The first 2012 meeting of the new ABCNJ Council met at Oaklyn Baptist Church on Saturday, January 28. Rev. Eric Hoheisel welcomed us as host pastor and stayed to participate in the meeting. Highlights of the meeting included: 1. Approval of the 2012 ABCNJ final working budget. The Council also praised God for the 2011 preliminary budget report, which showed that the region ended 2011 with an operating budget surplus of $23,000. United Mission was up 8.5% from 2010 and exceeded the budget goal by $10,000! The ABCNJ Region Offering reached the $70,000 mark, up by about $15,000 from 2010, and America for Christ was also up. Thanks to all ABCNJ churches and individual donors for supporting our ministry!
Review of and discussion about the 2011 Ministry Team report, which details how the regional ministry team serves our churches and pastors. The council also reviewed a summary chart of the team's activity from 2003-2011.
Discussion in small groups about who to appoint for the 3 Transformed by the Spirit Adaptive Change Task Forces, which will focus on the following questions:
- Bridging Generational Gaps: What kind of congregational and regional transformation will be necessary for our churches to bridge generational gaps and reach younger adults and youth more effectively?
- Evangelism as a Way of Life: How can our members and churches embrace evangelism (and church growth) as a way of life, so that our witness flows more naturally from our discipleship journeys?
- ABC Identity: How should we address the "identity crisis" we face as American Baptists, in which pastors and lay members seem disconnected from associational and denominational life (except when they need services or support from us)?
- Approval of Dr. Elmo Familiaran's 2012-2013 sabbatical plan.