Ordination Service for Reverend Biak Lian Thang

The Falam Baptist Church of Battle Creek conducted an ordination service for their pastor, the Reverend Biak Lian Thang on December 16, 2012. The two year-old congregation meets Sunday afternoons at the Lakeview Baptist Church of Battle Creek. Participating in the service included Rev. Dr. Scott Arnold, ABC-MI West Area Chairperson; Rev. Adam Metzger, Pastor of Lakeview Baptist Church; and the Rev. Ronald Cary, ABC-MI Commision on Ordination & Standing Chairperson. - MORE - 

Ministry Leadership Group Holds Retirement Celebration for Rev. Richard Schlee

The Ministry Leadership Group, led by Peer Leader, the Reverend William Wyne, along with the West Area Pastor's Wives fellowship led by Josie Wyne, held a special retirement celebration for Reverend and Mrs. Richard Schlee (pastor of Ceresco Baptist Church) as part of their Annual Christmas Fellowship.

Participating in the event included: Front row - Sharon Good; Gail Bender; Linda Schlee; Josie Wyne.

Back row - Rev. Adam Metzger; Rev. David Good; Rev. Jim Bender; Rev. Richard Schlee; Rev. William Wyne; Rev. Dr. David Laisum; Rev. Dr. Scott Arnold; Rev. Ron Cary; Rev. Dr. Ross Lucas.

The Wyne's hosted the group at Second Baptist Church of Battle Creek.

Reflections on the Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut

Rev. Dr. Judy Allbee, executive minister of the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut, shares the following reflection in the aftermath of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, December 14.

“And the land rested from war.” (Joshua 11)  For a brief period of time there was no violence. That statement has haunted me over the years because it seems so elusive and it haunts me on this day as well; a day when little children and the adults who cared for them were murdered.  It is incomprehensive and overwhelming.  I am reminded of the words in Jeremiah , “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

Michigan Servants for Christ Return from Haiti

Haiti 2012

November 2-10, a team of 14 persons from 11 of our Region churches spent a week in Haiti building a “rubble house” under the direction of Conscience International, and with guidance from American Baptist International Ministries. Lynne Punnett, Project Coordinator, reflects below on the experience. If you would like to hear more about the project, contact Lynne at lynnepunnett@yahoo.com. You may also read about our journey and see pictures at www.michiganservantsforchrist.blogspot.com.


Faithful Reflections from Lynne

Bonjour tout le monde!

This trip has been another amazing and Holy Spirit filled experience. I prayed for team unity and God answered our prayers. We are a team that remained united in every respect and watched out for and encouraged one another all the way.

Rev. Ron Cary to Retire From Active Professional Ministry

The Rev. Ronald Cary, Contract Consultant to the ABC-MI for congregational health, announced his decision to end his consulting services to the ABC-MI when his current “Statement of Work” agreement ends December 31, 2012. In a letter to Dr. Michael Williams, ABC-MI Executive Minister, Cary stated, “Closing out forty-two years of ministry and eleven years of work with the ABC-MI has not been an easy decision, but it is one with which I am at peace.”

Cary further noted in his letter to Dr. Williams, “I want to express my deep and abiding appreciation for our friendship and for the opportunity you and the Region Board have granted me in the work of ‘Growing Healthy Churches.’ I have always believed that our mission as churches in this Region was of great importance and ultimately of eternal significance, and I believe I have given it my best effort. It has been a joy to work with a wonderful group of colleagues, including the professional staff and the office support staff. They are all talented and committed people who have been of great personal support and often a real inspiration to me.”

“I am deeply grateful for the significant ministry Rev. Cary has had among us over these eleven years,” stated Dr. Williams. “Rev. Cary has always embraced the challenges and changes with great passion, a great spirit, and made many contributions to our life together. While I will miss his daily involvement in our Region life, I am thankful he will remain in Michigan in the coming years where we can continue the friendship we have known. I wish Rev. Cary and his wife Carolyn the very best as they enter into next chapters of their lives including the chapter of being grandparents!”

Rev. Cary will continue his work among us through December 31 and will also continue to work with the Commission on Ordination & Standing into 2013 as a volunteer member of the Commission.

Individuals and churches are invited to contribute a letter (8-1/2" by 11") to the “Book of Letters” being compiled to present to Rev. Cary during the ABC-MI Staff Christmas Luncheon December 10. Letters should be sent no later than December 7 to the ABC-MI, 4578 S. Hagadorn Road, East Lansing, MI 48823.

American Baptists Respond to Hurricane Sandy at Home and Abroad

News by Stan Slade, BIM

One "superstorm." Six countries. The impact of Hurricane Sandy on the Western Hemisphere is staggering.

Long before Sandy came ashore in New Jersey, the hurricane had cut a deadly, destructive swath through the Caribbean. Osbel Gutiérrez, pastor of Fourth Baptist Church in Santiago, Cuba's second largest city, described Santiago with words like "devastation." Reina Rodriguez, pastor of Peniel Baptist Church in Jiguani described Santiago as "a disaster."

Even as Sandy was damaging 70% of the homes in Santiago and wiping out farms throughout eastern Cuba, the storm was also destroying crops and taking lives in southern Haiti, where the confirmed death toll is already over 50. Sandy also brought destruction to Jamaica, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.

And then Sandy hit the U.S., spreading death and destruction throughout a huge part of the heavily-populated Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern part of the country, in a drama that most of America was able to follow in real time through the media.

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