The 13th annual Santa Barbara Mission Conference with the theme “Radical Compassion” is scheduled for Jan. 23-24 at First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara, 21 E. Constance Ave. in Santa Barbara.

Eugene Cho

Eugene Cho

The purpose of the Santa Barbara Mission Conference is “to inform, inspire and engage in the work of God’s mission.”

The annual conference is presented by the Presbytery of Santa Barbara, First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara, Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara, Montecito Covenant Church and Coast Community Church of the Nazarene.

Conference registration is $45 for general admission and $15 for students. After Jan. 14 and at the door, general admission is $60 and for $20 students.

This year’s conference features speakers Ray Bakke and Eugene Cho plus 11 workshops led by leaders from around the country. Also included is music by the worship band from Reality Santa Barbara, a box lunch and additional refreshments throughout the conference.

Conference registration and exhibit booths open at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23. The program will start at 7 p.m. with an inspirational talk by Cho. Receptions for adults and youth follow at 9 p.m.

The mission conference continues at 7:45 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 24 followed by the keynote presentation by Bakke at 8:45 a.m. Workshops continue throughout the day and conclude at 5 p.m.

Cho is the founder and lead pastor of Quest Church, an urban, multicultural and multigenerational church in Seattle, as well as founder and executive director of the Q Café, an innovative nonprofit community café and music venue. He is also the founder and visionary of One Day’s Wages, “a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty.”

The vision of ODW is to create a collaborative movement by integrating human relationships, social media/technology and the power of story. ODW promotes awareness, invites simple giving (one day’s wages) and supports sustainable relief through partnerships, especially with smaller organizations in developing regions. Since its launch in October 2009, ODW has raised more than $2 million for projects to empower those living in extreme global poverty.

ODW has been featured in the New York Times (twice), The Seattle Times, NPR and numerous other media outlets. For his entrepreneurial work and spirit, Cho was recently honored as one of 50 Everyday American Heroes. His first book, Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World, Than Actually Changing the World?, was released in September.

Ray Bakke

Ray Bakke

Bakke serves as chancellor of English-speaking programs for the Union University of California. Through his own company, Ray Bakke Associates, he continues to invest in the next generation of urban ministry leaders locally, nationally and around the globe by speaking, teaching, mentoring, consulting and publishing. RBA partners with those who are developing major cities as laboratories for community transformation, and provides opportunities to participate in the fellowship of that vast international network of leaders who leverage their influence to empower the church to be creatively missional in an urban world.

Previously Bakke served as chancellor, distinguished professor of global urban ministry, and member of the Board of Regents at Bakke Graduate University until his retirement from BGU in Dec. 31, 2011.

From 1959 through 1979, Bakke pastored inner-city churches in Seattle and Chicago. During that time he also co-founded the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education, and taught Bible at Trinity College and Church History at McCormick Theological Seminary. Between 1979 and 1989 he served as professor of ministry at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Dr. Bakke founded International Urban Associates in 1989. IUA animated a network of more than 100 urban-based church and mission leaders in many of the largest cities of the world. Between 1990 and June 2001, he was professor of global urban ministry at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He served as senior associate for large cities with the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelism from 1979 to 1995.

Since 1979, Bakke has personally led or served as a major resource leader for urban ministry consultations in more than 200 large cities on six continents. He is author of The Urban Christian (InterVarsity Press, 1987), a groundbreaking book on urban ministry which has been translated into eight foreign languages. He is a collaborative author of Espoir Pour La Ville, Dieu Dans La Cite, the first book of its kind done in and for French-speaking cities. He is also a theme editor for the Word in Life Study Bible (Thomas Nelson, 1996).

Bakke’s most recent publication is A Surprising Journey (Bakken Books, 2009). Other publications are Street Signs (New Hope Publishers, 2006), A Theology as Big as the City (InterVarsity Press, 1997), The Expanded Mission of City Center Churches (International Urban Associates, 1998), which he co-authored with Sam Roberts, and A Biblical Word for an Urban World (Board of International Ministries, 2000), which contains a series of Bible studies that both inspire and direct the reader to come to the texts in ways that bring engagement in Christian mission from a global perspective.

Among the 11 workshops presenters are Tommy Givens,, who will discuss “Immigration and Immigration Reform.” His workshop will consider some of the neglected causes as well as the concrete effects of existing immigration policy. Also to be discussed: the promise and limits of legislative reform and the church’s mission. Dr. Givens is an assistant professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. He also teaches in the area of Christian Ethics and is the faculty advisor to Fuller’s Peace and Justice Advocates student group.

The Revs. Scott and Elmarie Parker will host a workshop on “Serving in the Middle East: Hope Amidst the Suffering.” The Parkers serve as Presbyterian Church (USA) workers in an area of the Middle East. In an optional lunchtime workshop they will lead a discussion regarding current conditions in the region where they work and live, along with how these conditions are impacting PCUSA Partners and their continuing work of worship and ministry. Though there is much over which to be deeply concerned, there are also stories of hope to be heard and shared. Bring your questions to their workshop and come ready to hear the witness received first hand from local church leaders on the ground in these areas of conflict and chaos.

Exhibitor space at this year’s conference is available until filled. The capacity is 36 spaces, and a few spaces are still available. Act quickly to apply for exhibit space. Send an email to exhibitor@sbmissionconference.org.

For more information, email info@sbmissionconference.org or click here.

— Rochelle Rose represents First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara.