American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

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ABCOPAD Grant
Helps Make Summer Lunch Ministry Possible
At Upland Baptist Church


Link to a picture video of this event

During the school year, thousands of low income students eat free or reduced priced meals at school. But when school closes for the summer, and kids don’t receive these meals, they face higher risk of hunger and malnutrition. The Summer Lunch is a federally funded program that provides nourishing meals for children under the age of 18. Upland Baptist Church has been a qualified feeding site for five years.

In 2014, we changed the name of our program to “Summer Lunch and Fun” --- adding a special activity for each day. This summer we ran out program from Monday through Thursday for seven weeks.

Every morning began with an activity period from 11:00 to 11:45. Each Monday the kids gathered on the church lawn to play games like water balloon catch, water relay races, and pool noodle hockey. Tuesday was craft day…paints, glitter, beads, and feathers. Each child got the same ingredients, but every creation ended up being as unique as each child! Kids and adult volunteers got together on Wednesday to play board games. On Thursday, kids were encouraged to choose a book from our library and borrow it for a week. Thursdays also featured a special guest...

  • Volunteers from the Upland Fire Company arrived to tell us about their jobs and show us the equipment they use.
  • Upland’s Mayor Bill Dennon came to explain his job to the kids and make a personal connection with them.
  • Pastor Kevin Walden skillfully led the kids across the Jordan River when he presented a fun Gospel lesson.
  • We were happy to meet the two 8-week-old puppies from the Providence Animal Center in Media. The Providence volunteers also gave the kids a good lesson about pet care and safety.
  • Leon Jordan, a professional percussionist, was sent to us by Musicopia to conduct a “bucket drum” assembly. Drumsticks in hand, each child got to participate in this wonderful program.

We served the kids their boxed lunch from 11:45 to 12:15. Popcorn chicken was the top favorite with barbecue chicken wrap coming in second. Jicama sticks received a big thumbs down.

We started a “Memory Verse Challenge” this summer. The kids put together a book with a page for each Bible verse and illustrated what it meant to them.

We served an average of 20 children each day. Most kids were between 6 and 12 years old. Several teenage girls brought their little preschool siblings every day, too.

Everyone who volunteered this summer agrees that each day was a blessing. By God’s grace, we supplied our neighborhood children with a good meal. We introduced them to new experiences and caring people. Our church was a happy and safe place for them to learn that Jesus loves them --- and so do we!

 

 

 

 

by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 9/19/2017
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Mission Discovery In Honduras

Pastor David Braneky (Baptist Church of West Chester) shared,

I wanted to share these reflections with you from a member of our church who went on a mission trip to Honduras this summer as part of an IM Discovery Team in partnership with a church from Cooperstown, New York. The journal should read that Cynthia Falk is a member of that church in New York, not BCWC, although she is Jim and Betty Layton's daughter and was raised at BCWC so I guess she could be considered our own. 

International Ministries Journal: Go, Be Love in Honduras by Carson Cramer:

 




Twelve of God's servants from DC, NY and PA were part of a special Discovery Trip earlier this summer, to support the ministry Dilia Zelaya is co-facilitating in Honduras. There were six teenagers and six adults being led by Dr. Cynthia Falk from the Baptist Church of West Chester(PA) to be the hands and feet of Christ in Azacualpa for nine days.  A local house had been identified to be the main construction project for the group. They dug trenches, carried rocks, poured cement to make the small house more accessible for its owner, Hilda. The group delivered groceries to local families, served children at the lunch program, co-facilitated VBS sessions and led impromptu games of soccer. The team was housed at the Children's Home where they experienced the challenges of interrupted electricity and flat tire. The many interruptions did not distract them from fulfilling God's purpose. During a day trip into the mountains to see more of the countryside, stand at the border with Guatemala, the group was able to witness some of the problems that plague today's world, including what to do with all the waste being produced. This side trip took them by the dump, a hillside strewn with trash. 

Youtube Clip with pictures from the trip:


    by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 9/19/2017
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    Indian Creek Baptist Church
    Campground Ministry

     


     

    For thirty five summers Indian Creek Baptist Church has been holding Sunday “Campground Services” at the local “Mill Run Campground”.  It began in 1983 with several of the Deacons and the Choir Director taking turns as speakers from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  The Pastor was also recruited as speaker.  The service consisted of singing a song, then an opening prayer, several more songs chosen by the attendees, followed by a 15-20 minute devotional by the speaker.  A closing song and closing prayer. 

    This was all taking place at the end of the water slide with rushing water and a pool gurgling at the bottom. There was a little shelter there where shoes, towels and clothing could be stored and provided some protection from the weather if it was raining. Not the best location, but we all enjoyed being able to have a worship service at the campground. Eight years later, (1991) the camp ground built us a “chapel.” Actually it is a picnic pavilion with a cement floor and folding picnic tables, lights and is more centrally located in the camp ground. Compared to the water slide location it represented a huge step up and we had our “chapel”.

    As the campground has grown (now Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park) so has our ministry. We have had people from all over the world including England, Central America, South America, Europe, and Japan. We have had visitors from a large number of states which include the two hard ones of Alaska, and Hawaii. Our ministry now includes giving out Bibles, various literature, “The Ultimate Question” booklet and “Our Daily Bread” booklet. For the children we give out small toy gifts. The campground provides coffee and hot water for tea or hot chocolate.

    For the past four years, we have also been blessed to have different volunteer speakers from Indian Creek Baptist Church for our campground services. We are blessed to have so many who are willing to tell others of the Good News of Jesus. We have both men and women speakers. The age range for our speakers has been from 11 years of age to 95 years of age. Truly a tribute to our church and community. With God’s help and blessing Indian Creek Baptist will continue this unique service to further His Kingdom for many more years or until Jesus returns.

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 9/4/2017
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    IM Discovery Team - Honduras

     

     

    Caron Cramers , a member of the Baptist Church of West Chester, shares these reflections on a recent mission trip.

    Twelve of God's servants from DC, NY and PA were part of a special Discovery Trip earlier this summer, to support the ministry which Dilia Zelaya is co-facilitating in Honduras. There were six teenagers and six adults being led by Dr. Cynthia Falk (she is the daughter of Jim and Betty Layton). They went to be the hands and feet of Christ for nine days.  

    Here are Caron Cramer's reflections about the summer trip:

    "Go, Be, Love" summarizes what God put on my heart to carry back to "my world" in the United States. I have to say that God was preparing me to hear this message before I went to Honduras. Our pastor preached on the subject and I read, Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity by Jen Hatmaker which speaks to this very subject. While spending 9 days in Honduras, I had the privilege of witnessing and participating in that way of living. Dilia is an amazing mentor, friend, and servant of our Lord. She lives the gospel of Jesus at the mission site, in the community, and spreads it with love worldwide. I was one of many who were touched and hope to continue to spread Jesus' message to our community in Pennsylvania and beyond. My family and I helped rebuild a woman's home. We worked with kids at schools and with their feeding program, shared God's word, prayed, and delivered food and supplies to the community in the mountain. We loved all whom we met. I opened my arms. and heart to LOVE. I grew up in the church and have been a born again Christian since age 9. Things around me changed, and I wasn't changing the way I should. I was willing to sit in the pews and let people come to worship; come to Jesus. Since my trip to Honduras, I realize that I need to show the Jesus in me. It's time for me to get out of my comfortable pew and be Jesus' helper. To Go, Be, and Love. 

