Virtual Vacation Bible School Opportunities!
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Mark your Calendars: Virtual Annual Gathering, September 26th, 9AM-12PM
The September 26th Annual Gathering will be fully virtual and all activities will be free. This year’s theme is “Trailblazing Through the Wilderness” Isaiah 43:18-21.
ABCCONN Remembers: Obituaries
ABCCONN is saddened to announce the loss of Jennifer Johnson and Lowell Hart Fewster. We cherish their legacies and impact on the organization and send sincere condolences to their loved ones. Memorial and burial information can be accessed below.
Jennifer Johnson (1945-2020)
Jennifer Jean Johnson, wife of Alvin David Johnson, Jr, and mother to Timothy (Johnette) and Amy, passed away peacefully holding the hand of her beloved husband of 51 years. She walked gracefully through a three year illness and went to be with her Lord on May 27, 2020.
Jennifer led a wonderful and blessed life full of love and service to others. She loved her family, her friends, her church community, and travelling. She especially enjoyed spending time with her four beautiful granddaughters: Caly, Aubri, Mckenna and Vivi.
Born in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, daughter of Jerrold and Ruby Chambers Anderson and sister to Jill, she grew up in Aurora, Colorado graduating from Aurora Central High School and University of Northern Colorado. She received a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Southern Connecticut State University. She taught elementary education for over 30 years in Baltimore County Maryland, Aurora Colorado and North Haven Connecticut. She was a devoted and well respected teacher that changed the lives of hundreds of students at Clintonville School, Center School and Ridge Road Elementary School.
As a life long American Baptist she was an active member of the First Baptist Church in New Haven and was very involved and committed to missions and civil immigration policies. She became family to many refugees resettling into the area. She will continue to be an inspiration to a large and diverse community including fellow church members, ABCCONN and the wider American Baptist Community, fellow teachers and students.
Jennifer was the dearest and best wife, mother, sister, grandmother, friend, teacher, and her sense of good cheer and her faithfulness live on in so many.
Gifts in her name may be contributed to First Baptist Church, New Haven designated for Refugee Resettlement. Contributions may be made by mail at 205 Edwards Street, New Haven, 06511 or online at firstbaptistnewhaven.org.
Please consider sharing memories, photos and videos online at http://memorial.yourtribute.com/JenniferJohnson or mail to 208 Mountain Road, Cheshire, CT 06410.
A Memorial Service will take place on September 12 at First Baptist Church in New Haven, Connecticut.
Lowell Hart Fewster (1939 - 2020)
Lowell Hart Fewster, 81, died on May 28, at his home at Seabury in Bloomfield, CT, surrounded by his family. Lowell was born April 18, 1939, in Rochester, NY, to J. Donald and Alma Fewster (Hart). His journey continued to Princeton, NJ; Yola, Nigeria; Hartford, CT; and Madison, WI, with return trips to some. A lifelong learner, Lowell earned his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, Bachelor of Divinity from Colgate Rochester Divinity School, and masters and doctorate degrees in Higher Education Administration from the University of Rochester. Passions throughout his life were his faith, peace and justice issues, and his hobby of photography. As an American Baptist Minister, Lowell pursued four distinct careers: pastor, campus minister, seminary administrator, and regional church leader. Lowell prepared for ministry in Rochester at Colgate Rochester Divinity School where he met his wife, Julie (Palmquist), a fellow divinity school student. In 1966, he was called as pastor of the Blue Hills Baptist Church in Hartford. In 1969, Lowell became a campus minister at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. While in Madison, Jonathan (1970) and Sarah (1973) were born. Lowell returned to Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1976 as assistant to the president and later vice president for administration. In 1991, Lowell was called as executive minister for the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut, based in Hartford, retiring in 2004. Lowell was in one of the first U.S. Peace Corps contingents in Nigeria, serving in the early 1960s. Upon graduation from Princeton and a year at Harvard Divinity School considering a career in ministry, Lowell was unsure what direction he should take. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy's inaugural address, he charted a new path in the Peace Corps, teaching secondary students for two years in Yola, Nigeria, helping to educate future leaders of a young nation. He was immensely proud that one of his students later founded American University of Nigeria. A talented photographer, Lowell started "making" pictures at age 6, on a second-hand 1917 box camera. He soon moved to other models and continued documenting his life and family trips. He built darkrooms in his Madison, WI, Rochester, NY, and Windsor, CT homes. In retirement, photography became a central focus, including travelling on international photographic expeditions to Guatemala, China, and Morocco, among other countries, and pursuing his interest in photographing disappearing barns in New England and across the country. Lowell organized multiple exhibits of his work, including photos of Connecticut River Valley barns, Cuba, Morocco, and Hartford's Colt Armory neighborhood. Lowell's photographs are featured in an award-winning book, "Preserving Old Barns" by John C. Porter and Francis E. Gilman. Lowell is survived by his wife of 54 years, Julie; his son, Jonathan and his wife Victoria Carter of Seattle, WA; his daughter Sarah White and her husband Robert of Queens, NY; his grandchildren Daniel and Annabelle, and two sisters Phyllis Rosser of Manhattan, NY, and Janet Bandur of Woodland Hills, CA. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to Foodshare (foodshare.org) or Fotokids (fotokids.org). In the coming weeks, First Church in Windsor (fcwucc.org) will host an online service celebrating Lowell's life.
Reopening Our Houses of Worship
Please click here to view the latest newsletter re Reopening Our Houses of Worship.
Conversation Guide to Reopening Your Church Building
American Baptist Churches, USA
Conversation Guide to Reopening Your Church Building
As local, state and governmental leaders begin to announce plans for reopening the country, it seems wise for pastors and church leaders to begin holding conversations and making preparations for reopening our places of worship. It is important to recognize that safety concerns will require our worship and ministry to be conducted differently as we return to a new reality. Gathering guidelines from officials may be implemented in stages and may be different from one county to the next. Advance preparation may be the key to keeping persons safe when we return to our activities. This guide is designed to help you ponder various points of consideration as your church implements new methods, policies and procedures. It specifically focuses on two core areas, the physical and the personal.
Click here to learn more.
ABCCONN COVID-19 Update
ABCCONN Covid-19 Update
This is an update to keep you apprised of what is happening in ABCCONN. After meeting with the Executive Committee on Sunday, March 15, 2020, it was decided that all office work should be done remotely. Therefore, all meetings and appointments will be done virtually via Zoom, phone, and email.
It was also decided to postpone the Annual Gathering to be held in April. We are looking at a date to be determined in the Fall of 2020. Please stay tuned for more details. I know that choosing to close or go to a virtual platform is a difficult decision. However, a webcast is the best decision for both you and your congregants. ABCCONN seeks to be a relevant and added value partner in these times. Therefore, please join me this Thursday at 1:00PM via Zoom. We will share, pray, and seek to encourage each other in the Lord. This gathering is for lay and clergy. Please join me.
Rev. Harry Riggs
Executive Minister of ABCCONN