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 2022 by supporting this year’s America for Christ Offering.

Mission Moments:

Listen to this testimonial of transformation made possible by the America for Christ Offering; Share with your congregation.

Listen To Lauren’s Story

Lauren Williams
Recipient, Daniel E. Weiss Scholarship Recipient

Catch Up On Corey’s Story

Corey Hughes
Program Director,
Camp Arrah Wanna

Take a Look at Tony’s Story

Tony Gapastione
BraveMaker

Downloadable Resources:

Obtain physical copies of promotional materials by calling American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ office of Development (610.768.2413)

More Resources:

Introduction

“I will praise you and testify about what you have done.” Psalm 22:22

Dear Mission Partner,

In the above verse, the psalmist tells of God’s many acts of deliverance and rescue in tumultuous times. We are stirred and inspired to praise God for all the wonders that God is performing in our lives.

That’s what you’ll witness in the Leader’s Guide we have put together to assist you with promoting this year’s America for Christ Offering. You’ll see testimony after testimony of the lives that have been touched and transformed through God’s love with your contributions.

It is my hope that these stories will move you as they have moved me, and will demonstrate the good that your contributions have done—and will do in the future. My friend, the needs are many across the United States and Puerto Rico.

It is up to us to answer God’s call to help and to heal. COVID-19 is devastating communities across the United States and Puerto Rico. Wildfires are raging in the West. Floods are rising in the East. Hurricane Ida leaves destruction from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast. Unemployment soars in many communities. In this context, our American Baptist partners are faithfully serving in congregations and communities with helping ministries and creative responses to the diverse needs in their local contexts, whether helping innocent children living in conditions of poverty, assisting a family that is being evicted, providing food and shelter to the homeless man pushing all his belongings in a shopping cart, and so many others who are hurting and lost.

What is needed is God’s love in its fullest expression in your church and your congregation. Through your generous financial partnership with ABHMS, we can—together—work to bring more hope into our broken world with leaders and disciples who are the hands and feet of Jesus.

So please, consider your gift to the America for Christ offering as we engage in transformational mission to bring God’s love and light into the hearts of people everywhere.

On behalf of ABHMS, thank you for your past generous support of our transformational mission.
Our ministries—along with the ministries of our mission partners—are making a difference in the lives of so many individuals and families. With your help, we can bring God’s healing touch to so many more.

May we count on your generosity once again?

With gratitude,

Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, Executive Director
American Baptist Home Mission Societies

Biblical Reflection

“I will praise you and testify about what you have done.” Psalm 22:22

To be certain, this verse is not a line that appears to us from some detached dimension or reality. One cannot lift this passage of affirmation out of its context of human suffering and pain, both internal and existential. This particular verse is the voice of a determined and resolute spirit, a resounding affirmation of one’s internal determination to embody gratitude for the God who has brought the writer from the very edges of loneliness and pain.

There is no question that the soul is in crisis, deeply troubled. The psalmist describes the present circumstance as surrounded by dogs, facing the mouths of lions and gored by the horns of wild oxen (Psalm 22:16-21).

In this turmoil and struggle, we are confused by the clear and sudden affirmation of verse 22. What is the spirit of this verse? Is it resolve or a feigned bartering with God? How many times have we, during moments of intense resident pain, promised God, “If you get me out of this, I will do that”?

In reading through the entire Psalm, one cannot deny that verse 22 is a pivotal moment of transition from the wallowing self-pity of pain to the resolution of witness and testimony. This story is part of the witness of a God who is bringing us out and bringing us into something grander and more glorious than the tumult we presently experience.

We know this all too well. This difficulty has been our circumstance for the past 20 months. We are trying to figure out whether we stay paralyzed and isolated by the devastation brought on by a global health crisis; national (global) reckoning with the history of race and racism; the awareness of the prevalence of trauma-induced mental illnesses; and the connection between all three.

For God did not despise or abhor
the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me,
but heard when I cried to him.
—Psalm 22:24

Such is the resolve of our efforts with the America for Christ Offering. We do not conclude that because there is pain and suffering, God is angered with us or our affliction. God does not turn away from communal and global crises, nor does God disperse blame on the victims for their corporate and collective troubles. Instead, God takes those opportunities to reveal God’s face of compassion and an ear of empathy to our cries.

God shows God’s face and affirms the devastation of our circumstances by providing resources that we cannot see because of our pain. Friends who we have not met and may never meet are dispatched to our rescue with resources from the very hand and heart of God. Experiencing God’s hesed (undying steadfast love), we decree, “I will be a witness myself. I will tell of your name in the great congregation! I will praise you!”

Gary V. Simpson, D.Min.
The Concord Baptist Church of Christ
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Clip Art

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FAQs

What is the national goal?
American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) is promoting the America for Christ (AFC) Offering 2022, which seeks to raise $1,000,000 to support American Baptist mission and ministry across the United States and Puerto Rico.

What is the AFC 2022 theme?
The theme for the AFC 2022 Offering is “Testimony” based on Psalm 22:22: “I will praise you and testify about what you have done.”

How can I support AFC 2022?
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 support our mission—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 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’ Development office:
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 2022 materials to download?
Visit abhms.org/AFC for downloadable items and the opportunity to show the videos directly from the Internet.

MISSION MOMENTS: America for Christ Offering Videos
The online videos can be used during a “Mission Moment” in worship or in a small group setting to illustrate how America for Christ Offering contributions impact and transform lives across America and Puerto Rico. Go to abhms.org/AFC to download the videos.

Evaluation form:

Your comments are taken seriously as we plan for succeeding years. Feedback is appreciated!