Opening Day at Space for Grace 2018

From worship to hands-on local ministry opportunities, Space for Grace attendees participated in a variety of offerings at opening day of Space for Grace, Philadelphia.

“We need this space for grace in today’s environment of vitriol and violence,” said American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Haggray (above left) in introductory remarks at evening worship. “May we make sacred this space this week by our faith and prayers.”

In keeping with the “Provide Us” worship theme, homilist the Rev. Lauren Lisa Ng (above right), ABHMS director of Leadership Empowerment, said, “How I wish that the single solitary act of cleaning our plates could wipe out hunger in the world.”


“God’s will can be done when leaders pause to hear new voices,” said featured worship speaker Dr. Molly T. Marshall (above left), president and professor, Theology and Spiritual Formation, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Shawnee, Kan.

In his remarks during worship, the Rev. Dr. James E. McJunkin Jr. (above right), executive minister of Philadelphia Baptist Association, referred to the city’s intractable poverty. “We need prayer,” he said. “We are strong, but the work we have before us is huge.”


“I’m enjoying the music,” said Jackie Baxter (at left), a musician with CBC Band of Central Baptist Church, Wayne, Pa., as she listened to a performance by cellist Jon Moody in Innovators Hall.

“This [Space for Grace] was a lot of preparation. I had a show in August, and I’ve been building my inventory since then,” said 14-year-old woodworking artist Jonah Ramsey-Lucas (at right) of University Baptist Church, College Park, Md.


During a live “JusTalk” podcast in Innovators Hall (at left), the Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune, director of Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice, and minister of Congregational Life at Clifton Park Baptist Church (CPBC), Silver Spring, Md., and the Rev. Essentino A. Lewis Jr., Esq., pastor of CPBC, discussed the intersection of faith and public policy.

Social justice advocate Jim Ketcham (at right) of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Albany, N.Y., said that he was compelled to attend Space for Grace when he learned of featured topics and presenters. “This is where I live, and these are my people,” he said.


“The experience of being immersed in one of the local churches was exciting,” said the Rev. Sun Kim (at left), lead pastor of First Baptist Church, Des Moines, Wash., and president of the Alliance of Asian American Baptist Churches USA, of his participation in the “Explore Challenges and Opportunities in Philadelphia’s Asian American Community” activity.

“I was really glad to be able to go,” said the Rev. Douglas Stratton (at right), pastor of Hatboro (Pa.) Baptist Church, of his participating in a trip to Esperanza, a faith-based nonprofit organization that strengthens Hispanic communities through education, economic development and advocacy. “I had not been to Esperanza, although I live really close to this area. To see the tremendous work that Esperanza is doing.”