E-Link Online

News of the American Baptist Churches of Michigan

Issue 2017.08 - April 10, 2017 (edited)

Holy Week

In this issue....

  • Region Offering - how it serves
  • Annual church reports overdue!
  • Help Friendship House feed neighbors for Easter
  • Friendship House Fowling fund raiser
  • Larzelere Memorial Lecture at Peoples Church
  • Flint River Cluster meeting
  • ABC-MI Annual Clergy Retreat
  • Ordination and Standing Committee meets on May 18
  • ABW Conference June 2-4
  • Huge announcement about Northern Seminary's future and much more on Editor's Trips

Comings, goings, celebrations, concerns

† We at Bethel Baptist are blessed to have a father who faithfully brings his 4 adopted children to church.  One of them, a 12 year-old son, Zeke, from Columbia, was born without arms or legs. Engineering students at MSU are working to design a robotic arm and vest for him so he can effectively feed himself and perform other tasks which are routine for most of us.  Our church will be taking a special offering on Easter to help in the efforts to raise funds for the arm, and hopefully a new van so Zeke's scooter can be transported as needed.  Right now, the scooter remains at the school Zeke attends in Holt.

I have attached a copy of the article which appeared in The Lansing State Journal on March 16th. The article tells Zeke's story and also mentions his GoFundMe page.  Would it be appropriate/possible to reference this article in the next ABC E-Link?  The effort could use funds, and especially prayers that plans to secure the robotic arm with vest, and van for the scooter transport will be successful.  The Holmes family has been an inspiration to our church family with their persistent happy attitude and expression of faith.

We feel that adding to the people who pray, and perhaps give, will have a positive impact in the effort to secure a robotic arm for this inspirational pre-teen.

Carol  L. Jones, Moderator
Bethel Baptist Church, Lansing

Here's a link to the State Journal article: An arm for Zeke.

Region Offering

Region Offering

More than 180 years ago, a group of Christians came to Michigan to build and equip the church. This work continues to this day in new and exciting ways. This will be our 10th year to promote and receive the Region Offering to continue the work that was started so many years ago and is still going on within the American Baptist Churches of Michigan (ABC-MI) today.

This offering is critical for underwriting the 2017 Region budget our church delegates approved during the 2016 ABC-MI Annual Meeting. It is utilized in the following ways:

  • Pastors - To assist with placement, leadership, training, care and support.
  • Leaders - For training, mission opportunities and preparation for ordination.
  • Church Members - We offer support, connections with other churches, spiritual growth resources and conflict transformation.
  • Partner Organizations - We provide connections to ABC within the region and nationally.

To help promote the Region Offering there is a poster to hang in a prominent location, three different bulletin inserts, and an offering envelope. Take a look at the bulletin inserts! They are available to download for your use - or we can ship whatever number of inserts you request (please allow at least one week prior to the time you need them for us to ship them to you).

2017 bulletin inserts (click on the title to download):

  • Serving Your Church which introduces the Region's logo along with information on: understanding our key impacts, living our values and celebrating our vision. If you use only one insert, this is the one I encourage you to use!
  • Contract Consultants, shares the names of those currently serving as ABC-MI consultants to our pastors and churches either as Ministry Leadership Group Peer Leaders or specialized consultants. We are grateful to God for these gifted servants.
  • Haiti Mission Teams highlights how the Region brings members of our churches together for powerful, impacting Haiti mission opportunities. The ABC-MI is sponsoring our first youth and young adult Haiti mission team going during the summer, 2017.

A packet of materials will arrive shortly at each ABC-MI church. Enclosed you will find: (1) a sample of the promotional poster; (2) a copy of each of the three bulletin inserts; (3) a sample offering envelope; and (4) a response card to use to request quantities of these items, which will be immediately shipped to you.

Additional Region Offering materials may be ordered in a number of ways: (1) use the response card; (2) order on-line at abc-mi.org by clicking on the Region Offering logo on the left side of the home page; (3) call Debbie Hart at the Region office (800.632.2953 ext. 221); (4) email Debbie Hart (dhart@abc-mi.org). Use of the bulletin inserts doesn't require participation in the Region offering, though we hope you will consider doing so.

Thank you in advance for your support of our ABC-MI ministries and life together!

Your 2016 Annual Church Report is NOW PAST DUE!

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 or on the Internet at: annualreport.abcis.org.  The DEADLINE WAS 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!

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!

Larzelere Memorial Lecture at Peoples Church on April 23

The Henry and Annabel Larzelere Memorial Lecture series to Peoples Church in East Lansing, Michigan this coming April 23rd. The first lecture under the idea of Science, Faith and Technology will be given by Rev. Dr. James B. Miller on Sunday, April 23rd, 12:30 PM to around 3:30 PM. You are invited to attend. Here is a copy of the brochure entitled By the Waters of Babylon.

By Rivers of Babylon

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.

ABW Conference June 2-4

ABW Conference

Next issue deadline

The next issue of E-Link Online will be published on April 24, 2017. Please send news items, notices, and pictures to the Editor by Thursday, April 20.

Editor's trips*

The Editor
  1. Churches should drop Easter, Christmas extravaganzas and get out more (Baptist News)
  2. Huge announcement about Northern Seminary's future
  3. "Lord, if you had been here...." - confronting the absence of God (Bill Leonard)
  4. A baptismal service not soon forgotten (Ethics Daily)
  5. Soothing evolution-religion tensions in the classroom (Scientific American)
  6. How to teach your church about the crucifixion
  7. With God on their side - how evangelicals entered American politics (NY Times book review)
  8. The grape juice wars of Passover (NY Times)
  9. After great pain, where is God? (Peter Wehner, NY Times)

*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.