HOW DO YOU READ THE GOSPELS?
¨ Some of us don’t read them at all— we just wait for the movie!
¨ Some of us read them for the holidays, Christmas and Easter—but don’t know what to do with the rest of the material in between!
¨ Others use them as evangelism tracts—useful to tell others about sinfulness, the perfection of Jesus, and how he died so that we might have eternal life!
¨ Perhaps you read them as interesting accounts of the historical figure, Jesus of Nazareth — telling us who Jesus was, some of what he taught and did during his short life!
¨ Still others read them as spiritual self-help guides — hoping the teachings of Jesus, when applied, might just hold the key to successful living and self-improvement!
What if the gospels were written primarily as instructional manuals for the early church? What if each gospel was written in an interesting story-telling form to teach the early church, not only who Jesus was and what he did, but also what the church is and what it is called to do? In other words…
What if the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, each set about to teach early Christians, what it means to be the church on mission with God? If that were the case, we also might learn what it means to be on mission with God in our own communities and beyond!
"Mission from the Gospels", a five part series, will be the foundation upon which we build our interaction for a Missional Learning Journey. You and your team will be challenged to read the Gospels again, (or perhaps for the first time); this time through a "missional lens."
October 24 - 25, 2014
American Baptist Churches of New York State
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The Lord is doing many wonderful things through our 293 local American Baptist churches in New York State. As a matter of fact, just last week I (Jim Rice) visited with a number of longtime friends who are active in ABC churches in the North Country Association, and they shared with me how God is blessing their respective ministries. They are grateful for the connection with our ABC/NYS Region and the many ways that the Region assists and encourages healthy, vibrant church vitality in the American Baptists of New York State.
As we are now midpoint in the calendar year we thought it would be useful for you to know where the Region stands financially as we enter the second half of the year.
Current Income $226,400 $204,654
Expense $230,138 $221,788
Net -3,738 -17,134
We have covered this $17,134 deficit by using our reserves, built up by distributions by the American Baptist Foundation over three years. We are grateful for the many ABC churches and individuals who have throughout the years generously supported the Region’s efforts to assist local ABC churches in leadership transition and training, conflict resolution, and many other means of encouraging local church vitality.
The bulk of the Region’s support comes from two sources: United Mission Basics and the Region Offering. If your church has not yet participated in this year’s Region Offering entitled; “. . . being rooted and established in love” or through United Mission Basics contributions or in some other way, we would like to encourage you to help us eliminate this shortfall so that these vital ministries are not impacted. You can find more information about the Region Offering at http://www.abc-nys.org/programs/region-offering.
Thank you for your support. See you at this year’s Biennial October 3-4, 2014 in Utica, NY!!
God bless you richly,
James Rice James
Harriff James Kelsey
“As American Baptists of New York State, we will embrace God’s future with these core operational values: honesty, connectedness and hope. We will uphold our operational values
What's the Retreat About?
This retreat is the first in a series of four wekeend seminars planned by the Initiative for Personal Theological Reflection, a new subcommittee of the Committee on Ministry of ABC/NYS. Our purpose is simple: to help clergy and laypeople alike use theology to better understand God's Word and its application in our current world of chaos and brokenness.
Who's the Leader?
The primary Retreat leader is Dr. Douglas Cullum. Dr. Cullum is Vice President and Dean of Northeastern Seminary located in Rochester, NY. He also serves there as Professor of Historical and Pastoral Theology. His teaching emphasizes the seamless relationship between the academic & practical aspects of Christian theology
American Baptist Churches of New York State has heard from many of our pastors and congregations that they haven't been receiving the now-a-year-old "What is God doing among us?" publication. This biweekly publication features our Association, churches and Region in the amazing mission & ministry that is happening around our state!
Luckily the past publications can be found on our Region's blog. You can reach it by clicking on "Region Blog" to your left or clicking this link. To sign up for these blog updates to be sent to your email, please use the link below:
The Region blog also features our "Region Notes' - if you'd like to just look at "What is God doing among us?" - at the bottom of a each blog is a label or link. Click on the "What is God doing among us?" link and it will feature all of the blog posts under that label.
Dear ministry partners,
A pastor announced that he was leaving. The church had depended upon his leadership for years, and now they wondered what would happen to them. The congregation realized they needed help. Associate Executive Minister Jerrod Hugenot came alongside this congregation and assured them that they were not alone. He shared that he and the Regional Enhancement Team would walk with them through this transition. Your gift to the Region Offering placed Jerrod there.
