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American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island

Region Office Calendar

Nov 21
     7 pm - Baptist Home Board at FBC, East Greenwich
Nov 28
      11:30 am - Social Witness Team at RI Hospital
Nov 29
     4:30 pm - Investment Committee at Church of the Master
Nov 30
     10:00 am - Budget Committee at Canonicus
Dec 1
  8:00 am - Northern Cluster Pastor Breakfast at B. Auld home
Dec 5
     6:30 pm - ABWMRI Board at Phillips Memorial
Dec 8
     12:30 pm - SCOM at  Cononicus
     2:00 pm - Recruitment at Canonicus
     5 pm - Operations Team - Mark Sjoberg Office
Dec. 9
     2:00 pm - Region Staff hosts Christmas Party for American Baptists at John Clarke Retirement
Dec 12
      7:00  pm - Board of Ministries at Norwood Baptist
Dec 14

      4:00 pm - Properties Committee at Canonicus
Dec 15
    10:00 am  - Retired Ministers TIM group at Canonicus
     12:30 pm - Retired Clergy Christmas Luncheon
Dec. 20 
     9:00 am
  - Region Staff assist at SPNM Christmas event
Jan. 4  
       3:00 pm - Interfaith Coalition to Fight Poverty Clergy March and Prayer Gathering at State House
Jan. 8 
       Phenix Baptist, West Warwick, celebrates 175th anniversary
        noon -
 Providence Theological Circle at FBC, East Greenwich
        1:30 pm  - Baptist Heritage Center  at FBC, East Greenwich
Jan. 12 
          7:00 pm
  - Congregational Life and Evangelistic Mission Teams at Canonicus
Jan. 16 
         8:00 am
  - Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet sponsored by Ministers Alliance
Jan. 17 
 - Consultants at Canonicus


Your Region Staff joins the Board of Ministries to wish you, your family, and all your neighbors a Happy Thanksgiving.
In celebration of Thanksgiving, the Region offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 24 and 25.
There will be no E-notes published next week, but watch your inbox for our next issue on December 2.

Congratulations Norwood Baptist Church

Antonio Lombardi has served American Baptists for several years as a member of the Board of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies. He is pictured here (second from right) receiving an award on behalf of his home congregation, Norwood Baptist, Warwick, as the highest per capita giving congregation represented on the Board of ABHMS. 

Thank you,  Norwood Baptist, for your faithful stewardship and missional engagement.  And thank you, Antonio, for your service to all American Baptists!

Join the Growing Team of Volunteers!
Camp logoThroughout the winter and spring months a team will be working on projects regarding Canonicus Camp and Conference Center to get the property ready for a new round of staff and campers next Summer. In order to do this, we need our congregations to come together in support of one the most beloved ministries of the American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island. If you would like to be updated on various opportunities to volunteer, please fill out this contact form ( Any questions may be directed to Deborah Guilmain, Director of Camping Ministries, ( or Jessica Brough (
We Welcome New and Returning Staff to Canonicus Camp and Conference Center
Matt Black has served the American Baptists in Rhode Island through their ministries at Canonicus Camp and Conference Center in multiple roles over the last 16 years.  From 2000 to 2007, Matt was the Maintenance Assistant; from 2007-2010, he served as the Assistant Director of Camping Ministries, and from 2010-2015 Matt lead us as Facilities Manager.
After a brief sojourn in Florida, Matt returns to Rhode Island to serve us once again as Facilities Manager. Welcome back, Matt!

Ellie Phipps knows and loves the ministries at Canonicus Camp and Conference Center from her previous ministry as Counselor in our camping ministries where she worked with the Leaders in Training (LIT) program as well as resident and day campers.
We welcome Ellie to her new role as Hospitality Coordinator for our Conferencing Ministries.
Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty hosts Scholarship Essay Event

High school juniors and seniors can win up to $2,000 for college in the 2017 Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest by writing an essay exploring the idea of using religious tests as part of the United States’ immigration and refugee policies.

Each year, the contest engages high school students in church-state issues by directing them to express a point of view on a religious liberty topic. The grand prize is $2,000 and a trip for two to Washington, D.C. Second prize is $1,000, and third prize is $500.

All high school students in the graduating classes of 2017 and 2018 are eligible to enter the contest. There are no requirements regarding faith, GPA, after-school activities or clubs. To enter, eligible students must write an essay between 800-1,200 words on the following topic: 

The United States, along with many other countries, gives safe haven to refugees of war-torn countries. Many factors are taken into account when determining who is allowed to enter our borders. During the 2016 presidential campaign, there was discussion around the idea of denying entrance to some immigrants and refugees based on their religion.
 In an essay, discuss whether a religious test should be conducted as a part of the United States’ immigration and refugee policies.
Explore the intersection, if any, between the proposed test and the two religion clauses in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Be sure to identify the implications for religious liberty of all citizens in your answer.

Entries must be mailed to the Baptist Joint Committee and postmarked by March 10, 2017, to be eligible. Visit for complete details and printable entry forms.

