America for Christ Offering
Consider making a generous gift!
Thanks to America for Christ (AFC) Offering contributions, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) supported communities distressed by the devastation of COVID-19 last year, as the pandemic swept our country and Puerto Rico. We also helped families who lost homes to floods, wildfires and storms, along with children living on the edge because of poverty, and seminarians preparing to devote their lives to sharing the Good News. These are just a few of the ways we minister to those in need; there are many more.
Please help us continue to bring healing and hope to communities, families, children and Jesus’ disciples in 2023 by supporting this year’s America for Christ Offering.
Listen to ABHMS Program Directors testify to the transformative power of contributions to America For Christ Offering, which allow ABHMS to provide support to communities in need throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
Rev. Lauren L. Ng
Director of Leadership Empowerment
Healing & Transforming Communities
Rev. Lisa Harris Lee
Director of Healing & Transforming Communities
Rev. Dr. Marie Onwubuariri
Director of Intercultural Ministries
Obtain physical copies of promotional materials by calling American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ office of Development (610.768.2413)
Three videos in support of the 2023 American for Christ campaign will be available for download soon.
From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:16-17 [NRSVue]
Dear American Baptist Friends:
ABHMS is pleased to present the 2023 America for Christ Offering (AFC 2023) promotional materials with gratitude for your past generosity and thanksgiving for your continued support. This year’s theme “Grace Upon Grace” is inspired by John 1:16-17, which reads: “From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” [NRSVue]. AFC 2023 marks year one of a multi-year exploration of grace as the impetus for charitable support of ABHMS’ transformational mission.
God’s grace is expansive. Filled with abundant references to grace as God’s light, the scriptures reflect a brilliant spectrum of rich hues that manifest God’s favor, blessing, and kindness. As we transition to a post-pandemic world, we acknowledge that this light has shown upon us. We have emerged from the past few tumultuous years of isolation, deprivation, and loss, perhaps scarred and bowed but determined to continue pressing forward, thanks be to God.
God’s work is never done. Faithful American Baptists continue to share God’s love, proclaim good news, and express Christian compassion and grace in manifold ways. ABHMS distributes your generous gifts throughout the year to numerous American Baptist mission partners who are responding to God’s call in different ways. Each year we share with you just a few of the stories from the American mission field about caring ministries that are changing lives.
American Baptists—buoyed by God’s grace—are confronting a myriad of challenges they are finding in their local communities. Your generous financial support of AFC 2023 will empower American Baptists to continue extending grace upon grace to others in ways that exceed their limited capacity.
Through support from AFC 2023, creative responses to diverse needs, helping ministries, and faithful service will continue to heal and transform communities, congregations, and individuals across the United States and Puerto Rico.
With your help, we can bring God’s healing touch to so many more. May we count on your generosity once again?
Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, Executive Director
American Baptist Home Mission Societies
John 1:14 describes the Son of God as full of grace and truth. Verse 17 restates, “grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” Oh, what a difficult combination—truth AND grace! In the U.S. and Puerto Rico’s long history of human oppression, whole groups of people have repeatedly spoken the truth of their existence and experience and have often been asked to do this with grace—with loving kindness and even delight for the other—even to an overwhelming population who are seemingly more determined to defend their own truth rather than receive the truth of others. If we lift our eyes to the one we call Savior, we see that Jesus himself knew this pain of sharing himself to those who would not receive him, yet he did this with what so often is humanly impossible—he did this with truth and grace. With charis (grace in Greek), Jesus extends divine possibility to those who trust him, those who accept the discipleship charge to do the work of God’s justice, the acts of God’s redeeming love, and the transformative expressions of God’s grace.
These works, acts, and expressions are possible through your contributions to America for Christ; indeed, your gifts are expressions of grace upon grace.
Rev. Dr. Marie Onwubuariri
Director, Intercultural Ministries
American Baptist Home Mission Societies
John 1:16-17 presents an alternative economy. One supported and sustained by grace. Grace, as defined by James Poulos, is the gratuitous irruption of God into human life. An irruption in which God perpetually covers the gap between what is owed and what is owned. Today’s economy is structured to extract more from an already weighed down society. It calls us to pay the price. Those who do not have the resources to keep pace with the demands of inflation, and rising cost of goods and services, will be excluded and penalized.
But God’s economy of grace inverts the flow of resources. In this economy, the stress of cultivating output that covers the deficit is eliminated and the ability to experience an outpouring of divine relief independent of an individual’s performance or capability is realized. God’s grace provided to us through Christ should awaken a deeper dependence upon God’s power to save and a greater awareness of God’s love for humanity. Grace calls us back toward the heart of God. It reminds us that God desires that we may have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
Rev. Trevor Hyde
Pastor, The Historic Berean Church
Brooklyn, New York
I’ve always been drawn to the word grace. Even as a young child, I noticed how adults would say this word with reverence. Grace has always seemed to be a gentle word. It’s not loud like “almighty” or “power.” Grace has a quietness about it, like it should be whispered.
We have this impression of grace, that it is something to be grateful for, something to revere, something humble yet powerful in its own way. But I wonder sometimes if we truly understand grace. Grace—the unmerited favor or the goodwill of God which we have not earned. In spite of all that is broken in our world and even though we are all sinners who fall short, God continues to offer us grace. This verse from John declares: “We have all received, grace upon grace.”
Grace may not be bold or loud, but grace may be the most transformative thing God offers us. God’s greatest act of grace is becoming human, offering us more than we could ever earn—new life in Christ.
Rev. Laura Harris-Adam
Pastor of Faith Formation
First Baptist Church of Indianapolis
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What is the national goal?
ABHMS is promoting AFC 2023 to raise $1,500,000 to support American Baptist mission and ministry across the United States and Puerto Rico.
What is the theme?
The theme of AFC 2023 is “Grace upon Grace,” based on John 1:16-17 [NRSVue]: “From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
What is the three-month promotional window and when can my church give to AFC 2023?
ABHMS is allowed three months to promote the AFC 2023 campaign (January-March). Your church can support the AFC campaign throughout the year.
How can I support AFC 2023?
You can give at your church during the regular congregational offering on Sunday or you can give an individual gift online by visiting abhms.org/afcnow. Also, consider encouraging your congregation’s Mission Committee to include an America for Christ Offering contribution in its annual budget.
How is my gift to AFC 2023 making a difference?
Your generosity supports the mission of ABHMS—connecting our partners to cultivate leaders and equip disciples who bring healing and transformation to communities across our nation and Puerto Rico. Your contributions share God’s love by:
—Cultivating Leaders: Strong leaders advance the mission of faith communities.
—Equipping Disciples: Broadening the understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
—Healing Communities: We believe the power of Christian love can—and will—change the world.
How is the AFC 2023 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’ Office of Development:
—Kim Wilkins, Development Coordinator, 610.768.2413
—Vincent Dent, Chief Development Officer, 610.768.2420
—Monique Sadler-Taylor, Director of the Annual Fund and Major Gifts, 610.768.2410
Where do I find the electronic versions of AFC 2023 materials?
Visit abhms.org/afc for downloadable items and the opportunity to show AFC 2023 videos directly from the Internet.
Your comments are taken seriously as we plan for succeeding years. Feedback is appreciated!