American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

ABCOPAD Life! Blog

Giving Tuesday, December 3

 

Giving Tuesday --- December 3

When you make a contribution to ABCOPAD - Partners in Ministry on "Giving Tuesday," your donation is DOUBLED through a matching funds campaign by PayPal! Whether you donate $5 or $500, your contribution will make a lasting impact in our work and witness. Every gift counts! Every gift helps!

Be generous!
Thanks for your support!!!

PayPal will match funds with 7 million dollars.
NOTE #1: The window for gifts opens at 8:00 am.
NOTE #2: Matching gifts up to $20k per donor.
NOTE #3: Just click on the link above on Tuesday and select the donate button!

Facebook will match your gift at 100% for as long as the funds last.

It's strongly recommended to give ASAP
on November 27!
by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 11/23/2018
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Teaching at Waynesburg University

 

Jeff Johnson writes ...

Recently I had the privilege of teaching alongside Pastor Cristy Wise at Wayesburg University where she is a professor in both the religion and communications departments.

  

I lectured in two morning New(er) Testament Courses showing how the inspired Word of God (the best selling book ever!) speaks across academic disciplines including but limited to Literature, Philosophy, Science, Music, and History. Throughout the evening, I taught the communications class with students majoring in nursing, science, business, journalism, and sports management, showing how personality styles can be used to effectively communicate the Gospel but also really any other topic or theme. I used the Bible and my Got Style? book (now in its third printing) as the basis of the explanations.

 

by Bud Russell Categories: General ~ Date: 11/23/2018
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A Glimpse of Life at FBC Brookville

 

Recently, Mark Mahserjian-Smith attended morning worship at FBC Brookville, hoping to catch up with their new pastor... but he was away. Worship leader Bob. Radaker led the service and guest Preacher William Henry did a fine job delivering the message entitled “If I Were A Rich Man”. He looked at the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.

 

The church dedicated the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes. Their goal was 60 boxes but they collect 85 shoe boxes. Great Job.

 

It was good being with the church family. In 1999 at team from ABCOPAD met at FBC Brookville to explore the possibility of launch a web site. Back then FBC Brookville had a 8 station computer lab in their loft and made it available to a tech team working on creating the first ABCOPAD web page. Later, a Nehemiah Leadership Network group made up of Andrew Shields, Scott Warren, Cory Hartman and I would meet in that loft. I will always value our partnership with this congregation who has been a great partner in ministry for many years.
by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 11/23/2018
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Serving In Puerto Rico

Sally Perry, a member of our ABCOPAD Disaster Relief Team currently serving in Puerto Rico sent a couple of pictures of the church the team is working on in San Juan. The team will be celebrating Thanksgiving together with our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico over the holiday. Please continue to keep the team in your prayers as well as the people of Puerto Rico as they recover from Hurricane Maria. Thank you team for being the hands and feet of Jesus, leaving your families back in ABCOPAD to bring encouragement and support to those in need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 11/23/2018
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Abington Association Prayer and Praise Service

 

Reverend John Conforti gave the opening prayer. 

 

Betty Jane Richards shared a message of the forgotten holiday.

 

Reverend Gary Gilpin shared the song "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow" and "My Father Is Greater Than All".  

 

Pastor Bonnie Resseguie led a responsive reading.

 

Ron Stock and Reverend John Conforti took the offering.

 

Reverend David R Barrett gave our final prayer of Praise of Thanksgiving

 

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/19/2018
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FBC Factoryville Harvest Dinner

Members and friends of FBC Factoryville gathered for their Harvest Dinner on November 17th. A program included Pastor Debbie Loessy sharing a message on Psalms of Thanksgiving. Three baskets were also made to give out to families for Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/19/2018
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A Place of Welcome

 

Pastor David White and the congregation have made Crossroads Community Baptist Church in Erie is a place of welcome.

 

Crossroads is one of our American Baptist Congregations that welcomes many refugees from Burma who now call Erie home. The older Euro members of the church have done an outstanding job welcoming the many brothers and sisters of Christ from other cultures, offering incredible hospitality and Christian love.

 

This truly is a church family bond together not by being culturally similar but being one body in Jesus.

 

At a recent service, Rev. Mann See Son explained how missionary Adoniram Judson shared the gospel in Burma and now many in the church have found a home here in the US as a result of that ministry. 

