E-Link Online

News of the American Baptist Churches of Michigan

Issue 2017.07 - March 27, 2017

In this issue....

Lenten Purple Draped Cross
  • Sue Ellen Glover honored in Ann Arbor
  • Annual Church Reports due now!
  • Transformation Stories invited from local ABC churches
  • Join a study of ways virtues influence religious leaders
  • Help Friendship House feed neighbors for Easter
  • Freiendship House Jowling fund raiser
  • Creative Contemplation retreat at Ecumenical Center
  • Camp Lael fund raiser
  • Continuing education at Pine Rest
  • Flint River Cluster meeting
  • 26,
  • ABC-MI Annual Clergy Retreat
  • Ordination and Standing Committee meets on May 18
  • "The Jihadi who turned to Jesus" - and much more on Editor's Trips

Comings, goings, celebrations, concerns

‡ Sue Ellen Glover concludes 25 year Christian Ed ministry at Ann Arbor First

Sue Ellen Glover

Sue Ellen Glover, director of Christian Education since 1992 at First Baptist, Ann Arbor, brings to a close 25 years of service in that role this week. The church honored and thanked her on Sunday, March 26, in morning worship and the social hour which followed.

During morning worship, at the time ordinarily given to the children's story, Pastors Stacey Simpson Duke and Paul Simpson Duke invited children and former "children" as well to come forward to say thanks to Sue Ellen. A large group gathered on the chancel steps, as shown in the photo below.

Sue Ellen Glover

During the social hour which followed morning worship the Rev. George Lambrides, pastor of the church at the time Sue Ellen joined the staff, praised her organizing skills and devotion to children and youth. Ed Ritzler, treasurer of the American Baptist Churches of Michigan, spoke of her many years of involvement in Central Area and Region activity, including service on the Region Board. More testimonials to her dedicated service came from church members and the current pastors. Collections of photos and a monetary gift were also presented to her.

Sue Ellen and her husband will continue to live in Ann Arbor and remain active in the church.

Your 2016 Annual Church Report is due now!

Annual Report

This important statistical information is important to us as it is used as a database for ABC-MI and ABCUSA, as well. The Moderator and Treasurer information helps us to know who to target mailings to with important information and changes for your church.

Please take the time to complete this form today either in hard-copy (click here for copy to download - .doc file) or on the Internet at : annualreport.abcis.org. The DEADLINE is March 31, 2017!

If completing the form online the Region PIN # is 9880.

If you need another form or if you have any questions, please contact Debbie Hart at the Region Office at 800.632.2953 or dhart@abc-mi.org. Thank you!

2017 List of Annual Church Reports: 37 Returned out of 144 ABC-MI Churches (25.6%)

  • Alpena, First Baptist Church
  • Ann Arbor, First Baptist Church
  • Battle Creek, Falam Baptist Church
  • Battle Creek, Lakeview Baptist Church
  • Battle Creek, Second Missionary Baptist Church
  • Cadillac, First Baptist Church
  • Ceresco, Ceresco Baptist Church
  • Corunna, First Baptist Church
  • Dearborn Heights, Cherry Hill Baptist Church
  • Deckerville, East Marion Baptist Church
  • Detroit, Bethany Baptist Church
  • Detroit, Renaissance Baptist Church
  • Detroit, St. Luke Tabernacle Community Church
  • East Lansing, The Peoples Church
  • Essexville, Essexville Baptist Community Church
  • Flint, Hill Road Baptist Church
  • Hillsdale, Bankers Baptist Church
  • Holly, First Baptist Church
  • Imlay City, Cornerstone Baptist Church
  • Lachine, Greely Baptist Church
  • Lansing, Christ Community Church
  • Lansing, Olivet Baptist Church
  • Lansing, Valley Farms Baptist Church
  • Lincoln, First Baptist Church
  • Mason, Mason Community Church
  • Manistique, First Baptist Church
  • Millington, Millington Baptist Church
  • Monroe, First Baptist Church
  • Muskegon, First Baptist Church
  • Novi, Crosspointe Meadows Church
  • Owosso, First Baptist Church
  • Quincy, Union Church
  • South Haven, First Baptist Church
  • Sturgis, First Baptist Church
  • Traverse City, First Baptist Church
  • Waterford, Bethany Baptist Church
  • Ypsilanti, First Baptist Church

Transformation Stories invited from local American Baptist Churches - act now!

[Editor's note: this article comes from Scott Arnold who says, "This is Scott Arnold of the ABC Journey Team; we have been awaiting Transformation Stories since Fall of 2016 to come in from the churches and regions. So far, the word seems to have not been heard, as we have had no response. This is an appeal to you to have the stories of your churches and ministries share in VIDEO or WRITTEN with picture formats. We actually do have $5,000 in grant money allocated to give to those who share and have the most likes or watches and also whose videos/written stories are chosen by the Journey Team. Therefore, help us get the word out and help your churches tell and share their story so we may all be blessed with ideas. Previous submissions and stories may also be shared again, especially as these stories evolve over time with new details and learnings. The following link will explain many details and be helpful: http://www.abc-usa.org/2016/11/17/transformation-stories-invited-from-local-american-baptist-churches/.]

