ABCUSA General Secretary Addresses Recent Attacks
Dear American Baptists,
Now is not the time to turn our backs on our Muslim neighbors. Certainly the terroristic act in San Bernardino, in the wake of the attacks elsewhere, has raised uncertainty and fear. But to generalize those acts to every Muslim is dead wrong. Sometimes it is easier to gain perspective by considering another set of circumstances. We know that right before San Bernardino there was a shooting incident at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs which resulted in the deaths of three and the wounding of another nine. The man arrested for this attack was motivated by his strong beliefs against abortion. Yet, who among us would generalize his acts to every person who holds views against abortion and suggest that every such person be put on a watch list, be forbidden to enter this country or relinquish any of their rights afforded by our constitution? Yet there are those who in effect wish to do this very thing to anyone of the Muslim faith.
Joining God in the Neighborhood
Joining God in the Neighborhood is a new initiative created by Transformed by the Spirit of ABCUSA. Joining God in the Neighborhood is a process for churches to discern the activity of God already present in our neighborhoods and communities. The process begins with scriptural study work called “Dwelling in the Word.” From there individuals walk the neighborhood to better understand the life going on outside the doors of the church. A question that is raised in this neighborhood exploration is, “Where is God already at work and what are the ways we can partner with others to strengthen ministry endeavors?” All of this is done with the assistance of an outside coach.Here you will find a brief introduction to the process. If you would like to know more about Joining God in the Neighborhood and would like to discuss this possibility for your church, please contact Rev. Dr. Judy Allbee at the ABCCONN office.
Flooding in Myanmar - Baptists Respond
Massive floods and strong winds in Myanmar (formerly Burma) have impacted more than 259,000 people across 12 of Myanmar's 14 states, according to an August 5th report of the United Nations office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. In recent days, the death toll has climbed to 69. The massive flooding occurred in the aftermath of Cyclone Komen which made landfall on July 30th. According to the UN report, priority needs include food, water and sanitation, access to health care and shelter.
Syrian Refugee CrisisAmerican Baptists Provide Aid to Syrian Refugees
Since 2011, Syria has been ravaged by a bitter civil war, and over 10 million Syrians have fled their homes to escape the violence. As the crisis has deepened over the last four years, International Ministries (IM) has responded in several ways. Using American Baptist gifts to the annual One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering, American Baptist International Ministries (IM) provided $40,000 to assist partners serving refugees in Lebanon in 2012 and another $50,000 to serve displaced persons within Syria in 2013. Global personnel are working shoulder-to-shoulder with partners in Bulgaria and at the Hungarian-Serbian border.
Hurricane Relief Funds Provided
Initial grants totaling $25,000 in One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) emergency relief funds are on their way to American Baptist International Ministries (IM) partners in Haiti, Cuba and the Caribbean after Hurricane Matthew barreled through on October 3rd and 4th, 2016. The Category 4 storm brought heavy winds and torrential downpours on the island nations in its path.
Joining God in the Neighborhood
Several years ago the American Baptist Churches, USA invited member regions and churches to engage in activities of transformation through an initiative called Transformed by the Spirit. This initiative recognizes the rapidly changing culture all around us and seeks to address the manner in which our churches can move forward in this century with grace and excitement. It is a process that seeks to help us recognize God’s presence in the midst of a rapidly changing world.