American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

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Upward at Liberty Baptist Blanchard Starting Soon

 

Upward Sports Basketball and Cheerleading Recreational League of Liberty Baptist Church will be holding registration/evaluation sessions for the Fall 2018 Basketball and Cheerleading league soon.  The evaluations will be held on Monday, July 30, 2018 between 5:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. as well as on Saturday, August 11, 2018 between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.at the church gymnasium in Blanchard. Basketball and Cheerleading is open to all students in Kindergarten thru 8th grade.  Early registration discounts end on July 21, 2018.  For more information please call the church at (570) 962-2214 or visit our website www.lbcblanchard.com  

Liberty Baptist Church ~ A Place to Belong

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Pastor Chris Davis at 570-962-2214 or email at pastorchris@lbc4God.comcastbiz.net

 

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 7/12/2018
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Liberty Baptist Back to School Backpack School Supply Giveaway

 


 

Free School Supplies, Backpacks, Clothing, and Haircuts for Community Kids

Blanchard, PA, July 10, 2018– Liberty Baptist Church in Blanchard, PA is hosting a Back to School Event on Sunday, July 29, 2018. Community students, pre-school through 12th grade, are invited to attend to receive free backpacks and school supplies to equip them for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year. The Back to School – School Supply Give-Away is sponsored by the Board of Christian Education, The American Baptist Women Circle, and the church Social Committee. The event is first-come, first-serve, while school supplies, clothes, haircut timeslots, and backpacks last. There will be enough backpacks to reach 150 students this year.

“We believe our program is just a little bit different from others in our area. Instead of lining the children up and handing them a pre-packed backpack with supplies, we set up our church gym as a store. The students can come in and select their own supplies. In essence, they have an opportunity to ‘shop’ for their supplies just like other kids at their schools. Last year one of the students remarked that they were at ‘ChurchMart,” stated Tammy Weaver, chair of the Social Committee.

This program began in 2016 with the Church and continues to grow with the church serving over one hundred children last year in the community. This year the Church hopes to serve 150 children. The program expanded last year to add free haircuts for children from local barbers and cosmetologists including Megan Kelley of Supercuts in State College to provide a new look to go with the new school supplies. This year the program will also be offering free clothing because of generous donations from Cindy Whitman - Lularoe and the American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware.

“The children simply need to arrive with clean, dry hair and we will take care of the rest,” said Kelley. “A fun night for the families of Centre and Clinton county as they come “shop” for some school supplies, new clothes, get a haircut, and have a meal!” said Greta Davis, Project Coordinator.

This year refreshments will also be provided to the children and their families by The American Baptist Women Circle from Liberty Baptist Church.

“There are two fundamental ways to change the life of a child,” stated Liberty Baptist Church Pastor, Chris Davis, “Introduce them to the good news of Jesus Christ, and give them an education. It’s really hard for a kid to be excited about going back to school when they don’t have the tools they need and their family cannot afford to provide them. ”

The doors will open at 6:00 pm and begin with a short program. The children and their families will be released by number corresponding with their arrival to the event so that they can begin to select their own school supplies, backpack, clothing, and get a haircut.

“Our church family has pulled together in a phenomenal way to make sure that area children can start school on equal footing this school year with the supplies that they need. We are excited to share Christ’s love with them and their families through this event.” Stated Brenda Corter, Chairperson of the Board of Christian Education.

Liberty Baptist Church ~ A Place to Belong

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Pastor Chris Davis at 570-962-2214 or email at pastorchris@lbc4God.comcastbiz.net.

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 7/12/2018
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Under The Sea VBS at FBC Woodlawn With Resources Now Available

 

Pastor Howard Irwin, (FBC Woodlawn in Aliquippa, PA) wrote:

Tonight (6/28/2018)  we are wrapping up our week of VBS. We actually write our our own VBS complete with skits etc. Our theme was “under the sea, Jesus and me.”
  However, one of the popular ones out this year is ship wreck. We thought if a church is planning to do that one, we would be glad to share our decorations with them. Most they could keep—there may be a few trees and things we would want back (next year we’re already planning to do a jungle theme). To assemble the whale, you would need a tent to put the decorations around. And To reassemble The ship you’d need to have someone who has some carpentry skills.
  But if any church wants the decorations we will give them for free.  Thanks,  Rev. Howard Irwin
email:  howardirwin21@gmail.com
Office:  ‭(724) 375-6653‬



