Together in Ministry

What a Special Informational Retreat!

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As a representative of ABCNJ for Asian Ministries and Pastor of First Asian Baptist Church of Haddonfield and First Baptist Church of Trenton, Pastor Elizabeth Congdon, Rev. Mary Mild and I attended the conference of “Together in Ministry Retreat for Pastors ministering to the Burma Diaspora Community.”

What a special retreat with pastors from Karen and Chin communities from all over the United States as well as pastors of host churches to the Burmese. There were about 40 pastors and lay leaders in attendance at the National Conference Center in Valley Forge.

Dr. Joe Kutter, Executive Director of the ministers council welcomed us. Then we had introductions, fellowship and panel discussions. Rev. Dr. Brenda Halliburton, ABHMS, Coordinator for inter-cultural ministries spoke on Building Inclusive Communities using case studies from both a Karen church (Rev. Saw Ler Htoo) and a Chin Church (Rev. Rollin Van Bik). Opportunities were given by ABHMS office of immigration and Refugee Services, National Coordinator, Rev. Aundreia Alexander, for identifying ministry issues in Congregations followed by small group discussions led by Dr. Kutter.

An update of the Burma Refugee task force was given by Rev. Florence Li, National Coordinator, and Asian Churches Strategist. There was also an in depth discussion of ministry issues and the formation of TIM groups with Dr. Kutter facilitating. TIM groups were formulated and evaluated.

We learned a lot about culture, history, and political situation knowing that we are all brought together through Christ and how to work together through Christ in our own ministries.

Together in Ministry Retreat on April 23-25, 2012

This letter from Rev. Rothangliani Chhangte (liaison for Burma Refugees American Baptist Home Mission Society) is about an invitation for a second Together in Ministry (TIM) retreat, on April 23-25, 2012 at The National Christian Conference center in Phoenixville, PA.

Dear Pastors,

Happy New Year! I hope your Christmas celebrations went well and you’ve had a good break from all the activities.

Joe Kutter, Florence Li and met last year in November of 2011 to discuss holding a second Together in Ministry (TIM) retreat. We all felt that it would be beneficial to bring all the pastors together again to see what the “learning” has been in the six TIM group over the past year. Therefore, I am writing to invite you to the second TIM Retreat to be held at the National Christian Center in Phoenixville, PA (5 miles from the Mission Center) on April 23-25, 2012.

At our meeting we discussed expanding the retreat to other pastors who did not Make it last year, but we wanted to give the first timers first dibs. If you would Like to be part of the Second TIM Retreat in April please respond to me by email At Rothang.Chhangte@abhms.org no later than February 6, 2012. After the deadline date we will open the retreat to other pastors who were not at the first meeting. We also want to make this retreat be a more inclusive group and so we will invite more Karen/Chin/KaChin pastors who currently serve a ABC congregation.

More details regarding registration and room reservations will be forthcoming after we hear from you and others. The retreat will start with dinner on April 23rd and end at 2:00pm on April 25th, if you wish to go ahead and make travel plans. Similarly like last year, we will reimburse you up to $100 for those traveling over 200 miles round trip. Lodging for 2 nights and meals during the retreat will be covered by the TIM grant.

I look forward to hearing from you in the near future. If you have any questions you may contact me by phone at 1-800-ABC-3USA, ext.2426, or Rev. Florence Li at ext. 2468. I will be back in the office after January 18th. Peace,

Rev. Rothangliani Chhangte, Liaison for Burma Refugees