November 2021



A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about ABCUSA

Join Us for Everyday ABC Conversations:

Soul Care @ Christmas

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Tuesday, November 30, at 3:00pm ET – Zoom Platform

How is your soul as we enter this season of Advent and the celebrations associated with all of the expectations that the Christmas holidays bring?

Are you joyful, full of expectation, or are you weighted down with disappointment, grief and loss incurred during the pandemic? Are you numb, emotionally spent from living from one world and/or situational crisis to another?

We invite you to join in an inactive time of soul care on Tuesday, November 30 from 3:00-4:00pm (ET). It will be a time to re-discover the promise of the joys and expectations inherent in the good news of the Christ that tabernacles with us.

Rev. Judy Fackenthal and Rev. Betty Wright-Riggins, both spiritual directors and part of the ABCUSA Spiritual Direction Team, will walk with us as we explore the shimmering gifts of Advent and the promises therein.

No fee to participate, but online registration is required.

Register Now

Rev. Betty Wright-Riggins is an ordained American Baptist Minister and Certified Spiritual Director. She has served the denomination as Pastor, consultant, executive leader and is a part of the spiritual direction team for the American Baptist Spiritual Director’s Network. She is the Principal of TrustOne, a consultancy ministry for spiritual direction, spiritual formation, seminars and retreat coordination.


Rev. Judy Fackenthal served as President of American Baptist Churches USA for the 2016-2017 biennium. A native of Indianapolis who retires this month from service as Pastor of Garfield Park Baptist Church, she has sought to live out her understanding of God’s grace and love through many ministry related roles. She is a certified Spiritual Director and plans to continue this ministry into her retirement, walking alongside others in their faith journey.

More about Everyday ABC Conversations:

Due to the popularity of the recent Mission Summit Conversations in which over 650 American Baptists simultaneously participated in dialogue during the 2021 Biennial Mission Summit, the American Baptist Churches USA has launched a series of dialogues, entitled, “Everyday ABC Conversations.” The first conversation was held on October 13. View a recording or learn more here.


Board of General Ministries Advances Intentional Interim Plan, Elects Woods as General Secretary for 2022-2023 Term


The Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA, during its November 5-7 meetings in King of Prussia, Pa., reviewed and adopted two documents to further the progress made on the Interim Proposal timeline, which will continue to guide the work of ABCUSA over the next two years. The Board also unanimously voted to elect Dr. C. Jeff Woods to serve in the role of General Secretary of American Baptist Churches USA from January 1, 2022–December 31, 2023.

Read more.

Board of General Ministries Meets in King of Prussia, Pa., Woods Reflects on Journey of Board


The American Baptist Churches USA Board of General Ministries met November 5-7, 2021. The meeting was the first in-person meeting held since President Karen Podsiadly began her term as president of American Baptist Churches USA on January 1, 2020, prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was incredibly satisfying to gather for the first time in person with the Board of General Ministries and continue our deliberations with the express purpose of ensuring the vitality of the entire family,” said Podsiadly. “I am excited for the continued progress and hope that members of the Board of General Ministries and the greater family continue to engage in ways that allow us, as individuals, congregations and denomination, to minister to a world that needs the love of Christ more than ever. I am especially thankful for the election of Dr. Woods as we continue in this intentional interim process and prepare to launch the search for a General Secretary for the 24-27 term.”

Read the full news release here.

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You're Invited to

"Stewardship of Space: Thinking Beyond the Sanctuary"

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at 1:00pm ET

In a time when the world around churches is changing quickly, how can congregations continue to engage in creative practices of hospitality and generosity when it comes to the use of their buildings and physical space? Rev. Stacy Emerson and Rev. Julie Flowers will explore ways church families can think outside the sanctuary and think outside of Sunday morning when it comes to use of and sharing of their buildings and creating intentional communities within them. The webinar will explore the history and learning behind some of the ways their churches have sought to lean into this creative and generous use of physical space, both as a unique form of fundraising and as a ministry of networking. Whether your church building is large or small; historic or contemporary, there are ways to view the space itself as an invitation to hospitality and community.

This webinar is a part of The Generosity Project, an Office of the General Secretary initiative which examines the challenge of stewardship in the 21st century and looks at learning how to re-frame the conversation around stewardship.