 

 

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 7/3/2018
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Houston Volunteer Mission Team

The ABCOPAD Mission Team serving in Houston, Texas sent these pictures as they consider to serve in Houston. Looks like everyone is hard at work. Pastor Mark Brady wrote: "Had a great day. Attended a house blessing this afternoon. One part of our team worked on the house today and they have considered it complete. It was beautiful." Please continue to pray for the team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 5/21/2018
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Urban Acres

 

Meet a great partner in ministry. Mike Minor is one of the congregational leaders at Central Baptist Church of Wilmington. Mike has served on mission trips to Haiti. In Delaware, however, Mike is super busy as the gardening / produce season is in high gear. Mike leads Urban Acres in Wilmington, a ministry that includes community gardens and nutritional education. It was fun spending a little time with Mike and hearing about all the good things taking place via Urban Acres. http://centralbaptistcdc.com/our-work/urban-acres

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 5/21/2018
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Jefferson Baptist Church in Haiti

Jefferson Baptist Church has been leading many recent mission trips to Haiti including the trip this past January. Recently one member of the mission team created a great YouTube video with highlights from the trip.

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 5/21/2018
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$1,000 MATTHEW 25 GRANT AWARDED


A $1,000 Matthew 25 Grant from American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) helped First Baptist Church in Sharon, PA, purchase food this past year for an after-school program the congregation has run since 1991.

“Kids hit the snack table as soon as they come in the door from school, and we provide lots of hot chocolate for them during cold, snowy afternoons,” explains the Rev. Cindy Swogger, First Baptist Church’s pastor. “They enjoy Bible study, games, music, crafts, computers, homework help and chapel. I cook supper for the kids three days a week. It is so gratifying. When we say they can get seconds, look out because they get pretty excited. It is wonderful to feed children who appreciate a home-cooked meal. I just love our kids!” Pastor Cindy explains the initiative welcomes 45-80 children each day depending on after school sports activities, weather and darkness.

Read the whole story HERE

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 5/9/2018
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2018 Bradford Association

 

The Bradford Association met at FBC, Gillett. Pastor Micky Cavanaugh and the leadership at Gillett made all feel right at home. Moderator Pastor Ed Zinser led the meeting, with Gary Wood giving an update on the ministry of the ABMen disaster relief trailer in Texas and Judy Husted bringing an update on the ministry of North Country Baptist Youth Ministries, blessing us with a few Camp songs on her ukulele. A wonderful lasagna supper was shared following the service in the Fellowship Hall.

 

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 4/24/2018
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Strengthening Your Financial Future

 

Recently, the American Baptist Foundation (Kris Lutton) and the ABCOPAD Foundation (Sue MacDonald) hosted a Strengthening Your Financial Future workshop at the Central Baptist Church in Williamsport (Rev. Eleanor Siegrist, Pastor). Several churches from the Northumberland Baptist Churches attended the event.

 

Kris shared the resources the AB Foundation offers both individuals and churches so they can maximize their finances for ministry. One significant fact Kris Lutton shared is the fact that most churches currently hold CD’s that offer very minimal returned. By investing with the AB Foundation their 10 year average for investments is around 5%, a lot better than any CD.

 

If you want to learn more about the work of the Foundation contact our own Sue MacDonald to learn more.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 3/14/2018
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Global Hymn Sing 2018

 


On February 25, the congregation at New Covenant Baptist Church, Pottstown, participated in a Global Hymn Sing, organized by Keith Getty. How fun to know that 5000+ churches all over the world were singing the same song ["Jesus Shall Reign"] bringing praise to God! 76 countries and over a million people!! Now that's a concert of praise!

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 3/6/2018
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Volunteer Mission Opportunities

 

Hoping to make the region website more user friendly, we've redesigned the pages listing volunteer mission opportunities. It's a quick click from the ABCOPAD "Home Page" to "Mission Trips" where there is a menu for domestic and international mission trips scheduled for 2018. At this date there are 22 different trips listed. 

