April 20, 2024

Leadership Summit 2023 FAQ

Updated 06072023

What is the Leadership Summit?

It is a platform to provide more opportunities for Chinese Baptist Pastors and Baptist church leaders to gather in a retreat setting during the off-year in between biennial conferences to connect with one another and to come together to build relationships and to be equipped to engage the many issues pastors and churches face in their ministry. It is planned that these will be held regionally and nationally.  

The first Leadership Summit will be held on September 18-22, 2023, on board the cruise ship “Carnival Radiance” sailing from Los Angeles (Long Beach) California for Ensenada, Mexico and back. The Summit would be held concurrently in two different tracks – Chinese and English.

How do I get to participate in the 2023 Leadership Summit?

You must have a valid passport to participate in the 2023 Leadership Summit and complete the following:

  1. Find a roommate if you are coming alone without your spouse or if you are single.  If you need help finding a roommate, please text Mrs. Sylvia Chan at 626-297-7156.  She will help find one for you.
  2. Register for the Leadership Summit online at:   https://chinesebaptists.org/ and pay the non-refundable USD$50 per person registration fee, using Zelle or check. If you are using a paper registration form and paying by check, please send the registration form and the check by mail to:  CBF, P.O. Box 1393, Monterey Park, CA. 91754.
  3. Deadline for Summit registration is:  April 30, 2023.
  4. Click the link on the Summit registration form and book a cabin online on the Carnival Radiance sailing from Long Beach, CA. to Ensenada, Mexico, September 18-22, 2023 (just like you would book a hotel room for an on-land event) and pay the deposit to CBF, using Zelle or check. 

NOTE: When booking for the cruise, you must use your legal name as indicated in your passport.  For those of you who are not permanent residents of the US,  and you are in the process of a change in your immigration status, we advise you to forego this trip as the destination of the cruise is Mexico, a foreign country and a valid passport is required for travel. A passport is valid when it is at least six months before expiration.

Your registration is not complete unless you have completed the above steps.

Why is CBF not using a cruise agent to book my cruise?

We had considered the option of using a cruise agent to help us book the cruise but post pandemic, we discovered that most of the cruise agents we were comfortable dealing with in the past had been laid off.  Therefore, we have made special arrangements with Carnival that allows CBF to deal directly with their group representatives to facilitate bookings and arrangements for the use of the ship’s facilities to meet our needs. They have also held for us interior staterooms that are located in a more “comfortable  section” of the ship. 

Can I book the cruise with a cruise agent of my choice?

You may but we strongly advise against it.  This is because we want everyone in our group to sit together at our assigned time for dinner.  If you book through an agent, you will not be able to do so as you will be assigned another time slot.  Furthermore, CBF would not be able to “capture” the benefits the cruise company gives to our bookings. You will also not be entitled to receive any subsidies from CBF for the event if you book through a travel agent.

Which airport should I use to get on the cruise and what time should I get there?

The airport you should use is Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Carnival Radiance sails at about 5 pm (Pacific Time) on Monday (9/18) but you should be ready to board early to get through registration and clear customs and immigration (and have lunch on board the ship).  We recommend that you should be at the pier in Long Beach by noon Pacific Time.

Alternatively, you may fly into Long Beach Airport (LGB) and depending on where you fly from, it might even be cheaper but because LBG is a smaller airport, not many larger airlines will fly there.  But, do your research and ensure that you arrive on time to board the cruise by noon Pacific Time on Monday, September 18.  The local Steering Committee will not provide pick-up from the airport to the ship.  Use a ride hailing service like Uber.

How do I get to Long Beach from LAX to board the Carnival Radiance?

Carnival has a shuttle that plies from LAX to the pier for $35  per person and from pier to LAX each way.  We strongly advise you to take advantage of this service.  The local steering committee will not provide transportation from the airport to ship or vice versa.

When would Carnival Radiance dock in Long Beach at the end of the cruise?

Carnival Radiance will dock at 7 am at Long Beach on Friday, September 22, 2023.  Therefore, plan your return journey to your destination from LAX for after 12 pm Pacific Time that day.

If I have a question about the cruise or the Summit, is there someone I could talk to?

Please contact our Office Administrator, Mrs. Sylvia Chan at sylvia.chan@cbfusacanada.org or text her at 626-297-7156.

If I plan to stay to visit churches in Southern California before or after the Leadership Summit, would I be able to do that?

