The Adinkra symbol “Mpatapo” or “Knot of Reconciliation” represents the bond, or knot, that binds parties in a dispute or disagreement to a peaceful and harmonious reconciliation. It is a symbol of peacemaking following strife.
Because of this, New Baptist Covenant has chosen this symbol to represent it’s vision as it launches “Bridges Toward Beloved Community” in 2021. Coordinating this effort with our consortium, consisting of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Bridges Toward Beloved Community represents a journey and a set of interrelated commitments around which Baptists may organize our many efforts to respond to racial injustice and grow a community of reconcilers, justice-makers, and healers. Mpatapo epitomizes the bond American, Progressive and Cooperative Baptists have to each other as they work together in the New Baptist Covenant commitment to action, transformation and reconciliation.
We see our work as a fourfold journey, suggested to us by Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Jacqueline Lewis, Bishop Michael Curry and others, growing out of Believer’s Baptism and the commitment to “walk wet into the world.” We will resource individuals, congregations and communities seeking racial healing, reconciliation and justice flowing out of the following baptismal commitments and core concerns:
Baptismal Affirmation: Persevere in resisting evil, and whenever we fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord.
Core Concerns: What racial privilege am I aware of? Where have I witness racial trauma? What racial ethnic/ groups are in our church? What have we excluded or included?
Passionary Intention: Truth Talking about our Churches and Race
Baptismal Affirmation: Seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Core Concerns: How will we grow as reconcile, healers and justice-bearers? What activities, practices, learning and experiences would (trans) form us? How will we share stories and grow in relationship?
Passionary Intention: Walking the Way of Love in the Pattern of Jesus
Baptismal Affirmation: Proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ.
Core Concerns: How has our city/ town / area participated in racial injustice or healing over time? What’s happening today? What is our vision for Beloved Community? What behaviors and practices foster it
Passionary Intention: Public Proclamation about the Beloved Community
Baptismal Affirmation: Strive for justice and peace among all people & respect the dignity of every human being.
Core Concerns: What institutions and systems bear the signs of racial injustice? How will we participate in the riper, restoration and healing of people, institutions and systems?
Passionary Intention: Repairing the Breach in Society and Institution
On the road toward reconciliation and healing, we travel around corners, make sharp turns, pass fellow travelers, and double back into quadrants we may have visited before, each time discovering a fresh revelation or challenge.
We realize there is no single path for every person or even every church. People and churches will draw on different resources and experiences facilitated by the New Baptist Covenant Beloved Community Working Group comprised of programmatic leaders of ABC USA, CBF and PNBC.
We know that persons and congregations will come to diverse answers to similar questions. What makes Bridges Toward Beloved Community energizing is the common spiritual practice among Baptists of truth-talking, public proclamation, breach-repairing and walking in the way of love.
The transformation that President Carter called Baptists to over a decade ago will run deeper and broader as we pool our wisdom and resources as the Baptist expression of the Jesus Movement in the United States of America.
We look forward to you joining us on this journey. Stay tuned to announcements and invitations coming your way in the very near future.