Check it out HERE!
by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 2/20/2018
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World Religions and Cults

 

Pastor Randy Powell and Jeff Johnson went online for a test run of the upcoming Leader/Lay Learning Class being offered in March. The course will be totally online, an hour and a half for four consecutive Tuesday evenings. Check out the details HERE

Handouts will be provided. For those ACTS grads needing continuing ed credits for continued certification, this a course where you can get them. For those wanting to better understand this multi-religious world in which we live, this is the class for everyone. Register today!

 

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 2/20/2018
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Kudos to Donna Schneff

 

Kudos to Donna Schneff, our Notes & News designer/editor since its inception in January 1988. That's 30 years! That's 300 issues! THANK YOU!

Mark Mahserjian-Smith (Regional Pastor For Mission & Communications) comments:
"Notes & News has adapted to its environment over the years—having started as a black and white, text driven, hard copy publication—to a color newsletter with graphics and pictures, now available both as a hard copy mailed newsletter, as well as a digital, online publication. Donna has been amazing, helping the Regional Staff keep Notes & News meaningful, relevant and useful all along its storied history."

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/18/2018
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Kudos to Donna Schneff

 

Kudos to Donna Schneff, our Notes & News designer/editor since its inception in January 1988. That's 30 years! That's 300 issues! THANK YOU!

Mark Mahserjian-Smith (Regional Pastor For Mission & Communications) comments:
"Notes & News has adapted to its environment over the years—having started as a black and white, text driven, hard copy publication—to a color newsletter with graphics and pictures, now available both as a hard copy mailed newsletter, as well as a digital, online publication. Donna has been amazing, helping the Regional Staff keep Notes & News meaningful, relevant and useful all along its storied history."

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/18/2018
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Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief

 

In the wake of Hurricane Maria... Last year, local church pastors in Puerto Rico requested help with one possible strategy to address the depression being experienced by families in their churches. The plan was to collect shoebox gifts during the month of December to give to children in Puerto Rico on Three Kings day on January 6th. (Puerto Ricans celebrate the coming of the Magi [Epiphany] by having children open gifts.

ABHMS sent out a dispatch requesting shoebox gifts for children ages 3 - 12. The gifts were to be delivered to the Mission Center in Valley Forge by December 19th. These gifts would be then shipped to PR in time for them to be delivered to local churches for their Three Kings Day celebrations on January 6th. 

Quite a few churches sent Three Kings Day gifts to Puerto Rico and we are hoping they will be distributed soon. For a complete update. please click HERE

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/11/2018
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Hurricane Harvey Disaster
Houston Relief Team - 3

 

Our Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Team is on the job site today in Houston, TX. A great team of workers helped to lay down a new floor in a home that had been destroyed by the hurricane waters. Soon there will be a happy family returning to their home. What a blessing!

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/11/2018
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Hurricane Harvey Disaster
Houston Relief Team - 2

 

Our Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Team is on the job site today in Houston, TX. There were a number of volunteers who were assigned the task of gutting and dry-walling a house that had been ruined by last year's hurricane. They're just being serving others with the heart of Christ!

 

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/11/2018
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Hurricane Harvey Disaster
Houston Relief Team - 1

 

Our Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Team is on the job site today in Houston, TX. As you can tell from the pictures, they're working on a roofing project. Please continue to keep the team in your prayers as they serve. Y'all be careful up there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/11/2018
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GraceCrossing Celebrates

 

It may have been really cold outside, but the fellowship was warm at GraceCrossing in Phoenixville! Pastor Dan McDowell and the church family gathered together despite the cold temperatures to give honor to the King and encourage one another in the process. It was also fun to celebrate the receipt of a grant from the region to help support their growing ministry with young adults in the Phoenixville community.

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/10/2018
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Rev. David Klock Ordination Service

 

On December 8th, an Ordination Service was held for Rev David Klock. The celebration took place at the Colonial Park Baptist Church in the Harrisburg Association. The relationships represented at Pastor Dave’s service helped to mark the many milestones in Dave’s faith journey. Pastor Dave’s wife Danae opened the service by singing Be Thou My Vision, and it has great having their kids present for the service. Pastor Dave started ministry as a youth pastor at the Moreland Baptist Church and then was called to student ministry at FBC Bethlehem working along side of Rev Eric Kraihanzel. Later, Dave would become the Associate Pastor at FBC Bethlehem working closely with lead pastor Rev Dale Miller.