Communication is Key

The Region Office is always working to update and upgrade our communications network. At the present time we have three main ways to communicate with you and your congregations: the weekly E-notes, our Facebook page, and periodic pastors’ e-mails. 
You can help us extend our reach and effectiveness by:
  1. Letting us know if you are not receiving any of these three items
  2.  Providing e-mail addresses of any and all church members who would like to receive the weekly  E-notes, and
  3.  “Like” us (American Baptist Churches of RI) on Facebook.  You can do this right now by simply clicking “here

Regional Staff in the Churches

  • Nov. 20       Central Baptist, Jamestown
  • Nov 27        Calvary Baptist, Providence
  • Dec 11        Second Free Will Church, Providence
  • Jan 8          Phenix Baptist Church, West Warwick

Pray For Our Churches in Pastoral Transitions

  • Chepachet Union Baptist Church, Chepachet
  • Church of the Master, Providence
  • First Baptist Church, North Kingstown
  • Foster Center Baptist Church, Foster
  • Spring Green Baptist Church, Warwick
  • Georgiaville Baptist Church, Smithfield
  • Tabernacle Baptist Church, Hope
  • Second Free Will Baptist Church, Providence
Joining Together in Ministry

Join the Adventure of Scouting!
Rhode Island has five great Cub Scout Packs sponsored by American Baptist Churches. Find the Pack that is right your family today at:
            Lakewood Baptist Church
            First Baptist Church of East Greenwich
            Summit Baptist Church
            Chestnut Hill Baptist Church
            Greenville Baptist Church.

Please see the attached flyer for more information

LaRomana Mission Trip

It's not too late to join fellow Rhode Islanders as they travel to LaRomana, Dominican Republic on January 7, 2017 for a week of work and fellowship. The cost is around $1500.00, the experience is priceless. Contact Kathy Savasta at Allendale Baptist Church for more information. 


Giving Hope to Children in Foster Care ~Bags of hopeBags of Hope Ministry with Norwood Baptist Church
Norwood Baptist Church invites other congregations to partner with them in “Bags of Hope,” an encouraging and fruitful ministry to foster children throughout Rhode Island and Southern New England. 30 churches in Rhode Island are participating in this mission of compassion and care.  Norwood invites other American Baptist Churches to join them. Find out more about this exciting ministry here.

Help Lucas Finish High School - First Baptist Church in America

Lucas is an 18 year old refugee from the Congo. He and his two younger brothers arrived in the US in April of this year.  Since Lucas is 18, he was made the guardian of his brothers and given a job. Lucas and his brothers watched as their parents were taken from their home. They have spent the last nine years in a refugee camp in Malawi where Lucas attended school and learned English in hopes of going to college.

Due to the difficulty of getting documents from the camp, Lucas needs to complete two more years of high school. Because we know that Lucas will never be able to pull himself out of poverty without a high school diploma and because he needs the socialization that high school will provide, we told Lucas that he could work part-time and we would make sure his bills were paid.

For more information and to support Lucas go to And please share Lucas' story with your family and friends.


News and Invitations from Our Churches

Olney Street Baptist Church
Free Curriculum

Olney Street would like to donate previously used Union Gospel Press Sunday School curriculum for all ages (primary to adult). If you are interested in receiving these materials, please contact the church office at 401.272.1024.

Harbor Church, Block Island
Free Hymnals!
The Harbor Church, Block Island,  has 50+ Hymns for the Family of God, published by Paragon in 1976. These hymnals are in good condition. Harbor Church would like to see them find a happy home. Does your church need “new” hymnals?  Contact Harbor Church at or call (401) 466-5940

Central Baptist Church (16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI)
Holiday Bazaar & Vendor Fair
Saturday, November 19 ~from 9 AM to 1 PM

There will be Handmade Items ~ Christmas Items ~ Baked Goods, Food Table ~ and more...
Vendor Tables including: Tastefully Simple, Avon, Capizzano’s Oils and Vinegars, Chikumbuso, Jamberry Nails, Sue Casale Painted Crafts, Julie Wakely – Children’s Author, Tupperware, Author Anita Greene with Cedar Lake Studios, Kathlantic Creations Jewelry, and Author Dan Blackstone!

Georgiaville Baptist Church (100 Farnum Pike, Smithfield)
Christmas Bazaar
Saturday. November 19, 2016.   9 am -2 pm

Featuring craft and Christmas items, bake and food table, jewelry, white elephant room, penny social, raffle and more. Lunch and snacks available.

Spring Green Memorial Church (1350 Warwick Avenue, Warwick)
Free Soup and Sandwich Lunch
Sunday, November 20, 2016 from 12:00-1:00 pm

Join us for a free soup and sandwich lunch, with chips and cookies to our neighbors in the community. We also have a limited number of food pantry items available for our lunch guests. Following the lunch, the “Village Singers” will present their 2016 Christmas program. For more information you may call the church office Tues. –Fri. 9:00 am- 12:00 pm at (401) 463-8328.

