Showing posts with label American Baptist Churches USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American Baptist Churches USA. Show all posts

Friday, September 18, 2020

ABCUSA Together



Words of encouragement from our denomination. We will get through the current crises together. Have a blessed day!


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

ABC USA Letter Refuting Racial Injustice

What follows is a letter from American Baptist Churches USA dealing with the chaos that has occurred as a response to racism following the violent death of George Floyd: 


Dear American Baptists,

The death of George Floyd has caused widespread pain, rage, protests, and violence in Minneapolis and across the United States. I appreciate the input received from officers of the Regional Executive Ministers Council, members of the National Executive Council, and others in constructing a response to this event. While American Baptists have never advocated violence, we grieve with those feeling the pent-up pain from years of racial discrimination and injustice. The horrifying video captured at the corner of Chicago Avenue and 38th Street in Minneapolis has released years of frustration that can never be fully understood by those who have not consistently lived with injustice historically and presently.

Acts of current racial injustice as well as the effects of historic racial injustices have been brought into the light in recent weeks as we recognize that African-Americans have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. In a recent study, the Centers for Disease Control found that 45% of individuals for whom race or ethnicity data was available were white, compared to 55% of individuals in the surrounding community and that 33% of hospitalized patients were black compared to 18% in the community. Unequal access to healthcare, jobs, education, and training have all been influenced by the racialized society in which we continue to live.

Unfortunately, acts of violence have been cast upon many ethnically distinct groups within our congregations and among our international partners. Many Chinese as well as Asian-Americans are being targeted, harassed, and even physically attacked because of comments made about COVID-19. In Malaysia, we are hearing reports of the government using information collected from the treatment of persons affected by COVID-19 for deportation despite earlier statements that no one who sought medical services for the coronavirus would be arrested based on their immigration status.

Racism and Xenophobia have deep roots in American history and culture and wrongs cannot be righted overnight. While expeditious action is critical to the pursuit of justice for George Floyd, dialogue, conversation, systemic change, and continued acts of justice to curb the sources of prejudice and discrimination are needed.

In these tense times of ache and agony and stinging memories of bias and wrongdoing, we are called again to combat racism and resist violence. American Baptists have historically advocated against both violence as well as racial injustice. “Our denominational history is rich with resistance against violence. From Roger Williams speaking in defense of First Nations People, to the Abolitionists, down to Walter Rauschenbusch, and Martin Luther King, American Baptists in particular have been on the forefront for the cessation of violence and the coming of Shalom.” (American Baptist Case Statement on Violence from the 2015 Mission Table). I am calling on people of faith to find the resources of the Spirit to calm their anger. “Lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3, NASV)

Our denominational history is also rich in working toward justice in general and racial justice in particular. “Racial justice,” as defined in our 1989 ABCUSA policy statement, “is recognizing our oneness in Christ, confessing that we have not become what God wants us to be, and committing ourselves to pressing on to that mark of high calling by which we can become a liberating symbol to our nation and world of what it means to be the people of God. In so doing, we can challenge our nation to live up to its high purposes.”

“Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6:16, NASV) I charge our American Baptist family to continue to search, advocate, and live where the good way lies.

Dr. C. Jeff Woods
Interim General Secretary
American Baptist Churches USA

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Pastors: ABC USA Best Practices Recommendations

These are incredibly difficult times for everyone. Pastors are facing unique challenges that go against our inclinations to reach out, help, and comfort directly, being present for our beloved congregations and communities. Here, however, are the best practices recommendations from our denomination, American Baptist Churches USA (ABC USA). 

VALLEY FORGE, PA (4/15/20)—The Regional Executive Ministers Council (REMC) of American Baptist Churches USA has released a new document, “REMC Recommended Best Practices for Pastors During the COVID-19 Crisis”.
The best practices recommended by the REMC touch on worship services, memorial services, weddings, and pastoral care.
Read the “REMC Recommended Best Practices for Pastors During the COVID-19 Crisis” below of view a PDF document.