Leading up to the 2017 Biennial Mission Summit, we want to hear from YOU! Do you have a story of transformation in your local church or community? Tell us about it!

Transformation Stories are invited for submission beginning now through June 1, 2017. By sharing Transformation Stories, local churches can learn from one another as they watch/read about stories that may generate ministry ideas for outreach in their local church communities!

The goal of the Transformation Stories coming out of the Transformed by the Spirit initiative is to create a sharing community to support the work of the local church as it Joins God in the Neighborhood and grows through partnership in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By sharing your Transformation Story, you may encourage other local churches to: experiment in transformative ministry; share their own ministry stories; and build interest by using social networking and interaction. We hope that you will join us as we celebrate "Transformation Stories" at the 2017 Biennial Mission Summit in Portland, Oregon.

Transformation Stories will be accepted in two formats:

  • Submit a video between 2-3 minutes in length, also including a one paragraph description of the "Transformation Story." Stories told through PowerPoint presentation may be converted to become video stories.
  • Submit a written "Transformation Story" of no more than two pages in length, also including one to three picture attachments in .jpg format.

Stories in either format should be sent to: americanbaptist@gmail.com.

Your video or written story should touch on one of the following themes in some way (Only one of the below 11 ideas must be included, but intersecting themes are also encouraged):

  • Highlight one of the four dimensions of Transformed by the Spirit:
    • Congregational Transformation (Joining God in the Neighborhood)
    • Cross-Organizational Transformation (Adaptive Challenge Teams)
    • Personal Transformation (Rhythms of the Spirit)
    • Relational Transformation (Experiments in Difference)
  • Highlight a ministry related to one of the seven denominational priorities identified at the 2015 Mission Table (a gathering of ABC leaders and representatives):
    • Next Generation of Leaders
    • Violence
    • Discipleship
    • Poverty
    • Gospel in a Rapidly Changing Society
    • Women in Ministry
    • Innovative Models for Pastoral Ministry

In addition to inspiring other local churches to experiment in transformation in their own local church communities, submissions of Transformation Stories will be eligible to receive Awards in each of the two submission categories. The top voted "Transformation Story" video will receive a $1,000 award and the next four top voted ministry stories will each receive a $500 award. The top voted "Written with pictures" Transformation Story will receive a $1,000 award and the second and third top voted in this format will receive $500 each in awards. Determination of awards will come through a process that includes Social Media ("Transformation Stories" YouTube Channel and response collected through the ABCUSA Facebook page) (50%) and a panel of judges (50%).

JOIN US as we build and develop a network of storytelling and support between local American Baptist churches.

Join a study of the ways virtues influence religious leaders

Danielsen Institute at Boston University invites participation in a study to understand whether and how virtues influence religious leaders. If you are a leader of a religious community/organization, you are welcome to give your input. A confidential survey developed specifically for religious leader participlants takes about 30 minutes to complete. The overall goal it to foster greater understanding of dynamics that can be helpful or harmful to religious leaders. Data you provide will remain confidential.

For more information and to complete the survey click on this link: https://bostonu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1AdWSUrzTC7YN2B. Participants will receive a $25 electronic gift card.

Help Friendship House provide Easter meals


Click on image to donate.

Friendship House fundraiser April 28

Fowling for Food

Click on image above to register.

Detroit Friendship House is looking for volunteers

Detroit Friendship House provides an average of 60,000 lbs. of food per month. Mondays and Fridays are our food delivery days and so we need several volunteers to help us unload the trucks full of food, sort the food, and stock the shelves. We can use some help!

If you or anyone you know would like to volunteer, plan to come on Monday from 11am to 1pm and Fridays from 10:30 to 4:00 or 4:30 pm. We are located at 9540 Conant, Hamtramck, 48212. For more information or to sign up, call Kim at 313-871-7443 or Cathy at 734-507-9825.

Detroit Friendship House considers the American Baptist Community its family and so, once again, we are coming to our family asking for help! We know we can count on you all to respond and we appreciate you! So, thank you ahead of time!

Creative Contemplative Retreat, April 10-11 at ECCL

Under the leadership of Sharon Mick McAuley Ecumenical Center for Christian Leadership in St. Johns, MI will host Listening for Light, A Creative Contemplative Retreat on April 10-11.

Drawing from the wisdom of Madeleine L'Engle's reflections on faith and art, Walking on Water, this Sabbath Day Retreat will offer quiet input along with invitations to experience painting, writing, and other art forms as honest, personal expressions of vulnerability, longing, searching, clarity, and call. All levels of creative experience and ability are wel-come; the focus will be on a prayerful process, not production or quality of art.

Before the tip of the pen meets paper, or the curve of the brush yields to canvas, there is a deep emptying silence that frees the listening heart. The creative act is a birthing, but be-fore birth comes the moment of encounter in a place of intimacy and reverence, honoring and waiting as we journey toward the light that is love, the love that is God. Come into silence, listen for light, then let your pen, your brush, your song, your dance, your whispered or boldly spoken conversation ̃nd its way into expression of that which waits to be born through you.