Pastor Dave then heard Jesus call him to be a new church planter in ABCOPAD working with Rev. Frank Frischkorn and Rev. Jeff Johnson, bringing to life Living Bridge in Harrisburg. Both Pastor Dave’s dad, Rev Jim Klock, and his father-in-law, Rev. Philip Steele, prayed for Dave during a “laying on of hands.” Pastor Dale Miller delivered a message entitled I’ve Got A Story To Tell; he told of both humorous and sacred moments he had shared with Dave. It was a wonderful celebration of Pastor Dave’s call to ministry and witnessing Dave reach this important milestone. Following the service, a reception was held in the fellowship hall marked by loads of laughter and fun as the story telling continued.

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/10/2018
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2017 Southwest LLC

 

A quick look at the Southwest LLC in southwest PA. Besides their usual time of updating each other about what's going on in their families, they also share about what is happening in their church families. They then spent time together talking about the book of the month, in this case, Why Johnny Can't Preach, which the author says is due to present day preachers lack of good reading and also good composition skills. As they do each month, they all went out to eat, but this time three spouses joined the fellowship.

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 12/3/2017
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Nicaragau Cyberbox / Library Project

 

Mark Mahserjian-Smith joined Pastor Arthur Campbell Reed at the United Baptist Church of Elmira, NY, to promote the 2018 Nicaragau Cyberbox / Library project. 

In 2015 ABCOPAD partnered with ABC New York and AMOS on the 3-year Waters of Blessing project in Nicaragua. Over the last 3 years, there have been 5 mission trips to Nicaragua installing water filters, building and expanding health clinics, doing anemia testing, donating baby layettes and much much more.

This very productive partnership continues with the Cyberbox / Library project.

It was a joy spending time with Pastor Skip (Arthur) and many other Nicaragua Mission Team members. Lindsay Mills is heading up the computer lab portion on the project while our own Sally Perry (FBC Lancaster) is heading up the library. Lindsay was joined by his wish Karen Mills and Eddie Kirkpatrick to promote the project. It was great being with these amazing partners in ministry as we serve as the hands and feet of Jesus in Nicaragua.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/31/2017
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Pastors' Retreat Planning Committee

 

Our ABCOPAD chapter of the Ministers Council met at the ABCUSA Mission Center in King of Prussia. They are already planning our Spring 2018 Pastors Retreat - April 9-11. Leila Martin was our guest. Each year our Region Council grants an excellence in ministry award, and it is named for the late Reverend Craig Martin (Leila’s late husband).

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 10/20/2017
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ABW Thrive Mini Conference Lancaster

 

At the Thrive Mini-Conference, nearly 100 ladies gathered at FBC Lancaster from 5 Associations representing 15 churches! During the morning session, they heard Rev. Luminita  Nichols share her testimony. Rev. Mary Lewis shared in the afternoon. A wonderfully blessed gathering to glorify the Lord and encouraging each other to THRIVE in Jesus!

 

 

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/20/2017
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Camp Carmel Fall Festival 2017

 

 

Folks from southwest PA gathered on the Gatten Family Farm outside of Washington for the annual Camp Carmel Fall Festival. The time together started with a potluck dinner followed by visiting and catching up from the summer. Then games like volleyball were played, always a camp favorite. A hayride was taken. The evening capped off with a slide show of this past summer season and a bonfire with a devotion and the singing of camp songs. Those in attendance were from many churches in both the Ten Mile and Monongahela Associations. 

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 10/20/2017
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Harrisburg Assoc Ordination Council

 

 

The Harrisburg Association recently convened an Ordination Council for David Klock, Pastor of the Living Bridge church plant in Mechanicsburg. It was held at the Colonial Park Community Baptist church for the congregations of the Harrisburg association. Rev. Dr. Dale Miller and a few members of the church family from First Baptist Church of Bethlehem were also present to support and encourage Dave in this important day in his life. The council was unanimous in its support of Dave for ordination by the church ..... Dave's wife, Danae, and Council Moderator, Pastor Tim Munson, share the moment of the announcement.