     
    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 8/31/2017
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    Upland Baptist Church Summer Ministry

     

    Kevin Walden was asked by Pastor Brenda Shaw to give the Bible lesson at Upland Baptist's summer ministry program. The kids walk to the church for the program and are also given a free meal. It's a part of a larger community program. The church received an ABCOPAD grant to help with the funding. We talked about Jesus feeding the 5000 (men) and their families today. The blue sparkle table cloth was our "pretend" Sea of Galilee. And yes, we had 5 loaves and 2 (dori) fish. I also pointed out to the kids that this is the only miracle in all four Gospels.

     

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 8/21/2017
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    2017 Coming Together for New Jersey

     


    Hurricane Sandy devastated New Jersey when it hit the East Coast in October 2012. A joint effort of ABHMS and American Baptist Churches of New Jersey, “Coming Together for New Jersey…Rebuild, Renew and Restore” provides another mission opportunity to serve, July 8-15, 2017. Here's a great shot of our volunteer team.

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 7/9/2017
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    Logan's Valley Baptist Church
    Community Garden

    Rev Funteller Jackson sent pictures of the Logan's Valley Baptist Church in Bellwood, PA working on the community garden at their church. The team was putting down plastic to prevent weeds from springing up. It was great to see this community mission project moving forward. By the church family offering space in the community for a garden the congregation maintains a connect to the neighborhood. Thanks Pastor Funteller for sharing these photos of the church doing missional outreach!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 7/5/2017
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    La Paz Mexico
    Multi-Generational Mission Trip

     

     

    This mission trip was designed to create serving opportunities for all ages. Volunteers partnered with two ministries in La Paz, Mexico, to help them as they try to reach the neighboring communities with God's love and a hope for a brighter future.

    Church Plant - One of the churches is Primera Iglesia Bautista de La Paz (FBC La Paz). It is one of the Baptist congregations in the city of La Paz. They are active in many kinds of ministry and have thriving discipleship ministries. We helped FBC, La Paz, with a church plant in the town of Los Planes. The church in Los Planes has outgrown its current structure, which it is renting, and has begun construction on a new structure, on property that it owns. Pastor Juan Carlos is pastor of this church and is eager to complete the new structure so that they can stop paying rent on the first property. 

     

     

     

      

    Ranch El Camino - Volunteers helped to get the 40-acre camp ready for their summer camp programs. There was construction work, gardening, painting and more! They also spent some time each day in the local community serving families and children with Pastor Juan Jose Murua.... playing sports like baseball, softball, soccer or volleyball.

     

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries ~ Date: 7/2/2017
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    June 2017 Notes & News


    Notes and News
    June 2017

    Growth Points June 2017

    The June edition of Notes & News, Thoughts & Views is now available

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 6/16/2017
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    FBC Factoryville ABW

     

    AB Women of First Baptist Church of Factoryville (Abington Association) assembled 170 health kits for Mennonite Community Central to be distributed overseas and overland. Items collected were hand towels, soap, toothbrushes and nailclippers.

     

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 5/29/2017
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    2017 Clergy Ethics Course

    Our clergy ethics course was recently held at West Shore Baptist Church in Camp Hill, PA. Pastors Tim Munson and Kevin Walden are teaching the annual course this year. The conversation has been lively and deep! How would you describe the relationship between morals and ethics?

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 5/22/2017
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    ABCOPAD and Volunteers in Mission

     

    A team from ABCOPAD met with Rev. Dr. Adalia Gutierrez Lee, International Ministries Area Director of Iberoamerica and Caribbean ministries. Along with Rev. Adalia, Rev. Sandra Dorsainvil and Emily Ferrin, who watch over volunteer mission trips, introduced themselves. Pastor John Dorean from Jefferson Baptist Church and Jonathan Johnson from FBC Waynesburg, seeking to do missionary work in Grand Goave, Haiti, met with this team to share their vision. Our own Frank Frischkorn pulled together the group. It was a great meeting dreaming about future ministry in Haiti. 

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 5/9/2017
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    Grilled Cheeses and Jesus

     

    [written by Tom Parkins]

    Calvary, Newark, successfully launched a new mission outreach this past Friday.  "Grilled Cheeses and Jesus".   

    St. Patrick's Day is a huge party day on the University of Delware campus. This year, on a Friday, it was even bigger. Literally on the pathway to and from party time, we hoped to offer a bit of sanity and a touch of God's love. We decided to set up next to the sidewalk and offer free grilled cheese sandwiches, BBQ, hot dogs, snacks, sodas, coffee, and hot hot chocolate from 11PM - 2AM. (Bars close at 1 AM). We would also offer free prayers. As it turned out, one of our members actually had a grilled cheese sandwich maker that imprints the face of Jesus! How cool was that!

    We had about 75 students and friends stop by. Only one was terribly tipsy. The students were very appreciative, and many stayed to chat and a few asked for a prayer. We did not preach or push any tracts. We did have church brochures available and made up a little "fun facts" of St. Patrick. One student, after eating a few hot dogs, said, "This is the most awesome thing that ever happened to me." His life must have been somewhat depressing, but I think that this was probably the first time that anybody had randomly done something nice for him.

    A small add-on. A young couple came by "early" in the evening (like midnight is early). It turns out that they were not students, but homeless. They had been evicted from the apartment that day and were on the street that night. They were hoping to connect with friends to find a place to stay. We said a prayer, and they departed. About "closing time," after 2 AM, they returned. No luck. What would they do? To shorten the story, I invited them to stay in the church, gave them some blankets to sleep on the narthex floor. I stayed with them. The next morning, I found a few backpacks, gave them a few bucks, took them to McDonalds, and showed them where the bus stop was. They were most appreciative. When you say that prayer, "Dear God help these people," it is a dangerous prayer. God will use you to help them. I had to lead a bunch of elementary school students in science projects all day Saturday. God gave me the best student helpers ever. I cruised through the day.

    A few pictures. The forecast called for mixed rain and snow, but it never did anything. The wind was very light which made it much more pleasant.

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 3/20/2017
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    Prayers Welcome!

     

    Last fall, Calvary, Newark, installed a prayer box on the main side walk in front of the church. Calvary is unique in that they have perhaps a couple thousand passes daily on that sidewalk, mostly University students. The church created a simple card and placed them in a weather resistant box. There's not a high volume of prayer request, but much of what they receive are very serious needs.

     

    The specific prayer concerns are shared directly with a prayer warriors team. General concerns are shared with the congregation. It is a test of faith to pray for somebody you do not know, and knowing that they will likely never learn the answer to the prayer. Nevertheless... The fervent prayers of the righteous avail much!

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 2/24/2017
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    LLC Southwestern PA

    Jeffrey Johnson met with some of the members of his LLC in southwestern Pennsylvania. They gathered at the home of Pastor Darrell and Joyce Edgar who right before Christmas welcomed a new baby into their lives and into their home, Taleah; their second child. Some of the members of the LLC weren't able to make it to their monthly meeting due to illness, or the need to be with a family in their church. Present were Pastor David Earnest, Pastor Cristy Wise. Pastor Darrell Edgar, and Pastor Chris McClaughlin (not pictured).

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/12/2017
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    West Virginia Toy Drive

     

    Days after the devastating flooding in West Virginia, where 8 to 10 inches of rain fell back in early summer, it was sad for Jeff to see the piles of gray rubble with brightly colored toys mixed throughout. The toys that weren’t washed away were unsalvageable — either broken or contaminated by polluted water. Most of the parents are without funds. And those who do have money can’t afford to spend it on toys this Christmas.

