VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/3/20)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) convened a National Emergency Roundtable yesterday with American Baptist partners as a first step in responding to the coronavirus pandemic by sharing information about needs of American Baptists—members, pastors and churches—and available resources to meet those needs.
Participants included the National Executive Council, the Regional Executive Ministers Council and other members of the National Leadership Council as well as representatives of American Baptist Churches USA-related colleges and seminaries along with ABHMS’ Community Outreach Ministries’ network members.
Together those gathered in the virtual meeting prayed for God’s grace and mercy, led by the Rev. Gina Jacobs-Strain, executive director of American Baptist Women’s Ministries.
ABHMS Executive Dr. Jeffrey Haggray opened the meeting by acknowledging these unprecedented times: “We are mindful that there is enormous suffering across the United States and Puerto Rico—and across the globe—as hundreds of millions of lives are impacted. People of all cultures, tribes, languages and faiths are fearful of the spread of COVID-19. As people of faith, and as followers of Jesus, we believe we are God’s missionary people; we believe God calls us to be salt and light in these troubled times. Today we hold tightly to our faith in God, which we sorely need in such a time as this, and seek divine guidance and wisdom concerning how we are to be agents of God’s good news in this historic time.”
The roundtable sought to convene and connect American Baptist partners to learn, first-hand, about the nature and scale of challenges being faced by constituents, stakeholders and partners as the coronavirus spreads through communities, churches and neighborhoods. The nature of future needs was also discussed.
Ultimately, the record of need collected by the roundtable will inform planning for the launch of a One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) appeal. Details about the OGHS appeal will be released next week.
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.