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 10/20/2017
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Forest Baptist Church Donation

 


 

Words can not express our gratitude for the Forest Baptist. Not only did Deacon Alan Arnold and the Deacon board express the churches appreciation for all our ABCOPAD Regional Pastors, but then Deacon Alan presented Mark Mahserjian-Smith with a check for $5000 to support ABCOPAD’s Ministry. The church had been given a bequest following the passing of one of the member of the community, and the church tithed their gift for mission in our Region. It was such a blessing being with these awesome partners in ministry. Thank you so much!

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/20/2017
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MMS Reporting from Louisiana #9

 

Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes:

There wasn’t a pile there when we started, but as you can see --- there is one now! After moving the truck and trailer, a township crew came by and removed all the debris from the from of the house.

 

We finished the kitchen and one of the bathrooms. Lyle began breaking up the cast iron tub with a sledgehammer. It has been a very productive day, and homeowner Bob is please with our progress. One thing I’ll say --- It is hot and humid here in Lake Charles. Yikes!

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 10/2/2017
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MMS Reporting from Louisiana #8

 

Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes:

This morning our AB Men’s team at Lake Charles, Louisiana, is helping out Bob and Margery whose house was flooded by Hurricane Harvey. We are continuing the demolition started by a team from Illinois last week. Ken and Lyle are ripping out a kitchen while I demo the bathroom. Not sure what we would do without the tools and equipment on the Disaster Relief Trailer! It is such a blessing having the equipment we need for the job. Thanks to everyone who has donated to this ministry. Special thanks to Lyle and Kenny for making the long trip down both to deliver the trailer and to work. Such great partners in ministry.

 

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 10/2/2017
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MMS Reporting from Louisiana #7

 

Following morning worship at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church. I drove to Lake Charles, Louisiana, to join the AB Men doing disaster relief. Two of our ABCOPAD AB Men from Bentley Creek drove almost 24 hours straight to bring down our disaster relief trailer. Special thanks to Lyle and Kenny for making the long trip from north central Pennsylvania to Lake Charles, LA. We connected with Jack Cobb, AB Men’s National Disaster Relief Coordinator, and getting ready for busy day tomorrow. Thank you for your prayers as we continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need.


 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 10/2/2017
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MMS Reporting from Louisiana #6

 

Mark Mahserjiah-Smith writes:

On Saturday, Pastor Tim Schwartz and I went to Wharton, TX, to access the damage done by Hurricane Harvey and see if we could help. Wharton is quite away from Houston and it took quite a while to get there. We found quite a bit of flood damage; however, Wharton is a pretty small community, and most of the neighborhood had been very effective in helping one another. Most of the homes had already been cleared out, and families were starting to re-sheetrock their homes. It was great to see neighbors helping neighbors and restoring home and lives. We probably won’t send teams to Wharton, but it was good to check in on the community.

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 10/2/2017
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MMS Reporting from Louisiana #5

Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes:

Late yesterday afternoon Pastor Tim and I stopped by Ross Elementary School in Dickinson. We met with School Principal Kelly Mooney, Assistant Principal, Georgina Benavides and School Counselor Jennifer McCaffrey to explore ways we might be able to help.

 

Pastor Tim is the president of the PTA at John Adams Elementary School in Scranton and the Principal of John Adams Elementary, Mario Emiliani would like to have his School partner with Ross Elementary to help in whatever ways they can.

Principal Kelly shared how Ross Elementary is trying to care for the needs of their students with about half the students impacted by the flood. Many students had their homes destroyed and are now living with relatives and friends far from school. These students need to be driven to school by their parents who are attempting to maintain some stability for these kids whose lives have been turned upside down by Harvey. The school has been accepting donations of gas cards and giving them to parents to offset the cost of transportation even as these parents start the costly process of rebuilding their houses. 

Principal Kelly also told us literacy is a priority at the school and many of these kids lost their reading books in the flood. She hopes people will donate reading books to give to students so they can continue to learn to read.

Finally both Kelly and Georgina said the school is planning a Family Fun Fest at the end of October where kids and their families could come to school for a fun night could. Kids could come in costume, play games and receive treats. It is currently not safe for kids to be trick or treating with so much debris piles up on the street. The hope is the school will receive donations of gift cards so they can purchase the supplies they need. Principal Mario is excited about the partnership but he recognizes his own School is struggling financially.

