ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary
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The General Secretary and the ABCUSA staff are charged with a number of specific responsibilities which articulate the vision of the denomination as it seeks to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The Office of the General Secretary carries out three important functions for the American Baptist Churches USA: gathering the denomination, supporting congregations, regions, and national organizations, and creating space for local and global issues. Each of these functions are described in greater detail below.
Gathering the Denomination
We gather leaders, worshipers, and denominational staff from across the ABC. While the Office of the General Secretary hosts and facilitates the planning for these meetings, planning is conducted with input from the entire ABC family. These events include Biennial Mission Summits, the National Leadership Council and National Executive Council, Engage 2023! (the orientation to American Baptist life event), caucus events and special events.
Supporting Congregations, Regions, and National Organizations
The Office of the General Secretary supports local ABC congregations in a variety of ways both directly and indirectly, including: managing the American Baptist Churches group exemption; maintaining a database of every ABC congregation, regional and national organization, and the many members who have served them; supporting regions in a number of ways including assisting with the entire process of calling an Executive Minister and orienting these persons to their new roles, providing forums and resources for problem solving and sharing best practices, assessing performance, and celebrating accomplishments, and providing regional board training, leadership development retreats, and pastor conferences and seminars; providing stewardship resources; maintaining a communications office that regularly distributes ABCUSA press releases, promotes ABC family events, and lifts up inspiring stories of ABC constituents, and more.
Creating Space for Local and Global Issues
Throughout its history, the Office of the General Secretary has carved out space for the gathering and disseminating of information on local and global issues with denominational impact. This is done through table discussions and ad hoc groups. Mission Summit Conversations, the Mission Table, and Everyday ABC Conversations are all hosted by the Office of the General Secretary. Occasionally, the Office of the General Secretary also launches task forces and commissions to address a timely topic that has implications for the entire ABC family. Some of the topics currently addressed include the Anti-Racism Task Force, the Burma Refugee Commission, responding to the Global Pandemic, the Creation Justice Network, the World Relief Committee, and a variety of ecumenical and interfaith Issues.
The Office of the General Secretary provides a place for the activity of the whole so that each part can carry out their God-given mission to the glory of God.
Learn more about the ABCUSA Board of General Ministries.