I count myself blessed (and lucky)
to serve and to have always served
as a minister in Baptist churches.
More and more though,
I claim Baptist as my personal identity,
not as any kind of denominational identity.
I am baptist, I am not a Baptist.
I will thus join and serve
any church that accepts people as they are
and simultaneously challenges them to choose to become ever more,
that loves the Bible and worship
and thinking deeply and creatively,
but loves people more—
that seeks to follow God in the way of Jesus
and will thus never travel paths of violence and hate
in actions or rhetoric—
that honors Jesus by feeding the hungry and clothing the naked,
and by working for justice and the dignity of each child of God’s.
I will proudly join and serve such a church,
regardless of its denominational affiliation
and know myself as baptist in so doing.
That said, I hope to be able to remain Baptist!