A group of New York Baptists traveled to Haiti and were challenged to do things they had never done before. They saw God working in new ways and discovered new gifts within themselves. Christy Siau, Regional Bookkeeper, provided logistical and organizational support to this team. Your gift to the Region Offering enabled Christy to do this.
A new pastor sought to complete her call to ministry by going through the ordination process of the Region. Her church, the Association, and the Region were able to affirm her call and giftedness for ministry through this process. Mary Schwarz, Administrative Assistant, provided support to the candidate and the various committees that worked with her along the way. Your gift to the Region Offering enabled Mary to do this.
I looked into the face of the pastor and wondered what to say. He wondered if it had all been a big misunderstanding. Maybe he was not called to ministry or to this particular church; maybe he had failed and lost his calling. He couldn’t decide whether he should give up on himself or his congregation. I was able to point him to a broader vision and facilitate a conversation between him and his congregation. Mostly I could listen to him and help him to find a way forward. Your contributions to the Region Offering placed me there that day.
These are just four examples of how your gifts to the Region Offering are adding value to the lives of our congregations, supporting their ministers, and multiplying their ministries. I encourage you to commit yourself to join other New York American Baptists who fund ministry within our Region.
Blessings on you and your partnership in the Gospel,
American Baptists of ABC-NYS have responded generously to the need in the Philippines following typhoon Haiyan. Our congregations have contributed $5811.25 through the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering as of the end of November. The churches of the Fransego Association have already contributed $7,695.00 through OGHS and other avenues.
If you or your congregation would like to send additional relief through OGHS, you can do that by going to http://www.abc-usa.org/2013/11/12/american-baptists-urged-to-hold-filipinos-in-prayer-on-asian-american-baptist-sunday/. If you do not wish to donate online, you can send a gift through the regular American Baptist Mission Support of your local congregation. Please clearly indicate to your church treasurer that the gift is for: “OGHS-Philippine Typhoon relief.” Or you can send a gift directly to:
Please indicate on your check memo line: “OGHS Philippine Typhoon relief.” One hundred percent of money given through OGHS goes directly to relief of human need in the Philippines.
Our American Baptist missionaries in the Philippines, Debbie Mulneix and Jonathon and Thelma Nambu, have already begun working with those affected by the typhoon and coordinating relief efforts.
Our own Rev. Randy Palada (pastor of the First Baptist Church of Oneonta) is also organizing relief efforts. You can contact Randy at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to assist him.
American Baptist Churches of New York State will be hosting a Leadership Conference on February 28 - March 1, 2014 at the Good News Center in Utica, NY.
For more information, head to the conference webpage.
On Sunday, November 24, 2013, American Baptist Churches of New York State calls upon our congregations to set aside time in the morning worship service to celebrate the calling of Rev. Jerrod Hugenot, our new Associate Executive Minister. Earlier this summer, Rev. Hugenot (HUGH-gah-no) began his service after a time in local church ministry in Kansas and Vermont. Rev. Hugenot oversees the Regional Enhancement Team, providing support across our sixteen associations for pastoral placement assistance and provides opportunities for churches to engage in strategic planning and navigate times of uncertainty or transition. He works from his home in Albany, NY, providing our Region with additional staff presence to churches east of Syracuse.
Sunday morning, Rev. Dennis Christiansen, Second Vice President of the ABC/NYS Board of Mission, will lead in an installation service at the First Baptist Church of Trumansburg, NY. Prayers of thanksgiving and dedication will be offered for Rev. Hugenot’s new ministry calling. The congregation at First Baptist Trumansburg does this on behalf of her 289 sister churches in the Region.
We are asking churches throughout the Region to join in this service of installation in worship on the 24th by offering the following prayer.
O God, for the work of Christ and the churches, for the work of leading and being led, for the work of uplifting and leaning into the gospel’s call upon our lives, we give thanks for your call upon Jerrod Hugenot’s life to serve in ministry among us. Grant him humility and gentleness, bless his efforts to draw us closer one to another and empower him for this new call. May he rejoice in times of growth and blessing. Give him patience in times of challenge. May he sense your abiding enabling presence as he ministers throughout our State. As he plants and waters, may You Lord, the provider of all good things, add the growth. And to You we will give the glory. AMEN.