We will be looking for ways to partner with Pastor Tim and both schools to assist. Kelly , Georgina and Jennifer kept saying how much they appreciated our presence. After a very challenging four weeks and what has been a challenging year, she said just knowing there are people offering to help makes a huge difference. The encouragement and support touched their hearts.

Please keep Ross Elementary, its staff and students in your prayers. Many children are struggling with depression and sadness having lost so much following Hurricane Harvey.

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 10/2/2017
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MMS Reporting from Louisiana #4

 

Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes:

Yesterday, Pastor Tim Schwartz and I visited Greg living in Dickinson. Tim and Greg became friends while Tim was serving in Galveston. Greg’s wife, Lauren, and Pastor Tim’s wife, Jennifer, were both expecting while in Galveston, and the families have remained friends following Pastor Tim’s move to Scranton. Greg moved his family following the devastation of Hurricane Ike only to have his new home flooded by Harvey. While Greg and Lauren rebuild, their children are with Lauren’s parents in Chicago. It was good to encourage Greg and talk about recovery efforts in Dickinson.

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 10/2/2017
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MMS Reporting from Louisiana #3

 

Mark Mahserjiah-Smith writes:

This afternoon Pastor Tim and I traveled to Galveston to check on possible disaster relief work in this community. We stopped by Primer Inglesia Bautista where teams stayed while doing Hurricane Ike Disaster Relief in 2009. We also had lunch with Joe Enriquez, who’s home was flooded following Hurricane Ike. Joe and his family were spared from damage with Hurricane Harvey but Joe reflected on how important Disaster Relief teams are in the midst of putting your life together after the storm.

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 10/2/2017
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MMS Reporting from Louisiana #2

 

Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes:

As Pastor Tim Schwartz and I drove through Dickinson, TX, we encountered street after street of houses in the process of mudding-out. Many houses already had their flood ravaged belongings removed and now drywall, insulation, carpeting, flooring and more were exiting the home. One thing I noticed: While some houses had started the process of recovery there were many other homes that had not. This recovery is going to be long and challenging. The longer a family waits the harder it becomes, however having said that, many people didn’t carry flood insurance and with little support, just don’t have the capacity to begin this very difficult process. Hopefully we can help.

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 10/2/2017
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MMS Reporting from Louisiana #1

Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes:

Yesterday I arrived in Houston Texas around 6:00 pm. Waiting for me at the airport was Pastor Tim Schwartz. Pastor Tim and his wife Pastor Jennifer Schwartz served as Disaster Relief Coordinators in the greater Houston / Galveston area following Hurricane Ike in 2009. Both Pastor Tim and Pastor Jenn are ABCOPAD natives who returned to Pennsylvania a few years ago. Not only is Pastor Jenn a Certified Lay Minister, but she is also a gifted Physical Therapist and was called to head the Physical Therapy program at the University of Scranton. Pastor Tim is a gifted leader who recently concluded interim ministry at FBC Abington in Waverly, PA.

Pastor Tim knows this area well and is praying about once again becoming a Disaster Relief Coordinator for ABHMS as well as assisting ABCOPAD in Disaster Relief Efforts.

After arriving in Houston, Pastor Tim took me to Dickinson, a community just outside of Houston hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. The first picture is of a McDonalds, now closed and beginning the mud-out process.

 

The next couple of pictures are photos of a shopping center parking lot now being used as a dump site for the neighborhood as everyone removed destroyed appliances, mattresses, furniture, sheet rock, installation and so much of their personal belongings destroyed by Harvey from their homes. Just unbelievable and heartbreaking.

 

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 10/2/2017
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ABCOPAD Grant
Helps Make Summer Lunch Ministry Possible
At Upland Baptist Church


Link to a picture video of this event

During the school year, thousands of low income students eat free or reduced priced meals at school. But when school closes for the summer, and kids don’t receive these meals, they face higher risk of hunger and malnutrition. The Summer Lunch is a federally funded program that provides nourishing meals for children under the age of 18. Upland Baptist Church has been a qualified feeding site for five years.

