News & Notes from

   American Baptist Home Mission


      November 2015


With gratitude
When I think of Thanksgiving, the hymn "Now Thank We All Our God" rings in my ears. It's the "our God" part that hooks me. That one little word "our" so clearly identifies the shared sacredness of being human. 

The writer, Martin Rinkart, penned the hymn's words in the 1600s, when he was the sole surviving pastor in Eilenburg, Saxony, during a severe plague. As the story goes, this Lutheran clergyman was conducting 50 funerals a day at the time: In one year he led 4,000 services, including one for his wife.

It's hard to imagine finding inspiration to write words of thanks at such a time as that.

As we look forward to our groaning tables of turkey and stuffing, it's a good time to remember that, sometimes, faith calls us to look deeper into our lives for "thanks giving." Times get tough, but what can get us through is "our God," who promises steadfast comfort, healing and hope, and the promise of a better tomorrow.

As I fall asleep after a challenging day, I look for the blessings I missed: a word of support from a colleague; no snarled traffic on my way home; a friend who visits my hospitalized mother with me. Recalling these small gifts always comforts me with overflowing appreciation for the good things that fill my life.

So this Thanksgiving, look beyond the pumpkin pie, and list the small blessings that fill your life. What will those be?

Susan Gottshall
Associate Executive Director, Communications
American Baptist Home Mission Societies

'Space for Grace' attendees urged to correct injustice,
create change
Preachers at ABHMS' recent "Space for Grace" gathering in Los Angeles urged attendees to examine their own lives and accept the call to correct injustice and create positive change in their communities.

Discipleship & Christian Education Guide to arrive in November
New this year, the Discipleship Planning Guide has been combined with Judson Press' catalog to create the 2016 Discipleship & Christian Education Guide. Watch for it this month in your church's postal mailbox.

ABHMS signs statement against human trafficking
As a member of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, ABHMS has signed a statement urging support for a bill that would strengthen corporations' commitments to end human trafficking. 
Shop once, give twice! 
Keep home mission in mind as you order this year's holiday gifts! Simply shop with AmazonSmile, and select ABHMS to receive 0.5% of the proceeds from your eligible purchase. 
Compilation sheds light on marginalized church leaders
Here I Am: Faith Stories of Korean American Clergywomen" is a hot-off-the-press theological compilation by and for leaders who have faced marginalization or judgment based on gender, ethnicity or culture. 









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American Baptist Home Mission Societies