May 2022



A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about ABCUSA

American Baptist Leaders Respond to Recent Violence, Shootings


This week, American Baptist leaders have responded to the recent shootings in California, New York and Wisconsin.

American Baptist Churches USA General Secretary Dr. C. Jeff Woods released a statement saying, "The recent shootings in Orange County, California at the Geneva Presbyterian Church, in Buffalo, New York, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin remind us of the deep and destructive hate that exists in so many people today. These shootings are a reminder that we are losing too many human lives to gun violence. We pray for the families and friends of the victims and for all those affected by these shootings. We also pray for discernment and fortitude to be about gospel work that opens our own eyes and hearts to the deep rooted causes of violence and transforms our learned ways of interpreting and responding to acts of hate and violence." Read the full statement here.

The American Baptist Churches of New York State sent a letter of prayer and support to its churches and community on Monday morning following Saturday shooting in Buffalo, New York. Read the statement here.

On behalf of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Haggray released a statement noting that "[ABHMS] expresses heartfelt condolences to the victims and family members of those slain during [the] brazen act of racially motivated violence on May 14, 2022, in Buffalo, New York. We stand in solidarity with the people of Buffalo, while praying for comfort on the part of all those stricken by grief due to this massacre." Read the full statement here.

A Future with Hope: Resilient Responses

in COVID-era Ministry

Join us on May 24, 9:30am-3:30pm EDT, for this hybrid event cosponsored by the ABHMS Center for Continuous Learning, Philadelphia Baptist Association, and ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary.

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Register Now

Join us for an Everyday ABC Conversation:

Homelessness and the Housing Crisis

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Join us for an Everyday ABC Conversation: Homelessness and the

Housing Crisis, on Monday, June 6, 2022 at 2:00pm EDT

with presenters Jill Scalise and Josh Sabo.

Stories about the housing crisis in the USA are regularly in the news. Since the pandemic, home prices and housing costs have skyrocketed in many communities. Do you know folks trying to find an apartment they can afford? Have you juggled bills so that you can pay the rent, keep the electricity on, and buy groceries? Perhaps you know the pain of homelessness. Do you wonder how the church can be God’s hands and feet in our communities? This Everyday Conversation will explore homelessness, the current housing crisis, and our Christian response.


  • What is your experience with homelessness?
  • What approaches to addressing homelessness do you see in your community? How are they working?
  • Do you know anyone struggling to find housing right now or who is housing cost-burdened? (Housing cost-burdened=paying over 30% of income on housing costs)
  • How can you and your church address housing needs in your community?

Learn more at:

Register Now

General Secretary Search Committee Update


The General Secretary Search Committee began its work on January 27, 2022, with an in-person meeting held in Tampa, Florida. At that initial meeting the committee determined to use the consensus model of decision-making for all subsequent deliberations and decisions. An outside consultant was subsequently hired to facilitate this process.

Since the first meeting in January the committee has conducted three meetings via Zoom. Central in these meetings has been a focus on the results of the survey that was distributed through the ABCUSA website concerning the role and expectation of the General Secretary. The committee is very grateful to everyone who participated in the survey process. The comments and concerns raised by the survey will be instrumental in constructing a job description and expectations for the next General Secretary.

The search committee is grateful for your prayers and patience as we discern God’s will in selecting our next General Secretary.

Learn more about the work of the Search Committee here.

Rev. Soozi Whitten Ford Role Begins as

Interim Associate General Secretary

for Regional Ministries


American Baptist Churches USA this week welcomes the Rev. Soozi Whitten Ford to its staff. Ford joins the ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary as part-time interim associate general secretary for Regional Ministries. She will serve in the position through December 2023. She retired in 2021 from the American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky, where she served as executive minister for more than nine years.

Dr. C. Jeff Woods, General Secretary of American Baptist Churches USA, said, “I am delighted that Dr. Ford has agreed to fulfill this interim assignment. Her knowledge of regional ministry, her character and competencies, and her deep love for the American Baptist family will be a tremendous asset to our regions, our staff, and our denomination.”

Learn more.

May is time for...One Great Hour of Sharing


One Great Hour of Sharing (“OGHS”) is one of four annual offerings received by American Baptist churches. OGHS 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.

Learn more.

Student Loan Forgiveness for Ministry Leaders

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On March 17, the ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary and American Baptist Home Mission Societies sponsored a webinar about American Public Service Loan Forgiveness, which is now available for student loan borrowers employed in nonprofit and government settings, including clergy!

For a limited time, restrictive requirements regarding loan type and repayment plan have been waived. Watch the recorded session presented by Heather Jarvis, attorney and student loan expert, to learn about the changing regulations governing PSLF and Income-Driven Repayment.

View the webinar here.

Prayer Invited for American Baptist Leaders


Please keep in prayer American Baptist national and regional leaders who have been meeting this week for the National Leadership Council (NLC) at Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, Wis.

The National Leadership Council is a staff council of the denomination that meets once a year. Its purposes include:

  (A) Building and fostering authentic relationships within the NLC

  (B) Participating in continuing education related to respective executive roles

  (C) Facilitating implementation of Denominational priorities

  (D) Demonstrating progress on those priorities in their respective boards

  (E) Conducting trend analysis

  (F) Suggesting means of improving the functioning of the Denomination

  (G) Participating in theological reflection



Financial Conference


The MMBB RE:THINK RE:INVEST Financial Conference will take place November 13-15, 2022 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown. This will be a hybrid conference for clergy and church lay leaders from across the Northeast and neighboring regions.


Click here to learn more.

MMBB Gets Social

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We're excited to announce that #MMBB is now on Facebook and Instagram! Follow us across social media to discover regular insights from friendly experts who understand the unique priorities and financial planning needs of clergy, church staff and faith-based organizations. We look forward to connecting with you and sharing resources that enhance your financial wellness. #PartnersinFinance #PartnersinFaith




Recent Highlights from the ABCUSA Website

Join us for our Next Everyday ABC Conversation: Homelessness and the Housing Crisis

“Radical. Redeemed. Ready.” Conference Registration Deadline is Friday, May 13

General Secretary Search Committee Update

Second Cohort of ABHMS Chaplaincy Certificate Program Celebrates Graduation

Engaged in Ministry Together at Panther Lake Community Church

A Future with Hope: Resilient Responses in COVID-era Ministry

Visit the websites below

for happenings around the American Baptist denomination.

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