By Aaron Weaver
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Two Virginia pastors were honored Feb. 26 for their outstanding leadership during the opening day of ChurchWorks, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s annual conference for Christian educators meeting at Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas. ChurchWorks is three-day event for all practitioners of education and spiritual formation in the congregational setting.
Rachel Sciretti, associate pastor for children and youth discipleship at Hampton Baptist Church in Hampton, Va., was honored with the 2018 Jack Naish Distinguished Educator Award. This award is named after long-time minister of education at Wieuca Road Baptist Church in Atlanta and awarded to one CBF minister for outstanding leadership in Christian education. Naish’s long and distinguished career saw him active in church and denominational life, being recognized by his peers in the Baptist Association of Christian Educators for outstanding leadership and achievement.
Sciretti, a graduate of Truett Seminary at Baylor University, received praise from colleagues and peers for her enthusiasm, creativity and leadership in spiritual formation. Elizabeth Pugh Mills, senior pastor at Hampton Baptist Church, said that Sciretti had “raised the bar from minimal spiritual formation to excellence for all ages.”
“I am always blessed by Rachel’s leadership and the lovely creativity she offers in every project she undertakes,” Pugh Mills said. “Excellence is the word I will continue to use in describing her.”
Cynthia Insko, minister to children and spiritual formation at First Baptist Church in Frankfort, Ky., emphasized that Sciretti’s “vibrancy and enthusiasm for ministry is contagious.”
“Rachel is wholehearted in her dedication to nurturing others in their faith formation and she lives what she teaches,” Insko said. “As Rachel is authentic and open about her own journey, she provides a hospitable and safe space for others to share and grow in their journey to live and love as Jesus did. Rachel inspires me to be the best minister and best Christian I can be.”
Meg Lacy, associate pastor at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Richmond, Va., was honored with the 2018 CBF Young Baptist Leadership Award. This award is presented annually to a minister or congregational leader who represents a growing interaction with and support of CBF and has demonstrated ministry to peers and colleagues of every generation. The award is given to affirm the recipient, encourage the younger generations of Cooperative Baptists and to excite the continued interaction among the generations.
Lacy, a graduate of Candler School of Theology at Emory University, is a member of the 2016-2018 cohort of CBF Fellows, a CBF program that assists young clergy who are in their “first-call” in making a healthy transition from seminary to congregational ministry.
Josh Speight, CBF’s manager of leadership development and director of the CBF Fellows program, highlighted Lacy’s love for the church and ability to minister across generations.
“Meg’s leadership and ability to minister to all ages is a staple to her calling,” Speight said. “She does not shy away from the difficult moments, helping people listen for God in all things. Meg loves the church, the people in the church, and the community God has called the church to serve. She is a true servant leader pointing people toward the hope and grace of Jesus.”
Bo Prosser, who leads CBF’s Ministerial Excellence Initiative, called Lacy a “tremendous young Baptist leader.” “Meg represents the best of what the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship wants to share with others,” Prosser said.
The Feb. 26-28 conference for Christian educators centers on the theme of congregational wellbeing with featured presenter Jon Singletary, dean of the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor University. Building upon the ideas of nurturing the soul of congregations — balancing heart, head and hands — Singletary is guiding attendees to better understand why congregational wellbeing matters for both clergy and laity.
Learn more about ChurchWorks at www.cbf.net/churchworks.
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CBF is a Christian network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.