The Baptist World Alliance and Baptist World Alliance Women will host a combined Virtual Global Gathering in July 2021.
(FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA – November 18, 2020) The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) and Baptist World Alliance Women (BWA Women) are transitioning the 22nd Baptist World Congress and the Global Conference of Baptist Women to a fully virtual event on July 7-10, 2021. This decision was made in prayerful response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and as a result of collaborative discussions with global Baptist leaders.
The Baptist World Congress and Global Conference of Baptist Women is a quinquennial event originally scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in July 2020. The event was postponed in March 2020 due to rising coronavirus cases and upon review of travel and health advisories nationally and globally. With the pandemic still impacting so many communities worldwide, we have reached this collaborative decision to transition to a virtual event. Leadership affirmed it to be the best decision in light of health and safety concerns for registrants, international travel restrictions, and the importance of offering a Women’s Conference and Congress experience that reflects diversity and prioritizes accessibility for as many people as possible. With the transition to a virtual experience, the Global Conference of Baptist Women and 22nd Baptist World Congress will become the first fully-online, globally-accessible event in the ministry’s history.
“2020 has been a year of unexpected challenges, but it has also been a year of innovation. The physical doors of many churches remain closed, but praise God that new spiritual doors have opened to live out our Gospel-centered mission through the use of technology. We saw this firsthand when thousands from our global Baptist family gathered online for worship, prayer, and engagement at Pentecost. Now I am eagerly awaiting what the Lord has in store as we host a Congress for the 21st Century. Open to Baptists worldwide, this multilingual, multinational event will unite us together in Jesus Christ and his gospel mission.”Elijah Brown, BWA General Secretary.
Centered on the theme “Life!” the Virtual Global Conference of Baptist Women will run all day on July 7, 2021. It will be a beautiful multilingual celebration of the diversity of Baptist women worldwide featuring powerful speakers, relevant workshops, meaningful worship, stories, prayer and opportunities to connect. There will be a seamless integration into the 22nd Baptist World Congress with the theme of “Together” as the dynamic Virtual Global Conference of Baptist Women flows directly into the opening session of the 22nd Baptist World Congress.
The four days of this combined program will include:
- Daily sessions with worship, fellowship, prayer, and spiritual challenge led by global Baptist leaders
- 30+ Breakouts with recognized ministry experts featuring live Q&A
- Virtual roundtables focused on worship, mission, aid, religious freedom, and transformational leadership
- An easy-access virtual platform with the ability to facilitate networking and community building by region and/or ministry focus
- 3 powerful pre-conferences including the “Life” Global Conference of Baptist Women, Youth Leadership Conference, and the “Together with the Persecuted” Religious Freedom Summit
- Multilingual opportunities for engagement
- A powerful opportunity for Baptists worldwide to stand together at this critical time across borders, languages, and ethnicities
The BWA staff, the global Congress leadership and Baptist World Alliance Women are committed to offering a virtual event that builds upon the years of strong planning already invested, ensuring that returning attendees and newcomers alike experience the meaningfulness of this gathering.
“This past year has been extremely challenging for so many of us. Gathering together in this way will strengthen us. It will give us the opportunity to celebrate what God is doing around the world and it will remind us that we are not alone. We will join with Baptist believers from every continent to celebrate His purposes and His plans for each one of us – we thrive when we stand together.”Karen Wilson, BWA Women’s President
Over these many years, the Baptist World Congress and BWA Women’s Leadership Conferences have had a long-standing impact on their attendees and the world, and our conference leadership prayerfully anticipates that the new platform will only serve to further the event’s unchanging purpose – networking the Baptist family to impact the world for Christ.
“We are excited about the possibilities an online conference presents. So many more women will be able to attend because they won’t have the additional costs of travel, accommodation and meals. Not only that, it makes attending the BWA Congress much more feasible as well. We look forward to a wonderful time together.”Moreen Sharp, BWA Women Interim Executive Director
With more than 700 women already registered for the Global Conference of Baptist Women and more than 1,000 people already registered for BWA Congress from over 40 countries, these conferences are poised to become a milestone in this pivotal time in history. “I look forward to July 2021 and invite all Baptists to join in what may well be the most globally diverse gathering of Baptists in 400 years,” said Brown.
As this is now a collaborative event, you will find all information, pricing, registration for both conferences, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), on the new joint Global Conference of Baptist Women and BWA Congress virtual website at BWA2021.org.