VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/28/17)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Haggray will preach on a “Bodily Connections” theme at the 7 p.m. Saturday worship service during the 2017 Biennial Mission Summit in Portland, Ore. In keeping with this year’s theme—“Connect!”—the Saturday evening service will explore and celebrate the rich tapestry of grace exhibited when American Baptists connect to each other.
Sunday’s ABHMS noon luncheon will feature the Rev. Katherine Longhat, pastor of Watonga (Okla.) Indian Baptist Church, who will highlight Indian American ministries. In addition, the Suzan Johnson Cook Religious Freedom Award will be presented.
Performing Gospel-inspired selections at the luncheon will be violinist Melanie R. Hill, who has played at NAACP’s 97th annual convention, a Los Angeles Lakers game and on Dr. Bobby Jones’ Gospel Hour on BET, among other venues. She won first place during amateur night at the world-famous Apollo Theater, New York City. Twice, she won first place and continued as a finalist on the nationally televised “Showtime at the Apollo.” Through ABHMS’ sponsorship, Hill will perform throughout the Biennial Mission Summit, including at the 6 p.m. Saturday worship service.
At 4:45 p.m. Saturday at Ministry Square in the Hall of Ministries, ABHMS will present “Celebrating American Baptist Home Mission Societies: A New Course for Mission,” offering an update regarding its “Connect. Cultivate. Change.” ministry framework and aligned action networks strategy. Also featured will be an Apple iPad Pro giveaway, refreshments and music by Hill.
ABHMS publishing ministry Judson Press will host an “Authors’ Meet and Greet” 3:30 to 5 p.m. Friday in the Judson Press bookstore in the Hall of Ministries. Also at that time, the Judson Press Ministry Award will be presented.
Friday through Sunday, ABHMS will present “Space for Grace” in Innovators Hall, showcasing original works by Christian-influenced artists and performers. Violinist Hill will perform from 9 p.m. to midnight on Saturday. Watch for detailed information about additional artists and the performance schedule coming soon.
As a member of the advisory board of New Baptist Covenant, ABHMS Executive Director Haggray encourages Biennial Mission Summit attendees to visit the New Baptist Covenant reception at 9 p.m. Saturday outside the plenary hall. New Baptist Covenant works with Baptist churches—American Baptist and others—to advance racial justice and reconciliation in churches and communities.
ABHMS staff will lead several Mission Summit Conversations. On Saturday, Sarah Strosahl-Kagi will facilitate “Next Generation of Leaders,” while the Rev. Fela Barrueto leads “Anti-Violence: Discussions and Strategies” and Curtis Ramsey-Lucas hosts “God’s People Ending Poverty.”
In addition, a variety of Learning Opportunities will be led by Judson Press contributors and ABHMS staff members. Learning Opportunities to be offered Saturday are
“On Earth as in Heaven: Discipleship in Action” by Judson Press author Alice Burnette Greene, “Jesus and Justice in a Rapidly Changing Society” with Judson Press author Reginald W. Williams Jr., and “ABC to XYZ: A Multigenerational Conversation with Today’s Church Leaders” led by Strosahl-Kagi. Sunday’s ABHMS-sponsored Learning Opportunities are “discipleSHIFT,” led by ABHMS’ Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, and “God’s People Ending Poverty,” facilitated by Judson Press contributor Leslie Copeland-Tune.
Chaplains, pastoral counselors and those who serve in specialized ministry settings can attend their choice of learning opportunities during a “Chaplaincy and Specialized Ministry Conference” with lunch on Thursday. Learning Opportunities are “Putting our Best Foot Forward: Best Practices among VA Chaplains,” “Holy Mama Off the Chain: A Discussion about Grief and Empowerment,” “Self-Care for Clergy Today” and “Remembering our Roots as Military Chaplains.” The chaplaincy lunch will feature presentation of the Lorraine K. Potter Military Chaplaincy Merit Award, the Carolyn M. Piper Pastoral Counseling Merit Award, and the Paul W. Strickland Institutional Chaplaincy Merit Award.
At the 6 p.m. Sunday celebration service, Haggray will present the Edwin T. Dahlberg Peace and Justice Award. Selected by ABHMS’ board of directors from nominations submitted by clergy and laypersons across the United States and Puerto Rico, this award honors an individual, church or organization for outstanding work for peace and justice.
To register for the Biennial Mission Summit, visit www.americanbaptists2017.com.
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.