America for Christ Offering

Carry on the legacy of good works with a monetary gift!

Thanks to a history of generous donations to the America for Christ (AFC) Offering, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) has provided financial support to American Baptist churches and affiliated organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico year over year. Some examples of the positive impact your dollars have had on our beloved communities:

  • Funding direct assistance to the residents of Youngstown, Ohio, that included food boxes, meals for children, clothing banks and distribution of commodities such as diapers, school supplies, clothing, and housewares.
  • Funding youth education and enrichment programs as well as senior services that deliverd lunchs, health education and socialization opportunities, and groceries in bulk through a food pantry, among other things, to communities in and around Kansas City, Kansas.
  • Funding Rainbow Acres, a faith-based residential community with a wide range of programs for developmentally disabled adults from more than 15 states and representing an array of faith backgrounds including American Baptists.

These are just a few of the ways your dollars provide aid and comfort 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 2024 by supporting this year’s America for Christ Offering.

In our own words: Why America for Christ matters

Listen to Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, executive director of ABHMS, and Vincent Dent, J.D., the organization’s chief development officere, speak about the enduring importance of the America for Christ Offering to ministries throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Dr. Jeffrey Haggray
Executive Director

Vincent Dent, J.D.
Chief Development Officer

Downloadable Resources

For your convenience, the following links provide access to electronic copies of promotional materials that you can download and print. You may also 0btain physical copies of these same materials by contacting ABHMS’ Office of Development at 610-768-2413. 

More resources

Introduction

Because of God’s great love we are not consumed, for God’s compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  —Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)

When we are lost and confused, when the storms of life threaten to overwhelm us, when we are downcast and in despair, when shadows stretch and hope seems a faint flicker, Lamentations 3:22-23 reminds us God’s love endures and knows no end. Because of this, we are not consumed, for God’s compassions never fails. God’s faithfulness is great. God’s mercies are new each morning.

In the tangle of life’s struggles, it is easy to lose sight of hope. Yet, even in our lowest moments, God’s love remains constant, an unwavering beacon in the storm. God’s love, a boundless ocean, never dries up, never falters. It persists through trials and tribulations, doubts, and fears. God’s love endures and transcends even the limits of our own understanding.

“We must accept finite disappointment, Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “but never lose infinite hope.” Each dawn brings with it new possibilities and promise—a fresh canvas for God’s goodness, grace, and mercy. Since 1832, God has invited the American Baptist Home Mission Societies to paint our portion of that canvas each day—cultivating leaders, equipping disciples, and healing and transforming communities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

The staff and board of ABHMS seek daily to be faithful to this mission and we thank you for your faithfulness in support. Your prayers and financial giving make possible the program offerings of ABHMS from our Center for Continuous Learning to our MinistrElife platform, from our Co-Creators Incubator for ministerial entrepreneurs to scholarships for American Baptist college and seminary students, from disaster response and recovery efforts to support of neighborhood action programs—these endeavors and more are made possible with your support.

Through the joys and sorrows of life, we rest assured that God’s love is a close and constant companion. In the mission field in which ABHMS serves, we witness daily God’s enduring, limitless love.

Thank you for your continuing support and prayer which sustains our work and witness.

With gratitude,

 Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, Executive Director

American Baptist Home Mission Societies

Biblical Reflections

The author of the Book of Lamentation is unknown, but Jewish and Christian traditions attribute the authorship to Prophet Jeremiah. The Hebrew title of the Book of Lamentation is “Ekah,” which can be translated as “How,” or “How can it be?” This word evokes sorrow, horror, anguish, and desolation. Like a raw and festering wound, Lamentations portrays loss and suffering with brutal candor. As we survey the atrocities in our world, “How can it be?” reverberates in our minds. Amid heartbreak and agony, we are inclined to believe that God doesn’t love us—that God simply doesn’t care about our suffering—or that God is simply absent. But prophet Jeremiah interjects and points to God’s character, His eternal essence that remains true, and in these truths, we too can place our broken hearts into God’s hands.
  • God loves us. God’s fierce and steadfast love for us remains unchanged.
  • God’s compassions never fail. God’s kindness and care for us is consistent and available with each new day.
  • Great is God’s faithfulness. God upholds His commitment and covenant with us despite our inconsistency to trust and follow God.
In an ever-changing and conflict-riddled time, God is the only constant, immovable One who holds our tears and restores us in His love, compassion, and faithfulness.
Rev. Dr. Mia Chang, Lead Pastor
NextGen Church
West Windsor, NJ