April 2020
REMC Recommended Best Practices for Pastors During the COVID-19 Crisis:
The following are recommendations for American Baptist Pastors during this time of the COVID-19 crisis and restrictions.
Traditional pastoral ministry has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and government Stay at Home directives. It has changed the way we worship, fellowship and provide pastoral care. In general, there are to be no groups of ten or more people.
  1. Worship services should not be held in person. Services should be held by Facebook, streaming, and video conference.
  2. Memorial services should be restricted to immediate family members of ten or less people. Larger services should be planned for after social distancing restrictions have been lifted.
  3. Wedding services should be restricted to immediate family members of ten or less people. Larger celebrations and/or receptions should be planned for after social distancing restrictions have been lifted.
  4. Pastoral calls to those in the hospital, nursing homes, and shut-ins should be postponed until after social distancing restrictions have been lifted.
  5. People in hospitals, nursing homes, and shut-ins are considered at high risk of being infected with the virus.
  6. Pastoral care must take on other expressions: greeting cards, phone calls, email, texting, Face Timing, and other creative ways to be present.
  7. The ministry of prayer has been become even more important.
  8. RESOURCES:
    Best Practices for Funerals During the COVID-19 Crisis ABC USA Resources: www.abc-usa.org/coronavirus
The membership of the Regional Executive Ministers Council includes the chief executive officer of each region entering into covenant with the American Baptist Churches USA (33 in total) and the General Secretary.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.

Friday, March 20, 2020

American Baptist Leaders Calling for Prayer

Members of the National Executive Council and Regional Executive Ministers Council are calling for 21 days of prayer beginning March 21 to April 11, 2020. See it here: https://www.abc-usa.org/2020/03/american-baptist-leaders-issue-call-to-prayer/?fbclid=IwAR2UxgMA-ui8TsPwQO0SlC4TkphieNwyZJBodylappyEv5FJStJp_hboI4s


COVID-19 Information Resources for Pastors and Congregations

American Baptist Churches USA has collected some valuable resources for use by ministers and their congregations in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Immersing ourselves in fact is one way to avoid fear, and certainly a way to avoid misinformation, allowing us to follow the instruction in Ephesians 5:5: Let no one deceive you with empty words. See: https://www.abc-usa.org/coronavirus/

May we all stand on our faith in God. May God be our rock in times of trouble, our firm foundation in the storm. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The Latest News From American Baptist Churches USA

Find out what is new in our denomination, American Baptist Churches USA. Attached is the link to their most recent newsletter: https://abhms.org/

Enjoy.

Friday, August 9, 2019

We American Baptists Stand Against Terror and Hate

The American Baptist Home Mission Societies shared a powerful article by Rev. Dr. Debora Jackson, speaking out against terrorism in our country, standing up for the victims of this weekend's massacres, and speaking out against race hatred and violence. 

In part Rev. Dr. Jackson states: ... we denounce practices of privilege that declare white male gunmen as mentally ill while naming gunmen of color as terrorists. Domestic terrorism, regardless of the perpetrator, is an issue and we cannot abide by tactics that diminish the offense for some. Declaring our faith in the God of love, we condemn the hate speech that is dividing our country. Instead, we commit ourselves to teach the love of God through Jesus Christ, rebuking those who would spread hate.

Read the article at: https://christiancitizen.us/a-call-to-american-baptists/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=facebook_page&utm_medium=The%20Christian%20Citizen&utm_content=A%20call%20to%20American%20Baptists&fbclid=IwAR2uoLKbL_qH-YUaI-7RpIW6fMxDjmT1D4GDWCfSfdf2aIR2yUMJztmplLQ

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Article 2019: The Collective Conscience of Our Country

The link here is to the Pastoral Letter of the American Baptist Churches USA General Secretary Lee Spitzer. The article deals with the violence currently ripping our nation to pieces. Please read: https://www.abc-usa.org/2019/08/the-collective-conscience-of-our-country-a-pastoral-letter-from-abcusa-general-secretary-lee-spitzer/?fbclid=IwAR3WkzbpwnIYqfanksb1L0IN7vHfSUkJt5V5ZU-dZZ9mZDGugvk1zy193ak

One paragraph worthy of note for anyone wondering who we American Baptists are is: “American Baptists, as a denominational family, have consistently been advocates for religious and civil liberty for all and for the concept of “a Free Church in a Free State” (1986 ABCUSA Policy Statement on Church and State). Key tenets of the divisive ideology of Christian nationalism are incompatible with Baptist theological and social convictions. American Baptists historically have advocated for respect, tolerance, justice and freedom for everyone in our country (and world), while resolutely opposing all manifestations of racism, prejudice, fear and injustice. May we continue this witness in 2019, and into the future.”