    To address this reality, this past Saturday morning, Jeff arrived at the historic Great Bethel Baptist Church in Uniontown, southwestern PA. He was there to pick up the donations from a two month long toy drive spearheaded by Angie Lawson, the church’s youth director. 

      

    Several hundred toys ranging from items for babies up through teenagers were collected from both members of the congregation and kids and their parents of the church sponsored preschool. It took Jeff an hour to do the impossible and pack all these wonderful donations into his rented SUV. Every single one of the donations somehow, some way, somewhere, made it into the four-wheeled sleigh. 

     


     

     

    Jeff then drove three hours south to First Baptist Church of Rainelle, West Virginia where David Bush is the pastor. Rainelle was one of the three hardest hit areas in that state. The church had more than three and a half feet of water in their fellowship hall. The congregation quickly cleaned out and cleaned up this space to then serve as a relief center for their community and surrounding area. Our own ABMen sponsored a two week mission trip here back in August. A number of our churches went down to help.

       

    Volunteers from the church unloaded the vehicle and put the items out on tables designated for various age groups. Parents came throughout the afternoon to “shop for free” for their children.

     

    Our region, through funds acquired through a church closure, gave our neighboring West Virginia Baptist Convention a $10,000 gift to continue their flood relief efforts. Mark Mahserjian-Smith is working with Vickie Goff from ABC Home Mission Societies to coordinate mission trips back down to WV for two weeks next June. The Home Mission Societies partnered in this effort with national staff donating over one hundred toys themselves.

     

    Mr. Rogers said that play is the work of childhood. Jeff added to that quote by saying “… and toys are the tools to get that work done!” Over three hundred toys in total were donated. “This act of love will serve two purposes. One, it will put actual toys under family Christmas trees—if they have them—and into children’s hands. Secondly, it will convey to this sister American Baptist Church and region with whom ABCOPAD has a relationship that they and their community are neither forgotten nor forsaken.” Not only do we ABCOPADers get to be Santa’s Sack for Christmas. We also get to be the hands and heart of Jesus.

    Special thanks goes out to David Thomas, the Budget rental car agent, who provided the SUV at a very special reduced rate to ABCOPAD/ABHMS to make the transport of all the toys possible.

     

    Complete photo album HERE 

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 12/21/2016
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    VUU Leadership Summit

    Jeffrey Johnson participated in a Leadership Summit on the campus of Virginia Union University, Samuel Proctor Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. Jeff spent the evening, talking with seminarians and pastors about various opportunities for ministerial leadership, primarily focused on chaplaincy. A handful of national executives from the Home Mission Societies were on site to do the same. Karen came along and staffed the Judson Press booktable while editor Rebecca Irwin-Deihl did a workshop on putting your ministry materials into a book. Rev. (Colonel US Army - retired) Kristy Moehler, our ABC endorsing officer, and Dr Jeff Haggray, executive director of ABHMS organized the event.


     

     

     

     

     

    Virginia Union University and Seminary is the name given in 1899 to the merger of two older schools, Richmond Theological Institute and Wayland Seminary, each founded by the American Baptist Home Mission Societies in 1865 shortly after the Union Troops took control of Richmond. The schools were founded for the education of now freed slaves.

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 12/10/2016
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    Disaster Relief -- Connellsville, PA

    An incredible effort by volunteers in Connellsville, PA. The American Baptist Women's Ministries of Pennsylvania and Delaware is partnering with the United Methodist Committee on Relief to help home owners restore their homes and get back on their feet. The Monongahela Baptist Association is providing food and housing for the volunteers. What a witness!

    A few shots here. For a complete photo album, click HERE.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 11/12/2016
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    Discover ABCOPAD

     

    The first Discover ABCOPAD event took place in Dover, Delaware, at the home of Gene and Thelma Schaller. The event was led by ABCOPAD Foundation Director of Development Sue MacDonald and ABCOPAD Regional Executive Pastor Frank Frischkorn. 

     

      

    The was our first Discover ABCOPAD event under Sue's leadership, designed to share the ABCOPAD ministry with partners in the Region. It was a very successful event with plenty of time for sharing and encouragement. Watch for a Discover ABCOPAD event coming to your area. [More photo HERE.]

     


     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 11/9/2016
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    Broad Street Baptist Church

     

    On Sunday, Jeffrey Johnson and his family spent the morning with the folks at the Broad Street Baptist Church where Pastor Jay Freudenberg is the pastor. He is an early 2000's CLI graduate and has served this church for nearly eight years. Jeff met with key and core leaders of the church during the Sunday School hour to talk about its vision, its future, and its desire as a smaller church to have a bigger impact for Christ in their community. Jeff preached the morning message. The church has a beautiful three-dimensional baptistery.

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/25/2016
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    Camp Carmel Fall Festival

     

    The Camp Carmel Baptist Camp Fall Gathering was held at the farm of Ralph and Rhonda Gatten south of Pittsburgh. Board members, summer staff, counselors, campers, supporters, and friends gathered for a time of great food, good fun, and wonderful fellowship which included a hayride, corn hole, lots of conversation and catching up, and of course a campfire to wrap up the day with a message by Pastor Gary Schneider of the North Ten Mile Baptist Church. More than a dozen churches were represented at the gathering from both the Ten Mile and Monongahela Baptist Associations. More photos HERE.

     

     

    Don't forget that the camps in our region are the year long fundraising emphasis and effort of our American Baptist Women. Check out the video concerning camping ministry in ABCOPAD at http://www.abcopad.org/Ministries/ABWM/Our-2016-2017-Region-Mission-Project.aspx. Rev. Eric Kraihanzel has made a video to talk about the project. Check it out: https://youtu.be/9pFQ06YIYGM 

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 10/25/2016
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    Tioga Baptist Association Fall Meeting

     

    The Tioga Baptist Association gathered together at the Middlebury Baptist Church (Pastor Stan Gill) this Sunday. Pastor Stan opened the meeting with an inspirational devotion followed by a time of praise and worship led by Pastor Stan and his wife Susan. Almost every congregation in the association was represented at the meeting. Congregational leaders shared some of the good things taking place in their churches. Judy Husted and Ben Nevin, with North Country Baptist Youth Ministries shared the important work taking place in this camping ministry.

    Here are just a few photos from the day. A complete picture album is HERE

     

     

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 10/13/2016
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    FBC York Mission Trip

    Team members from FBC York recently returned from a mission trip to Rainelle, WV. They worked hard for five days and were able to get much work done and build good relationships with our sister region to the south.

    The team worked in partnership with the West Virginia Baptist Convention on the clean-up and recovery effort for the recent flooding.

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 10/5/2016
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    WV Flood Relief

    ABCOPAD Churches were part of the hands-on WV Flood Relief efforts out of the Ranielle Baptist Church, including individuals from Hatboro Baptist, WWJD - Waynesburg, Moreland Baptist - Muncy, Wayland Baptist - Meadville, Redeeming Grace - Uniontown, and North Ten Mile Baptist - Amity. MANY other ABCOPAD churches all across the region, across our two states, sent in-kind donations as well as made monetary contributions.

    Workers stayed in the church's Christian Life, Christian Education Center. Homes were gutted. Repairs made. Rebuilding begun.

