VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 2/22/18)—Iglesias Bautistas de Puerto Rico Executive Minister Rev. Edgardo M. Caraballo Marín and American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) General Secretary Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer are pleased to invite churches throughout our country to sign up to participate in the Iglesias Bautistas de Puerto Rico – ABCUSA Sister Churches Initiative. The Sister Churches Initiative offers U.S. mainland churches the opportunity to befriend and express solidarity with Puerto Rican American Baptist congregations.
The initiative is coordinated by ABCUSA’s Office of the General Secretary and Iglesias Bautistas de Puerto Rico. Up to three sister congregations from U.S. mainland churches—ideally hailing from different ABC regions—will be secured via an online registration form for each participating Puerto Rican congregation. Congregations will be matched primarily by congregation size (up to 100, between 101-200, and over 200).
The Puerto Rico Sister Churches Registration Form is available here.
The participation of Puerto Rican congregations is being coordinated by the region, and churches there do not need to register via the online link.
The churches will be invited to join in friendship-building through prayer support, moral support and encouragement through written communications among pastoral leaders, church members and children, leading up to opportunities for common worship experiences during the 2021 Biennial Mission Summit in Puerto Rico.
The Sister Churches Initiative is being facilitated by Rev. Dr. Kevin Walden, ABCUSA Associate General Secretary for Congregational and Pastoral Effectiveness (Kevin.Walden@abc-usa.org).
The Sister Churches covenant begins: “Guided by the Holy Spirit and moved by the love of Christ, we journey in covenant with one another as American Baptist brothers and sisters. Given the needs and challenges experienced by our churches in Puerto Rico due to recent hurricanes, and the incredible strength they have expressed through faith in Christ, we endeavor to encourage each other as a denominational family.” Find the full covenant here.
Sister churches are not expected to provide direct financial support. All funds for Puerto Rican relief are encouraged to flow through One Great Hour of Sharing. If a Puerto Rican sister church has reconstruction needs, we encourage volunteer relief mission projects to be coordinated through the Disaster Response ministry of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies and the Iglesias Bautistas de Puerto Rico region.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.