Midweek Message

LABC Update – Wednesday November 16, 2022

Jim Hopkins

November 15, 2022




Happy . Below is the most recent American Baptist Churches USA newsletter. While there are many worthy announcements and invitations, please pay particular attention to  the announcement about the June 2024 Biennial Mission Summit in Puerto Rico. 

Pastor Jim

LABC Zoom Meetings – Wednesday Prayer and Bible Study meets at 10;30 am

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A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about ABCUSA

Join us for our next

Everyday ABC Conversation:

Advent in a Post-Pandemic World: Rethinking our Worship

 Tuesday, November 29, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. ET

with presenters Rev. Dr. Marvin McMickle and Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell.

Advent is the season of watching and waiting for signs of Christ’s presence in our world and in our lives in a new way. In the northern hemisphere, this happens at the darkest time of the year, and it is in the darkness that we see things differently. Darkness is not negative; darkness allows us to see in new ways as we prepare for the return of daylight. In this “pre-post-pandemic” world, what is the darkness revealing to us? What did we learn over the past two years that helps us to prepare for Christ, to recognize the incarnate God in our world and in our lives, as we prepare for a new post-pandemic world?

Register Now

Rev. Marvin A. McMickle, Ph.D. served as the pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church of Montclair, New Jersey from 1976-1986, and as pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio from 1987-2011, and again as Interim Pastor in May 2020. He was Professor of Homiletics at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio from 1996-2011, and served as the 12th President of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School from July 2011 to June 2019. He currently serves as Interim Executive Minister of the Cleveland Baptist Association.

Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell is the Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin. Born in Oregon and raised in Alaska, she is a fifth generation ordained American Baptist pastor, and previously served churches in Washington and Massachusetts. She enjoys reading and writing science fiction. She is married to Rev. J.C. Mitchell and they have one son, AJ.

American Baptist Churches Board of General Ministries Meets in King of Prussia, Pa.

The American Baptist Churches USA Board of General Ministries met November 4-6, 2022, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in King of Prussia, Pa.

Dr. C. Jeff Woods gave the report of the General Secretary, challenging the board and all American Baptists to live out the Gospel mandate to love one another. He noted that a recent USA Today Poll indicated that 81% of people agree that disagreeing is harming us in our news media, social media, between politicians, and among ordinary Americans.

“My hope for ordinary American Baptists is that we would first be Christians; that we would commit to what Jesus said, did, cried about, and preached about; and my hope for American Baptists is that the world would know that we are American Baptist by our care and respect for one another and for the world. Too often the world has known that we are Baptist by our chaos and conflicts rather than our care and compassion.”

“Our belief in soul freedom and our commitment to autonomy and interdependence uniquely position us to demonstrate Christ’s love, not only to one another, but also to the world. Given our composition and our commitments, I believe that American Baptists have a responsibility to love one another and to act on that love for a world in need,” said Woods.

Read the full release here.

Immediate Action Needed: Burma Advocacy Group Signature Campaign Advocates Passing of Burma Act

The Burma Advocacy Group, a sub-committee of the Burma Refugee Commission of American Baptist Churches USA, has launched a second signature campaign asking American Baptist pastors, leaders, congregations, and individuals to sign the letter which will automatically go to their respective State Senators to advocate for the passing of the Burma Act. The vote in the Senate is expected before Thanksgiving – immediate action is needed. The ongoing military attacks on the people of Burma were heightened by recent airstrikes on the Chin State, Kachin State, Karen State and others. Your support and participation are imperative to urge the U.S. Congress to take action against the military regime.

Learn More.


for the 2023 Biennial Mission Summit,

June 23-25, 2023 in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Save the Date for the 2023 Biennial Mission Summit event, coming June 2023 at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Registration will open soon at www.americanbaptists2023.com!

The Biennial dates are June 23-25, but make sure you save extra time as events will be held before, during and after the larger Biennial Mission Summit event. To learn more about the 2023 Biennial Mission Summit as information becomes available, please continue to visit www.americanbaptists2023.com

Generosity Project Webinar “Beyond the Offering Plate: Stewarding Life and End of Life” Announced

Join us for a Generosity Project webinar on Monday, November 21, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. EDT. Register here.

