December 2016
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about ABCUSA

Christmas Blessings

We wish you a holiday season filled with joy as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Throughout the Advent season, five Regional Executives of American Baptist regions have provided reflections focusing on "What Christmas Means to Me," which have been featured on the ABCUSA website

For Christmas, Rev. Joan C. Friesen, Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Greater Indianapolis, reflects on "What Christmas Means to Me."

Read the reflection for the first Sunday of Advent here.
Read the reflection for the second Sunday of Advent here.
Read the reflection for the third Sunday of Advent here.
Read the reflection for the fourth Sunday of Advent here.
2017 Biennial Mission Summit Church Sponsorship - Register your Church as a Sponsor Today!

The Biennial Mission Summit is just over six months away!
Don't miss the opportunity to register your church as a Sponsor of the Biennial Mission Summit, June 30-July 2, 2017, in Portland, Oregon!

In 2017, we are again inviting churches to register as Sponsors for the Biennial Mission Summit. 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 individual registration rate for the Biennial Mission Summit. The church will also be listed on the event website at and in the event program book. Sponsoring churches will help to support the Biennial Mission Summit and make it a success.

More information, including pricing and savings, can be found here. Don't miss the deadline for Church Sponsorship: March 15, 2017!
January 6 is Deadline for General Secretary Candidate Applications

The deadline for candidate applications for the position of General Secretary of American Baptist Churches is Friday, January 6, 2017.

The General Secretary Search Committee seeks the best qualified candidate who will serve American Baptist Churches with a sense of deep faith and love of Christ, engage in collaboration with denominational and ecumenical partners, offer both a pastoral and prophetic presence, and be the harmonizer who calls all American Baptists into unity. Executive recruitment firm, National Executive Service Corps, has been retained to assist with the search.

Review the General Secretary position profile. To apply, please see the instructions document " How to Apply."

Learn more.

$2,000 Matthew 25 Grant Enables Backpacks for Children and Community Education in Hayward, Calif.

This fall, a $2,000 Matthew 25 Grant from American Baptist Churches USA helped the Community Church of Hayward, Calif., to distribute backpacks filled with school supplies for the new school year to 85 of the community's disadvantaged children.

The backpacks were distributed at a Community Festival outreach event. According to Community Church's Manuel Magana, about 90 percent of the congregation's immediate neighbors are low-income and receiving some kind of assistance. Read the Full Story.

The Matthew 25 Grant, sponsored by American Baptist Churches USA and the Board of General Ministries, is funded by a generous anonymous donor whose goal is to help meet the needs of "housing, feeding, education and health with regard to the less fortunate." Learn More .

Read about what other organizations and churches have done with Matthew 25 Grant Funding.
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. The goal of the Transformation Stories coming out of the Transformed by the Spirit initiative is to create a sharing community to support the work of the local church as it Joins God in the Neighborhood and grows through partnership in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By sharing your Transformation Story, you may encourage other local churches to: experiment in transformative ministry; share their own ministry stories; and build interest by using social networking and interaction. Stories may be submitted in video or written format.

Learn More.
My Baptist Life: Ngun Hlel Tial

Ngun Hlel Tial is a high school junior and an active member of Carson Chin Baptist Church in West Allis, Wis. A violin player and tennis athlete, Ngun is a member of her school's Key Club, a student-led service organization of Kiwanis International. Through the key club, Ngun completed more than 70 hours of community service in less than a year. She is involved in her church's youth group "where we grow together in faith." She is also a promotion coordinator of the National Leadership Team of ABGIRLS.

I'm an American Baptist because being an American Baptist helps me grow in faith with others around me who provide me with encouragement. My involvements with other American Baptists around me help me to better understand what God wants me to pursue in my life.

Learn more about her story, here.

In a Career-Change Age, Meet Three ABCUSA Staffers with Decades of Dedication

Brubaker, Jarrett and Tyson at the American Baptist Churches Mission Center
Jarrett remembers the American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) denominational Mission Center from age 12, when her Dad, Austin Wilson, brought her next door to pick apples in a neighboring orchard. Wilson headed ABCUSA's mail and addressograph center in those days and worked in the building 28 years.

Marilyn Tyson recalls the Mission Center when it was "surrounded by acres of lawn and farmland," she says. "People who could see the building more easily from the road in those days would often say they thought the building looked like a spaceship."

Catherine Brubaker, executive assistant to the General Secretary of ABCUSA, recalls coming to the headquarters building to look for a job on a snowy day when she was new in the area in January 1984. "I was pretty eager to find something," the former kindergarten teacher and systems analyst recalls. She had moved from Illinois to Pennsylvania. "But the building was closed because it was a snow day." Brubaker will have served in the Mission Center nearly 33 years by the time she retires at the end of 2016.

Read the Full Story.

Nominations Invited for Mowbray Ecumenical Award

American Baptist Churches USA seeks nominations for the Luke Mowbray Ecumenical Award, which recognizes an individual for outstanding ecumenical work at the local, state, national or international level, either as a volunteer or paid professional. This award will be presented at the American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) 2017 Biennial Mission Summit, June 30-July 2, in Portland, Oregon. The award winner will be selected by the ABCUSA Committee on Christian Unity and Interfaith Relations. The deadline for nominations January 30, 2017.

Learn More.
2017-2018 ABC Directory/Planning Calendar

The 2017-2018 ABC Directory/Planning Calendar is available for download. Churches and individuals may print this calendar as a reference tool for use in weekly planning throughout the calendar year.

Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering 2016

Learn more about the Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering and the theme for RMMO 2016, "Faith through Gratitude."

Resources are available online here.
2017 Biennial Mission Summit Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities
Prayer Highlight: 2017 Biennial Mission Summit

Planning is under way for the 2017 Biennial Mission Summit!  With just over six months until the event, June 30-July 2, 2017 in Portland, Oregon, please remember in prayer those who are working hard to prepare an exciting celebration to include worship, fellowship, Mission Summit Conversations, connecting over learning opportunities and bible studies, and much more. Visit to learn more about the event.

Please be in prayer for those planning the event, and also those who will be attending or are considering attending and connecting with their larger American Baptist family.

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

American Baptists serving as the hands and feet of Christ.