    Thanks to one and all for being the hands and feet of Jesus there in the devastated area.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 8/26/2016
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    Camp Carmel Board

     

     

    Monday evening, Jeff Johns, ABCOPAD Regional Pastor with Congregations, attended the monthly meeting of the Camp Carmel Board. The leaders, representing seven different ABCOPAD churches, gathered to review their summer season. It had been a great one! A few literal bumps and bruises as is to be expected with any outdoor ministry, but the spiritual growth of both the staff and campers was tremendous. God provided in every way for the camp's needs in both staffing and resources. Jeff was asked to attend to provide some guidance concerning how to help staff and counselors have a greater impact and be even more equipped spiritually to minister to the campers. A extensive counselor training is now being planned for next spring before the start of their 2017 season. They are already counting the days ... 46 weeks until their opening next year.

     

    Jeff also shared that the camp is strategically poised to be a network of churches working together in ways our associations used to be, like the two that founded Camp Carmel more than 60 years ago. This would be true of all our camps in the region. You will remember, just one week ago, Jeff was at the one and same camp, baptizing his son, Judson, who stayed for the week as a Junior Counselor and had the unexpected opportunity on their last night there to share a Biblical message at campfire. 

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 8/3/2016
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    GraceCrossing Community Church in Phoenixville

     

    On Sunday, Jeff Johnson, ABCOPAD Regional Pastor with Congregations, spent the morning and early afternoon with the congregation at GraceCrossing Community Church in Phoenixville. Pastor Steve Crane is doing a great job as their interim. Jeff provided the morning message and at the end of the service the entire front of the church was filled with the folks praying for their own needs and those and those of the church as well. A time of light refreshments followed the worship service and then Jeff conducted a requested Q&A with the church as they move forward in their search process but at the same time also wanting to live out their vision and all the implications of doing so. 


     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 8/3/2016
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    2016 ABMen Conference

    It was a great weekend, as men from across the region gathered for the 2016 ABMen's Conference at Shippensburg University. Focused on the theme, “God, Our Ever-Present Help!” Rev. Dr. Larron Jackson was the featured Minister, Teacher, and Motivational Speaker. The weekend included times for Worship, Bible Study, Learning Workshops, and Fellowship. American Baptist Men of Pennsylvania & Delaware has been Forging Relationships for 62 Years! A few highlight photos below. The complete album is available HERE.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 8/2/2016
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    Upland Baptist Church Summer Outreach

    Recently, Jeff Johnson participated in the summer outreach program to kids held at the Upland Baptist Church where Rev. Brenda Shaw is the pastor. The program is a partnership of the church, the Catholic Diocese of Philadelphia, and funding by the government's faith based initiatives. The kids come for a book reading, to recite memory verses, do activities, play games, hear a lesson, have a meal, and take advantage of a lending library set up by a former school teacher, Linda Cook, who is also a member of the church's co::lab vision team. Jeff did a book reading, shared with the kids an object lesson, and taught the kids a lesson in origami, a favorite pastime of Jeff's. He even provided each child a Frisbee from ABHMS to take home and enjoy.

    This outreach helps the church realize what they believe God has called them to do that they discerned through their vision work; Loving Others through service. John Kofroth, President of our ABMen is a member of this church and participated in the outreach. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 7/29/2016
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    Building Healthy Partnerships

    Amidst regional responsibilities, during parts of the last two days, Jeff has been participating in strategy planning sessions for our American Baptist Home Mission Societies. This was a gathering of national and regional staff, as well as select individuals like millennials,. They were doing together what our region has provided under the auspices of co::lab to assist ABCOPAD churches and organizations in wanting to know what they should be doing and how they should be doing it to have the greatest impact for God's Kingdom. The gathering was convened by Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, the new Executive Director of ABHMS. Besides Jeff, there are a couple different ABCOPADers in the room. 

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 7/29/2016
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    La Paz Mexico Mission Trip 2

    Eric Kraihanzel reports on the second group of volunteers serving in  LaPaz. They had a full day of visiting two different churches. The group first went to Primera Iglesia Bautista for worship and then headed 45 minutes out of LaPaz to Los Planes for worship. This is where they will be helping to build a new church this week. PIB is planting the church and church members along with our group will be helping to put on a roof and run a VBS program. A few feature photos are posted below. The complete album is available HERE.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 7/29/2016
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    La Paz Mexico Mission Trip 1

    Eric Kraihanzel reports: The mission trip has been fantastic. The ministry opportunities have been outstanding. We have spent a good amount of time with children from the nearby communities. We have had 5 opportunities to share God's word/spend time with children from local schools and the communities near the ranch. Every day we have been working on the ranch/camp to help them get ready for their summer program. The team has had the joy of getting to know the camp staff (Mexicans) and sharing with them in ministry. Here are several highlight photos. The complete album is available HERE.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 7/29/2016
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    2016 ABWM Conference

    It was an outstanding time of fellowship, worship, and celebration as women across the region gathered for the annual ABWM Conference. Featuring outstanding speakers, Bible study leaders, musicians, and missionaries, the program emphasized the theme "Thrive!". During the conference, the ABWM leadership presented the ABCOPAD Foundation and ABCOPAD Partners In Ministry with gifts totaling $40,000! Here are just a few photos highlighting the events. A complete album is available HERE.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 7/29/2016
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    Joseph ... now in person!

     

    David Earnest, pastor of the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Greene County, is taking his role as Joseph VERY seriously going so far as to shave his head to portray the part. Each session Pastor David teaches on Joseph -- as Joseph -- as part of their Egypt based Vacation Bible School.

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 6/7/2016
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    ABWM Spring Board Meeting

    What a great day with the ABWM team of PA/DE. As Pastor Jeff Johnson said "everyone on the regional team is giving praise reports!" Great stuff is happening in ABWM so 'stay tuned.' Pastor Jeff gave each of us a "million dollar bill". He said it's because we are each worth a million dollars to him and the ministry in ABCOPAD. We were THRIVING today. God was good to us in many ways!

     


     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 5/22/2016
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    by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 5/11/2016
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    Travels With Jeff

     

     

    Last week, Jeff preached twice at the annual session of the ABC churches of the South in Charlotte NC. Jeff was there for the installation of their new executive minister, Dr Harrison, representing both the Home Mission Societies and ABCOPAD.

     

    Jeff presented Dr Harrison a set of cuff links Jeff made for him from lapel pins on which is their region logo.

     

    At the ABCOTS annual session, Jeff crossed paths with Dr Pat Hernandez who is the national director of both women in ministry and transitional ministries. Dr Pat was there to conduct a seminar on interim ministry; a training she just did in our region last week for both present and future interim ministers.

     

    While at ABCOTS' annual session, Jeff also crossed paths with Susan Gillies, Interim General Secretary (middle) and Kristina Moeller (Colonel - Retired), our national endorsing agent for ABC military and institutional chaplains (right).

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General ~ Date: 5/5/2016
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    ABCOPAD Interim Ministry Training

    The Interim Ministry training being offered by ABCOPAD, ABC Transitional Ministries and the Center for Congregational Health was launched in April. This level one training is the basic training for all interim pastors.

     

     

    Leading the interim ministries training is Les Robinson from the Center for Congregational Health and Larry Swain, former Executive Minister for ABC Ohio and now a consultant for the program are leading the gathering.

