VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 10/19/18)—Participants in hands-on optional experiences on opening day of American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) “Space for Grace: Thy Will Be Done” national conference will engage with cutting-edge mission that makes a difference in the lives of Philadelphians and offers take-home learnings applicable to other contexts. The four optional morning and afternoon experiences will be offered Wednesday, Nov. 14, at various sites in and near the conference center at Loews Hotel, Philadelphia. The conference will run through Friday, Nov. 16.
Participants will “Discover Exciting Ministry in Philadelphia’s Latino Community” when they tour the state-of-the-art campus and 36 townhomes at Esperanza on Philadelphia’s Fifth Street. They’ll meet with staff to learn how the organization empowers individuals through education, economic development and immigration advocacy in partnership with the New Sanctuary Movement.
Attendees will “Engage and Partner with ABHMS Social Justice Outreach Ministries” by dialoguing at Loews Hotel with members of Community Outreach Ministries, a growing network of organizations committed to addressing addiction; homelessness; food insecurity; violence; children, youth and family challenges; and aging and veteran needs.
Over lunch in Chinatown, participants will meet with Asian American pastors and community organizers to “Explore Challenges and Opportunities in Philadelphia’s Asian American Community.” An educational visit to Chinese Christian Church and Center will include an opportunity to observe or volunteer at the after-school tutoring program.
Those who “Volunteer with Broad Street Ministry’s Hospitality Collaborative” will serve as the hands and feet of Jesus among the “least of these” in the organization’s indoor dining ministry.
Cost for each optional experience is $35, which includes lunch.
More specifically, “Engage and Partner with ABHMS Social Justice Outreach Ministries” will include “Breaking the Chains of Addiction: An Effective Christ-centered Approach to Recovery” and “Tod@s en el mismo bote/All in the Same Boat.” The former will share the ways in which Greater New Life Christian Center, Springfield, Mass., provides a ministry of recovery that offers hope, healing and help—liberating the addicted to live abundant lives in Christ. The latter will use the recent hardship in Puerto Rico as an example of transforming hurt, fear, tears and pain with compassion, solidarity and hope.
Also included in the outreach ministries offering will be “Understanding Poverty and Moving Toward Wholeness,” “From Volunteer to Ministry Leader: Engaging Youth for Leadership,” “Getting Started: Learning as You Grow,” “Making a Difference in the Lives of Immigrant Communities” and “Ministering to those Who are Infected with HIV.”
In addition, “Space for Grace” will offer more than two dozen intellectually engaging, culturally competent workshops; faith-influenced art and performances; inspiring worship services; access to world-class speakers; and the opportunity to engage in compelling conversation with faith leaders, community service leaders and social justice advocates about tackling mission, developing leaders and disciples, and transforming churches and communities. Time will be built in for reflection, refreshment and renewal.
The $299 registration fee for the 2½-day urban retreat in the heart of a top-10 largest U.S. city includes three evening receptions, two lunches and two breakfasts.
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.