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American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island

Region Office Calendar

Jan. 2
       Region Office Closed
Jan. 3    
   RI ABC Clergywomen at First Baptist Church in America

Jan. 4  
       3:00 pm - Interfaith Coalition to Fight Poverty Vigil at State House
Jan. 5
8:00 am - Northern Cluster Pastor Breakfast at Harmony Kitchen
Jan. 6 
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 15
2:00 pm - Baptist Peacemakers of RI at Phillips Memorial
Jan. 16 
         Region Office Closed
         8:00 am
  - Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet sponsored by Ministers Alliance
Jan. 17 
        2:00 pm
 - Consultants at Canonicus
Jan 19   
        10:00 am
 - Retired Ministers TIM Group  at Canonicus
        12:30 pm - SCOM at Canonicus
         2:00 pm - Recruitment Team at Canonicus
         5:00 pm - Operations Team at Mark Sjoberg Office
Jan 20
 7:00 pm - "Church night at Providence Bruins Game
Jan 23  
        11:30 am -
 Social Witness Team at RI Hospital
         6:00 pm - CYMT at Phillips Memorial
Jan 24   
 pm - Executive Minister Relations Committee at Canonicus
Jan 26   
        7:00 pm
 - Board of Ministries
Jan 28   
        9:00 am
 -  Women and Girls Spiritual Growth Retreat at North Scituate Baptist Church sponsored by ABWM of RI

 View the full Region Office Calendar.
To conserve space in this weekly publication, we will print 2-3 weeks of events in the E-notes, but at the close of the Calendar there is a  link to the complete Calendar as posted to our website  We hope this new access to our long-range Calendar will aid you in your planning.  Thank you.


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.

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 onfacebook or eventbrite.

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.

Standing Committee on Ordained Ministry (SCOM) Updates Ordination Recognition Process and Requirements
The Standing Committee on Ordained Ministry (SCOM) has been working for more than a year to review and update our Region’s process and requirements for recognition of ordinations. They reported their progress to the Board of Ministries during their regular meeting on December 12. 

The notable updates to the policies include: clarification of the requirement for a Baptist History and Polity Course, requirement of a written response to the Identity Statement of American Baptists, requirement of the completion of an authorized ministerial ethics and boundaries course, and a clarification of topics to be addressed in the required ordination paper.  In addition to these updates to the general requirements for recognition of ordination, SCOM identified 11 core areas of competency for those seeking ordination recognition.  Read the more inclusive statement of the Standards of Regional Recognition  of American Baptist Ordinations as well as Standards for Regional Recognition of other Christian Denominational Ordinations.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast
On Monday, January 23, at 8:00 the Minister’s Alliance of Rhode Island will be hosting the 34th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet in Cranston.  This year’s keynote speaker is Rev. Dr. Aidsand Wright-Riggins, recently retired Executive Director of the American Baptist Home Missions Societies. 

The American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island has pre-purchased a table for 10 for this annual event.  There are several spaces remaining at the Region table. If you are interested in attending, call Colleen at the Region office at (401) 522-9729 or (401) 294-6318. Tickets are available for $35.00 apiece.
Providence Bruins Church Night:
  • Friday January 20th 7:05 PM
  • All youth in attendance will receive a FREE Providence Bruins hat, and a Popcorn & Fountain Drink!
  • Your group will receive a special discounted group rate for all members of the congregation, family, and friends!
  • We will provide all the help you need to make organizing your outing as easy as possible by including flyers, sign-up sheets, order forms and more
Each year we have local congregations attend the event and we want to make sure you are a part of the experience this year! For more information contact Aiden Verre by phone: 401-680-4749 or email:
Women and Girls Retreat
ABWMRI and AB G.I.R.L.S. will be holding our Spiritual Retreat, “See the Face of God....See Spiritual Growth, on Saturday, January 28, at North Scituate Baptist.  Our leader for the day will be Dr. Linda Bausserman.  Join us for this wonderful day of spiritual enrichment.  For more information and to register, download this attachment.
Ministerial Ethics and Boundaries Training -- Thursday, March 30

Thanks to a generous grant from the Rhode Island Baptist Education Society (RIBES), our Region was able to fund the training and certification of Rev. Nikita McCalister, Assoc. Executive for Administration, by the Faith Trust Institute of Louisville, KY. Nikita is now prepared to offer her services to our churches on behalf of our Region for this necessary and outstanding continuing education opportunity.
The Faith Trust curriculum allows our clergy to work together to better understand the complex roles and relationships that their ministry requires. The training is an essential tool to assist and sustain clergy in their ministry. The March event will cover such areas as:  Relationships, Transference, Power and Vulnerability, Social Media presence and Personal Self Care.
This Continuing Education opportunity is offered by our Region at a very nominal cost for the pastors and professional staff of our American Baptist Churches in Rhode Island.  It is recommended that every  member of the clergy participate in this training at least once every 5 years.  Local congregations are encouraged to provide this opportunity to their ministerial leadership by covering the minimal expense and allowing them the time away from their normal ministerial duties on Thursday, March 30.

American Baptist Women’s Ministries and American Baptist Women in Ministry
are planning in partnership a second Cruise event to the Bahamas, September 15-18, 2017. The cruise is open to all American Baptist women and their friends and loved ones. Departing from Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida, on the Royal Caribbean “Majesty of the Seas,” the cruise will stop at Grand Bahama Island and Coco Cay. In addition to the regularly scheduled cruise programming, “Sisters on the Sea: Relax, Relate, Renew” will feature Morning Matins (devotional times), Sisters on the Sea gatherings of biblical reflection and conversation, meals together, and Late Night Litanies, a time each evening to give thanks and praise to God. Special cabin rates are in effect until January 22. For more information click on the following link:

South Providence Neighborhood Matters Receives $10,000 Grant
A $10,000 One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Feeding and Shelter Grant will help South Providence Neighbor Matters (SPMN)  continue to provide emergency food as well as rent/mortgage and utility assistance to low-income families with children, the elderly and disabled individuals. Clients are welcome to weekly visits to the food pantry, the second largest in Rhode Island. Last year, SPNM distributed 514,781 pounds of food to 7,602 families (42,642 individuals).

The full-time program coordinator and Spanish-speaking program assistant meet privately with each household to establish a rapport and to help clients think beyond crises to focus on avoiding similar emergencies. Direct services staff help clients succeed emotionally as well as economically, providing information and referral services to adult education programs, health care services and children’s after-school and summer programs.

Through October, American Baptist Churches in Rhode Island have given $13,482 to the 2016 One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering.  OGHS is administered by the World Relief Committee of the Board of General Ministries, ABCUSA. The committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing distribution of the annual OGHS offering. One hundred percent of donations go to relief efforts; no dollars are retained for administrative costs.

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

  • Dec 19        Olney Street Baptist Church
  • Jan 1          Church of the Master
  • Jan 8          Phenix Baptist Church, West Warwick
  • Feb 5          First Baptist Church, East Greenwich

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
Save the Dates

The Baptist Peacemakers of Rhode Island will be presenting their annual musical concert on Sunday afternoon, March 26. The concert is scheduled to be hosted by First Baptist Church in America.  This annual event is the primary fund-raiser for the Baptist Peacemakers. Please make plans to attend and support this important ministry.

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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