Webinar Presenters: Rev. Stacy Emerson and Rev. Julie Flowers

Learn more about the presenters here.

Register Now

ABCUSA Anti-Racism Task Force Holds Virtual Symposium

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The ABCUSA Anti-Racism Task Force held “The Prophetic Rhythm of Anti-Racism,” a virtual symposium, on Saturday, October 30, 2021. Over 100 participants joined the symposium as participants heard from a keynote speaker, participated in discussion groups, and engaged with a panel of American Baptist leaders who presented from their papers on the topics of “Anti-Racism” and “Reparations.”

“In this space, let us remember, even in our expressions, let us remember to hold ourselves in the highest regard. We are all free to tell our own stories,” said Dr. Natalie Wimberly, co-chair of the ABCUSA Anti-Racism Task Force and facilitator of the symposium.

In the second session of the symposium, a panel of five presenters shared papers and answered questions from participants. In addition to their papers, the panel shared their thoughts on the question, “Where do we go from here?”

Read more about the event and responses of the panelists here.

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Hopevale Commemoration Sunday is December 19, 2021

The American Baptist Churches USA Board of General Ministries joined with the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches (CPBC) in 2019 to approve a resolution to designate the Sunday nearest to December 20 as Hopevale Commemoration Sunday. This day serves as a time to remember the Hopevale martyrdom in the Philippines in which missionaries of the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society (now International Ministries), on December 20, died heroically for their faith. In 2021, Hopevale Commemoration Sunday is December 19.

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.

We invite you to view resources and learn more about the Hopevale martyrdom here.


Elder Fraud: What I Learned from Helping my Parents Recover from Financial Fraud

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MMBB takes a look at this fast growing crime being committed against our senior population. It details steps we can all take to defend ourselves against a crime that can result is considerable financial losses.

Read the article here.

New Emerging Leaders' Cohort Application Now Open

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Applications for International Ministries’ newest initiative entitled Emerging Leaders is now open to any youth and young adults wanting to be part of the cohorts. The application process will stay open from November 1st through Nov. 30th

These cohorts are for youth and young adults ranging from 16-29 years old and who are US citizens or legal residents. The cohorts will be divided into 2 main age groups 16-20 and 21-29, with no more than 8 individuals per cohort. These cohorts provide an opportunity for young adults to have a unique experience with brothers and sisters in Christ.

Learn more or apply now.

Webinar: A Guide to MMBB Benefits Administration


Join MMBB on Thursday, November 18 at 2:00pm ET on Zoom. This webinar provides useful information on how to administer the MMBB Plans and help your staff become familiar with all that our plans offer.

Register Now



American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin Calls Welton-Mitchell as New Executive Minister

On November 6, 2021 the Board of Managers of the American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin enthusiastically approved the Reverend Mindi Welton-Mitchell as their new Executive Minister.

Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell comes to Wisconsin from Seattle, Washington where she has served as Pastor of Queen Anne Baptist Church since June of 2017. As part of a church restart there, she created and implemented a visioning process for the unique nature of the congregation and changing neighborhood.

Dr. C. Jeff Woods, Interim General Secretary of American Baptist Churches USA said, “Rev. Welton-Mitchell is a person with great energy and broad experience. Her understanding of pastoral ministry and her regional board involvement provide a great platform. She has brought new ideas and innovative practices to every environment. I believe that God has great things in store for ABC of Wisconsin with this call.”

Learn more.

Recent Highlights from the ABCUSA Website

Board of General Ministries Meets in King of Prussia, Pa., Woods Reflects on Journey of Board

Miguel De La Torre Reframes Theology Through the Eyes of People of Color During ABHMS’ Intercultural Leadership Institute

Board of General Ministries Advances Intentional Interim Plan, Elects Woods as General Secretary for 2022-2023 Term

Rev. Charles Mercer Dies; Was Co-Recipient of 2019 Sparrowk President’s Award

ABCUSA Anti-Racism Task Force Holds Virtual Symposium

New Book Explores Consensus as Decision-Making Model

Latest ABHMS Justice Dialogues Focuses on Faith Leaders Participating in Communities

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ABC-affiliated organizations who would like to submit upcoming news for a denomination-wide audience to this mid-month enewsletter may send submissions by the 10th of the month to