Iglesias Bautistas de Puerto Rico – ABCUSA Sister Churches Initiative
Guided by the Holy Spirit and moved by the love of Christ, we journey in covenant with one another as American Baptist brothers and sisters. Given the needs and challenges experienced by our churches in Puerto Rico due to recent hurricanes, and the incredible strength they have expressed through faith in Christ, we endeavor to encourage each other as a denominational family. By creating sister church relationships, we seek to achieve the following aims:
1) to provide spiritual and relational support for the churches of Puerto Rico as they recover from the 2017 hurricanes
2) to educate our mainland churches about the history, ministry contexts and challenges our Puerto Rican churches face, and
3) to celebrate what God is doing in Puerto Rico, in anticipation of the entire ABCUSA family gathering in San Juan for the 2021 Biennial Mission Summit
We hope to connect up to three mainland sister churches (from different regions) with each participating Puerto Rican church of similar membership size. We envision the friendships between sister churches to include:
1) A three year commitment to pray for one another, communicate with one another (through letters, photos, email, skype, etc.) at least once every three months, and visit one another as travel plans permit.
2) An openness to communicate in both Spanish and English.
3) Promote exchanges of friendship and encouragement between children of the sister churches (letter exchanges, art, craft gifts).
4) A willingness of mainland churches to participate in the 2021 Biennial in San Juan, and for Puerto Rican churches to welcome them for Sunday morning worship during that celebration.
Sister churches are not expected to provide direct financial support. All funds for Puerto Rican relief are encouraged to flow through One Great Hour of Sharing. If a Puerto Rican sister church has reconstruction needs, we encourage volunteer relief mission projects to be coordinated through the Disaster Response ministry of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies and the Iglesias Bautistas de Puerto Rico region.