 

It was such a joy share our lives and ministry with awesome partners in ministry.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/10/2018
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Clarion Association Fall Meeting

 

East Brady Baptist Church served as the host of the Clarion Baptist Association Fall Meeting. It was great to be with the folks to share about our new Regional Ministry Associate model and hear the good things the LORD is doing in the churches of the Association. 

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/10/2018
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Community Reach in Washington PA

 

Rev Steve Dunlap is the pastor at the First Baptist Church Of Washington, PA. Pastor Steve has been serving the church since 2006 and has witnessed many changes in the ministry in Washington.  

Currently one of the growing edges of ministry is to people in the NA (Narcotics Anonymous). A NA group meets at the church with as many as 200 people attending. To help those in recovery, the church holds its student ministry event on the same night, offering a safe place for kids while their parents attend the meeting. Also a meal is served prior to the meeting so NA members have a place where they feel supported and loved. Just about all the NA members are unchurched or dechurched but have found a safe and welcoming environment at FBC Washington.

In the midst of the opioid crisis, FBC Washington is making a difference!

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/10/2018
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One Body

 

Mark Mahserjian-Smith writes: 

Some of you know, I am reluctant and resistant to have my picture posted on Facebook. My job and calling is to share what others are doing in ministry. Last Sunday while at Crossroads Community Baptist Church in Erie, near the close of the service, Pastor David White asked me to come forward. He had placed a chair at the front of the sanctuary and asked me to sit down. Then he asked Pastor See Son from Burma, Pastor Samuel and his wife from Pakistan, Esther from Sri Lanka, members of the original First Baptist Church of Erie, along with other congregational leaders from other countries a cultures to come forward and pray for me. Tears came to me eyes as these brothers and sisters in Christ prayed for me in their native language. Their prayers and support melted my heart. Thank you Crossroads family for this amazing gift. As a region we are blessed to have congregations filled with cultural diversity, all disciples of Jesus, reflecting what the Kingdom Of God looks like when all his children are united together. 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/10/2018
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OCC and BBC

 

Members of Bethlehem Baptist Church Of Ruff Creek in Oil Creek Association got together for  Kids night and Bible study. It was pizza night and the kids were all super excited to be together.

 

Rev. David Earnest directed the evening meeting that included filling shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.

 

 

 

It 's great to see this church family, with kids laughing and playing, adults sharing in fellowship and study, and all enjoying being together in God’s house.

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/10/2018
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Ministry in the Midst of Tragedy

 

Pastor Mark Schollaert is the lead minister at the First Baptist Church Of Monongahela in the Pittsburgh Association.

Pastor Mark shared some recent opportunities and challenges in pastoral ministry. The mother of the Tree Of Life Synagogue shooter is a member of FBC Monongahela. She is wheelchair bound and struggles with disabilities. Her husband is blind and also disabled. Barb is heartbroken over what happened. Pastor Mark has been present to help this couple as they try to assist law enforcement with the investigation, deal with ferocious reporters and the grief and sadness of this tragedy. Pastor Mark and the church family have been able to use a network of resources to help Barb in the midst of this horrible situation.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/10/2018
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Meet Michael McCamey

 

Meet Michael McCamey! Pastor Mike started ministry at First Baptist Crafton in May and has already been hard at work getting to know the congregation as well as doing ministry both in the church and in the community. He shared one of his major priorities is to empower the church family so they will do ministry in the neighborhood. He has been connecting with the local ministerium and will be participating in the ecumenical Thanksgiving service. It's great to have this new partner in ministry.

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 11/10/2018
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Eric, David, and AMOS

 

Eric Kraihanzel, Lead Pastor at the First Baptist Church of Lansdale, sent these pictures as Dr. David Parajon (International Ministries Missionary to Nicaragua) shared his ministry at AMOS. AMOS stands for A Ministry Of Sharing and providing medical training and care in both Managua and many rural villages throughout Nicaragua.

 

ABCOPAD has a strong partnership with AMOS having had many of our congregations go on mission trips to Nicaragua including the recent Waters Of Blessing project and the Cyberbox / Library project this year.