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Internment Camps: Then and Now, a Reflection

American Baptist Home Mission Societies states: Yosh Nakagawa briefly notes the relevance of his internment in camps during World War II to today's situation during an interview with EthicsDaily.com recorded at the American Baptist Churches USA Biennial Mission Summit in Virginia Beach, Va., June 21-23, 2019.

A short video remembrance. Please watch: https://vimeo.com/344565286


ABCUSA — Life Is About Choices



Become a Creation Justice Congregation. Watch this moving short video, and act.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Important Message From American Baptist Churches USA

Following the terror attack on Muslim mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the General Secretary of our denomination, American Baptist Churches USA, made the following statement. It gives you strong insight on who we are as Baptists and who (and what) we stand for: http://www.abc-usa.org/2019/03/16/abcusa-general-secretary-affirms-american-baptist-solidarity-with-the-muslim-victims-of-the-mosque-attack-in-new-zealand/?fbclid=IwAR0sXcUAj6hfLfko49gDfJyTsFBjM9KwK9Opbd7E9nubilV11ITV-8PRS3k

Please read.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

A Higher Way: American Baptists and Our Neighbors

Rev. Dr. Lee Spitzer, the American Baptist Churches USA General Secretary, has authored a powerful letter of American Baptist belief in the face of our divisive times. 

Here's one paragraph from the heart of the letter: "In brief, our culture suffers from a form of spiritual amnesia. Having forgotten or ignored the Baptist and biblical core conviction of the infinite worth of every human being because we are all made in God’s image, many movements and individuals no longer act as if loving one’s neighbor is a fundamental and necessary manifestation of a just and healthy society. We are so quick to judge, denigrate, criticize, attack, and assume to be superior to those with whom we differ. There is precious little grace, courtesy and mutual respect remaining in American discourse and life. We must recapture these virtues which can resupply society with much needed social capital. This failing applies to both the President and Congress, to political and social conservatives and liberals alike, to Republicans and to Democrats, as well as to those of us who are part of religious communities."

To read his letter, please see: http://www.abc-usa.org/2018/02/01/a-higher-way-american-baptists-and-our-neighbors/

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Welcome Stan Slade, Sunday, October 15, 2017

The congregation and pastor of Lansdowne Baptist Church welcome Rev. Dr. Stan Slade to speak to us about his work with International Ministries on Sunday, October 15, 2017. Stan, as he prefers to be called, has been active in two primary capacities with mission work under God's guidance: direct missionary training church leaders, and supporting the work of other missionaries and mission partners by helping provide leadership on International Ministries home office staff. For over 34 years, Stan has walked alongside church leaders in Latin America and around the world, supporting their efforts to become more effective servants of Jesus Christ in their local settings. In all of his different roles, Stan's passion has been to see people discover and embrace God's leading in their lives.

Stan will preach during the sermon time in the 11 a.m. worship service. His Scriptures of choice are Matthew 6:9-13 & Colossians 1:28 and his sermon title is On Earth, as in Heaven. All are welcome to join us for this special service, during which we honor the work of our missionaries worldwide.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Standing With, Praying For Victims of Las Vegas Massacre, and More

We here at Lansdowne Baptist Church are grieving right along with the rest of you following the horrific massacre in Las Vegas Sunday night. With 58 dead (as of this writing) and 528 wounded, we are stunned at how much harm one person willingly inflicts on an innocent crowd today. We pray for all those who fell to the gunman, their families, their friends, all who know or knew them. We stand by you in your grief. 

But prayer is a first step. It should always motivate us to action. Jesus called us to go out into all the world and that we must do. We are made for good work by the God who loves and saves us by grace alone. We will endeavor to do what we can to encourage others to work for the ways of love and mutual aid rather than hatred and mutual destruction. We work with our association, the Philadelphia Baptist Association, and our denomination, American Baptist Churches USA, to be peacemakers, as referred to in the Beatitudes.

