E-Link Online

News of the American Baptist Churches of Michigan

Issue 2018.08 - April 16, 2018

In this issue....

Youth and Children's Ministry Workers Conference rescheduled to Fall

The Arise and Advance Youth and Children's Ministry Workers conference originally scheduled for April 20-23, 2018, at Chilson Hills Church is being rescheduled to a Fall Timeframe. This is being done in a effort to increase participation, align with fall ministry start-up activity, and provide the best possible experience for all attendees.

Please watch for upcoming announcements and dates from the Family Ministry Team.

2018 List of Annual Church Reports

This is a list of the 54 churches who HAVE returned their reports out of 143 total ABC-MI Churches:

Central Area offers camp scholarships

The Central Area Churches has $1,400 for scholarships to be used by children, youth, families or adults to attend Camp Lael or Lake Louise during the 2018 season. The scholarship amounts will vary depending on the number of applicants and the total cost of the camp but are generally between $50 and $100.

Applications have been sent to each Central Area church and require the pastor's recommendation and signature. Applicants are expected to be regular participants in the life of your congregation and first-time campers will be given priority. Since these scholarships are funded by the dues collected from Central Area churches, your church will be required to have paid these dues within the last two years in order for a child or youth to receive a scholarship.

Applications should be received no later than May 15 with distribution of scholarships by May 31. If you need an application, please email Sue Ellen Glover at gloverse@hotmail.com. Please mail completed applications to: Sue Ellen Glover, 3307 Hillside, Ypsilanti, MI 48197.

"Joint Mission Grants" available to Central Area churches

The Central Area has $300 available for "Joint Mission Grants." Grants will be given to projects or ministries of Central Area churches focusing on outreach and/or mission to the community or to an ABC related mission. These grants should support activities by members of Central Area churches and not provide direct funds to another organization.

First priority will be given to ministries involving two or more Central Area churches. Second priority will be given to cooperative ministries involving a Central Area church and other non-ABC congregations. If funds remain, ministries of individual congregations will be considered. A church must have paid dues to the Central Area within the last 2 years to be eligible for these grants. Please submit requests for funds by May 31 to Sue Ellen Glover, 3307 Hillside, Ypsilanti MI 48197 or gloverse@hotmail.com. Please include a description of the ministry and list the other churches involved.

ABC-MI Clergy Retreat April 22-24

This year's ABC-MI Clergy Retreat will be held April 22-24 at St. Francis Retreat Center in Dewitt, MI. The theme is "Ministers of Reconcilation: Being the Church in a World Divided." The retreat convenes Sunday evening and concludes Tuesday afternoon.

Today's culture is marked by division. We see it on the news and hear it in the coffee shop. Our nation seems bent on dividing itself by any difference it can find, whether that be our voting preference, the color of our skin, our sexual orientation, or the hundreds of others that we see on social and public media daily.

The call of the church in 2 Corinthians 5:11-21, to be ministers of reconciliation, has been revived for another generation. We find ourselves asking as we did in the era of World War 2 and during the Civil Rights Movement: How is it that in a world so divided, the church can be the voice for unity and reconciliation? How can we be at the forefront of bringing communities and people groups together, under the name of Jesus Christ?

While our denomination brings together a variety of churches, these questions are important to discuss during this period in our nation's life. Whether the discussion in our churches be around gender, sexual identity, race, religion, or economic status, we believe it is one worth having. But many of us don't have the resources and experiences we need to do so.

We hope that the Annual ABC-MI Clergy Retreat in 2018 will provide us the opportunity to learn from those who have studied and experienced what it means to engage in discussions around reconciliation, while also having a chance to discuss with our peers what it would mean for us to do this work in our own contexts.

The Retreat Schedule

Sunday, April 22 (attendance optional)

Monday, April 23

Tuesday, April 24

To register online go here.

Or you may download the registration form (pdf) here.

AB Women's Conference June 1-3

Save the date - June 1-3, 2018, in DeWitt, Mi.

Hear great speakers! Enjoy the fellowship of AB Women! Come and sew bandages! Enjoy the beautiful grounds! Renew friendships and make new friends! Enjoy singing around the campfire! Share a room with a friend and make a new friend!

For more information go here.

Next issue of E-Link Online is April 30

Plan your announcements, articles, etc. accordingly. Send your submissions to joemort36@gmail.com by April 26.

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Contacting the Editor

To contact the Editor please use this email address: joemort36@gmail.com, or call 989-430-1681.

Editor's trips*

  1. Alcohol companies funding research to make you want to drink more (Huffington Post)
  2. "Boy Who Came Back from Heaven" author sues Christian publisher (The Guardian)
  3. "Give Me Jesus." (but which one?) (Baptist News)
  4. A simple church sign means a lot (Miami Herald)
  5. When was last time you heard a sermon on taxes? (Ethics Daily)
  6. Clarence Jordan's radical experiment in following Jesus (Scot McKnight)
  7. It's time to debunk Christian numerology (Ed Stetzer)
  8. De-bunking "Learning Styles" (The Atlantic)
  9. Massachusetts city moves to protect church providing sanctuary to immigrant family (BJCOnline)
  10. How I overcame dread of talking about money from the pulpit (Pivot)

*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.