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/4/2018
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Christmas Shoeboxes Packed And Shipped

 

It was a crazy night at East Mahoning Baptist Church. Trail Life and American Heritage Girls had a shoebox packing party. What a blessing with all the energy from both groups! We were able to put the love of Jesus in 115 boxes this evening. To God be the glory! 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/4/2018
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Oil Creek ABWM

 

Recently, the Oil Creek Association ABWM gathered for a retreat at Camp Judson. Pastor Jeff Johnson was the guest speaker presenting “Women Restored. To be anything. To do anything. To go anywhere”.

 

 

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 11/4/2018
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IM Commissioning: Brian and Lynette Smith

 

It was a wonderful day as family and friends gathered for the Commissioning Service for Brian and Lynette Smith. It was great seeing pastoral leaders from churches in the Oil Creek and French Creek Associations, staff members from International Ministries, a staff member from the office of the General Secretary and more. The celebration took place at the First Baptist Church of Cambridge Springs where so many members of our American Baptist Church Family gathered for this dedication of a missionary family going to Haiti.

 

 

Following their Commissioning as IM Missionaries, Brian and Lynette Smith were given gifts to recognize this important day including a certificate by Rev Paul Vick, Treasurer of the Board of Directors of BIM...  

 

and two Haitian Bibles, presented by Herb and Bernice Rogers, retired IM Global Servants of Haiti.

 

Additionally, Brian and Lynette’s Missionary Partnership Team was commissioned to their ministry of encouragement and support

by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/4/2018
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FALLING Leaves

 

Yikes!  

Talk about autumn's falling leaves. New Covenant Baptist Church, Pottstown, had leaves attached to limbs falling on their roof. Thank you to a small and mighty crew from the congregation who cleaned up some extremely large branches, a big mess, and worked hard so that the gas company could come and make repairs and get them operating again. After a few hours, the gas was on, the heat is on, and the building was ready for services on Sunday.

 

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/4/2018
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Lead Us Not Into Dysfunction

 

Kudos to Dr. Michael Friday, Interim Pastor at Union Baptist Church in Swissvale (Pittsburgh). Recently, he published an excellent book about dysfunction in the local church and the conflict it creates: "Lead Us Not Into Dysfunction: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Church Organizations and Their Leaders." 

Dysfunction. Anyone who has sojourned through congregations or denominations would agree that these are not immune to dysfunction. These holy organizations often eschew the standards upheld by secular organizations. It matters not that those “profane” or “worldly” processes accomplish those organizations’ missions and serve humanity well—all within sound ethical boundaries. Consequently, many church organizations deny themselves the best practices of better organized entities. Their leaders think they have nothing to learn from secular leadership theory and practice. They fail to realize that not every leadership or organizational practice portrayed in the Bible is healthy or appropriate for our times. And Lead Us Not Into Dysfunction pursues the conviction that church organizations and their leaders can perform far better than they do. The book explores the causes of anything from mediocrity to dysfunction in church organizations, and outlines several helpful measures that congregations and denominations may embrace to secure organizational and leadership health. This book is a must-have for every pastor, church leader, denominational leader, seminarian, and leadership and organizational dynamics student.

More info HERE.

 

 

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/1/2018
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Thriving Leadership Learning Communities

 

One of our region's LLC gathered at the Bentley Creek Baptist Church. Pastor Dick Sturdevant (Bentley Creek), Pastor Deborah Loessy (FBC Factoryville) and Pastor Micky Cavanaugh (Gillette Baptist Church) were all present on rainy Saturday to spent time encouraging one another as well as discussing the book Life Without Lack by Dallas Willard (an in-depth look at Psalm 23). Pastor Debbie made a delicious beef stew for lunch along with some yummy pound cakes that were perfect for a cold damp day. It was a great time as these pastoral leaders laughed, joked, and engaged in some very insightful discussions of David’s Shepherd Psalm. 

by Bud Russell Categories: General, Region Life ~ Date: 11/1/2018
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FBC Punxsutawney Anniversary

 

First Baptist Church of Punxsutawney celebrated their 178th anniversary as well as showing their appreciation for their new pastor, Rev. Michael Wilbur. Pastor Mike started at the church in August, having come from Maine. He has been busy getting to know the church family, using technology in Sunday Worship and leading a mid week Bible study (just to name a few tasks) since his arrival.

 

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