April 2017

A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about ABCUSA
Register Today: Church Sponsorship Closes April 30, Individual Registration Open into June
We hope to see you in Portland, Oregon, for the Biennial Mission Summit, June 30-July 2, 2017, to be held at the Oregon Convention Center. The theme of the 2017 Biennial Mission Summit is "Connect!"

As previously announced, registration for Church Sponsorship for the 2017 Biennial Mission Summit has been extended to April 30, 2017. When a church is registered as a Sponsor, individuals from the church are able to attend at a discounted rate, saving at least $100 off the regular rate to register for the Biennial Mission Summit. Don't miss the opportunity to become a Church Sponsor! Learn more.

Individual registration remains open into June, but register today to reserve a spot in your preferred conference hotel. Visit the event website at www.americanbaptists2017.com for all the latest information. The Biennial Mission Summit begins with worship Friday night, June 30, 2017, but events occur beforehand so be sure to check the Detailed Schedule for the full event listing before registering. Or,  Register Now!

Tell your church family more about the Biennial Mission Summit by using the following Resource: Download a Bulletin Insert here.

Love Gift, an initiative of women across American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) to help support t he full range of American Baptist Mission, turns 85 this year. In 1932, American Baptist Churches faced a $500,000 deficit, and it was feared the financial crisis would limit God's work in the denomination. American Baptist Churches asked individuals to give financial contributions in excess of their tithes and pledges. Women, specifically, were challenged to raise $150,000 to help meet the crisis. Receiving the challenge, women began the over-and-above contribution called Love Gift.

"It is astonishing how 85 years of faithful support from American Baptist women putting coins and dollars into Love Gift boxes has surpassed $57 million in extra support for ABC mission," says Virginia Holmstrom, executive director of American Baptist Women's Ministries.

A new silver Love Gift box has been produced this spring, modeled after the original "Silver Boxes," which later became the Love Gift boxes. To order free Love Gift materials and additional Love Gift boxes visit: www.abwministries.org/store.

Click here to read the full story and learn more ways you can support Love Gift.
ABHMS Sets New Course for Mission: Connect. Cultivate. Change.

In this Resurrection season that celebrates Jesus Christ's promise of new life, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) announces a new framework for its mission to cultivate leaders, equip disciples and heal communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.

This framework-Connect. Cultivate. Change.-looks to the future as it responds to the challenges facing Christian mission today, at the same time following in the footsteps of ABHMS' founding missionaries, who expanded Christian ministry into new, uncharted territory in the early 19th century.

A major focus of this new mission approach features the creation of aligned action networks of passionate American Baptist disciples in geographic clusters throughout the United States and Puerto Rico for sharing assets, resources, best practices, actionable ideas and passion for ministry to be transformed into ministries that meet human needs. 

New Archives Director Seeks to Offer 'Well-Rounded' Portrayal of American Baptist History

"We do better moving forward if we know where we have come from," says Dr. Priscilla Eppinger, a one-time seminary professor who has served since late last year as executive director of the American Baptist Historical Society (ABHS), Atlanta, Ga. Since 2008, Mercer University in Atlanta has been the location for the vast American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) collections. The Historical Society encompasses 17,000-square-feet of space.

The archives houses official records of all aspects of the denomination, including the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, International Ministries, the Office of the General Secretary, and MMBB Financial Services. Eppinger notes the records, including reports from Biennials that span decades, and audio accounts, offer "an inside view of the denomination's inner workings. They are records of ABC lives."

Read the full story here.
Transformation Stories Invited from Local American Baptist Churches

Leading up to the 2017 Biennial Mission Summit, we want to hear from YOU! Do you have a story of transformation in your local church or community? Tell us about it!

Transformation Stories are invited for submission beginning now through June 1, 2017. By sharing Transformation Stories, local churches can learn from one another as they watch/read about stories that may generate ministry ideas for outreach in their local church communities.
American Baptists Invited to Participate in 50 States of Joy - A Preaching Series

The Yale Center for Faith and Culture (YCFC) invites American Baptist Clergy from across the nation to participate in 50 States of Joy - A Preaching Series. The project encourages pastors to preach about joy, that state of right relationship that comes from knowing and serving God. 50 States of Joy officially launches on April 23, 2017; however, pastors may join the movement by preaching about joy anytime during 2017-2018.  

Join Us! Rhythms of the Spirit - August 14-18 in Exeter, Rhode Island
Do you struggle for balance between prayer and activity? Do you long for more silence and solitude in your life and ministry? More energy for compassion, peace and justice? The Rhythms of the Spirit conference, offered in a retreat style, provides a unique opportunity to explore the transformed life and discover contemplative practices that invite us into deeper engagement with the needs of the world. 

Prayer Highlight: ABWM Virtual Mission Encounter

Please be in prayer for the "'See Me As I Am' Virtual Mission Encounter," presented by American Baptist Women's Ministries, May 8-12. The Virtual Mission Encounter aims to connect Baptist and Muslim women in interfaith dialogue, providing participants the opportunity to both learn from and participate in interfaith dialogue, gaining important skills for developing dialogue opportunities in their own communities.

Please pray for participants, that they might gain a better understanding of our calling by God to transform our communities through our relationships with one another. Learn more here.

American Baptist Churches USA
PO Box 851  Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851  

American Baptists serving as the hands and feet of Christ.