Dear Pastor and Church Leaders,

Our American Baptist family has a profound heritage as a compassionate, engaging and giving people. Since 1824, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) has been declaring and proclaiming the gospel of our Lord in word and deed. Today, ABHMS remains rooted in that Word and committed to responding to the ever-changing needs of churches and communities in the United States and Puerto Rico.

The theme for the America for Christ Offering 2016 is an appeal to “Become More Like Christ” based on Ephesians 2:10, which states: “For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life” (NRSV).

This Scripture asserts that everything offered by the Lord is via God’s grace, God’s mercy and God’s love. In a marvelous manifestation of God’s ability, we have been transformed to produce good works. God is working out in our lives a tremendous exhibition of Christ’s wisdom, power, love, life, character, peace and joy. God is teaching us, training us, bringing us along, applying the paint in exactly the right places, producing marvelous masterpieces to be put on display—we, in fact, are God’s masterpieces. These virtues are to result in good works: kindness, love, mercy, com- passion, help to one another and meeting each  others needs.

Do you know how many good works God has prepared for you? The situations are there, ready and waiting for you to embrace, as you depend upon Christ, walking in faith and trust. God has called you to good works. As you answer, you become a vivid manifestation of the heart and hands of Christ.

As American Baptists, let us respond to the America for Christ Offering 2016 theme of “Discipleship: Becoming More Like Christ.” Let us take our place of service, as we seek to serve the most vulnerable in our communities.

Aidsand1(08)With Life-transforming Grace,
Dr. Jeffrey Haggray
Executive Director, ABHMS
American Baptist Churches USA