AB Men's Disaster Relief Team at Coal City
Work begins Monday, June 29, to help people of Coal City to recover from the damage done by the EF3 tornado that hit the city on Monday, June 22. Contact Van Peters for more information: 159 Faith Dr. Creal Springs, Ill 62922 Cell: 309.212.8797 firstname.lastname@example.org
In the latest edition of Mainstream, GRR's newsletter:
Dwight Stinnett's Last Column as Executive
There will be only one edition of Mainstream distributed during June. Two issues per month will resume in July.
GRR Annual Gathering - October 2 - 3
2015 Ministers Conference: New Hope of Faithful Churches with Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Jones
Registration is now open (download and mail in; or, online) for this continuing event for ministerial church leaders. The seminar is scheduled for Thursday, October 1 from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. at The Chateau Bloomington (Illinois) Hotel and Conference Center.
Seminar fee includes a copy of "facing decline, Finding Hope: New Possibilities for Faithful Churches," Jones' most recent book.
North Bridge Baptist Hosts Ordination Council for Pastor Michael Sloan
On Sunday, June 7, the church hosted a council to examine their pastor, Michael Sloan (at left; Tim Smith at right), in regard to the congregation's call for his ordination. Pastor Jim Wolfe (Pontiac First Baptist Church), served as chairperson of the council. Other council participants were Steve Anderson (Sr. Pastor, Fairbury First Baptist Church), Harry Sanders (Area III Assistant Area Minister), Shai Nyi (M.D. Pontiac First Baptist Church), Russell Zehr (El Paso First Baptist Church music minister), Adam Davis (Sr. Pastor, Bloomington First Baptist Church), Janice Hazekamp (retired ISU ABC campus minister and hosting church advocate for Michael), Tim Smith (Pastor, El Paso First Baptist Church) and his wife Val Smith (teacher; member of El Paso First Baptist Church), and Richard Ricks (GRR Regional Associate Minister serving Area III). The church is scheduling a worship service of ordination to be held in August.
Marley Community Church Honors Pastor Allan Holder
On Sunday, May 31, Clauido Lauciello of Marley Community Church and Richard Ricks of the Great Rivers Region presented a certificate to Pastor Allan celebrating his 30 years as pastor of the church. Allan's wife Mary Jane joined him as he thanked the church for the honor of their recognition. Allan and Mary Jane came to the church from Michigan via Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Board of Ministry Announces GRR Staffing Changes
As a result of Regional Ministry Board action on Monday, May 18, Dwight Stinnett (retiring in June) is pleased to report that our staffing arrangements for 2015 (and in to 2016) have been completed...changes will be effective 1 June and will last only 12 months. It is assumed that the next Regional Executive Minister will be able to design their own staffing plan by that time. (Changes | Staffing Chart)
Dwight Stinnett Describes GRR Board's Charge to Interim Executive, Larry Mason
First, this is part-time. Larry will not be available 24/7.
- His focus will be to maintain legal and administrative stability for the Region during this transition. His tenure is temporary. The regional covenant with Larry names December 2015 as the ending date. That is done with the full hope and anticipation that the work of the Executive Minister Search Committee will be finished by (or before) then.
- Larry is prepared to negotiate an extension with the Board if that is necessary.
Larry and I will be working together closely to make this transition as smoothly as possible. I am happy to leave the Region in Larry’s capable hands.
Again, thank you for the privilege of having served you.
American Baptists Respond to Needs of Nepal
$25,000 in emergency relief funds from One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) has been released to trusted partners of American Baptist International Ministries (IM) in Nepal. This the OGHS first response to the needs. (more...)
Your Church Web Site Mobile Friendly?
About two years ago more internet searches were done on handheld/mobile devices, a.k.a smartphones, phablets, and tablets. Now Google, the most used web search service will begin on Tuesday, April 21 to list web search results giving preference to sites that are mobile friendly. According to USA Today on April 18, "A site that has been listed number one result of searches "could hypothetically fall to ninth or tenth place." Here is a site to test how mobile-friendly your site is: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
How does the abcgrr site compare: The result of the test is "Awesome! Your site is Mobile Friendly."
If you have not yet made changes, you are not alone. As many as 40% of top corporations - including retail - have not yet made changes. They are now scrambling to do so.
Churches need to make the change. We have the best and most important service in the world to offer. Let's communicate it so all can hear and see.
Missionaries GRR Promotes -
Executive Minister Offers Clarity
There have been recent questions regarding the support of ABC missionaries historically promoted by the Great Rivers Region (see the attached flyer as an example).
In particular, I have gotten word that we are no longer promoting support for Kristy Engel – that is not true! We promote her support!
As I reflected on the possible source of such I rumor, I came to suspect that it is over the recently released list of “Special Interest Missionaries” by IM. This list has its roots in ABWM, and is related to their mission education strategy. It changes from year to year and the list of “special interest” missionaries selected by IM has nothing to do with the missionaries that the Great Rivers Region chooses to promote.
The Great Rivers Region continues to promote:
- ABC Missionaries serving in Costa Rica, because of our covenant relationship with Baptists in Costa Rica (presently this includes Ruth Mooney and Sue Hegarty).
- ABC Missionaries that have come from GRR churches (presently this includes Scott & Tan Coats, Annie & Jeff Dieselberg, Kristy Engel, Katie & Taku Longkumer, and Becky & Larry Stanton).
While we encourage the support of ALL ABC missionaries, we have assumed a special role in promoting the financial support of these missionaries. I am always happy to answer any such questions.
Area V ABCGRR Steps Toward Reconciliation
In the March 26 edition of the Mainstream Executive Minister of the ABCGRR reports on the steps taken before and during and prayer for the future reconciliation in the Greater St. Louis area. You may also find Dr. Stinnett's report with pictures on the home page of Area V.
Many others throughout the ABCGRR were praying for the gathering at St. Louis' Day Spring Baptist Church on March 14. These included sisters and brothers of Area I meeting for their Annual Gathering (also meeting on Saturday, March 14) at First Baptist Church of Ottawa IL. A special time of prayer was set aside by Area I leaders during their business meeting. After all, isn't working to be instruments of peace God's purpose for the Church?
Alternative Ministerial Education
Dr. Paul Maitland serves as the new Dean of the Alternative Ministerial Education Program. He began 15 February.
The Alternative Ministerial Education program (read more) ...
Medical Insurance Information and Options for Pastors / Churches
Since MMBB discontinued offering medical insurance through CIGNA and the piecemeal implementation of the Affordable Care Act, there has been a lot of confusion, misinformation, and continuing evolution in the field of medical insurance. While not claiming to be experts in this, we share this information with the hope that you might find it helpful. (read more...)
Could Your Church - or Pastor - Survive a Tax Audit?
Could your church or non-profit organization survive an IRS audit? Many clergy and churches are asking this question today be-cause financial accountability in churches and religious organizations is such an important and timely topic. Many clergy are finding themselves facing IRS audits. It is imperative that those responsible for your organization’s finances have the information they need to protect your exempt status and your right to accept donations. (2 Brochures available: Importance of Church Accounting and Church Accountability. These are made available from Summit Tax Accounting (formerly Patterson Accounting).
Speakers' Presentations: GRR Annual 2014 Assembly
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Brian Romanowski on Gifford Habitat Rebuild
Don Ng (Friday & Saturday Worship)