Merry Christmas to all!
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American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island

Region Office Calendar

Dec 18
    Olney Street Baptist Church celebrates 115th anniversary
Dec. 20 
     9:00 am
  - Region Staff assist at SPNM Christmas event
Dec. 26
        Region Office Closed
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 Clergy March and Prayer Gathering at State House
Jan. 5
8:00 am - Nothern Cluster Pastor Breakfast at Harmony Kitchen
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 
         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 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


Dear Ministerial Leader:
Debt got you down? Apply for a cash award through American Baptist Home Mission Societies' (ABHMS) "In Support of Excellence" (ISOE) initiative.
ISOE is a financial-empowerment program that seeks to equip pastors and lay leaders with financial literacy training and resources. It will provide a safe space for pastor-to-pastor conversations, in which participants can be honest about the unique pressures that ministry places on finances, family and faith.
Apply for the program now.

For more information, you are invited 
to register for one of three free 
60-minute informational webinars:
  • Dec. 20 @ 11 a.m. EST;
  • Dec. 20 @ 3 p.m. EST; or
  • Dec. 21 @ 3 p.m. EST.

Protect No-Fare Bus Passes

About 12,000 low-income seniors and people with disabilities rely on the no-fare bus pass to meet basic transportation needs, including access to grocery stores, food banks, shelters, community programs, religious services, recovery meetings, volunteer opportunities, libraries, support groups and much more.

On January 1, the fare is scheduled to increase to .50/ride and .25/transfer. Many low income seniors and people with disabilities can not afford this increase. Please ask Governor Raimondo to act quickly to find a solution to maintain the no-fare bus pass for low-income seniors and people with disabilities. Tell her what congregation/organization you are from and why this issue matters to you.

Governor Raimondo: 401-222-2080

More Information

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.
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.

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
Joining Together in Ministry

Giving Hope to Children in Foster CareBags 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.


News and Invitations from Our Churches

Emmanuel Baptist Church
Hamilton Phoenix Electric Organ

We have a Hamilton Phoenix electric organ the we would like to donate to a church in need or some interest as a gift to a person who would like learn how to play. Contract Richard Matera at 401-527-7508 for more information.

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

The Baptist Church in Warren (407 Main St., Warren)
11th Annual Cookie Walk
Saturday, December 17th, starting at 9 am  - til sold out

Browse rooms full of home-made and hand-decorated cookies of every shape and size.  Collect as many as you like for just $10/pound.  This is a very popular fund-raiser, so come early for the
best selection.   We will also be raffling off a beautiful, hand-sewn quilt. Please use parking lot/Miller St. entrance for this event. Thank-you.

Save the Dates

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 inVigil 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.

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

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