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Why all congregational ministry should be trauma ministry
“Our church is a place where no questions are asked and we follow the pastor with our whole heart.”

“Our morning service is typically around an hour and a half and is filled with exuberant worship. We clap and lift our hands, sing aloud and offer sincere expressions of worship, including laying hands on you to pray over you.”

“We fill up quickly, so get here early! We keep the sanctuary lights dimmed, so it’s hard to see where the open seats are.”

Proverbs 15:3, “The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.”

Did any of these statements make your heart race a little faster, make your stomach a little queasy or just make you a little uncomfortable?

“Traumatic events can range from one-time physical traumas, such as a car wreck or an assault, to long-term poverty or abuse.”

These are examples of statements, situations and scripture verses printed in church bulletins, preached from the pulpit or published on a church website. While most likely well-intended, these and similar sentiments have something in common that may surprise many Christians and congregational leaders: they can be triggering and re-traumatizing, causing harm to persons who have experienced trauma.

Read the full story here.
A month honoring foster parents is nice. But what they really need is paid leave.
By Alumna Kaley Eggers—

As Foster Care Awareness Month ticks along in May, I love scrolling through Instagram and finding images of families like mine, sharing their stories to bring foster care to light.

But I can’t help but think it’s not enough. Really, what foster families need are public policies that make it easier to say “yes” to a child, beginning with paid leave for new parents.

As a social worker and foster mom, I know the statistics well. More than 690,000 children spend time in foster care each year, with more entering the system than leaving it annually. Meanwhile, the number of foster families isn’t growing at the same rate. In many communities, including my own, there is a growing need for placements, meaning Child Protective Services often has trouble finding homes for children. As a result, kids’ entire lives are uprooted when they are taken into custody. Some are forced to move to new places and change schools because there aren’t open foster homes nearby. Others have to sleep in CPS offices, hotels or makeshift shelters until longer term accommodations can be made.

Read the full article here.
Alum dreams of helping veterans with mental illness
KILLEEN, TX — A Temple veteran, who struggled in school, went off to push boundaries in his higher education.

Kino Hickey was working at the VA sterilizing medical equipment when he dreamed of a job where he could help people battling mental illnesses. But this plan would require him to pursue a degree.

Before working at the VA, 10 years ago, he was failing out of school and later dropped out. Now, he's older and chose to further his education. However, he knew that he would likely be in classrooms with much younger students.

He also has dyslexia, which would be an added challenge in the traditional classroom setting. It would be a tough road to fulfill his goals.

Hickey's wife inspired him to give education another try. He enrolled in Central Texas College where he doubled his former GPA with a 3.8. He continued his success at Texas A&M Central Texas before going on to get his master’s in social work from Baylor University.

See the full story here.
Alum to become CBF Moderator-Elect at Birmingham General Assembly
DECATUR, Ga.—A Missouri senior pastor and young leader deeply invested in CBF life is the nominee to become the next Moderator-Elect for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship at the 2019 General Assembly in Birmingham, Ala.

The CBF Nominating Committee has selected Carol McEntyre to serve as Moderator-Elect in 2019-2020. McEntyre has served as senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Columbia, Mo., since 2012. She previously was community minister at First Baptist Church, Knoxville, Tenn. (2005-2012) and Christian education minister at Church of the Holy Comforter in Augusta, Ga. (2004-2005).

McEntyre is a graduate of George W. Truett Theological Seminary and the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor University, where she earned her Master of Divinity and Master of Social Work in 2003. While in seminary, McEntyre served as ministerial assistant at Lake Shore Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, from 2001-2003. She was ordained in 2002 at Lake Shore Baptist.

A Tennessee native, McEntyre is a graduate of Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tenn., earning her bachelor of arts in human services and psychology. She also has a doctor of ministry from Drew University in Madison, N.J.

McEntyre has received numerous honors and awards that recognize her passion for congregational ministry and her commitment to Cooperative Baptist life. She received CBF’s Young Baptist Award in 2015 and Carson-Newman College’s Outstanding Young Alumna Award in 2010. McEntyre also completed the Center for Congregational Health’s Young Leader’s Program and is a graduate of the inaugural class of CBF Fellows (2012-2015).

She has served on the Leadership Team for Baptist Women in Ministry (2015-2018) and is currently a member of the CBF Governing Board.

Read full story here.
Central Texas city hits 2 milestones with black female mayor: Alum Carolyn Lofton
MARLIN, Texas (KWTX) History was made in Falls County Tuesday night--twice.

Carolyn Lofton made history when she was sworn-in Tuesday night as the new Mayor for the City of Marlin. (Photo by Rissa Shaw)
The City of Marlin not only now has it's first female black Mayor, Carolyn Lofton is the first black person who has ever held the office, according to city officials.

It was made official during the swearing-in ceremony at Tuesday night's regularly scheduled council meeting where well over one-hundred supporters packed Marlin City Hall to celebrate the milestones for minorities.

According to 2018 U.S. census data, more than 41 percent of Marlin's nearly 6,000 people were black or African American.

"My goal is to unite the citizens of Marlin around issues that need to be corrected here in Marlin, work together as a team to get these things corrected and let's make Marlin a great place to live again," said Lofton.

See the full story here.
Two Baylor professors receive 2019 Centennial Professor Awards
WACO, Texas (May 20, 2019) — Two Baylor University professors are equipped to conduct research they hope will result in two new books after being named 2019 Baylor Centennial Professors by the Centennial Faculty Development Review Committee.

Created by the Baylor Centennial Class of 1945, the award supports faculty development by providing a $5,000 grant for a project that will help professors contribute to Baylor’s academic growth. This year’s recipients are Laine Scales, Ph.D., professor and Master Teacher in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, and Sarah Gilbreath Ford, Ph.D., professor of English in the College of Arts & Sciences and director of the Beall Poetry Festival. Scales and Ford were selected from 15 applicants this year.

Centennial Professor projects can include international or domestic travel for study or research, the development of innovative teaching materials or other professional development activities.

“It’s an honor that the Class of 1945 looked ahead and determined we need to make opportunities for professors to do research that will impact the classroom,” Scales said. “The foresight people had to set aside money and look to the future is wonderful. I think the Centennial Award complements teaching and research together, and at this important time at Baylor as we strive toward becoming a ‘Research One’ university, we need as many opportunities as we can find to tie together research and teaching so that both move forward together, along with our Christian commitments.”

Scales will use the research funding to produce a biography of Jewell Legett Daniel, a Texas native, Baylor graduate and missionary to China from 1909-1926. Daniel served in Pingtu, where she operated a school for Chinese girls under the supervision of Lottie Moon, a Southern Baptist missionary who served nearly 40 years in China with the Foreign Mission Board. Scales will conduct her research in the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives in Nashville, Tennessee, and at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, which will provide access to Daniel’s records and letters she wrote to the Foreign Mission Board.

In 2016, Scales started a non-profit in Waco called Good Neighbor Settlement House, modeled after the experiences of Daniel and other Southern Baptist women.

Read full article here.
Baylor School of Social Work receives grant to assess religion and spirituality in social work education
WACO, Texas (May 2019) — The Spencer Foundation recently awarded Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work (GSSW) a $50,000 grant to study if and how accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) programs incorporate curricula around religion and spirituality (RS) into social work education as well as assessing faculty views around the topic and how universities’ religious affiliations impact MSW education.

Read the full article here.
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