Church and Clergy Tax Guides Available
Each year MMBB makes available tax resources. Federal Reporting Requirements for Churches, 2017 and 2017 Clergy Tax Return Preparation Guide for 2016 Returns are both available for download at www.mmbb.org/tax-guides.
The Northeast Ecumenical Stewardship Council will be holding a stewardship conference for churches on March 24-25, 2017. Featuring Chick Lane and Grace Pomroy, authors of Embracing Stewardship: How to put Stewardship at the Heart of your Congregation's Life, the conference will offer 8 different workshops focusing on stewardship in the local church. The event will be held at the Holiday Inn in Boxborough, MA.
One workshop, entitled "Called to Generosity" will be presented by Rev. Stacy Emerson, Pastor of First Baptist Church of West Hartford.
Registration is available at www.nestewardship.org. Download a poster about the event here.
Ministry Boundaries ClassesEthics and Boundaries in Ministry Class
The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts will be offering a class on Ministry Boundaries twice in March.March 25, 10 AM-4 PM at their offices in Grotonwood March 30, 10 AM-4 PM at the Woodsville Baptist Church
Center for Career Development and MinistryCareer Counseling and More
The Center for Career Development and Ministry offers a variety of affordable tailored services for all stages in ministry, including: transition counseling, sabbatical planning, career reflection and discernment, and one-on-one coaching in addition to their ordination candidate program. They are also developing programs for lay-leaders serving in rural/underfunded parishes.
Judy Allbee on Violence
It happened again. It involved a shooting at yet another high school, this time on the West coast. And again right here in Bristol there was a domestic violence incident that turned into a murder/suicide. I have been thinking and praying and pondering; worrying and fussing and fuming about violence. It started after the shootings in Newtown. I could not imagine sitting around and doing nothing. I could not imagine not caring enough to find a way to a better day. I cannot imagine that this is God's intention for us. And here we are, many months later, and I do not feel we have moved very far or far enough, neither as ABCCONN nor as individual churches.
Bullying and CyberbullyingThe Parable of the Good Samaritan
An expert in the law asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?" (Luke 10:25-37) Jesus' response is one we all know well: the parable of the Good Samaritan in which He tells us that our "neighbor" isn't just the person who lives next door to us; it's everyone. Jesus' timeless lessons of love and compassion toward our neighbor should also guide our attitude about bullying. We should avoid attacking, hurting, or embarrassing someone else. We should always think about the consequences of forwarding texts, emails, or videos. But our responsibility doesn't stop there. Loving our online neighbor means reporting injustices and comforting those who are injured just as the Good Samaritan did. Anyone we encounter online is as much a neighbor to us as the injured man was in the parable. The online power each of us has can be just as hurtful as the robbers' blows or as healing as the Samaritan's unconditional love.