December 2020

A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about ABCUSA

2020 Advent Reflection Series

We invite you to view our online devotional for prayer and contemplation from the 2020 Advent Season, as we have journeyed toward Bethlehem waiting with anticipation for the Messiah's birth. The devotionals share reflections on this intentional anticipatory waiting time through the lens of the four Advent themes: hope, love, joy, and peace.

View the first reflection by Interim General Secretary Jeff Woods here.
View the second reflection by Rev. Dr. Atula Jamir here.
View the third reflection by Rev. Dr. Daryl Ward here.
View the fourth reflection for the final Sunday in Advent by Rev. Starlette Thomas here.

2021-2022 ABC Directory/Planning Calendar; PDF and Downloadable Calendar Files Available
The 2021-2022 ABC Directory/Planning Calendar is now 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 2022. Or, you may download the .ics file and add the calendar dates to your own calendar to keep you up to date throughout 2021 and 2022.

 Click here to download a PDF file (.pdf) of the 2021-2022 American Baptist Churches Directory/Planning Calendar.

 Click here to download a calendar file (.ics) of the 2021-2022 American Baptist Churches Directory/Planning Calendar. This file can be uploaded and saved in Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, and Apple Calendar.

Join us in June for our online Biennial Mission Summit!
Watch this newsletter for details, or sign up to receive the latest ABC-related news releases from the American Baptist News Service here.  
We are excited to welcome regular biennial attendees, as well as many American Baptists who have never attended a Biennial Mission Summit! Will we see YOU in June 2021?

MMBB Financial Services recently published an article, Women, Money and Gender Bias, in the September/October 2020 issue of Church Executive.

Over the past 70 years, women's participation in the U.S. workforce has grown significantly. Although they are working more hours and earning higher degrees, women continue to earn less than their male counterparts. Gender plays a role in compensation overall in the U.S. population; however, it is more pronounced for clergywomen.

Strengthening Stewardship in Times of Struggle
We invite you to view a recent Generosity Project webinar recording,  
"Strengthening Stewardship in Times of Struggle"
presented by Rev. Trevor A. Hyde, Jr., Pastor of the historic Berean Baptist Church in Brooklyn, N.Y.   
Webinar Description: The year 2020 has been the great disrupter; the Church was not exempt. Church leaders were caught in the grips of a brand new reality, shaped by a pandemic, that undoubtedly required swift adjustments, especially in the area of financial stewardship. Words like terminate, furlough, and pay cuts became common vernacular while ministry still needed to be done. Learn strategies to ReSet, ReFocus, ReImagine and ReEngage how we exercise stewardship to accomplish effective ministry and to promote sustainable growth in our churches. The Generosity Project is sponsored by the ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary.

Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty Essay Contest Announced!
High school juniors and seniors can win up to $2,000 for college in BJC's Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest. The 2021 topic asks students if a religious leader, such as a minister, rabbi, imam, priest, or any other clergy in a religious tradition, have the right to run for public office?  Essays must be between 800-1,200 words and received by March 26, 2021. For the full writing prompt and additional details, visit   

American Baptist Churches USA, along with the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches (CPBC), in 2019 approved a resolution in response to the 75th Commemoration (in 2018) of the Hopevale martyrdom in the Philippines in which missionaries of the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society (now International Ministries) died heroically for their faith. The groups have designated the Sunday nearest to December 20 (the anniversary date of their deaths) as Hopevale Commemoration Sunday. In 2020, the Sunday falls directly on December 20.

In commemorating this anniversary each year, ABCUSA is affirming, along with Filipino Baptists, our common missiological identity and our mutual support and solidarity in doing God's mission.

View resources below prepared by the ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary, in partnership with American Baptist International Ministries, the American Baptist Historical Society and the Green Lake Conference Center, for the purpose of commemoration of the event.

IM Responds to Record-Breaking Hurricane Devastation in Central America

Two back-to-back category 4 hurricanes, with 120-mph to 140-mph wind gusts, hit Central America in November. Hurricane Eta struck the northern coast of Nicaragua on November 3. Two weeks later, Hurricane Iota made landfall near Haulover, Nicaragua, only 15 miles south of where Eta had come ashore. This is the first time in nearly 170 years of record-keeping that two Category 4 hurricanes have struck within 15 miles of one another in a period of only two weeks.

This unprecedented occurrence has caused massive devastation in Nicaragua, Honduras, and other parts of Central America in the form of landslides, floods, roadway collapses, power outages, communication interruptions, crop destruction and significant loss of life.

International Ministries (IM) has released initial One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) emergency relief grants totaling $8,500 to partners in Honduras and Nicaragua who are responding with food, clothing, blankets, water filters, medicines and other needed supplies. Additional relief funds will be released as contributions are received for OGHS-Central America Relief.

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) 2021 Online Biennial Mission Summit, June 24-26, 2021. The award winner will be selected by the ABCUSA Committee on Christian Unity and Interfaith Relations. The deadline for nominations January 31, 2021.

ABCUSA Together: We are American Baptists

ABCUSA Together


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

American Baptists serving as the hands and feet of Christ.