July 2016
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about ABCUSA
One Year Remains Until 2017 Biennial Mission Summit!
Join us at the Biennial Mission Summit, June 30 - July 2, 2017, in Portland, Oregon! Experience a gathering of American Baptists like no other as our diverse family joins together for faith-stretching worship, Mission Summit Conversations, preaching and fellowship. Learn how American Baptists have been transformed by the Spirit as we listen to the Spirit's direction in our lives and communities, and learn more about our seven denominational priorities and how you and your church can get involved!

And, look for other American Baptist family events occurring all week long leading up to the Biennial Mission Summit!
American Baptist Churches USA Issues Urgent Call to Prayer
Susan Gillies, interim general secretary, American Baptist Churches USA, invites all
American Baptists to join in special prayer for these troubled times throughout the remainder of this summer.
Please pray upon rising and retiring each day, seeking God's grace for healing and wholeness throughout this country and the world. Pray for healthy alternatives to violence. Pray for those who don't know what to do with their anger and frustration. Pray for those who have signed on to protect and serve. Pray for insight into what you can do to help bring hope and healing.
Click here to read the full press release.

My Baptist Life: Rev. Jabulani McCalister

American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) is introducing a new profile-style feature  entitled "My Baptist Life."  In presenting "My Baptist Life" ABCUSA recognizes the important place story-telling has in a tradition that values the contributions American Baptists in various walks of life have made both within our denomination and also to so many other people and causes around the world.

Rev. Jabulani McCalister is the Senior Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Providence, R.I. He oversees the spiritual well-being and growth of a 300-member congregation.
There is Still Time to Register for the Webinar: Using Technology To Transform Ministry
Join us for a webinar on August 03, 2016 at 2:00 PM EDT.

You're invited to attend a presentation and discussion on how American Baptists can use today's most popular technologies to spread Christ's loving message. This presentation is ideal for anyone interested in discipleship, social justice, and preparing today's youth to be tomorrow's faith leaders. The Webinar will also address cost effective, easy to use tools to spread the message of Christ.

Click Here to Register Now

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

This learning opportunity is sponsored by United Mission. United Mission is the Vehicle! Please visit the UMIsTheVehicle.org website for free resources and more information.

Register Now: ABHMS Presents Human Resources Webinar About New Department of Labor 'Wage and Hour Division' Rule
American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) will present a complimentary webinar-"Implications of the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) New Wage and Hour Rule"-on Aug. 4, 2016, at 2 p.m.
Specifically designed for American Baptist mission partners, the webinar focuses on a new DOL rule, which takes effect Dec. 1, 2016, that increases the salary threshold for exempt employees to $47,476 per year ($913 per week). The rule- issued in May 2016-significantly increases the number of workers eligible for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Learn more and see registration information here.

A Summer Video Message from Dr. Susan Gillies, ABC Interim General Secretary
This message was recorded by Susan Gillies, Interim General Secretary for American Baptist Churches USA. Gillies began serving as Interim on January 1, 2016, and will serve in the position until a new General Secretary is named.


Click here to watch the greeting.

ABCUSA Regional Executive Part of Interreligious Call for Criminal Justice Reform in Washington, D.C.
I am pleased and proud that American Baptists are very much part of a movement advocating for criminal justice reform," said Rev. Dr. James M. Harrison, executive minister of the American Baptist Churches of the South Region headquartered in Baltimore, Md.
Harrison was among a wide range of interreligious faith leaders who gathered in Washington, D.C., last month "to urge and influence senators to sign on becoming co-sponsors of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 (S.2123)," Harrison said. "Additionally, and probably most crucial, we sought to urge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring this bill to the floor for a vote."

Read more about the event here.

ABCUSA Matthew 25 Grant Updates
Two new stories about Matthew 25 Grant recipients were recently featured on the ABCUSA website:
$500 Matthew 25 Grant Enables Youngstown Church to Furnish Items to Homeless Neighbors
Thanks to a $500 Matthew 25 grant from American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) a small Youngstown, Ohio, congregation was able to recently distribute food, clothing, hygiene kits and other items to people homeless or in need "living under the bridge" in their community. Read the entire story here.

$1,000 Matthew 25 Grant Gets Garden-Fresh Vegetables to Tables of the Needy in Illinois
A $1,000 Matthew 25 Grant from the American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) to The South Church in Mount Prospect, Ill., played a significant role in getting fresh vegetables onto the tables of people in need last year. Learn more about the South Church Garden.

For more information about the Matthew 25 Grant, click here.

World Mission Conference 2016: The Rev. Sharon T. Koh, Installed as Executive Director-Elect of International Ministries:
In a historic celebration before a gathering of hundreds of mission supporters, the Rev. Sharon T. Koh of Los Angeles, Calif., was installed as executive director-elect of American Baptist International Ministries (IM). She began her service as executive director-elect on July 1, 2016, and will assume the role of executive director on September 1, 2016, following the retirement of the Rev. Dr. Reid S. Trulson on August 31.
More details available here .
ABC General Secretary Search Committee Named
The search for the next General Secretary of ABCUSA begins in August 2016.  According to the ABCUSA By-laws the Nominating Committee of ABCUSA plus one additional person named by the partner boards (ABHMS, IM and MMBB) make up the General Secretary Search Committee.

The list of Search Committee Members can be found here.
More Recent Highlights from the ABCUSA Website