Matthew 5:1-12: When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Please join us in every way you can to work for peace in our divided, hurting society.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

We American Baptists Keep Praying and Working for Disaster Survivors

We pray for strength and determination to act. We pray for all those who have been impacted by disasters, natural and human-made. As a denomination, we are acting, using One Great Hour of Sharing donations from our ABC USA churches to support the hurricane victims from Harvey and Irma. I'm sure we'll be working to gather funds for the survivors of Hurricane Maria as well. Here's what's being done and how you can help, as reported by ABC USA:


VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/19/17)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) continues to provide support to the survivors of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Both recently brought strong winds and flooding that resulted in structural damage, power outages, injuries and fatalities—Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, and Irma in Puerto Rico and Florida.
Hurricane Harvey relief efforts
On behalf of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA), ABHMS released a $10,000 One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Emergency Disaster Relief Grant to Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Houston, Texas. Wheeler is serving as a hurricane donation and distribution center, providing Houston residents with personal-care items, baby items, household items and cleaning supplies.
ABHMS released a $5,000 OGHS Emergency Disaster Relief Grant, on behalf of ABCUSA, to
American Baptist Men USA (ABMen). Funds will be used to aid ABMen’s cleanup and rebuilding efforts at St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church’s and National Baptist Convention of America International Inc.’s sites in Lake Charles, La., and Port Arthur, Texas.
Hurricane Irma relief efforts
In response to Hurricane Irma, Mount Olive Development Corp. (MODCO) of New Mount Olive Baptist Church, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., created a feeding ministry that prepared and served more than 2,550 meals Sept. 12-17. MODCO is feeding the poorest of the poor, many of whom are seniors, single-parent families and individuals with HIV. While MODCO estimates that an additional 1,000 food-insecure individuals could benefit from the ministry, the organization’s resources have become limited. ABHMS, on behalf of ABCUSA, released a $5,000 OGHS Emergency Disaster Relief Grant to MODCO.
First Baptist Institutional Church, St. Petersburg, Fla., began a feeding ministry to provide meals to St. Petersburg residents affected by the hurricane. On behalf of ABCUSA, ABHMS released a $5,000 OGHS Emergency Disaster Relief Grant to assist with the ministry.
In addition, ABHMS released, on behalf of ABCUSA, a $10,000 OGHS Emergency Disaster Relief Grant to American Baptist Churches of Puerto Rico. Funds will be used to deliver food to families of greatest need. In addition, 200 families will be provided with certificates to grocery stores.
One Great Hour of Sharing is administered by the World Relief Committee of the Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA. The committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing distribution of the annual One Great Hour of Sharing offering received by churches.
How you can continue to help
Survivors continue to need your prayers. In addition, donations designated to “OGHS – Hurricane Harvey” or “OGHS – Hurricane Irma” can be made through your church; by visiting http://www.abc-usa.org/ and clicking “Give Online” at the top right of the page. In the “Comments” section, type “OGHS – Hurricane Harvey” or “OGHS – Hurricane Irma.” Or, mail to the attention of Kim Wilkins at American Baptist Home Mission Societies, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA, 19482-0851.One hundred percent of donations go to relief efforts; no dollars are retained for administrative costs. To ensure that your church receives credit for your gift, write the church name on your check or, if giving online, in the “comment” box.
For those who wish to donate items, Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church’s distribution center requests the following: toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, brushes, soap, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, mouthwash, lotion, disposable razors, incontinence products and new undergarments, in all sizes from children’s to male and female plus sizes; all sizes of diapers, formula, baby wipes, new bottles, new pacifiers, crib sheets, baby blankets, and new or gently used highchairs, car seats and infant swings; new or gently used bed linens, blankets, pillows and bath towels in all sizes; bleach, bleach wipes, sponges, spray bottles, mops, brooms, dish soap, scrub brushes, sanitizer, laundry detergent; pots, dishes, silverware, paper products, plastic cutlery, wet/dry vacuums and dish towels. Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church is at 3810 Ruth St., Houston, Texas, 77004, and can be reached at 713-579-2792.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.
 American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.

For a powerful message from our ABC USA General Secretary, see: http://www.abc-usa.org/2017/09/20/in-between-hurricanes/

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

1000 Ministers March for Justice



A few images from the 1000 Ministers March for Justice of August 28, 2017, starting at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and ending at the Department of Justice. Ministers, priests, rabbis, and other faith leaders all marched. Over 3000 concerned faith leaders showed up to march for justice for every person oppressed, outcast, and marginalized in our turbulent society today, moving far beyond the expectations of those who organized the march. We came to express our desire to love God and love neighbors. We came to call on our elected leaders to do likewise.