Beyond the Offering Plate: Stewarding Life and End of Life

We often focus our conversations concerning stewardship around budgets and finances. However, the very first gift God has given us to steward is life. In this webinar, we will explore what it means to be stewards of our lives, our time, our energy, our attitudes, and we will also venture into helping people consider the stewardship found at the end of a person’s life. Churches play such a critical role throughout people’s lives and it is critical that we reflect on how we can best teach the stewardship of life and end of life.

We are blessed to have the Rev. Dr. Campbell B. Singleton, III lead this workshop. Dr. Singleton serves on the program staff of ABC Metropolitan New York as the Associate Executive Minister. He is responsible for: mobilizing churches to fund ABC ministries through the mission program and facilitates stewardship resources.


To learn more about The Generosity and how you and your congregation can join a future cohort, click HERE.

Free On-Demand Training Available from

ABC Creation Justice Network

More Info: The ABC Creation Justice Network worked directly with Blessed Tomorrow staff to create a training that highlights American Baptist work and lifts up partnering with others to inspire and empower clergy and congregations to advance climate justice.

Individuals can complete this four-hour training online and on their own time through Blessed Tomorrow’s Learning Management System, and through it will strengthen knowledge about climate change, working for climate justice, and how to speak and advocate on the issue with confidence and success.

Access instructions:

  • Go to: https://ecoamerica.litmos.com/self-signup
  • Enter you information and use the Code ABCUSABTAmbassador22 to register
  • Then, check your email for the invitation to set up your profile and get started!
  • You will have 6 weeks to complete the training and sign up as a Climate Ambassador.
Click Here to Sign Up

A Generosity Project Reflection: What’s Happening?

The Generosity Project is a collaborative effort between ABCUSA, regions, and local congregations. The Generosity Project aims to help pastors re-frame the conversation around stewardship and generosity in their congregations. Bi-monthly blogs help support new growth and understanding as we deepen our ministry and discipleship. This reflection below was provided by Rev. Stacy Emerson.

What’s happening in the life of your congregation and in your neighborhood? Where is the Spirit moving, challenging, bringing hope and healing? Take a minute and think of a story, an “impact” story. Something that is happening in your church and because of it. And then think about telling the story.

Read Rev. Emerson’s story and the full reflection here.


RMMO Materials Available Online

This past year has been one of both recovery and enduring struggles for our American Baptist Churches community—a year that reminds us of all that pastors do for our churches, congregations, and the communities they serve.

The theme for RMMO 2022 is: For all they’ve done

As illustrated in this year’s campaign materials, our pastors are active. They pray, listen, baptize, marry, mourn, counsel, celebrate, and so much more. It takes great energy to sustain our congregations through the ups and downs of life.

Video and online tools needed to conduct RMMO2022 successfully are available online at www.abc-usa.org/rmmo.

Great Rivers Region Announces New Executive Minister

The Regional Ministry Board of the American Baptist Churches of the Great Rivers Region has announced the appointment of Rev. Patricia King Bilyeu (Patty) as executive minister of the Great Rivers Region. During a special board meeting on October 14, the Regional Ministry Board unanimously voted in support of the Executive Minister Search Committee’s recommendation to appoint Bilyeu to serve in this capacity. She began service in this role on November 1, 2022.

“Rev. Patty Bilyeu has a long history of leadership with the American Baptist Churches of the Great Rivers Region, most recently as the Acting Executive Minister. Her educational background and pastoral leadership over the years, coupled with her passion for mission, and for healthy pastors and churches, will provide a strong foundation as she leads GRR forward in this season of their life together,” said Rev. Soozi Whitten Ford, interim associate general secretary for Regional Ministries with American Baptist Churches USA.

Read more.

Recent Highlights from the ABCUSA Website

An Invitation to Leadership Inspired and Rooted in the Character of Christ

Generosity Project Webinar “Beyond the Offering Plate: Stewarding Life and End of Life” Announced

American Baptist Churches Board of General Ministries Meets in King of Prussia, Pa.

A Generosity Project Reflection – Generosity is…More Than Money

ABHMS Co-Creators Incubator Names Cycle 3 Cohort

New Book Offers Fresh Look at Embracing Diversity within Faith Communities

A Generosity Project Reflection – What Are We Saying When We Make an Offering?

Visit the websites below

for happenings around the American Baptist denomination.

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To view a full list of ABC ministry partners, click here.

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ABC-related organizations who would like to submit upcoming news for a denomination-wide audience to this mid-month enewsletter may send submissions by the 10th of the month to communications@abc-usa.org.