June 2017

A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about ABCUSA
A Pastoral Letter from Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer, General Secretary of American Baptist Churches USA
General Secretary Lee Spitzer shared a pastoral letter on Friday, June 16. At the close of his letter, he noted five challenges which he believes will help American Baptists to hold fast to their Baptist convictions while also contributing to a more harmonious American civic life:

1. Commit to listen more graciously and with an open mind, especially when we are in conversation with people who hold different views than we do.
2. Reject anger, rudeness, hatred, arrogance, and egotism in our dealings with others. Being prophetic is not compatible with being obsessive, abusive or insensitive.
3. Do not forget that people we disagree with are still human beings, and desire respect, grace and acceptance. The Golden Rule still applies to human relationships.
4. Be patient before responding to situations and people; oftentimes, first reports of an event do not convey the whole truth. Knee-jerk reactions are seldom helpful.
5. Do not assume that one's own position on an issue is the only Christian response to which all others must subscribe. We know only "in part," as Paul says.

Spitzer concluded the letter with a call to action: As American Baptists, may we, through our words and actions, "let our light shine before others, so that they may see our good deeds" (Matthew 5:16) and be drawn to Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Read the full pastoral letter to American Baptists, here.
Seven ABC Priorities Highlighted at 2017 Mission Summit Conversations, Facebook Groups Introduced

This summer at the 2017 Biennial Mission Summit, June 30-July 2, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore., the Mission Summit Conversations will showcase seven dedicated rooms for the seven denominational priorities: Anti-Violence, Discipleship, Ending Poverty, Gospel in a Rapidly Changing Society, Innovative Models of Pastoral Ministry, Next Generation of Leaders and Women in Ministry. Leading up to the Biennial Mission Summit, American Baptists are invited join Facebook Groups dedicated to the seven priorities to engage in discussion both before, and after, the Biennial Mission Summit.

Use #ABConnect when posting about the Biennial Mission Summit - June 30 - July 2, 2017!

The theme of the 2017 Biennial Mission Summit is "Connect!" The event begins with worship Friday night, June 30, 2017, but events occur beforehand so be sure to check the Detailed Schedule and the Schedule at a Glance for a full event listing. Individual registration is now closed, but on-site registration will be available for individuals. Click here for more information.

Follow the Biennial Mission Summit on Facebook and don't forget to use our hashtag - #ABConnect.
General Secretary Spitzer Featured in EthicsDaily.com Interview

Missions work. Millennials' spiritual hunger. Diversity of congregations.

These are some of the denomination's bright lights for Lee B. Spitzer, the new general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA.

Spitzer, former executive minister for American Baptist Churches in New Jersey, took office June 1. He spoke with EthicsDaily.com in a new online video interview about ABCUSA's initiatives and challenges.

Read the full story from EthicsDaily.com and watch the video, here.
Up to Camp: A Summer Reading Series (Part 2)

Over the summer months, Acting Associate General Secretary for Mission Resource Development Dr. Al Fletcher has invited leaders to share their recommended "Summer Reading Material" for an Up to Camp series. As you pack for camp this summer, grab one of these books to take along!

In Part 2, Frank Frischkorn, Regional Executive Pastor of the American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware, shares his recommendation. Read Part 1 of the series, here.

Watch the ABCUSA website and Enewsletter for upcoming Summer Reading Material in the Up to Camp series!
American Baptist Women's Ministries Announces Search for Executive Director

The search for a dynamic leader to serve as Executive Director of American Baptist Women's Ministries (ABWM) is now open. Located in Valley Forge, Pa., the Executive Director of ABWM will be responsible for providing and implementing a vision for the organization's ministries with women and girls.

Visit www.abwministries.org/apply to view position information and to apply. The deadline to submit an application is July 31, 2017.

Emilie Ballard and Newton Old Crow, Sr., Named Co-Recipients of Sparrowk President's Award

Emilie Ballard and Newton Old Crow, Sr., have been named the 2017 co-recipients of the Cora and  John Sparrowk President's Award. The award will be presented at the Biennial Mission Summit, June 30-July 2, 2017, on behalf of the Board of General Ministries. The recipient must be an American Baptist, who has over a period of years made an exceptional and outstanding contribution to the life of Christ's Church and who in life and service manifests richly the fruits and gifts of the Spirit. In 2015, David G. Gnirk was presented with the Sparrowk Award at the American Baptist Biennial Mission Summit in Overland Park, Kan.

Learn More.
Transformation Stories Invited from Local American Baptist Churches

View Transformation Stories shared in spring of 2017.

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. We hope that by viewing these stories, you will be encouraged to: experiment in transformative ministry in your local church; share your own ministry stories; and build interest by using social networking and interaction. We will celebrate "Transformation Stories" at the 2017 Biennial Mission Summit in Portland, Ore.
Join Us! Rhythms of the Spirit - August 14-18 in Exeter, R.I.
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: Hear the Call Weekend Retreat

Pl ease be in prayer for attendees of the Hear the Call weekend retreat, who will be taking part in a high intensity three-day experience hosted by International Ministries (IM) for anyone considering a call to global mission. In the past six years, dozens of people have participated and 11 so far have gone on to global mission service. The retreat will be held on August 18-20, 2017, at the Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, Wis. Learn more.

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

American Baptists serving as the hands and feet of Christ.