Mission and Service … Fall 2015
by M. Joanne Strauss
God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “Thank you”?
As the holiday season approaches let us remember all the Lord has given us and done for us. It’s so easy to get caught up in the commercialism that surrounds us during the holidays. After Thanksgiving we have Black Friday sales, followed by Small Business Saturday. And now we even have Cyber Monday. Many stores are even open on Thanksgiving. This year won’t you participate in Giving Tuesday with many opportunities available from American Baptist Churches USA? This is an opportunity to GIVE BACK .
GivingTuesday is December 1, 2015 (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.)
Opportunities to give back:
ABWM: Give a contribution on GivingTuesday. American Baptist Women’s Ministries invites you to be a part of the movement and give to the Women’s and Girls Mission Fund. This fund empowers women and girls in the United States and around the world. Thanks to the generous support the Women and Girls Mission Fund has:
- Provided funds to the women’s department of the Baptist Convention of Haiti for micro-loans to women to begin small businesses and to provide transportation for local church women in Haiti to attend a leadership training event in Haiti.
- Provided $1,000 grants to region/state AB Women’s Ministries to use to develop leaders for their region ministries with women and girls.
- Provided funding for the AB GIRLS ministry: providing resources, events, leadership development, and programmatic support to AB GIRLS groups and their leaders.
Go to AB Women’s Ministries to give.
ABC International Ministries: Donate to missionaries or donate to some of the many mission projects. Last year there was a matching donor contribution for all monies given to our missionaries.
ABC Home Missions: Donate to one of the many Christian Neighborhood Centers, Camping programs (here in NY we have Camp Vick and Pathfinder Lodge) or special projects.
Our 2015-2016 ABWM mission focus is “See…The Beloved Community: Transformative Relationships.” We will explore how we are drawn into reconciliation with God through the cross; how we, together, are co-creators of the Beloved Community through authentic relationships with one another; and how our ministries and congregations can lead our neighborhoods, towns, and cities in becoming the Beloved Community.
Related to this theme is our NYS ABWM 2015-16 Special Project, funding the second year of a three year national initiative. Working with Rev. Dr. Trinette McCray our national leaders want to enrich our women’s groups, to reach out, engage and communicate with all women, to be more inclusive of all women-regardless of their economic status, social status, race, age, culture, language, ethnicity and national origin. Our goal is $14,000.
Chris Marziale, our ABWM liason with International Ministries, sent me an updated address list for the special interest missionaries assigned to NYS. Please contact me directly for these addresses.
Marilyn Raatz is a newly commissioned missionary recently assigned to NYS and will be a participant at our ABWM State Convention in April. She will be promoting Peace and Justice with our partners on the continent of Africa as soon as she is fully funded. I had the pleasure of meeting Marilyn Raatz and Jeni Pedzinski and reconnecting with Terri Meyers, Ruth Mooney, the Chettis and the Clemmers at the ABC Biennial last June.
One of our theme scriptures for ABWM is the story of the Good Samaritan….who is my neighbor? “ Your neighbor is often the person in your path. How can you drop your own agenda and love the person in your path today?” (From Red Letter Christians, a daily blog)
As always, I am happy to come and speak to your ABWM group or Missions group. Contact me by email.