Short Notices

Editor's Trips

Issue 2011.08, April 18, 2011


Michigan Women In Ministry

Because we are blessed by the ministry of many ordained women in our American Baptist family, we encouraged our Region churches to invite a woman to preach some time during the month of March. Several of our Region churches extended the invitation and several have indicated they would consider doing so in the near future. Because we want to celebrate the gifts of women in ministry, we will continue to invite churches to a greater awareness of the women who are serving in our midst.

One way we chose to affirm the women who offered to preach during March was to thank them with the gift of a t-shirt that says “This is what a preacher looks like.” Pictured here are several women in ministry who were presented with the shirts. [Left to right: Dr. Mary Beth Sarhatt, The Rev. Billie Beverly, The Rev. Patricia Hernandez, and The Rev. Elaine Thomas. Click on picture for larger version.

ABC-MI Welcomes the Lansing Karen Baptist Church

East Lansing—The American Baptist Churches of Michigan (ABC-MI) Region Board, during its April 9 meeting, voted unanimously to welcome the Lansing Karen Baptist Church into fellowship. The motion to receive them came from the Central Area, who voted at their recent Annual Meeting to recommend the Lansing Karen Baptist Church be welcomed into the ABC-MI.

The Lansing Karen Baptist Church has been meeting in the facilities of Olivet Baptist Church, Lansing for nearly two years. They submitted their application for membership into the ABC-MI in April, 2010. Over the past year, in keeping with the “Guidelines for the Admittance of Churches into the ABC-MI,” they have worked with Olivet Baptist Church as their sponsoring church and with the Central Area leaders. In addition, Dr. Williams met with church leaders in December, 2010.

“I deeply appreciate the work of Reverend Ed Owens and the congregation of the Olivet Baptist Church to provide space, encouragement, and support to this fledgling young Karen church,” states Dr. Williams, ABC-MI Executive Minister. “They have gone the extra mile to be welcoming and supporting of this young congregation. And, we welcome Pastor Henry Lay and the Lansing Karen Baptist Church into our midst!”

Comings, Goings, Celebrations, Concerns

Peaceful Vigil Responds to Visit of Qur'an Burner's Visit to Dearborn

For those of you wishing to support a peaceful, reflective action in response to the visit of Terry Jones to Dearborn, we now have the plans set for such an event. We invite you to it with as many members of your congregation as would like to come. Please forward this to other clergy and congregations in your area.

The event will be Thursday, April 21, (Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday in Christian tradition) from 4 to 5 pm at the Islamic Center of America (on Ford Rd., just west of the Southfield Expressway).

We are calling it "A Simple Vigil for the Beloved Community."

The program will be simple. After a welcome from Imam Qazwini of the mosque, we will have very brief statements from various church leaders (Archbishop Vigneron of the Catholic Archdiocese will be there as well as Bishop Gibbs of the Episcopal Church and Rev. Ken Flowers of the Progressive Baptist Convention). Then we will have a presentation of the petition statement with the signatures to the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan.

After instructions we will begin our prayer. It will be started by one of the church leaders, then continued in silence as we process out of the mosque to stand around and in front of it. We will have 10 minutes of silence as we pray for peace and love of neighbor in our community. Then we will all say "Amen" to conclude the event.

It is possible that we will have a large number of people attending, so we urge you to come early so you can park and get inside with plenty of time. Please let us know in advance if you are coming and how many guests from your congregation might be coming (round numbers, doesn't have to be exact). This will help us to prepare for the number of people coming. Send that info to us at:

The text of the petition reads:

We, as caring neighbors in southeastern Michigan, stand together in condemning the actions of those who spew hate and fear, and who misuse and desecrate holy books of faith.  Instead we call on people to carry out the best traditions of all religious faiths, embodied in the idea of doing to others as we would have them do to us.

In the spirit of cooperation and harmony, the essential basis of this great country, we affirm our support for religious freedom and civil discourse.  We stand together strong in our vision of the beloved community where all are respected and treasured.

Please inform your congregation that people can sign the statement on-line at:

ABC-MI Region Board Receives New Congregation and Approves Staff Funding Extension

East Lansing—The American Baptist Churches of Michigan (ABC-MI) Region Board and Ministry Teams met Saturday, April 9. Highlights of the Region Board meeting included welcoming the Lansing Karen Baptist Church into membership (see related news release) and approving additional staff funding utilizing the nearly $28,000 2010 budget surplus.