The underutilized book of Lamentations is a curious place to discover God’s grace. Although we often attribute its writing to the prophet Jeremiah, its poetic outpouring of grief and anguish is most likely the work of multiple writers, both female and male. God doesn’t speak at all here, but writers are aware of God’s presence in the midst of their struggles. The calamities they mourn—the death of loved ones, the fall of the Temple in Jerusalem, are both personal and communal losses understood as their responsibility, not God’s. Interestingly enough, nothing that’s happening to them is considered God’s fault. They take ownership of their sinfulness, having fallen short of God’s desire for faithfulness. It is here, amazingly, in a mess of their own making, that grace breaks through. The writer of chapter three makes this profound declaration of hope: “Because of God’s great love we are not consumed, for God’s compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Tragedy and heartache may come to us, the author proclaims, but God stands beside us, ready to offer grace with each new day.
Rev. Dr. Marcia B. Bailey
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Pottstown, Pa
Associate Professor Emerita, Temple University

Many years ago, a band of the Kiowa tribe spent the summer at camping spots in the Rocky Mountains. When it was time to leave this area Chief Black Bonnet, known for his wisdom, made a decision to leave behind a paralyzed very large woman because horses could not handle her weight on the rough terrain. Taw-go (Rescued-from-starvation) was greatly loved by all in the tribe, and they were sorry to leave her to die alone yet they knew she would soon starve and die.*
The story follows an amazing journey of survival and faith Taw-go struggles to stay alive and find healing despite inexplicable circumstances. Her only hope was to turn to the Lord (The Great Mystery) as He was named. Ultimately Taw-go was miraculously healed of her injuries and, with the help of her two nephews who refused to leave her behind, regained her strength and reconnected with her people.
The Great Mystery did not forsake Taw-go or Indigenous people. He loved us from the beginning, and we were included in His plan since the beginning.
*From the book, Kiowa Voices
Rev. Ben Sullivan
National Coordinator for Native American Ministries, ABHMS

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FAQs

What is the national goal?
American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) is promoting the America for Christ (AFC) Offering 2024, which seeks to raise $1,500,000 to support American Baptist mission and ministry across the United States and Puerto Rico.
What is the AFC 2024 theme?
The theme for the America for Christ Offering 2024 is “Grace upon Grace”
Because of God’s great love, we are not consumed, for God’s compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. —Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)
How can I support AFC 2024?
You can give during the congregational offering Sunday at your church, 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 making a difference?
Your generous AFC gifts allows ABHMS to partner with ABC churches, community groups. ABC seminaries and institutions to financially support them in the following areas:
  • 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.
100% or your AFC donation is utilized to support and fund your ministries. ABHMS does not retain any AFC funds for its own purposes. When you support AFC, you support your community and communities across the US and Puerto Rico.
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.
  • 29% supports regional ministries. (ABHMS is the only mission board to share its offering with American Baptist Churches USA regions.)
Who 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 2024 materials to download?
Visit abhms.org/afc for downloadable items and the opportunity to show the videos directly from the Internet.

Sample congregational letter

Dear __________________,
The 2024 AFC biblical theme is based on Lamentations 3:22-23: “Because of God’s great love, we are not consumed, for God’s compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” God’s love for us, even in times of despair, never wavers.
AFC 2024 Goal
American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) is promoting the 2024 America for Christ Offering (AFC 2024) which seeks to raise $1,500,000 to support American Baptist mission and ministries through our churches and community partners across the United States and Puerto Rico. We have set our church goal as _________________.
AFC 2024 Promotional Window
ABHMS is allowed three months (January-March) to actively promote the AFC 2024 campaign through visits, phone calls and email communications. However, our church can support the AFC campaign throughout the year.
How to Give to AFC 2024
You can give during your church’s weekly service, or you can give online by visiting abhms.org/afc, anytime.
How AFC Funds are Used
Each year American Baptist Home Mission Societies awards grants from the donations that they receive from AFC. Here are some of the areas that are funded by AFC:
  • Grants to churches to fund ministry initiatives such as camps, daycare and youth and young adult initiatives
  • Grants to American Baptist seminaries and colleges
  • Grants to American Baptist Partners training opportunities, funding of learning opportunities that involve travel and housing, repairs, and upgrade to preserve our critical American Baptist spaces
  • American Baptist Regional Offices
AFC dollars also fund scholarships for which our own members may apply. Our churches are eligible to apply for ABHMS grants as well! ABHMS does not retain any AFC funds for operations or overhead. One hundred percent of AFC dollars support vital ministries.
AFC 2024 empowers us to provide “Grace upon Grace.” I am asking you to join me in giving generously to this year’s AFC offering and to help us reach our goal as we partner with ABHMS to provide support and share the Good News!
Your Pastor __________________,

Evaluation form

Please provide your feedback. We value your comments as they help us to plan next year’s campaign in support of America for Christ Offering.