Persistence was required for me as delays began when I arrived. I kept Luke 18:1-8 in mind as I persisted. I started at the Crystal City Underground parking lot in Alexandria, Virginia, took the Metro to the Mall, praying all the while for a person hit by a subway car at L'Enfante Plaza that day (and all persons impacted by that tragedy), headed on over to the MLK memorial down near the Lincoln Memorial (a substantial hike, praying to get there in time and represent my faith well), and joined the growing assembly of marchers there at 11:45 instead of 10:15 or so, as I had hoped. I was in time for the final speech at the memorial and the mile and a half march from the memorial to the Department of Justice. On the way we sang "This little light of mine" with some interesting verse variations, "Sanctuary," and called for justice in a variety of ways, given our various God-given talents. One quote from the event that resonated with those faith leaders present: “It’s time for moral leaders of all religions to get rid of their fear and their political laryngitis and stand up together,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, who led the march with Martin Luther King III. “We agree that morality must be above party politics.”

I was gratified to meet some of my friends and colleagues there, and to know that others were present, including denominational leaders of American Baptist Churches USA, the Philadelphia Baptist Association, and fellow seminary graduates of Palmer Theological Seminary.

Disclaimer: The "unique" camera views are due to the fact that it was a sunny day and the screen didn't give me much of a view of what I was recording. Still, this will give you a small sense of what happened from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.



Lansdowne Baptist Stands With, Prays For, and Works for Hurricane Harvey Victims

Here is the news from our denomination, American Baptist Churches USA. We are praying for all the hurricane victims and their rescuers, standing by them all in their hours of need, and working to generate relief funds. Here is how to help: 

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 8/28/17)—American Baptists are urged to lift up those affected in both Texas and Louisiana by Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm that made landfall Friday on the Texas coast. Bringing 130 mph winds and an unprecedented amount of torrential rainfall in some areas, the hurricane has resulted in flooding, power outages, downed trees and signs, major property damage, displaced residents, injuries and fatalities.
“American Baptist Home Mission Societies [ABHMS] grieves with the rest of the nation at the relentless weather pounding the Houston region right now,” says ABHMS Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Haggray. “Our disaster-recovery office has been in communication with American Baptist Churches of the South since Friday, before the weather hit.
“As soon as we receive damage assessments, we will consider how we can best assist on the long road to rebuilding homes, churches and lives, and then begin distributing relief grants,” Haggray continues. “In the meantime, let us all seek comfort in the words of the age-old hymn penned by Martin Luther: ‘A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.’”
American Baptist Churches USA General Secretary the Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer invites all congregations to donate generously to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) in response to the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana.
“American Baptists across the country are a generous people, and our hearts are grieved by the human suffering we have seen since the storm made landfall,” Spitzer says. “I ask that every church dedicate time this week to pray for the safety and well-being of all affected by the storm, and to express our love for them by giving sacrificially to One Great Hour of Sharing.”
Donations can be made via your church; online through ABHMS’ website at abhms.org > Give Now; or designated to “OGHS-Hurricane Harvey” and mailed to the attention of Kim Wilkins at American Baptist Home Mission Societies, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA, 19482-0851. One hundred percent of donations go to relief efforts; no dollars are retained for administrative costs. For more information, contact Wilkins at 1-800-222-3872, x2413, or kim.wilkins@abhms.org.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.
 American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.
One Great Hour of Sharing is administered by the World Relief Committee of the Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA. The committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing distribution of the annual One Great Hour of Sharing offering received by churches.

For all who struggle, a hymn of assurance: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2014/03/be-still-my-soul.html

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

American Baptist Resolution on the Resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan

The fight against the sin of race hatred is ongoing. We stand against the darkness as a denomination and as a church within that denomination. My great grandfather, the Rev. Martin Luther Hall, refused the demands of the Ku Klux Klan when they rode up to his church after Sunday service and demanded he join their hateful forces. He let them and his entire congregation know in no uncertain terms how strongly he refused the hatred this organization stood for. We continue to work against the deep sin of mindless hatred in all its forms today. At the hate demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 11-12, 2017, protesters carried a sign reading "Diversity = White Genocide." We contest that belief strongly. As one of the most diverse denominations in the US, we see that diversity as one of our greatest strengths and an affirmation of many bible verses, including Revelation 7:9: After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. That is a vision we heartily endorse and work toward every day. ~Rev. Jeffrey B. Snyder

