October 2017

A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about ABCUSA

ABCUSA Announces 2017 Awards for Matthew 25 Grant

Thirty-eight Matthew 25 Grants ranging from $500 to $2,100 were awarded in October to applicants who demonstrated a wide variety of service to people in need across the United States and Puerto Rico.

The Matthew 25 Grant, sponsored by the American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) Office of the General Secretary 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." Applications are accepted once annually, and are due on September 1 of each year. The Matthew 25 Grant initiative began in 2013.

Detailed stories about the outcomes of Matthew 25 Grant awards can be found here.

One Great Hour of Sharing: Prayer, Giving Invited

Following the devastation caused by recent Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, along with recent fires in California and other natural disasters, American Baptists are encouraged to pray for those affected and are invited to support One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS), an offering of American Baptist churches that "makes the love of Christ real for individuals and communities around the world who suffer the effects of disaster, conflict, poverty or severe economic hardship, and for those who find themselves refugees or displaced within their home country."
In response to the devastating one-two punch leveled at Puerto Rico first by Hurricane Irma and most recently by Hurricane Maria, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS), in partnership with American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA), will launch a multi-year initiative, " Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico." Learn more about this initiative here.

Donations designated to "One Great Hour of Sharing" can be made through your church; by visiting  www.abc-usa.org and clicking "Give Online" at the top right of the page (In the "Comments" section, include the designation "One Great Hour of Sharing"). Or, mail to the attention of Kim Wilkins at American Baptist Home Mission Societies, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA, 19482-0851. One hundred percent of donations go to relief efforts; no dollars are retained for administrative costs.
New Regional Executive Ministers Called

Regional Executive Ministers have been called for two American Baptist Churches regions, the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut and the Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches. Please be in prayer for these leaders as they transition into new roles. Click the links below to learn more about each calling.

Rev. Dr. Harry Riggs II Called as Executive Minister of ABCCONN

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.
United Mission is the Vehicle: Learn More

United Mission empowers ministries across American Baptist Churches USA regions.

Visit www.UMistheVehicle.org and click on "The Stories" at the top left side of the page to review stories and learn different ways that United Mission connects directly to YOU!

Did you know? United Mission also powers this Enewsletter!
ABHMS to Debut 'Discipleship Matters' Bulletin Inserts in January 2018

In response to requests for bulletin inserts aligned with American Baptist values, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) will debut in January 2018 its new "Discipleship Matters" fee-free monthly inserts for inclusion in church bulletins. Based on a theme-such as nature's seasons or highlights from the church calendar-each insert features brief, easily digestible articles, related scripture and other famous quotables, all presented in an interculturally sensitive manner. Topics include stewardship, meaningful rituals, the development of conscience, Christian family as Christian community, child-friendly faith formation, the inclusion of children and teens in church life, and the introduction of spiritual disciplines to children. 

Ecumenical Stewardship Center Resources Available: Live Generously
Live Generously, based on 2 Corinthians 8:9, is the theme for just-released stewardship resources published by the Ecumenical Stewardship Center. Together, the resources provide a creative, comprehensive, and thought-provoking approach to encourage faithful stewardship that leads to generous giving.

Transformation Story: A Homeless Ministry at Calvary Baptist Church in Newark, Del.
In Spring of 2017, we invited American Baptists from across the country to share their Transformation Stories as a part of the Transformed by the Spirit initiative. The story below was submitted by Calvary Baptist Church in Newark, Del., celebrating the church ministry in the local community.

Calvary Baptist Church in Newark, Del., has experienced congregational transformation through opening their church to the needs of the community, particularly to the homeless and to people needing help during storms. Shelter in the church has been opened and meals have been served. The community has come to respect and value the church and a new season of hope and life has come to Calvary. This story shares their process of response. Calvary has also begun a "Free Picnic" for the homeless as well as the meals served.

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

American Baptists serving as the hands and feet of Christ.