December 2017

 
ABCUSA NEWS UPDATE
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about ABCUSA

At the Right Time: A Pastoral Message

Read a pastoral message from General Secretary Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer here.

In the message, Spitzer writes, "...This Christmas, I pray that all of us who are part of the American Baptist family may take significant time to reflect upon how God's presence and power has been manifested through the surprises and journey milestones of 2017. For Baptists, the birth of Jesus is not just an historical memory; we believe that Jesus is still alive today, and as our Lord, guiding our journeys..."

American Baptist Churches USA Celebrates 2017 Targeted Gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing

One Great Hour of Sharing giving by American Baptists, specifically targeted toward hurricane relief and relief for California fire victims, has totaled $1,636,292 over the past three months through November 2017.

"During this season of Advent and Christmas, American Baptists have once again demonstrated generosity and love for those who are in special need," said American Baptist Churches USA General Secretary Lee B. Spitzer. "It is indeed better to give than to receive, and I pray that our churches will continue to donate to One Great Hour of Sharing. God's Christmas gift of Jesus inspires us all to share God's healing love with everyone in need. Thank you for your support."


Make a Year-End Gift to American Baptist Churches USA

There is still time to make a 2017 year-end gift to one of the many ministries of American Baptist Churches USA. Tax-deductible gifts to the ministries below can be easily made through the American Baptist Churches USA website giving page, here. Or, visit www.abc-usa.org and click "Give Online" in the upper right side of the page. Thank you for your generosity.

Pastors Weigh In on 'Generous Congregations' and Importance of The Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering
 

Each year MMBB Financial Services and ABCUSA coordinate the Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering (RMMO) to support those who have dedicated their lives to God's service-retired ministers, missionaries, their widowed spouses, and elderly clergy within their churches.

A feature of every RMMO campaign is a brief video that highlights churches that have given generously to RMMO. We hope you will be inspired to give by reading about three pastors who appear in this year's 4-minute video.


ABCUSA Burma Refugee Commission and IM Delegation Visits Burma Diaspora Communities in Malaysia

I n early November, a delegation of American Baptist leaders traveled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, visiting the Burma (now officially known as Myanmar) diaspora communities to learn about their current situation, engage in advocacy on their behalf, and explore ways that American Baptists can be of assistance to them in the future.

Generosity is Counterintuitive

A team working together around the challenge of stewardship in the 21st century has worked hard over the past eighteen months to put together "The Generosity Project," a pilot program running from Sept. 2017 - Dec. 2018 which will work to provide stewardship resources and support to a cohort group of pastors from New England regions. Members of the team have prepared blogs for "The Generosity Project" participants, which will also be shared on the ABCUSA website in the coming months.   To learn more about The Generosity Project, click here.

In December, team member Steve Bils, Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of the Central Pacific Coast, provides his thoughts about stewardship and giving. Read Bils' reflections, here and here.
 
Third National Baptist-Muslim Dialogue to Meet in April 2018

The third national dialogue between Baptists and Muslims will be held April 16-19, 2018, at the Green Lake Conference Center/American Baptist Assembly in Green Lake, Wis.

The target group for the third dialogue is Baptist and Muslim religious leaders fifty years of age and younger who, together with their congregations*, are willing to pair with others to build long-term relationships, foster mutual understanding and participate in a joint project to enhance the welfare of their community. The dialogue is not between individual religious leaders alone. The goal of the dialogue is to partner a Baptist congregational* leader and a Muslim congregational* leader in a community, and their two congregations*, for an ongoing relationship.

Read more.
2018-2019 ABC Directory/Planning Calendar Available for Download

The 2018-2019 ABC Directory/Planning Calendar is available for download. We invite you to print this calendar as a reference tool for use in weekly planning throughout the calendar year and into 2019.

Click here to view the 2018-2019 American Baptist Churches Directory/Planning Calendar.
Celebrating the 85th Anniversary of Love Gift

In 1932 when American Baptist Churches faced a large deficit, individuals were asked to give financial contributions in excess of their tithes and pledges. Women, specifically, were challenged to raise funding to help meet the crisis. Receiving the challenge, women began the over-and-above contribution called Love Gift that continues today.

Love Gift is an initiative of women across American Baptist Churches USA to help support the full range of American Baptist mission. Love Gift is a gift to United Mission and supports American Baptist mission and ministry.

American Baptist Women's Ministries receives United Mission dollars equivalent to 15 percent of Love Gift, which helps empower vital ministries for women and girls in American Baptist congregations, including the AB GIRLS ministry, a new advisory team of young adult women, and mission projects that bring hope and wholeness to women and girls worldwide.

New Love Gift boxes were produced this year to celebrate this anniversary. To order Love Gift boxes for your church, email ABCResources@abc-usa.org. Or, give to Love Gift here.
Recent Highlights from the ABCUSA Website


 


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