist Covenant.

Not long after my visit to Louisville, I was in Atlanta at the New Baptist Covenant Summit, again focusing on racism, again grateful for the opportunity to bring along our 15-year-old son, Jack.

We both heard things we don’t normally hear – but things we need to hear – about race and Christianity. Hearing Marvin McMickle preach on Luke 4 was a revelation.

  1. Collaborating.

This year has brought new and renewed collaborations: Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, New Baptist Covenant, Charlottesville Clergy Collective, American Baptist Churches-USA, Baptist News Global, Baptist World Alliance, Fellowship Southwest, Baptist Women in Ministry, to name a few. I’m grateful for so many who are committed to advancing the common good.

  1. Getting together.

The EthicsDaily.com board met in Washington, D.C., in early November for its fall board meeting. We have both new and familiar faces. Strategies, laughter, food, laughter, ideas, laughter. We have a fun board.

  1. Getting to know Mitch and Missy.

Mitch and Missy Randall are wonderful people. Funny, generous, creative, attuned, interested in getting things done. EthicsDaily.com supporters should know that the organization chose well. Again, I’m so grateful.

  1. Remembering.

This year I’ve thought a lot about people that I’ve known through my work – and that now know fully, not only in part like I do (1 Corinthians 13:12).

This list includes EthicsDaily.com founder Robert Parham, EthicsDaily.com board member Candy Phillips, former EthicsDaily.com curriculum editor Jim Taulman, EthicsDaily.com supporter W.C. Fields. Life is a gift, and I’m thankful for these and so many others.

  1. Loving.

This year has brought me much to love in my work, as have all my years prior. But honesty demands this reckoning, too: Even as I have much to love, others struggle to love and be loved.

At EthicsDaily.com, we are blessed with opportunties to help God’s Love travel a bit farther. For your support and partnership, we are grateful.

Editor’s note: Year-end, tax-deductible donations can be made online here. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 150506, Nashville, TN 37215-0506 (letters must be post-marked by Dec. 31 to be counted as a 2018 contribution).