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Published on November 8th, 2012 | by Bridget Lipin

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ABHMS Hosts First-Ever Circles of Hope Ask Luncheon

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 11/8/12)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) received approximately $175,000 in pledges when it hosted the first-ever “Circles of Hope ASK Luncheon” on Oct. 25 at the Sheraton, Valley Forge, Pa. Approximately 145 individuals attended, including ABHMS board members from across the United States and other guests from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.

“The success of the Circles of Hope ASK event is attributed to an extraordinary team that worked for months ensuring that follow-up and cultivation of potential donors was a primary focus. The generosity manifested by invited guests is a powerful acknowledgment that the work of ABHMS is making a transformational difference every day in communities and neighborhoods throughout the United States and Puerto Rico,” says the Rev. Eddie Cruz, associate executive director of ABHMS Development.

The event featured a touching video that spotlighted the work of ABHMS and included interviews with a survivor of Hurricane Katrina and a participant of Immerse, the 2012 national gathering of American Baptist youth.

 “The pages of ABHMS history are writ large with hope,” said ABHMS Executive Director Dr. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III. “That same spirit of inspiring hope has continued in the DNA of American Baptist Home Mission Societies down through the years. Today, we inspire hope for children living in poverty.  We inspire hope for prisoners who are attempting to re-enter society.  We inspire hope for young people wrestling with matters of faith and vocation.  We inspire hope for church leaders discerning how to transform their congregations and neighborhood.  We inspire hope for communities devastated by natural disasters.  This is why I serve here.  I am proud to be an ambassador of hope for American Baptist Home Mission Societies.”

The Rev. Douglas Avilesbernal of Calvary Baptist Church, Norristown, Pa., spoke about ABHMS’ influence on his life and career, while the Rev. Tom Beers of Central Baptist Church, Wayne, Pa., spoke about ABHMS’ involvement in the Nehemiah Leadership Network, a group that provides collegiality, mentorship and learning among pastors.

A call to action was offered by the Rev. Dr. Clifford I. Johnson, ABHMS board president. The prayer was offered by the Rev. Kathy Eagles, Upper Merion Baptist Church, King of Prussia, Pa. Welcome and closing were provided by the Rev. Alan R. Rudnick of First Baptist Church, Ballston Spa, N.Y.

The event was the culmination of the year-long “Faces of Hope Mission Tour,” in which guests to the Mission Center learned about various ABHMS ministries of discipleship, community and justice via compelling stories told by ABHMS staff.

To learn about how you can donate to support the important ministries of ABHMS, contact ABHMS’ Susan Bogle at susan.bogle@abhms.org or 1-800-ABC-3USA, x2028.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA)—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.

American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with 5,500 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.


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