This year’s theme—“Touching Lives, Transforming People”—is an exceptional reminder of the ministry modeled by Jesus Christ, who “went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every sickness” (Matthew 9:35 NIV).
“The America for Christ 2011 Offering is a wonderful opportunity to partner and support transformational mission and ministry that is taking place in every neighborhood where an American Baptist church or Christian center is located,” says Rev. Eddie Cruz, ABHMS associate executive director of Development. “Together, we are living out the gospel in word and deed, and sharing the hope found in Jesus Christ. Your financial gifts are making a life-changing difference.”
The offering supports regional ministries along with the wide breadth of ABHMS’ ministry initiatives that include, but are not limited to the following:
- Caring Ministries and Prophetic Justice (Children in Poverty initiative, Neighborhood Action Programs, The Christian Citizen magazine; chaplaincy programs and Volunteer Ministries);
- Discipleship and Transformation (Missional Church Learning Experience, partnerships with ABCUSA colleges and seminaries, student campus ministries and national youth conferences);
- Evangelism and New Church Planting (National Evangelism Team training and grants, training and resources, Phoenix Initiative, and Clark grants); and
- Intercultural Ministries (seminars and workshops, refugee resettlement initiatives, immigration advocacy and conferences for church leaders).
An AFC promotional kit has been mailed to all ABCUSA churches. In addition, free, downloadable materials available on ABHMS’ Web site (www.abhms.org > AFC Offering 2011) include a Leader’s Guide in English or Spanish, bulletin inserts and goal chart.
Available free through Judson Press (1-800-458-3766) are an AFC poster, a bilingual (English and Spanish) offering box, offering envelopes and a DVD of two inspirational home mission stories. The DVD features “Fighting Poverty With a Summer of God’s Love”—which is about Friendship House, a community and family center in the poverty-stricken section of Billings, Mont.—and “The Little Church That Does Big Things,” about the once-dying Rivergate Community Church, Portland, Ore., which is now thriving through participation in an ABHMS program known as Missional Church Learning Experience. The ministries represented in the DVD have been supported by AFC giving.
“We encourage each church to share the powerful home mission stories in Sunday worship through the DVD and the eight inserts provided,” Cruz says. “As the caring heart and giving hands of our Lord, we seek to build community, grow in discipleship and speak out for justice. Give today!”
For more information about AFC, listen to Cruz’s podcast at www.abhms.org > Podcasts, or contact ABHMS’ Susan Bogle at Susan.Bogle@abhms.org or 1-800-222-3872, x2028.
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.