Matthew 25 Grant Application Process Open

A generous donor has given a sum of money through ABCUSA to be used for programs that address "housing, feeding, education and health with regard to the less fortunate." Many of our ABCCONN congregations have programs so described. ABCUSA-affiliated congregations in good standing with their Regions are invited to apply for grants of up to $5000. A panel will select recipients for these grants, emphasizing that they will be checking the United Mission giving patterns of applicant congregations.  The Matthew 25 Grant Application may be found here. (Note that grant funds may not be used to fund staff positions or regular church operating costs.)  Further information about the grants and the grant process can be found on the application.

An Interview with Lee Spitzer, New General Secretary of ABCUSA

The Rev. Dr. Lee Spitzer has begun now as the new General Secretary of the ABCUSA.  Below is an interview that was held with him in which he talks about his hopes for the ABC.

Biennial Will Focus on 7 Denominational Priorities

The Biennial Mission Summit, June 30-July 2, in Portland, Oregon, will include opportunities for conversation around the seven denominational priorities.  These conversations are opportunities for attendees to engage in meaningful dialogue about a topic of interest.  Individuals registering for the Biennial Mission Summit will be asked to also register for one of the Mission Summit Conversation topics. In order to better prepare for the conversations, delegates and participants are encouraged to review the case statement (here) for their topic in advance of the event. 

The seven denominational priorities, the result of a process of narrowing down topics from 21 different issues which had surfaced from local churches, regional events, national agencies and seminaries, as well as feedback from previous Mission Summit Conversations are:

Anti-Violence Discipleship Ending Poverty Gospel in a Rapidly Changing Society Innovative Models of Pastoral Ministry Next Generation of Leaders Women in Ministry

A new feature at the Mission Summit will be “Baptist Talk.” Baptist Talk is a new outgrowth of the Mission Summit Conversations. “While the purpose of the Mission Summit Conversations is to engage in topics that could become ministry priorities for the denomination, the purpose of Baptist Talk is to increase our understanding and respect for one another as American Baptists,” said C. Jeff Woods, associate general secretary for Regional Ministries and facilitator of the Mission Summit Conversations.

Learning Opportunities at Biennial

The Biennial Mission Summit, June 30 - July 2, in Portland, OR this year will feature Learning Opportunities on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons. 

The Saturday afternoon session will include the following Learning Opportunities:

Innovative Models of Pastoral Ministry – The POST and The Circuit: Raising Leaders for Region-wide Ministries Women in Ministry Anti-Violence Discipleship – On Earth as in Heaven: Discipleship in Action Gospel in a Rapidly Changing Society – Good News in a Changing Society Next Generation of Leaders – ABC to XYZ: A Multigenerational Conversation with Today’s Church Leaders Storytelling Workshop “Telling Our Faith Story” Journeying to Racial Reconciliation: Action. Reconciliation. Transformation MMBB Financial Wellness: Personal Financial Planning

The Sunday afternoon session will include the following Learning Opportunities:

Innovative Models of Pastoral Ministry Women in Ministry Anti-Violence – What Happens in This House, Stays in This House Discipleship – discipleSHIFT Ending Poverty – God’s People Ending Poverty Gospel in a Rapidly Changing Society – Being the Hands and Feet of Christ to your Muslim Neighbors Stories of Who We Are Baptist Talk

Attendees must preregister for Learning Opportunities when they register as individuals for the Biennial Mission Summit. 

The Mission Summit will also feature keynote speakers: the Rev. Sharon T. Koh, executive director/CEO of American Baptist International Ministries, Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, executive director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies, and the incoming General Secretary of American Baptist Churches USA.

Read more here.

Registration for Biennial Mission Summit

Every two years American Baptists gather to worship, to fellowship, to learn and to dream. This year the gathering is in Portland, Oregon from June 30th to July 2nd. Registration for individuals is now open.

ABCUSA General Secretary Addresses Recent Attacks

Dear American Baptists,

Now is not the time to turn our backs on our Muslim neighbors. Certainly the terroristic act in San Bernardino, in the wake of the attacks elsewhere, has raised uncertainty and fear. But to generalize those acts to every Muslim is dead wrong. Sometimes it is easier to gain perspective by considering another set of circumstances. We know that right before San Bernardino there was a shooting incident at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs which resulted in the deaths of three and the wounding of another nine. The man arrested for this attack was motivated by his strong beliefs against abortion. Yet, who among us would generalize his acts to every person who holds views against abortion and suggest that every such person be put on a watch list, be forbidden to enter this country or relinquish any of their rights afforded by our constitution? Yet there are those who in effect wish to do this very thing to anyone of the Muslim faith.

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