Basic art supplies will be available for your use, but you may want to  bring your own pen, pencil, notebook or favorite mediums.

"To be an artist means to approach the light, and that means to let go our control" ..."The artist cannot change the work at whim, but can only listen, look, wait, and set down what is revealed." -- Madeleine L'Engle

The presenter, Sharon Mick McAuley, has led Art Spirit covenant groups in the Lansing area for over ten years. She has been a pastor, counselor, and spiritual director, integrating the arts, nature and prayer.

Contact Sharon with questions: sharonmickmcauley@gmail.com or smmcauley@yahoo.com; Riverain Song Studio/Facebook - 517-881-4351.

Camp Lael fundraiser April 11 in Royal Oak

Mike Bonner

Click anywhere on image below to go to registration.

Pine Rest

Click anywhere on image above to go to registration.

Flint River Cluster ABWM Spring Meeting

Where? Mt Morris First Baptist

When? April 29, 2017

  • Registration: 10:30 - 11:00
  • Luncheon: 11:00
  • Welcome and Blessing on Food- Mt. Morris
  • Meeting in Sanctuary - 12:00
  • Thank You
  • Praise and Worship: Dorothy Laws
  • Pianist:  Mt. Morris
  • Election and Installation of Officers:
  • State ABWM President, Renee Langley
  • Special Music: Mt. Morris
  • Devotion and Prayer: Judson


Isaiah 61:11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. NIV

  • Garden of Praise
  • Master Gardener, Daisy Lay
  • Group singing
  • Blessing on Mission Project: Mt. Morris
  • Offering
  • Special Music: Mt. Morris
  • Benediction

Annual Clergy Retreat April 23-25, 2017

Clergy Retreat

In an ever-changing world, the church of Jesus Christ must be able to change her methods without compromising her message. We know change is inevitable, but leading change can be difficult. How and where do we start? Our guest speaker Dr. William D Shiell, President of Northern Seminary will lead five sessions guiding us not to start over, but to Start Here: Lead Your Church to Engage God's World.

At the retreat, you won't just hear from someone who has led this change and then try to figure out what that means for your congregation on your own. In addition to time for personal reflection, there will be an opportunity to hammer out what you hear in a small group setting; within a group of trusted peers who are also working through the implications of how to lead change in an established church.

To view/download/save the retreat brochure click here (pdf). To register online click here. Deadline is April 12. 2017.

The annual retreat is held at the St Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt MI. The retreat center is centrally located (directions) and provides a "place away, a place of quiet to listen for God's voice…to encounter Christ and grow." Be sure to take time to check out the beautiful gardens/grounds.

In addition to the learning, there will be good food, worship, and fellowship!

Please note:

  • All first-time attenders will be entered in a drawing for a one year complimentary membership to Church Fuel One, a program that combines "insanely practical coaching and ready-to-use resources." Check out their website!
  • Continuing Education Units will be provided.
  • Ministers Council members who are current with dues will receive a $20 rebate.
  • Financial aid is offered by ABHMS for this event. Ministerial leaders who are listed in the current ABCUSA Professional Registry may apply for the "Cultivating NEW LIFE" ministerial grant. Click here for the application.

Ordination and Standing Commission meets May 18

The Region Commission on Ordination and Standing is scheduled to meet on May 18 at the Region Office.  Persons seeking ABC recognition of ordination who wish to meet with the Commission must notify the chairperson no later than April 27. All required documentation must be submitted by that date. More information is available by contacting the chair of the Commission, Rev. Ron Cary at rcarysr@gmail.com. The next meeting of the Commission will be in September 21.

Next issue deadline

The next issue of E-Link Online will be published on April 10, 2017 (Monday of Holy Week). Please send news items, notices, and pictures to the Editor by Thursday, April 6.

Editor's trips*

The Editor
  1. Four principles to insure success of short-term missions (Ethics Daily)
  2. Paul, Women, and the Culture of That Time (Jesus Creed)
  3. First solar eclipse to cross America in 99 years is coming - to some it's an act of God (Washington Post)
  4. When the Irish were the immigrants Americans detested (Amy Butler)
  5. The Jihadi who turned to Jesus (New York Times)
  6. This is your brain on poverty (Scientific American)
  7. A police officer's view from street level (David Heim)
  8. Single adult numbers soaring - what does that mean for churches? (Baptist News Global)
  9. Free financial webinar for young adult women (ABCUSA Women's Ministries)
  10. Move to part-time clergy sparks innovation in congregations (Faith and Leadership)

*Every edition of E-Link Online features links to articles the Editor has tripped over while surfing the Web. Some links have been suggested by others. Don't expect to agree with, approve of, or enjoy them all. Neither the Editor of E-Link Online nor the American Baptist Churches of Michigan necessarily agrees with, endorses, or otherwise puts a stamp of approval on the views expressed in them. They're here to stir the pot, provoke discussion, encourage further inquiry, stimulate an opening of mind and heart, and lead to prayer and action. Readers are invited to send their own suggestions to the Editor.