     

    Pat Hernandez, Director of Transition Ministries ABCUSA and Kevin Walden, ABCOPAD Refirement are also among the leaders here to at the event.

     

    Our own Regional Executive Pastor, Frank Frischkorn is also here at FBC Milton for this unique collaboration bring multiple ministries together for this important training.

     

    Additional photos of the event can be viewed HERE

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 4/28/2016
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    2016 Nicaragua Mission Trip III

    Last night the team went out to dinner at a local Nicaragua/Mexican restaurant. The mission team and the AMOS staff enjoyed a wonderful feast and time to reflect on our time at Banco de Sikia. Today we will have our last full day in Nicaragua. We are heading to a park to swim, rest, and begin psychologically for re-entry into the US and our lives back home.

     

     

    Early this morning the team left Banco de Sikia to return to Managua. It was hard leaving so many great new friends behind. The trip was a huge success.

    Not only were all the water filters installed, medical training accomplished, and Vacation Bible School completed, life-long friendships were forged with people in the community who will remain in our hearts forever.

    The 9-hour trip back to Managua was, once again grueling, with everyone receiving a thick layer of dust over clothes and skin, as well as sore muscles from constant jarring on bumpy roads. Now that we are back at the AMOS compound, everyone is showered and getting ready to head out for dinner at a local restaurant. 

    You can view lots more pictures HERE!  

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 4/28/2016
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    2016 Nicaragua Mission Trip II

    What an amazing day. Five groups went out right after breakfast to install water filters. So many amazing testimonies. I was present to witness one especially tender moment.

    Mike, Jenny, and I delivered a water filter to a family pretty far from the clinic. When we arrived at the house we found several bamboo-like containers with small bees flying in and out. We learned that the dad of the family is a bee keeper. Mike keeps bees at his farm in New York. We installed the filter and had a great time visiting with the family. Mike (via translation) talked about bee keeping with the dad. We learned it takes the bees about a year to create one liter of honey. As we were leaving, the father of the family (Leonel) gave Mike a gift of 1 liter of honey. We were told we could eat it because the honey is boiled making it safe. It was an amazing gift and the honey is truly delicious!


    While delivering water filters, we invited everyone to a movie night at the church. Almost every family who received a water filter came out. We watched Kung Fu Panda. What a great night to be the family of God in His house.

    Once the movie concluded, our team returned to our dining area to meet. One of our nurses, Rachel, turned 25 today. The AMOS team drove all the way to the nearest town to buy a birthday cake and soda. We celebrated Rachel's birthday together.

    There is a tradition in Nicaragua to crush an egg on the head of anyone celebrating a birthday. Rachel has been embraced as a member of the family here in Banco de Sikia. Two AMOS staff members snuck up on Rachel and broke eggs on her head as a wish for long life. The eggs were donated from homes where water filters had been installed. A fantastic way to end the evening.

    Tonight many members of our team are choosing to sleep under the stars on a ridge not far from the clinic. It is a beautiful night.

     

     

    Today we finished installing the last of our water filters. The community was overjoyed with the results of our project. We had a short break in the afternoon. Some members of our team took time to rest while others met with community leaders to help them with additional water issues the village has been struggling with.

    At 4:00pm, everyone from the village gathered at the church for a closing ceremony. It was a great celebration as everyone expressed gratitude to God and to one another for an amazing week. Not only were all the water filters installed, but incredible friendships were forged. 15 village leaders received first-aid training certificates, and kids shared a song they learned in VBS The closing was bittersweet, with hugs and even tears, knowing it will be some time before everyone is together again.

    Tomorrow morning we will start the 9-hour road trip home. We will leave the village bright and early. Thank you for your continued prayers!

     

    You can view lots more pictures HERE!  


    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 4/28/2016
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    2016 Nicaragua Mission Trip I

    Our team of volunteers departed from Atlanta on their way to Nicaragua. Everyone arrived and got to know one another.

     

    The team attended morning worship at a little church outside of Managua. It was wonderful. The congregation demonstrated amazing hospitality. The music included some familiar hymns and others that were new. The team brought a greeting from the States. Pastor Daniel focused his message on the Holy Spirit and our AMOS partner John translated. It was incredible being with our brothers and sisters in Christ here in Nicaragua.

     

     

     

    On Monday, we had orientations the morning followed by a tour of the compound. In the afternoon we learned out the water filters we would be installing and did some preparations on the actual filters. We also enjoyed a short tour of Managua.

     

     

     

    The team made it safely to Banco de Sikia. It was a very difficult trip ... 9 hours over many horrible dirt roads. The bumps and shakes were grueling, but we made it. Everyone had a thick coating of dust covering our skin and clothing, but without a doubt the trip was worth it.

     

    Tuesday was a full day of ministry. In the morning, the team installed a water filter for Hosea, one of the Health Committee members who lives at the heart of the village. This was great practice.

    By 9:30am, five teams were dispatched to install water filters throughout the community. Some teams only needed to travel 30-60 minutes to their families, while others had almost a 2-hour walk to their first home receiving a water filter. Everyone was pretty exhausted when they got back for lunch.

    After lunch, half the team did medical training with community members while the other half of the team did VBS with the children.

    The medical team taught basic first aid for wounds and had lots of interaction with the students. The VBS team had about 35 kids. We sang songs, did games, and had arts and crafts. We also cleaned litter from the school yard.

    By dinnertime, everyone was very tired, but so happy with our accomplishments.

    The hospitality of the people of Banco de Sikia is incredible. SO much joy! It remains very hot (102) and dusty.

    You can view lots more pictures HERE

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 4/20/2016
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    REUNION 2016 REVIEW

    Reunion 2016 is more than a memory! Held at Liberty Baptist Church, students from all over ABCOPAD gathered for a weekend of fellowship, inspiration, and fun. There were wild games, music from Museum, challenging messages from Dave Klock, not to mention lots of pizza! There were great times of laughter and shenanigans. And there were exceptional times of worship, discovery, and commitment. You can check out ALL the photos HERE

     

     

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 2/29/2016
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    2016 Haiti Mission Volunteers

    Rev. John Dorean, Pastor, Jefferson Baptist Church leads a mission team to Grande Goave February 24 - March 2, 2016. The team will help to build a concrete block home, work and play with the children at the Heart to Heart Children's Home, and lead prayer walks within the community. 

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 2/25/2016
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    Disaster Relief at Roaring Branch, PA

     

    Tim Robson (Interim Pastor at the East Smithfield Federated Church) reported a team from the Bradford Baptist Association provided disaster relief at the Mt. Zion New Life Center in Roaring Branch, PA. The Retreat Center was severely damaged by frozen pipes. The Bradford Baptist Association sent a team to assist in the restoration effort. The group utilized the Disaster Relief Trailer, making available valuable tools for this project.

    See the complete photo album HERE

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 2/2/2016
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    Calvary, Newark, Storm Response

    A report from Code Purple Blizzard at Calvary Baptist Church, Newark, DE 


    All is fine, as 28 folks spent the night warm and safe. Saturday morning finds us watching James Bond Skyfall. Lots of full bellies. There is enough food for an army. Thank you to so many who stepped up to provide so much.

     

    The guests spent Friday night keeping the sidewalks and driveway open. We have sufficient volunteers. Special thanks to Mindy from Newark Empowerment Center (NEC) for hanging out till about 8 while balancing her own family. It was great having her to assist with check in. About 9:00, Marc Marcus, from NEC, came in after making rounds checking for stragglers. He was here till midnight helping with getting the guys settled down.

