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VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 8/31/23)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) continues to pray for strength and protection for those affected by Hurricane Idalia, which made landfall August 30 along the Big Bend area of Florida’s Gulf Coast as a high-end Category 3 storm driving record-breaking storm surge. As it traverses the Southeast United States, with Georgia and South Carolina squarely in its path, Idalia continues to unleash violent winds and torrential rain, wreaking destruction.
The Tallahassee-based National Weather Service office warned that “locations may be uninhabitable for several weeks or months” due to wind damage.
The Rev. Dr. James M. Harrison, the regional executive minister of the South, said: “There are several American Baptist Churches in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina in the direct path or flood surge of Hurricane Idalia. We appreciate all the prayers, financial support and care American Baptists will offer, especially in response to communities that can get overlooked.”
The Rev. Lisa Harris-Lee, ABHMS director of Healing & Transforming Communities, said: “We are all seeing the images of strong winds, flooding and destruction from Hurricane Idalia.” She reminded us that we should not become desensitized from frequent exposure to requests for assistance such as this: “We may be getting weary of hearing them, but we make these appeals for support precisely because we know the anticipated needs will be great in months and years to come. Our constant prayers and generosity are meaningful immediate responses as followers of Jesus Christ.”
First reports from the affected areas show widespread devastation, with submerged homes and vehicles, downed power lines, snapped tall trees and flying debris. More than 330,000 households in Florida and Georgia are without electricity.
How you can help:
Please join American Baptists in supporting the relief efforts directed toward those who were in the path of the torrential rains and floods. One hundred percent of designated OGHS gifts are allocated to domestic disaster relief.
You can donate via your church or directly online.
Checks designated to “OGHS 2023 Hurricanes” should be mailed to ABHMS’ Office of Development, care of Kim Wilkins, 1075 First Avenue, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406.
Checks should include the name of the donor’s church to ensure that it receives credit for the gift.
The World Relief Committee of the Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA administers One Great Hour of Sharing. The committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing distribution of the annual One Great Hour of Sharing offering received by churches.
To learn more about ABHMS, please visit abhms.org.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.
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.
Second Baptist Church of St. Louis is an open and progressive community of faith including groups focused on social justice, faith recovery, LGBQT+ and allies, and immigrant families from Myanmar and Thailand. Our Sunday School classes focus on Bible study, living faith, and youth education.
You may be a devout believer, or you may be a cynic, a critic, a searcher or a seeker. You may reject the “pat answers” of mainstream Christianity. You may have been hurt by a previous church experience. You may have questions about your faith or doubts about the institutional church. Regardless, you will find friends and compadres at Second Baptist who understand and appreciate the journey you are on.
We welcome you without regard to your race, ethnicity, age, ability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, level of education, economic status or any other status that may be misunderstood as a barrier to authentic community.
We invite you to join us as we discover grace and faith together.
For more information on Love Chapter and our LGBQT+ alliance, click here.
A short video welcome from Pastor Steve
Open in membership, open in communion, and open in acceptance. We believe that all people are children of God and it is our privilege to accept anyone who comes into our fellowship. Jesus said, “Come to me,” and we extend the same invitation. You are welcome at Second Baptist Church if you are rich or poor, married or single, gay or straight, black, brown or white, uptown or downtown, insider or outsider, conservative or liberal, together or a mess.
Second Baptist Church chooses to look forward with confidence that God is indeed building a Kingdom where we are citizens who practice grace, love and mercy. As one person has said, “The currency of the Kingdom is love. Spend it freely.”
The word “Baptist” means a lot of different things these days, and the word can have some negative connotations. We believe that we are Baptists in the best way - grounded in the historical distinctions that have made Baptists champions of individual rights, freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and separation of church and state. Women have equal leadership including ordination and service as pastors. We have long associated with American Baptist Churches U.S.A and the American Baptist Churches of the Great Rivers Region.
We stand for freedom of the individual in all matters of faith and practice of religion. Such a belief and such a spirit is a challenge to live with all one's powers and creativeness in fulfilling God's purpose. Tradition is worthless if it does not give strength and vision for the present and hope for the future. The tradition of freedom in this Church is truly a spirit which has been passed on to our generation. It is the very atmosphere of our Church, the refreshing air we breathe. Read more