Yes, you may but you have to make your own travel arrangements and stay.

Are scholarships/subsidies available for this event?   

Yes, we have limited and restricted subsidies available to our participants:

  1. Applicants for subsidies must book their cabins directly with CBF and fill out a subsidy request form either online or on paper.
  2. Subsidies are limited to Baptist ministers and their spouses who are currently serving in their churches and only to those whose churches are unable to pay the costs related to participation in the event or because of personal hardships.
  3. Those who receive subsidies must participate in the entire program of the event.
  4. Subsidies are paid only at the end of the event.
  5. The types of subsidies are as follows:

i. $150 per person for cruise subsidy.

ii. For those coming from outside of California, you will receive a subsidy of 50% of your airfare up to $300 per family, whichever is lower. You must submit your airfare receipt(s) to get your subsidy.

iii. If your church is a member of the Northern California Chinese Baptist Association (NCCBA), their pastors and immediate family members will each receive a stipend of $100 per person if  they register to attend the Summit.  This stipend is administered directly by the NCCBA. Please contact Pastor Ricky Ko (ricky.ko@scbc.net), NCCBA Treasurer for details.

iv. In order to encourage those who are actively serving in Baptist churches and considering the call to the vocational ministry, and on the recommendation of their senior pastor/church (if they are without a pastor) they are currently serving, CBF will provide the cost of a double occupancy cabin for them on the cruise, but they must pay the registration fee and the means to get to Los Angeles and back. Such scholarships are limited to two per church.

Who are the Keynote Speakers in the Mandarin and English Tracks?

Rev. Benny Wong is the Keynote Speaker in the Mandarin Track.  He is the immediate past president of the Chinese Baptist Fellowship and has recently been appointed Director of the Chinese-English Bilingual Program and Professor of Leadership Formation of Gateway Seminary in Ontario, California, after having served The First Chinese Baptist Church of Los Angeles for 30 years, first as a pastor and then its senior pastor.

Rev. Port Wilburn is the Keynote Speaker in the English Track. In 2006, as a new graduate of Gateway Seminary, he replanted an Anglo church in the city of San Pablo and renamed it the Rock Harbor Christian Fellowship. Today that church is a multiethnic and cross generational congregation serving and loving the people of the city of San Pablo. Port is currently the Executive Director of Missions for the Bridges Bay Area Association, a network of 200 churches in four counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.

What are some of the workshops and leaders planned for this Summit?

<Mandarin Track>

Healthy Intergenerational Ministry       

Rev. William Eng is a retired pastor of the Chinese Baptists Church of Orange County, CA. He currently serves as a Vice President of the CBF and on the English/NextGen Ministry team.  

Healthy Leaders, Healthy Churches       

Rev. Brent Hoover is a core leader in LeaderSource whose ministry is equipping churches to build healthy leaders.

Emotional Effectiveness of Pastoral Leadership and Management     

Dr. Melvin Wong is a California Licensed Clinical Psychotherapist with 34 years of extensive experience in practice and teaching in the field.

Building Healthy Team Relationships   

Dr. Harry Liu has been practicing law in California for more than 30 years and is a former Los Angeles Superior Court mediation lawyer. He is the President of Love and Conflict Peacemaking Ministries and is leading the workshop with his wife, Nancy.

Healthy Financial Provision                     

Rev. Hoon Im, Relationship Manager for GuideStone Financial Services with many years of experience in helping pastors to financially prepare for their retirement.

<English Track>

Reaching Generation Z                            

Rev. Nate Parrow is a missionary of the IMB of the SBC and is a NextGen Mobilization Strategist serving churches and NextGen leaders across the western United States.

Racial Reconciliation                                

Rev. Port Wilburn is currently the Executive Director of Missions for the Bridges Bay Area Association, a network of 200 churches in four counties of the San Francisco Bay Area. 

“Moving from “I to We”.  Is it possible?”                        

Brother John Blake, founder, and president of “I to We”, a ministry focused on creating unity in the Body of Christ. He led such consultations with churches the world over.

A Guide to Navigating the Rainbow 2.023       

Mrs. Marshelle Wilburn uses her gifts and talents in administration and teaching and serves alongside Port as Systems and Operations Administrator.

Building Bridges Using Shared History  

Baldwin and Larissa Chiu, husband, and wife film makers and musicians whose production of the documentary, “Far East Deep South”, won them fame and acclaim. The documentary was billed as the “Best of 2021 on PBS”.