American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

ABCOPAD Life! Blog

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

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

    ABCOPAD Biennial Planning



    The ABCOPAD Biennial Leadership Conference (BLC) planning committee gathered at the First Regular Baptist Church of Huntingdon (Pastor John Staje was our host) to begin planning the 2018 BLC. Please keep the team in your prayers as they plan. Our Region Vice President Apryl Glunt led the meeting. The 2018 event will take place once again at the Blair County Convention Center in Altoona. The dates we have set will be Oct. 18 - 20, 2018 (dates will be confirmed soon).



    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 9/13/2017

    Brian and Lynette Smith


    Mark Mahserjian-Smith had lunch with Brian and Lynette Smith and their two boys. It was great catching up with these partners in ministry who are called to be IM Missionaries to Haiti. Brian and Lynette are ABCOPADers from the First Baptist Church of Cambridge Springs. Please keep Brian, Lynette, and their family in your prayers as they raise the necessary support to minister in Haiti.

    You can contact Mark or contact Brian and Lynette directly if you would like to receive information from them and possibly have them come to your church. They really are an amazing family and terrific partners in ministry. 

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 9/13/2017

    Erika Spring Ordination



    It was a night of rejoicing at North Hills Community Baptist Church as the congregation joined together to ordain Erika Spring to the ministry of the Gospel. Erika had two friends join in the celebration: Rev Sarah Bird and Rose Marinucci. Rev Alan Berg represented the Pittsburgh Baptist Association at the service and presented Rev. Spring with her ordination certificate. Her father, Tim Spring, gave a challenging message. What a blessed event for this congregation and family!



    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 9/13/2017

    Luther Wesley Smith Award


    Jeff Johnson had the privilege of being at the First Baptist Church of Lansdale where our former staff member, Eric Kraihanzel is the Senior Pastor. He was there to kick off their month long emphasis on missions. He was there as well, to present Pastor Eric on behalf of our denomination, the Luther Wesley Smith Award given to an American Educator who has had an impact on formal christian education at one of our eighteen American Baptist college or seminary.  

    Eric was nominated by our region staff, camps, and churches. He chosen by a national selection committee earlier this year based on his work at Eastern university, in our region, and at Camp Ichthus.

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 9/13/2017

    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