Delegates at the 2010 Annual Meeting approved a 2011 budget that fully funded the Consultant for Leadership and Consultant for Congregational Health positions through May 31. Beginning June 1, these positions move from full-time positions to the model currently used with the Consultant for Transitioning Ministries (up to twenty consulting hours per week). Beginning June 1 there is funding for a total of sixty consultant hours per week for the areas of leadership; congregational health; and transitioning ministries. In moving to this new model, Rev. Hernandez and Rev. Cary each have the right of first refusal for up to twenty hours per week. As June 1 nears, the ABC-MI family is concerned for both Rev. Cary and Rev. Hernandez as they transition. Specifically there is concern for Rev. Hernandez who has indicated her need to secure either a new full-time position elsewhere or a part-time position to combine with the twenty ABC-MI consulting hours per week for which she has the right of first refusal. Rev. Cary has indicated his intention to accept the twenty hours per week and is open to interim ministry opportunities should they arise.

>>> Read the rest of this story.

Last Call for Annual Reports

Annual Reports from every ABC-MI local church are due April 30. About one-third of our Region churches have completed the report. The remaining two-thirds can complete the information online at .. If anyone has questions or needs another hard-copy form they may Debbie Hart in the Region office.

Fresh Air: Transforming Congregations - A Series Of Web-Based Seminars For Pastors And Lay Leaders

As we open our windows to let in the fresh air of springtime, we are also called to open the windows of our mind to let in the fresh air of the Spirit. Beginning May 5, each week we will offer a different 60 minute webinar led by one or more of our Region pastors. Each pastor/presenter will share transformational ideas and principles they and their church have experienced in a particular area of ministry. These are not so much “how to” seminars as they are invitations to think about how transformation can occur in each of the subject areas. Following each presentation, participants will be able to engage in dialogue with the presenters.

The webinars come at no cost to you and are provided by the American Baptist Churches of Michigan. You can participate from your own personal computer. You will need speakers and it is helpful to have a microphone as well. Further instructions will be provided once you have registered for a webinar by clicking on the link provided below for each webinar. You can register for as many of the webinars as you wish, but you much register for each one separately. For more information contact Ron Cary at 1-800-636-2671 or

Home Mission Society Palmer Grants Offered

American Baptist Home Mission Societies and the American Baptist Foundation announce the Palmer Grants--grants of $5,000 to $25,000 to be awarded to American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) congregations and ABCUSA-related organizations to enhance existing ministries of discipleship and incarnational practice. Awards will be made Fall 2011; approved projects may be funded for one to two years. Please note: The deadline for 2011-12 grant proposals is June 1, 2011. For more information go here.

Scholarship Application Time is Here Again

The Michigan Baptist Scholarship Society (MBSS) is pleased to announce that scholarships are available for the next academic year for qualified applicants. They must be active members of an American Baptist church in Michigan, accepted to an appropriately accredited college, university, or seminary, show evidence of God's calling into professional church leadership, and have financial need. Applicants from churches which have supported MBSS in the past five years may have preference. The exact amount of scholarships depends on the number of applicants and the resources available when decisions are being made. That probably would mean several hundred dollars to each undergraduate and $1,000 or perhaps more to seminarians. New applications can be downloaded from the ABC-MI website and must be mailed to H. Bruce Carr, MBSS President, by June 15 (along with supporting documents). His address is 23436 North Stockton; Farmington Hills, MI 48336, and his phone is 248-474-8916 (day or evening). His e-mail:

Friendship House Walkathon '11 Has A New Twist

The new twist is a mini "Taste of Hamtramck." The Walkathon fundraiser will be from 9:30am to 12:30pm on Saturday, May 14. It begins and ends at Friendship House, 9540 Conant St., Hamtramck. Click on poster image below for full size version. Click here for Pledge Sheets. Call 313.871.7443 for more information.

Walkathon Poster

Ministry Leadership Certification Upcoming Classes

For information and registration contact the Rev. Patricia Hernandez at

Short Notices

Editor's Trips

The Editor

Every edition of E-Link Online features links to articles the Editor has tripped over while wasting time surfing the Web. Posting of these links does not imply that either the Editor or the American Baptist Churches of Michigan necessarily agrees with, endorses, or otherwise promotes the views expressed in them. Their value comes from whatever further thought, discussion, inquiry, discernment, fury, repentance, dramatic conversion experience, change of mind, or occasional laugh they may provoke. Readers are welcome to send their own suggestions to the Editor.