America for Christ Offering

Consider making a generous gift!

 

Introduction

Dear Mission Partner, 

We live in a time when polarization and alienation are common. Diverse persons in our society often feel shunned, and differing voices are at times muted. American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) America for Christ (AFC) Offering 2019, “Healing Communities”—based on Galatians 6:9-10 (“Let us not become weary in doing good”)—reminds American Baptists that mission and ministry are rooted in service and that God’s grace extends to all, regardless of location.
 
Through generosity, American Baptists minister as God’s heart and hands, healing the broken and the downtrodden. Congregations and individuals serve on the front lines of local communities, opening wide our doors, intervening amid the messiness, healing the broken-hearted, and caring for others amid disaster and devastation. Through our caring actions, Jesus touches those who are hurting and dying.
 
Your gifts to the AFC Offering impact thousands—through ministries with marginalized children, disaster response, prisoner re-entry and aftercare, immigration and refugee resettlement, public witness and advocacy, resources that equip Christian leaders, chaplains who bring comfort to those in hospitals and nursing homes, and so much more.
 
While our AFC giving window is January through March 2019, you can give as often as you like by visiting ABHMS’ website at abhms.org, clicking “Give Now” and then choosing “ABHMS America for Christ Offering” in the drop-down menu. Please join ABHMS in reaching our goal of $1,200,000.
 
Thanks for partnering with us and for being involved in a “Healing Community” that reflects God’s redemptive love, transforming lives and communities. Thank you for your generous gifts to the AFC Offering 2019.
 

Haggray Jeffrey CROPPED_175w
With Hope and Grace,
Dr. Jeffrey Haggray
Executive Director, ABHMS

A Biblical Reflection: They Gave Themselves to God and to Us
And they exceeded our expectations: They gave
themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the
will of God also to us.
– 2 CORINTHIANS 8:5 (NIV)
By the Rev. Dr. Bishop Donald Hilliard Jr.
 
Discipleship, stewardship, giving and offerings aren’t exactly listed as the “Top 10 Topics of Church Life.” It’s not that we don’t understand the necessity and value of our giving; we would just rather not talk about it, let alone be challenged to actually give.
 
The Apostle Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians expresses Paul’s deep appreciation to the Corinthians for their gift to his ministry. They gave out of their need and understood the value and the magnitude of their generosity.
 
The text makes it clear that “They gave themselves first of all to the Lord.” When we give, it helps to first give ourselves to God unreservedly.
 
When Christ is in the forefront of our giving, it places our act of stewardship in proper perspective. 1 Chronicles 29:14 reminds us that “All things come from you, and of your own have we given you” (NRSV).
 
When we give to relevant institutions like American Baptist Home Mission Societies, we are not only giving in a way that has eternal value but also to that which has multiplied and multifaceted importance. Consider that when we give ourselves to the will of God, our talents and treasure follow. To be sure, the Philippian Church was neither the largest nor the grandest; however, their understanding of the significance of missions and generosity carries them to the top of the list.
 
“My friends, we can’t afford to let the church go under,” I spontaneously said a few months ago, while preparing to pray over the Sunday morning offerings at Cathedral International.
 
I meant this statement with every fiber of my being. In these days in which more time is spent with iPads, iPhones and iPods than with the “I AM;” in which we would rather text than talk; and in which the “Nones” are growing at a faster pace than the Christian affiliated, we are reminded that we have a charge to keep. And maintaining the financial stability of a church or missional organization is part of the charge.
 
Growing churches are tithing churches, and tithing is a bedrock principle of the economy of God’s kingdom. Churches that emphasize the principle of tithing recognize the sovereign rule of God over every dimension of life, including the material and financial.
 
When we tithe or give offerings to a church or missions program, we acknowledge God as the creator and owner of all things and as the One who, alone, is worthy of all our praise, love and devotion. Giving helps us to keep our priorities straight and our focus sharp by constantly reminding us from where our strength and provision, power and prosperity come and to whom we are accountable for our stewardship.
 
The act of giving deliberately has great value. Giving, stewardship and serving become much easier when we first commit ourselves to the will of God by the power of the Holy Ghost!
 
The Rev. Dr. Bishop Donald Hilliard Jr. is senior pastor at Cathedral International, Perth Amboy, N.J.
Clip Art

For individual images, click the image above and when the full resolution version loads, right-click and select “Save Image to.”