Below is the resolution adopted unanimously by ABCUSA:

AMERICAN BAPTIST RESOLUTION ON THE RESURGENCE OF THE KU KLUX KLAN
The mood of America is characterized by growing economic unrest, unemployment, rapid social change and a sense of impotency and futility. That mood is contributing to a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, or to a “new Klan,” and to other white-supremist movements in the United States.
Public opinion has encouraged the growth of the Klan and racism in general when it has sympathized with it or indirectly supported it by endorsing the attitude that America’s minorities have “come too far, too fast.” Public tolerance has been demonstrated by voter acceptance of Klan political candidates, widespread distribution of printed material which accepts KKK actions, and by the failure of the criminal justice system to investigate effectively and end Klan-related violence.
THEREFORE: In accordance with the American Baptist Policy Statement on Human Rights which supports the right of all persons to be protected against discrimination and in light of its concern over the current manifestations of racism as evidenced in the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, the General Board of the American Baptist Churches urges local congregations and individuals to:
1. Indicate publicly their opposition to the Klan by statement and action wherever the Klan appears;
2. Encourage politicians and governmental bodies to take active positions against the racism, terrorism and acts of violence fostered by the Klan;
3. Educate members, especially children, about the nature of the Klan and about the myths which it seeks to foster related to racial superiority;
4. Design and implement programs to educate people, especially children, about the biblical imperatives for racial justice;
5. Take every opportunity afforded by the media to affirm our support of racial justice; and
6. Become actively involved in local and national efforts to achieve and assure racial justice.
We call upon the agencies and the leadership of the regional and national units of American Baptist Churches in the USA to:
1. Provide informational materials and other forms of support to individuals and to congregations engaged in efforts to educate their members about the nature of the Klan and about racial justice;
2. Represent American Baptist Churches in ecumenical efforts to combat the Klan;
3. Encourage public media to use their resources to promote racial justice;
4. Commend those media which have carried out investigative reporting about the Klan and its activities; and
5. Express our repugnance for the philosophy and activities of the Klan through appropriate governmental and legal channels.
Adopted by the General Board of the American Baptist Churches – December 1980 130 For, 0 Against, 0 Abstentions

American Baptist Home Mission Societies Speaks Out Against Racism and Violence

Following the awful demonstration of hate and terrorist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August of 2017, the American Baptist Home Mission Society released the following statement that we here at Lansdowne Baptist Church fully support and endorse. American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse denominations in the United States and that diversity is our strength! ~Reverend Jeffrey B. Snyder


American Baptist Home Mission Societies denounces and condemns—in the strongest manner possible—the violent and deadly demonstration led by a host of white supremacist organizations and individuals in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday.
The human toll of three lives lost senselessly and more than two dozen individuals injured stains our American stature on the world stage. The racial and religious hatred expressed by the Neo-Nazi, Alt-Right, Ku Klux Klan and other racist organizations in opposition to the city’s decision to remove a monument memorializing the American Civil War’s Confederacy and its standard bearers is an affront to democracy and our social order.
We join with people of goodwill across our country who seek to make America’s public squares, government grounds and city streets safe for all citizens.
Furthermore, we commend and pray for all the valiant clergy, students, justice workers and others who gathered in Charlottesville to say “no” to violence, threats and intimidation from the white supremacist demonstrators.
In the wake of yet another terrifying episode of violence in America’s public square, we pray for the families and loved ones of Heather Heyer, whose life was tragically taken during the vehicular assault on dozens of peace workers. We pray, too, for the families and loved ones of Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates—the Virginia state police troopers who died in a helicopter crash related to the situation in Charlottesville—along with those who were victims of assaults and trauma, both physical and emotional, resulting from the violence.
“We call upon people of faith and goodwill to continue to pray and work on behalf of freedom, justice and peace in the United States of America and throughout the world,” says Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, ABHMS executive director. “Never were these prayers and this work needed more.”

For more, see: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2017/08/abcusa-general-secretary-speaks-to.html

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Nothing Too Wonderful for God


Sermon based on Genesis 18:1-15, focusing on hospitality, Abraham, Sarah, and God. Exploring closely how God's insistence on hospitality impacts upon all of us today during incredibly tense, inhospitable times. Includes current crises playing out in our community. Please watch, share, pray, and act.