     

     

    We will be here until Sunday morning. Our guests have cleaned bathrooms and vacuumed this morning. These guys are awesome at helping out. Today we watch more movies and play cards and games. Our volunteers go and grab some shut eye on a rotating basis.

     

    Volunteers camped here for the weekend.
    Thanks so much for your prayers!
    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 1/29/2016
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    Eric And Mark in Mexico - III

    Complete Photo Album available HERE.  

    January 21 

    Our team enjoyed a delicious breakfast with Nany, Lupita, and their family. It was great continuing to build a strong relationship with these partners in ministry in La Paz.

     

    Following breakfast, we traveled to Los Planos to visit with Pastor Juan Carlos who is building a new church. This is a church plant of First Baptist of La Paz. So exciting to see what the Lord is doing as so many are coming to Jesus through these ministries.

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries ~ Date: 1/22/2016
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    Dominican Republic Team Report

     

    Thank you for praying for our FBC Wellsboro mission work trips to Las Colinas in the Dominican Republic. Team I, mostly construction/painting folk or teens from PA, left Dec. 28 to paint buildings on the compound, build a church on Batey Molinito and provide clean water (where there had been no water at all) to the village center; teens performed puppet shows and had a Gospel presentation for children of Batey Molinito, Batey Esperanza, and Colegio Evangelico Moriah (school was not in session, but children came for the show and Gospel presentation). They returned home changed forever on Jan. 8, the day Team II left for Las Colinas.

     

      

    Team II was mostly a medical team from all around the East, North, South, and mid-West. God sent a large medical team because He knew they’d see more patients than our medical teams have ever seen since holding the first medical clinics in 1985: 380 on Sat., 280 on Wed., etc. Young people from Maine and PA. taught art in the school, helped the construction crew complete a roof on the large cistern at Batey Molinito, and joined the crew shoveling rocks onto the parking lot and driveway in the compound. They returned to their various homes in the early morning hours of Jan. 19, also changed in mind and spirit.

     

     

    FBC Wellsboro invites everyone to the teams’ presentation on Feb. 14 at 10:15 A.M.

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 1/22/2016
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    Eric And Mark in Mexico - II

    Complete Photo Album available HERE.  

    January 19

    This morning we are working on finishing the ramp for the therapeutic riding program at the stable. We have finished excavation and are now driving rebar anchors to secure the wall. Hope to have this project finished before lunch. The guys are fired up.

     

     

     

    We finished the retaining wall that will allow wheelchair bound and special needs kids participate in therapeutic horseback riding. It was a bigger than we expected, but the job is complete.

     

     

    After completing the retaining wall we visited Pastor Jaun and his wife at their home. Pastor Juan has plans for planting a church in a rural area outside of La Paz. It was great hearing his vision.

     

     

     

    Pastor Juan took us to the site of the new church plant. The ground has been cleared and plans are underway for construction. The congregation already brings yard chairs to the site for worship.


     After visiting the site of the new church plant, we went to Rancho Camino, the summer camping program our young adults visited this summer. The vista is breath taking.

     

     

     

    We went to the home of our friends from Primera Iglesia Bautsia to discuss summer mission trips. It was awesome spending the evening with these great brothers and sisters in Christ. So much laughing and sharing. Just an amazing night.

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 1/20/2016
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    Eric And Mark in Mexico - I

    Complete Photo Album available HERE

    January 16

    Our small mission team departed from JFK Airport for La Paz, Mexico. The team included our own Eric Kraihanzel, Mark Mahserjian-Smith, Bryon Luke from Hatboro Baptist, and Josh Carson from FBC Bethlehem. We were up at 3am to make our early Saturday morning flight and arrived in Mexico mid-afternoon...

     

    The landscape is breathtaking....

     

    We enjoyed a delicious meal at a local restaurant and, following a busy travel day, enjoyed some late night ice cream. Tomorrow worship and jump into some work.

     

     

     

    January 17

    This morning we attended the Crossroad Fellowship in La Paz. This is an English speaking congregation where our ABC Missionaries, David and Joyce Reed, attended. A great way to start our Sunday.

     

    Later, our team attended Primera Iglesia Bautista of La Pas. It was all in Spanish and an amazing worship service. Such a wonderful time worshiping with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

     

     

    Following worship this afternoon our team took the pastor and his family, along with the worship leader, our friend Nany and her mom, out for dinner. It was great getting to know this church family as well as making plans for summer mission trips.

     

     

    January 18

    Today we are working on building a ramp for the therapeutic riding program. We are digging out the old ramp and putting in a new ramp that will help handicapped kids, some in wheelchairs, board the horses for their rides. Bright sun and hot, but all is going well. The team is hard at work.

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 1/18/2016
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    Following Frank in the Philippines

    A few notes and photos from recent Facebook posts:

     

    10,000 miles and 30 hours later, we just arrived at the hotel in Manila. Tomorrow morning after breakfast we get on another plane to fly to Iloilo City for a 4-day Roundtable with leaders of the Philippine Baptist Convention, where each of us will be presenting papers on topics that are common to our work for the Gospel on both sides of the globe. Ok...I'm going to bed! 

     

     

    This morning at breakfast, Ben Chan from International Ministries gave us some history of the American Baptist relationship with the churches in the Philippines. Now it's off to get on a plane for our trip south to Iloilo, where the Roundtable Gathering will take place over the next four days. A fun fact on the Philippines: did you know there are over 7100 islands that make up the nation?

     

    We received a warm greeting from our partners in the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches after our plane landed in Iloilo City. ( the fact that it was about 85 degrees when we landed also added to the warmth of the greeting!). This evening we will start our Roundtable discussions with the Kasapulanan ( their equivalent of regions) leadership.

     

     

    At tonight's opening session, we shared a time of table fellowship with the other leaders from CPBC, as well as being blessed by a troup of dancers from Central Philippine University. We were expecting the group from CPBC to be the same size as ours, but interest in the conversation was so high that the Convention felt obliged to open the participation to approximately 50 leaders, both pastor and lay.

     

     

    I had the chance to spend some time with a young Filipino pastor named Joshua, today. It was great to have the chance to talk about leadership with him and to hear his call and passion for ministry in the new church he is attempting to plant. Honestly he reminded me of our new church planting pastor, Dave Klock. What a blessing it is to see how God calls people to life-changing ministry all over the globe!

     

     

    Vicki Goff and Denise Gratzel are sharing with our Philippine brothers and sisters about the response to Superstorm Sandy....I can't help but be filled with joy at the selfless response of so many from our region to the needs of our friends to the east.

     

     

    Lee Spitzer, the Executive Minister from ABCNJ, also shared about the response of other regions to the destruction of Sandy. As you see from the picture, he made a special notice of our region being the first to respond within the first week after the disaster....nice picture of Regional Pastor Kevin Walden, don't you think?

     

     

    Vicki Goff and the staff from ABCNJ are responding to questions about their presentation on Superstorm Sandy....

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries ~ Date: 1/7/2016
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    Dominican Republic Volunteer Mission Team

    Remember to pray for the Dominican Republic Mission Team (Wellsboro, FBC). TEAM #1 is serving December 28, 2015- Jan. 7, 2016.

    Volunteers have included a construction team building a small church on a batey (village of Haitian sugar cane workers) under the direction of Mark Page...

     

    a painting team with Duane Yeagel as leader...

