In the Fall of 2016 ABCNJ received an urgent request for help from IM Missionary, Tim Long. A recent flood of Haitian Refugees were showing up in Tijuana Churches looking for assistance and hoping to reach the United States
On Sunday, February 12, Temple Beth Or with Rabbi Robert Rubin, and Osbornville Baptist Church with pastor Fred Daugherty hosted Dr. Lee Spitzer as he made a presentation of his research on Baptists response to Hitler, the Holocaust and the Jews titled “Baptists, Jews and the Holocaust….The Hand of Sincere Friendship”.
Camp Lebanon has been in my life for a long time. My mother attended camp when it first opened and her experiences at Lebanon led her to become an active member of her church – Grace Baptist Church in Trenton, NJ. Later, she married and became a member of First Park Baptist Church in Plainfield, NJ. Which is the church in which I grew up.
ABCNJ invites our regional family to recognize the importance of Black History Month. February offers congregations a time to celebrate and remember the vital contributions African-Americans have made to the fabric of American Christianity, and encourages Christians of all races to promote racial reconciliation and authentic friendship.
ABCNJ is pleased to announce Rev. Eric Hoheisel has been called to join our Regional Ministry Team as an Associate Regional Pastor and will begin his service July 1, 2017. Eric's call was confirmed by the personnel committee and was unanimously accepted by the ABCNJ Regional Council at its February 4, 2017 meeting.
ABCNJ invites you to our annual Church Officer and Leaders (COAL) training event as we PREPARE our hearts for ministry, STRENGTHEN our passion for Kingdom work and recommit ourselves to SERVE locally and globally in Jesus' name! All participants will have the opportunity to gather for a time of rich teaching, networking and worship.
It was not too long ago that First Baptist Church of Pitman called Randy Van Osten to be their new pastor - July 20, 2016 to be exact. It signaled a new day for the congregation, as clearly it was evident all around that the call between pastor and people was anointed by the Holy Spirit.
The congregation - and more importantly, Randy - passed another significant milestone recently. On Sunday, January 22, 2017, Pastor (now Reverend!) Randy Van Osten was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Pitman.
The ordination of a new pastor is one of the cherished milestones in our shared regional life. It is also a significant milestone in the life of a congregation and in the life of the pastor that it ordains.
The church sanctuary was filled with members of the church, community clergy, representatives and pastors from the Greater Delaware Valley Association, and ABCNJ regional pastoral staff.
We thank God for calling together the Rev. Randy Van Osten and the First Baptist Church of Pitman, and now offer our prayerful support as a regional family to their new journey.
When we moved to our current home a little over 12 years ago, my wife and I decided that we make it a tradition moving forward to have a freshly cut Christmas tree in our home during Advent and Christmas. For some reason the tree that I cut this past Christmas was the tallest we have had so far - a little over 9 feet. The height of the tree is not the priority for us, but we always are drawn to the best shaped tree we can find at the Christmas tree farm. This time around when we found the best shaped tree that suited our purpose, it just happened to be much taller.
Our son usually comes with us to help. But this time he was not able to do so because of a schedule conflict. So I had to do the cutting myself with some help from my wife. Needless to say, it was quite a challenge for me. It was heavy, but I managed to cut it and get it on the cart and pulled it to the store where the workers helped to tie it on top of our vehicle. Getting it off the car when we got home, taking it inside the house, and mounting it on the stand was another challenge. But we did it, and it was beautiful where it stood.
It was not until January 9 of this year, after Epiphany, that I had the chance to take out our Christmas tree to the curb to be picked up for recycling. I watered and fertilized it regularly so, as you can see in the photo, it retained its shape and fresh look the entire season. But I noticed something rather remarkable when I had to finally pick it up to take it out of the house - the tree was so light, that I could literally lift it up over my head! It was clear that, while it retained its "fresh" appearance, the tree had lost much of its weight - its sap and fluids that gave it turgidity.
A new metaphor for the new year suddenly came to me: not only did the calendar change, not only did Epiphany liturgically book-ended Advent and Christmas, but the weight of all the cares and the burdens of the previous year now belong to that moment in time. In the new year the receptacle of my experience has been lightened, emptied and ready to receive the new joys, the cares, and even the burdens of the new year. May we look at this new year with great anticipation of the new encounters that will fill our cups with child-like wonder and gratitude to God who is the Lord of the Journey, and to Christ who is the Word become flesh.
First Baptist Church of Allentown, has been working toward a goal…a $10,000 pledge for the Cedars of Lebanon Campaign. The church was nervous, even fearful, that our little church might not be able to fulfill our pledge over the seven year period from 2014 through 2020. Well, surprise, surprise, surprise!
The New Year has begun, and we are looking forward to many new opportunities to serve God and God’s people in the coming year. We wear many “hats” in our new role as missionaries serving Baptist partners in the Asia Pacific region. Below are a few that we wore recently, and will be putting on again in 2017.
Giving up an entire day to attend ABCNJ's Accordance Training may seem like a significant investment of time, but Accordance's Rick Mansfield encourages pastors to come and participate.