VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 6/17/14)—The Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) met June 12-14, 2014, at the Green Lake Conference Center/American Baptist Assembly in Green Lake, Wisconsin.
On Friday afternoon, June 13, the Board of General Ministries voted to recognize the Chin Baptist Churches USA and Karen Baptist Churches USA as Associated Ministry Organizations of ABCUSA.
“This is a remarkable time in our history,” said Rev. Dr. Donald Ng, president of ABCUSA. “One cannot overlook the fact that we are revitalizing and becoming a more vibrant and missional focused denomination, when out of the Burmese that have come to the United States, more than 50% of them consider themselves American Baptists.”
“I am very excited to be President of ABCUSA at this time and to be able to welcome our sisters and brothers from Burma to become a part of our family,” said Ng.
Following the vote to recognize Chin Baptist Churches USA and Karen Baptist Churches USA as Associated Ministry Organizations of ABCUSA, the board also voted on Friday, June 13, to approve two critical actions regarding Burma. One action is with regard to U.S. financial support for the Burmese military, and the other concerns a proposed law on religious conversion. Each of these issues has the potential for great harm to Baptist Christians and others in Burma. Read the full release with the actions here.
Following these actions, the board members prayed for Burma, gathering around Rev. Dr. Saw Ler Htoo, general secretary of the Karen Baptist Churches USA, and Rev. Dr. C. Duh Kam, executive minister of Chin Baptist Churches USA.
On Saturday morning, June 14, the board took an action of approving a recommendation of the Mission Summit Planning Team to hold the 2017 Biennial Mission Summit in Portland, Oregon, June 30 to July 2, 2017.
Throughout the board meetings, ABCUSA Vice President Judy Fackenthal led the board in varied styles of contemplative prayer. Fackenthal also shared her excitement about upcoming ABCUSA-sponsored opportunities for Spiritual renewal: a June pilgrimage trip to the Taizé Community in Burgundy, France, sponsored by ABCUSA, and two “Rhythms of the Spirit” conferences, one in July in Green Lake, Wisconsin, and the second in November in Redwood Glen, California. Read more about the ABCUSA focus on Spiritual Formation, here.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.