In 2014, we changed the name of our program to “Summer Lunch and Fun” --- adding a special activity for each day. This summer we ran out program from Monday through Thursday for seven weeks.

Every morning began with an activity period from 11:00 to 11:45. Each Monday the kids gathered on the church lawn to play games like water balloon catch, water relay races, and pool noodle hockey. Tuesday was craft day…paints, glitter, beads, and feathers. Each child got the same ingredients, but every creation ended up being as unique as each child! Kids and adult volunteers got together on Wednesday to play board games. On Thursday, kids were encouraged to choose a book from our library and borrow it for a week. Thursdays also featured a special guest...

  • Volunteers from the Upland Fire Company arrived to tell us about their jobs and show us the equipment they use.
  • Upland’s Mayor Bill Dennon came to explain his job to the kids and make a personal connection with them.
  • Pastor Kevin Walden skillfully led the kids across the Jordan River when he presented a fun Gospel lesson.
  • We were happy to meet the two 8-week-old puppies from the Providence Animal Center in Media. The Providence volunteers also gave the kids a good lesson about pet care and safety.
  • Leon Jordan, a professional percussionist, was sent to us by Musicopia to conduct a “bucket drum” assembly. Drumsticks in hand, each child got to participate in this wonderful program.

We served the kids their boxed lunch from 11:45 to 12:15. Popcorn chicken was the top favorite with barbecue chicken wrap coming in second. Jicama sticks received a big thumbs down.

We started a “Memory Verse Challenge” this summer. The kids put together a book with a page for each Bible verse and illustrated what it meant to them.

We served an average of 20 children each day. Most kids were between 6 and 12 years old. Several teenage girls brought their little preschool siblings every day, too.

Everyone who volunteered this summer agrees that each day was a blessing. By God’s grace, we supplied our neighborhood children with a good meal. We introduced them to new experiences and caring people. Our church was a happy and safe place for them to learn that Jesus loves them --- and so do we!

 

 

 

 

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 9/19/2017
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Mission Discovery In Honduras

Pastor David Braneky (Baptist Church of West Chester) shared,

I wanted to share these reflections with you from a member of our church who went on a mission trip to Honduras this summer as part of an IM Discovery Team in partnership with a church from Cooperstown, New York. The journal should read that Cynthia Falk is a member of that church in New York, not BCWC, although she is Jim and Betty Layton's daughter and was raised at BCWC so I guess she could be considered our own. 

International Ministries Journal: Go, Be Love in Honduras by Carson Cramer:

 




Twelve of God's servants from DC, NY and PA were part of a special Discovery Trip earlier this summer, to support the ministry Dilia Zelaya is co-facilitating in Honduras. There were six teenagers and six adults being led by Dr. Cynthia Falk from the Baptist Church of West Chester(PA) to be the hands and feet of Christ in Azacualpa for nine days.  A local house had been identified to be the main construction project for the group. They dug trenches, carried rocks, poured cement to make the small house more accessible for its owner, Hilda. The group delivered groceries to local families, served children at the lunch program, co-facilitated VBS sessions and led impromptu games of soccer. The team was housed at the Children's Home where they experienced the challenges of interrupted electricity and flat tire. The many interruptions did not distract them from fulfilling God's purpose. During a day trip into the mountains to see more of the countryside, stand at the border with Guatemala, the group was able to witness some of the problems that plague today's world, including what to do with all the waste being produced. This side trip took them by the dump, a hillside strewn with trash. 

Youtube Clip with pictures from the trip:


    by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 9/19/2017
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    Indian Creek Baptist Church
    Campground Ministry

     


     

    For thirty five summers Indian Creek Baptist Church has been holding Sunday “Campground Services” at the local “Mill Run Campground”.  It began in 1983 with several of the Deacons and the Choir Director taking turns as speakers from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  The Pastor was also recruited as speaker.  The service consisted of singing a song, then an opening prayer, several more songs chosen by the attendees, followed by a 15-20 minute devotional by the speaker.  A closing song and closing prayer. 

    This was all taking place at the end of the water slide with rushing water and a pool gurgling at the bottom. There was a little shelter there where shoes, towels and clothing could be stored and provided some protection from the weather if it was raining. Not the best location, but we all enjoyed being able to have a worship service at the campground. Eight years later, (1991) the camp ground built us a “chapel.” Actually it is a picnic pavilion with a cement floor and folding picnic tables, lights and is more centrally located in the camp ground. Compared to the water slide location it represented a huge step up and we had our “chapel”.