Promoting the America for Christ Offering 2019 in Your Church
  1. Gather a team or taskforce for the America for Christ (AFC) 2019 home mission offering.
  2. Determine a three-month schedule for promotions.
  3. Review the enclosed materials. Then visit abhms.org, click “Learn More” in the America for Christ box, and then click “Resources” to access all AFC videos and downloadable resources. If you need more printed materials, please call 1.888.792.2467, x2028, to speak with the office of Mission Advancement.
  4. Set a goal to assist American Baptist Home Mission Societies in raising $1,200,000 that supports home mission throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Use the enclosed goal chart and place in a prominent, high-traffic location that will encourage giving. Gather an AFC offering prayer team and meet once weekly before worship for five minutes of prayer.
  5. Meet with the pastor and/or church’s leadership team to share the promotions schedule.
  6. Incorporate “Mission Moments” into worship. Each Sunday for a month, take three to five minutes during worship to present a Mission Moment. The updates can include showing the AFC video, reading an insert or allowing testimony from individuals who have volunteered for a home mission team or participated in any other kind of training or workshop.
  7. Invite a home mission staff member as a speaker to your church. Please complete the speaker-request form included in the AFC packet, visit the website and download the form, or call the Mission Advancement office at 1.888.792.2467, x2028.
  8. Involve the children and youth during a Mission Moment. Ask the children and youth to help pick up the offering during worship and distribute AFC bulletin inserts. Whi le inserts can be included in the bulletin, you may, instead, want to highlight them during the Mission Moment, allowing the youth to distribute them to the congregation. Coin boxes previously placed at the front of the church should be picked up immediately following the Mission Moment.
  9. Have fun. Design an AFC Offering 2019 bulletin board. Include materials from the offering packet. Allow the children and youth to add to the board additional art that conveys ideas from the “Healing Communities” theme.
  10. Record and celebrate your progress. Use a Sunday in March to hold a celebration and to THANK the congregation for their generous support and for meeting the goal!
  11. Complete the AFC evaluation form and return it to American Baptist Home Mission Societies.
FAQ's
What is the national goal?
American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) is promoting the America for Christ (AFC) Offering 2019, which seeks
to raise $1,200,000 to support American Baptist mission and ministry across the United States and Puerto Rico.
 
What is the AFC 2019 theme?
The theme for the AFC 2019 Offering is “Healing Communities” based on Galatians 6:9-10: Let us not become weary in doing
good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers (NIV).
 
How can I support AFC 2019?
You can give during the congregational offering Sunday at your church, or you can give an individual gift online by visiting
abhms.org, clicking “Give Now” and choosing “ABHMS America for Christ Offering” in the drop-down menu.
 
How is my gift making a difference?
Your generous AFC gifts supported the following last year:
  • “Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico” — rebuilding the island one church and one building at a time.
  • Scholarships and Emerging Leaders — providing scholarships to students to help ease the debilitating effects of excessive student-loan debt.
  • Immigration and Refugee Resettlement — partnering with organizations that have resettled more than 100,000 displaced persons from across the world.
  • Rizpah’s Children — partnering with agencies that provide support to children living in poverty.
How is the AFC offering used?
The offering is distributed in three parts:
  • 59% supports the ministries of ABHMS;
  • 12% supports the offering’s promotional and deputation costs; and
  • 29% supports regional ministries (ABHMS is the only mission board to share its offering with American Baptist Churches USA regions).
Whom do I contact for more materials or if I have a general question?
Contact personnel in ABHMS’ Mission Advancement office:
  • Leda Carter, Administrative Assistant, 610.768.2028
  • The Rev. Dr. Eddie Cruz, Director, 610.768.2423
Where do I find the electronic versions of AFC 2019 materials to download?
Visit abhms.org and click on “Learn more” in the “America for Christ” box, which will direct you to the AFC 2019 site for
downloadable items and the opportunity to show the videos directly from the Internet.
Resources
Obtain physical copies of promotional materials by calling American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ office of Mission Advancement at 610.768.2028

You can connect with ABHMS’ Mission Advancement office by contacting:

Leda Carter, Administrative Assistant, 610.768.2028
The Rev. Dr. Eddie Cruz, Director, 610.768.2423