     

    and a puppet team - 6 teens and their youth leader, Drew Simcox, who are presenting the Gospel through puppet shows every day.

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 1/5/2016
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    Reaching Out in Pittsburgh

    Saturday evening, Jeff Johnson and his wife, Karen, and their children, Jonae and Judson, with extended family members participated in an outreach in the downtown streets of Pittsburgh to feed and clothe the homeless. The ministry is sponsored each weekend by Ken Howard Ministries. Two of our ABCOPAD churches participate monthly: Olive Branch Church in Belle Vernon, and First Baptist Church, Vandergrift.

      

    Jeff's kids helped serve the wonderful and abundant hot food prepared by Marcia Bauer from Olive Branch.

     

    Jeff and Judson distributed personal hygiene kits put together by Judson.

     

    Karen, her mother, her niece, and the choir director of Olive Branch sang carols in the background.

     

    After weeks of temps way above normal, the night of the outreach, the temps dipped to well below freezing. The Olive Branch ministry team is headed up by Paula Sommerfeldt, wife of the church's pastor Ken. The Vandergrift ministry is headed up by Pat Rupert, providing lot of clothes as well as bag meals for the homeless to take and eat later.

     

     

    Before the evening was over, a man prayed to commit his life to Christ. Now this is the greatest present one can receive this Christmas season: His presence in this man's heart. 

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 12/20/2015
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    FBC, Pottstown & ABHMS Partnership

     

     

    The American Baptist Home Mission Society staff, including our own Jeff Johnson, partnered with the First Baptist Church of Pottstown, an ABCOPAD congregation, to provide much needed baby items, toiletries, laundry supplies, and groceries for families.

     

     

    Laura Alden 

    Laura Alden, publisher of Judson Press, a member of FBC, Pottstown, and the chair of their pastoral search committee is coordinating the delivery of the items to the Pottstown Cluster of Churches. Several ABHMS staff are members of other ABCOPAD churches in the Valley Forge area including Royersford, Upper Merion, and Exton.

     

     

    Fela Barreuto (L), Director of the ABHMS Prisoner Re-Entry Program
    Laura Miraz (R) HR Director of ABHMS
     

    The ABHMS staff also donated new socks, underwear, ties, shirts, shoes, and sportcoats to give to the Essex County (NJ) Correctional Center to provide released inmates with proper attire for job interviews as they reenter society.
     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 12/15/2015
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    2015 ABWM Leadership Team

    The AB Women's Ministry Leadership Team gathered for a fall meeting in Carlisle, PA. Mark Mahserjian-Smith had a great honor of dedicating the new officers and association presidents, as well as telling the ladies about recent mission trips. This is an incredible group who remain a powerful force for mission in our Region.

    Additional pictures are available HERE

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 9/27/2015
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    TOUCH A TRUCK at FBC Waynesburg

    The Touch a Truck event at FBC, Waynesburg is HUGE! You really had to be there to appreciate everything that was happening. Air horns were blasting as kids climb into the cabs of the trucks. And every truck that drove by sounded their greeting. Kids were running from truck to truck pulling their parents along. The church was prepared to distribute more than 600 bibles to children attending. Rev Ed Pierce is lead pastor at FBC. What an awesome community event! 

    More photos are available HERE

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 9/27/2015
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    ABHMS Welcomes New Executive Director

     

    Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, ABCOPAD Regional Pastor With Congregations, spent the day at our ABC Mission Center in Valley Forge. He was there to welcome the incoming executive director of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Haggray. He will begin his ministry at ABHMS on November 1 following the 24 year tenure of the Rev. Dr. Aidsand Wright-Riggins, III, who will be retiring.

     

     

     

    Pictured above are the Rev. Dr. Aidsand Wright-Riggins, III, present Executive Director of ABHMS, Jeff Johnson, and the Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, Executive Director-elect.

     

     


    Pictured above are Jeff Johnson with the Rev. Dr. Clifford Johnson, Senior Pastor of the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Wilmington, Delaware and also President of the ABHMS Board of Directors, and the Rev. Dr. Alonzo Patterson who is Senior Pastor of the Shiloh Baptist Church in Anchorage, Alaska and Director of our ABC work in that state.

     

    You will remember, when Jeff came on board to ABCOPAD five years ago, he retained his executive position with the American Baptist Churches USA as the National Director of Evangelism and New Church Planting under the auspices of ABHMS, a position in total he has now held for fifteen years.

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 9/25/2015
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    Leadership Learning Communities

    Leadership Learning Communities (LLC) are small groups of pastors gathering together locally to empower each other to have healthy vital relationships personally and professionally. This is a crucial part of fulfilling the region's vision to build healthy partnerships with Churches, Pastoral Leaders and the wider ABC Family.

    Here are some recent photos of recent LLC meetings across the region. To learn more, click HERE

     

    The Delaware Association LLC with Jeff Collins, Mark Mahserjian-Smith, CG Coats, Dan Taylor, Louise Barger, and Kevin Walden.

     

     

    The Northumberland Association LLC held its September meeting at PNC field, taking in a Pirates game! Included in the group are Pete Wilson, and Rob Rice

     

    The Pastor's Spouse LLC met for fellowship in State College. A few of the group: Kevin Walden, Kelly Hartman, and Jen Rice.

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 9/21/2015
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    Watsontown Baptist 175th Anniversary

    Congratulations to the members of Watsontown Baptist Church who celebrated their 175th anniversary. The sanctuary was filled with great music and preaching, the pews were filled with faithful members and former pastors, and there was plenty to eat at a family picnic. The weather was glorious, but no match for the spirit of God among those gathered in worship and fellowship. Rev. Jim Ritter serves as pastor.

    Additional pictures are available at Photobucket 

     

     

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 9/20/2015
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    FBC Woodlawn - Habitat Project

     

     

     

     

     

    Pastor Howard Irwin and a great group of young adults from FBC Woodlawn did outstanding work today hanging drywall and cleaning the backyard. It was a great day at a Habitat build in Ambridge.

    You can check out additional pictures at the ABCOPAD Photobucket site

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 8/27/2015
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    Camp Carmel Golf Scramble

     

     

    Throughout this past beautiful Sunday afternoon in southwestern Pennsylvania, Jeff Johnson participated in a golf scramble fundraiser for Camp Carmel. Some eighteen teams took to the course. There were about a dozen ABCOPAD pastors and laypastors participating in the event. After eighteen holes of golf, a feast of barbecue pork loin with all the fixings was served while awards for individual and team play were given out.

    Though Jeff's foursome did not come in with the lowest score for the day, they did, like many other teams, beat the team that touts itself as the course experts.

    Over $3000 was raised for the camp.

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 8/26/2015
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    Jefferson Classic 2015


     

     


     

    The thirteenth annual Jefferson Classic was held on July 31 and August 1 with 213 registered for a a variety of sporting events and games.

    The event is sponsored each year by the Jefferson Baptist Church. Any profits from the event go to fund the digging of wells in Burkina Faso, Africa, perhaps the poorest nation on earth, where Jefferson missionaries Roy and Marilyn Keys are serving. 

    This year’s Classic began on Friday, July 31 at 7:00 P.M. at the Jefferson-Morgan Elementary gym with a corn hole tournament. The event also included a kid’s one mile fun run, a 5K walk/run, and a three-on-three basketball tournament. Younger children were entertained throughout the morning’s events with games of water balloon toss, three legged races, cake walks, and football toss. Great food was served from the beginning to the end of both days’ events.