Olney Street Baptist Church
Pre-Thanksgiving Community Dinner
Tuesday, November 22 from 1:00 - 6:00 pm
Our Youth Mission Team is offering a FREE full-course meal which is open to anyone who would like to attend.  Transportation may be provided.  Persons wishing to attend should call the church, 272-1024, beginning the week of November 14.  Feel free to leave a message with your name and telephone number, if there is no answer.  A return call will be made within 24 hours.

Olney Street Baptist Church
Free Turkey Give -Away
Tuesday, November 22 from 1:00 - 5:00 pm

The Deacons Ministry of Olney Street Baptist Church will once again be providing a turkey to any family that is in need.  Deacon Raymond Scott may be contacted at 941-7416 to receive your request.  

First Baptist Church, East Greenwich (30 Pierce Street, E. Greenwich)
Frosty's Bountiful Christmas Bazaar
Saturday, December 3, 9 am - 3 pm

Come shop our holiday bazaar for home-made crafts, baked goods, gift baskets, reindeer food, snowmen and more...don't miss this fabulous holiday treat. A light luncheon will be served from 11 am - 2 pm.

Spring Green Memorial Church (1350 Warwick Ave., Warwick)
Candy Cane Bazaar 
Saturday, December 3, 2016 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

There will be baked goods, (featuring Swedish Spritz), jewelry, gift certificate penny social, children’s grab bags, gifts and decorations along with crafts from local crafters available for you to purchase. The café crew will have a lunch menu at reasonable prices. Come, enjoy browsing and greeting friends and neighbors. For more information, call the church office, (401) 463-8328, Tues-Fri, 9:00 am-12:00 pm, or e-mail us at

Phenix Baptist Church (2 Fairview Ave., W. Warwick)
Winter Wonderland Bazaar
Saturday, December 3rd 9 am – 2:00 pm

Handicrafts, Grandma's Attic, Children's Shopping Room, Baked Goods

Calvary Baptist Church
Poetry Slam at Canonicus Camp and Conference Center
Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6:30

Calvary Baptist Church's Youth Ministry is hosting a Poetry Slam on Saturday, December 3 at 6:30pm. The event will take place at Canonicus Camp and Conference Center in the Shaub Dining Hall. This is an opportunity for believers from all generations to come together and show their love for God through artistic expression. Ex. poem, song, dance, etc. 

Sarah A. Kamara, Calvary Youth Ministry Leader, is the main contact and coordinator of this event. If you have any questions, please call 401-461-7507 or email Download the flyer.

Phillips Memorial Baptist Church (565 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston)
Christmas Candlelight Service
Sunday, December 4 at 6:30

Join us on as we usher in the Christmas Season with the sound of voices, chimes, bells, flute and organ. Admission is free, child care is provided, and our church is handicapped accessible. For more information download the flyer or visit our website at


From Our Partners

Rhode Island Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty

When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”  (Esther 4:12-14)

Faith Friends, 

We have all been called into this work for just such a time as this. 

We may not have expected the work, but the work is here now, and we will dive into it, together, faithfully. 

The need to build bridges across lines of difference is clear. We must build vibrant coalitions across very real and painful divides of religion, race, class, immigration status and more. Together, we must protect and support, especially, those of us who are most vulnerable, especially those of us who are poor. 

No matter what happens around us, we must dig deep into this work, holding hope and faith. We need to offer a clear, courageous moral voice.

We ask you to do two things, immediately:
  • As faith communities and organizations, join with us! If your congregation has not yet joined the RI Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty as an endorser, please do so. Our strength will come from our combined numbers. Now, more than ever, we need a unified coalition of diverse voices calling for justice, compassion and wisdom. You can download a copy of our endorser form or sign on, as an organization/congregation, electronically, here. If you have questions, please reach out to Emily, here.
As individuals, we need to make of ourselves a visible, powerful witness. To that end, please commit to stand with us on Wednesday, January 4th, as we gather together in Vigil at the State House to Fight Poverty with Faith. Mark your calendars, invite others, and make your presence known. You can sign up and share the word on on facebook or eventbrite.

Job Opportunities Serving All American Baptists
The American Baptist Foundation is the denomination’s center for planned giving. Planned gifts support American Baptist ministry and mission nationwide and around the world. They are seeking a Development Advisor to part of their team. The official posting may be downloaded here.

The American Baptist Extension Corporation exists to assist churches in acquisition, construction, and renovation of their property.  They are seeking a Building and Loan Advisor.  The official posting for the job can be downloaded here.

Save the Date

Contact us

by calling the main number of our offices at Canonicus (401) 294-6318 and follow the simple prompts to ring any individual or office, or by calling an individual directly.

Rev. Dr. Tom Wiles, Exec. Minister                                     (401) 522-9733
Rev. Nikita McCalister, Assoc. Exec. for Administration      (401) 522-9730
Rev. Kathryn Palen, Assoc. Exec. for ElderCare                 (401) 522-9731
Deb Guilmain, Director of Camping Ministries                    (401) 522-9732
Colleen Tolhurst, Reservations and Office Manager           (401) 522-9729
Matt Black, Facilities Manager                                            (401) 249-9315

Copyright © 2016 American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island, All rights reserved.

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