January 2020

A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about ABCUSA
As We Enter 2020...A Message from American Baptist Churches USA Acting General Secretary C. Jeff Woods  
Happy New Year! Have you made your New Year's resolution yet? "I resolve to..." As Christians, perhaps these should be more like prayer requests than resolutions. "Lord, help me to..." As spirit-filled Christians, we have an immense power within us to make the world a better place.
Rather than making resolutions, some persons choose a particular scripture verse to focus upon during the year, or adopt a spiritual practice, or embrace a song. "Speak to one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs," (Ephesians 5:19). Instead of being hounded by that random song or jingle that pops into your head, why not be proactive and choose a song for the year that uplifts you? Still others focus upon a single word for the year such as "thriving," "overcoming," "peace," or "justice."
Personally, when I consider improvement or betterment, I focus upon values that are at the core of all adaptive change. This year, I seek God's help in treating every person that I encounter with dignity and respect.
As we begin a new Biennium in ABCUSA life, I am thankful for the leadership of previous officers President Josué Gómez-Menéndez and Vice President Dean Parker, who provided remarkable leadership for us as a Board of General Ministries these last two years. I very much look forward to working with our new BGM President Karen Podsiadly and Vice President Jim Wolfe, National Executive Council members Dr. Jeffrey Haggray (Executive Director of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies), Rev. Gina Jacobs-Strain (Executive Director of American Baptist Women's Ministries), Rev. Sharon Koh (CEO/executive director of International Ministries), and Louis Barbarin (chief executive officer of MMBB Financial Services), as well as our Regional Executive Ministers Council and officers President Frank Frischkorn, Vice President Cheryl Dudley, and Secretary/Treasurer Robin Stoops. We wish former General Secretary Lee Spitzer all the best during the retirement chapters of his ministry.
May we as American Baptists draw upon the power of God to make our world a better place in 2020.
Dr. C. Jeff Woods
Acting General Secretary
American Baptist Churches USA
"Celebrating Ministering Women: Radical. Redeemed. Ready." Conference Announced for June 2020
American Baptist Churches USA and American Baptist Women's Ministries (ABWM) are partnering to present a unique conference, Celebrating Ministering Women: Radical. Redeemed.  Ready., to be held June 16-19, 2020 at the Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, Wis. Registration for the conference will open later this month.

From the pioneering women of long ago to the trailblazing leaders of today, the movement of women into ministry has involved the whole family of faith from all across ABCUSA. With women serving in a multitude of ways and a variety of roles nationally and internationally, American Baptist Women in Ministry (ABWIM) and ABWM are joining together to celebrate ministering women across the Unites States, Puerto Rico, and around the world.

Held at Green Lake Conference Center where the first Women In Ministry conference took place in 1980, out of which the Women in Ministry Project was birthed, and where American Baptist women have gathered for many years, the conference will feature inspiring speakers, creative worship, engaging workshops, and opportunities to converse and connect.

Learn more here.
2020-2021 ABC Directory/Planning Calendar is available for download
The 2020-2021 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 2021.  
OGHS Funds Released in Response to Earthquake in Puerto Rico
In response to the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that shook Puerto Rico Tuesday morning, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS), on behalf of American Baptist Churches USA, has released $15,000 in One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) funds to partners in Puerto Rico, including $10,000 for Iglesias Bautistas de Puerto Rico. However, additional help is needed.

Hopevale Commemoration Sunday

Your church is invited to recognize Hopevale Commemoration Sunday. 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 Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches (CPBC) approved a resolution to designate the Sunday nearest to December 20 (the anniversary date of their deaths) as Hopevale Commemoration Sunday. CPBC has invited American Baptist Churches USA to join them in this annual observance, which demonstrates the strong bonds of spiritual friendship between us. The ABCUSA Board of General Ministries blessed this initiative in March 2019; 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.

Observances of Hopevale Commemoration Sunday can be held on the Sunday closest to December 20, or a Sunday through January. Each year, your church is invited to remember the martyrdom of these missionaries close to the December 20 anniversary.

For more information about this special day of observance, click here.
Recent Highlights from the ABCUSA Website

Book Emphasizes Perspectives of African-American Women on Leadership Theories

Significant Historical Book Commemorates 200th Anniversary of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

Parkesburg Baptist Church Recipient of 2018 Widow’s Mite Award

ABHMS Awards Close to $2 Million in Mission Dollars in 2019

ABCUSA Announces 2019 Awards for Matthew 25 Grant

Woods Elected as Acting General Secretary of American Baptist Churches USA

American Baptist Churches USA
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