    Event organizer John Dorean commented, “For us it is all about giving our community a sense of pride and togetherness. We couldn’t do the event without a huge number of people sacrificially giving of their time and resources to make it happen. From our referees to the folks donating and cooking the food, folks contribute with generous hearts and joyful spirits. It has never been about making money. From the beginning, we wanted folks to know that, as a church, we were not going to profit from the event in any way so we committed every dollar beyond our expenses to a local or foreign mission.”

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 8/24/2015
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    Ordination Service for Rev David Jacobs


    Mark writes. On Sunday July 26 an Ordination Service was held at the Clinton Baptist Church of Montgomery, PA for Rev David Jacobs. Members of the Congregation along with members of the association gathered together for the celebration.

    During the Ordination service for Rev. David Jacobs, clergy from the Northumberland Baptist Association came forward to pray for Pastor Dave and his wife Lisa along with their daughters. The tradition of Laying On Of Hands was conducted as everyone prayed God would bless this pastor, his family and the ministry at Clinton. 


    Following the Ordination Celebration for Pastor Dave Jacobs a reception was held in the fellowship hall. It was a wonderful evening of rejoicing for the church family and the association. 

    by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 8/5/2015
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    Rev John and Linda Shypulefski Celebrate 50th Wedding Anniversary

     



    Frank writes: John and Linda Shypulefski are celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary today at their home outside of Shickshinny today. Friends and family are gathering to celebrate with them on this beautiful Sunday afternoon.

     

    by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 8/5/2015
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    ABCOPAD Millennial Mission Team in La Paz Mexico

    La Paz Mexico team has made it and getting settled in. Pray for us as we serve running sports camps and serving in the community.



    Eric writes - Mexico Mission trip continues. We have been blessed to serve at Ranch el Camino in La Paz, MX. Working around the camp and running a camp program.





    More Updates and Pics on Our Facebook Page

    by Mark Mahserjian-Smith Categories: Ministries ~ Date: 8/5/2015
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    July Haiti Mission Volunteer


     

    Rev. Kelly Legg, Pastor at First Baptist Church of Norristown, leads a great team of volunteers in Haiti. Hard work and Hot weather! But servant hands are blessing so many men and women, boys and girls.  Building homes... Building friendships... Building hope... Building faith... Building a future...

     

    You can check out more photos HERE

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 7/6/2015
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    2015 ABCUSA Mission Summit


    It's over.... but what a gathering!!! American Baptists from across the country and around the world came together in Overland Park, KS, for the biennial gathering of our denominational family.  

    Two albums of pictures are available for viewing. Take a moment, and see what happened for three days in June.

    Photo Album #1 (taken by ABCUSA Staff) 

    Photo Album #2 (taken by ABCOPAD Staff)

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 7/3/2015
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    New Covenant Installation Service

     

      

     

    Many members of the ABCOPAD Family participated in the Installation service for Pastor Melody Walden at New Covenant Baptist Church, Pottstown (Central Union Association).

    Participants included: Dan MacDonald, charge to the congregation; Kevin Walden, charge to the pastor; Brenda Shaw honoring of the Pastor's spouse; Blake Edwards, installation vows; Brad Lacey, prayer of dedication; Doug Stratton, greeting from Central Union Association; Rev. Mary Etta Mest, greeting from Clergy Association of Pottstown. 

    You can see additional pictures at Photobucket

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 6/9/2015
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    Clergy Ethics Course - 2015 Spring

      

      

     

    We had an outstanding group who gathered at the First Regular Baptist Church of Huntingdon for the ABCOPAD Clergy Ethics course. Kevin Walden, Regional Pastor for Pastoral Leaders, was our lead instructor. Pastor Eric Kraihanzel also joined us [via Go To Meeting] to talk about ethics in the midst of Student Ministries.

    A complete album of pictures can be seen on Photobucket

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 6/6/2015
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    ACTS 2015 Spring Graduation

     

    The Academy of Christian Training and Service

    Our 2015 Spring ACTS Graduation celebration was held at the West Shore Baptist Church in Camp Hill. What an awesome group of graduates along with their families. It was an honor to be present along with so many of our ACTS team .

    You can check out all the photos HERE at PHOTOBUCKET.

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 6/1/2015
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    Restoration and Resurrection

     

    Mark writes: This afternoon I had a chance to visit Pastor Brad and Peggy Lacey at FBC Conshohocken. It was great hearing their life story as well as to see how God has been restoring the church follow a devastating fire a number of years ago. These are such great partners in ministry and wonderful friends.

    Check out these remarkable pictures...

    AFTER the fire ---

     

     

    During the rebuild --- 

     

     

    AFTER completion ---

     

     

     

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 5/13/2015
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    Where's Jeff??

     

     

    Jeff Johnson, our ABCOPAD Regional Pastor with Congregations as well as our ABCUSA National Director of Evangelism and New Church Planting, spent the end of last week and this weekend with one of our sister regions, the ABC Churches of Nebraska, at their annual convention hosted by the First Baptist Church of Kearney, Nebraska.

    The gathering began with a day-long pastor training event sponsored by their Ministers' Council. The information shared was based on an article Jeff wrote for the Spring 2014 issue of Christian Citizen, discipleSHIFT: 1st century practices applicable to our 21st century reality. You can download a copy from the ABHMS website, under Publications in the archive section.

    The focus of the two day convention was Acts 1:8, being a witness to the whole world. Jeff spoke at both the opening and closing plenaries, as well as at the ABMen luncheon. 

    On Sunday, Jeff spoke at the host church at both their morning services which are streamed live over the internet and broadcast over local radio. There was a tremendous outpouring of the Holy Spirit during an invitation at both services. The front of the church packed praying for their own needs or the needs of others.

    You can find more on the Nebraska region's facebook page HERE 

     

       

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries ~ Date: 5/3/2015
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    Against The Flow in Williamsport

     

     

      

     

     

    At Calvary Baptist Church in Williamsport, Rev. Eric Kraihanzel, our Regional Pastor for Student Ministries, was leading another "Against The Flow" event for teens through the north central part of the region. Six congregations participated. Their time together included worship, testimonies, break-out sessions, service projects in the community, games, and lots and lots of food! These two-day gatherings are to help teens go against the flow of worldly values and strive to put Christ at the center of their lives.

     

    Here are the youth and their leaders making clay pots as part of their learning experience based on Isaiah 64:8 and Jeremiah 18

     

    by Bud Russell Categories: General, Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 4/25/2015
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    Medical Emergency!!!

     

     

     

    Relax!!!! 

    The ABCOPAD Nicaragua Mission Team had some fun after lunch. The guys did a First Aid Clinic, teaching the men of El Socorro some basic medical info for common emergency issue. Eddy, the fireman of our group as well as ER worker, taught the class along with Our team leader, Roberto. The men did great and clearly already know a lot. We laughed and learned together.

    The ladies led the VBS this afternoon and had a blast singing, playing games, teaching Bible Stories and coloring with the kids. When both groups were done, we spent time with Isaac, the resident health promoter. Isaac works during the day growing coffee as well as providing medical care for the people of El Socorro. He is a very giving and caring man who often walks for hours to make a house call for those that are ill. It has been an honor serving this great community.

    by Bud Russell Categories: Ministries, Region Life ~ Date: 4/17/2015
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