The first female General Secretary of the Baptist Union, the fourth largest Christian grouping in the UK, has been appointed. The Rev Lynn Green begins her work this week.
The Baptist Union of Great Britain, as it is formally known, has also launched a new identity, website and magazine, Baptists Together.
"This rebranding, representing the new emphasis for the Union in the next chapter of its life, demonstrates a vibrant network of missional churches working in partnership for the gospel in these island," said BUGB in a news release this week.
The new logo has the theme of Baptists Together, with an new emphasis on relationship and working alongside each other. This is a renewed priority on local churches working in association for the well being of all, the Baptist Union says.
The website brings together all things Baptist into one place. There is a new online shop facility and the Union’s news service since 1855 The Baptist Times, will take a prominent place, with new interactive features. All 13 Associations and six Colleges of the Union are central to the website, with a church finder to the denomination's 2,150 local churches.
Ms Green explained: “I long to see local churches being encouraged and supported to transition beyond inherited church into vibrant mission communities. I hope that we will be adventurous, take more risks and above all, be 'Kingdom possibility' thinkers."
The remark is a reference to the kingdom of God, or "God's domination-free way of being", as theologian Walter Wink once put it, which formed the central component of Jesus' teaching.
"In a tribal world I want us to be known for our profound and rich diversity in unity," continued Ms Green. "Diverse yet integrated. As Baptists we are blessed that we are formed of those from many nations; we have so much to learn from each other in our journey to become Christ-centred communities."
"We are committed to the priesthood of all believers, where women and men, young and old, rich and poor, are encouraged and released to serve the Lord , each one differently abled and unique," she said.
"I believe that our Union is ready for generational change. It is time to cast off the institutional mind-set that has served us well in the past, and embrace a new way of being for the 21st Century,” the new General Secretary declared.
The Baptist Union of Great Britain is a network of 2,150 local churches though out England and Wales. It is supported by 13 regional associations and 6 training colleges. It has a membership of about 160,000 with a weekly attendance in the region of 300,000 people.