    As the campground has grown (now Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park) so has our ministry. We have had people from all over the world including England, Central America, South America, Europe, and Japan. We have had visitors from a large number of states which include the two hard ones of Alaska, and Hawaii. Our ministry now includes giving out Bibles, various literature, “The Ultimate Question” booklet and “Our Daily Bread” booklet. For the children we give out small toy gifts. The campground provides coffee and hot water for tea or hot chocolate.

    For the past four years, we have also been blessed to have different volunteer speakers from Indian Creek Baptist Church for our campground services. We are blessed to have so many who are willing to tell others of the Good News of Jesus. We have both men and women speakers. The age range for our speakers has been from 11 years of age to 95 years of age. Truly a tribute to our church and community. With God’s help and blessing Indian Creek Baptist will continue this unique service to further His Kingdom for many more years or until Jesus returns.

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 9/4/2017
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    IM Discovery Team - Honduras

     

     

    Caron Cramers , a member of the Baptist Church of West Chester, shares these reflections on a recent mission trip.

    Twelve of God's servants from DC, NY and PA were part of a special Discovery Trip earlier this summer, to support the ministry which Dilia Zelaya is co-facilitating in Honduras. There were six teenagers and six adults being led by Dr. Cynthia Falk (she is the daughter of Jim and Betty Layton). They went to be the hands and feet of Christ for nine days.  

    Here are Caron Cramer's reflections about the summer trip:

    "Go, Be, Love" summarizes what God put on my heart to carry back to "my world" in the United States. I have to say that God was preparing me to hear this message before I went to Honduras. Our pastor preached on the subject and I read, Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity by Jen Hatmaker which speaks to this very subject. While spending 9 days in Honduras, I had the privilege of witnessing and participating in that way of living. Dilia is an amazing mentor, friend, and servant of our Lord. She lives the gospel of Jesus at the mission site, in the community, and spreads it with love worldwide. I was one of many who were touched and hope to continue to spread Jesus' message to our community in Pennsylvania and beyond. My family and I helped rebuild a woman's home. We worked with kids at schools and with their feeding program, shared God's word, prayed, and delivered food and supplies to the community in the mountain. We loved all whom we met. I opened my arms. and heart to LOVE. I grew up in the church and have been a born again Christian since age 9. Things around me changed, and I wasn't changing the way I should. I was willing to sit in the pews and let people come to worship; come to Jesus. Since my trip to Honduras, I realize that I need to show the Jesus in me. It's time for me to get out of my comfortable pew and be Jesus' helper. To Go, Be, and Love. 

     
    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 8/31/2017
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    Upland Baptist Church Summer Ministry

     

    Kevin Walden was asked by Pastor Brenda Shaw to give the Bible lesson at Upland Baptist's summer ministry program. The kids walk to the church for the program and are also given a free meal. It's a part of a larger community program. The church received an ABCOPAD grant to help with the funding. We talked about Jesus feeding the 5000 (men) and their families today. The blue sparkle table cloth was our "pretend" Sea of Galilee. And yes, we had 5 loaves and 2 (dori) fish. I also pointed out to the kids that this is the only miracle in all four Gospels.

     

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 8/21/2017
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    2017 Coming Together for New Jersey

     


    Hurricane Sandy devastated New Jersey when it hit the East Coast in October 2012. A joint effort of ABHMS and American Baptist Churches of New Jersey, “Coming Together for New Jersey…Rebuild, Renew and Restore” provides another mission opportunity to serve, July 8-15, 2017. Here's a great shot of our volunteer team.

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 7/9/2017
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    Logan's Valley Baptist Church
    Community Garden

    Rev Funteller Jackson sent pictures of the Logan's Valley Baptist Church in Bellwood, PA working on the community garden at their church. The team was putting down plastic to prevent weeds from springing up. It was great to see this community mission project moving forward. By the church family offering space in the community for a garden the congregation maintains a connect to the neighborhood. Thanks Pastor Funteller for sharing these photos of the church doing missional outreach!