In American Baptist Churches in October it is likely that on the first Sunday of the month World Communion Sunday will be observed, the World Mission offering will be received and that the work of American Baptist International Ministries will be recognized. So it will be at Lakeshore in October, 2016.
The specific focus of our World Communion Sunday Observance will be Latino/ Hispanic Heritage Month. An Iberoamerican (International Ministries now uses this term for the countries or territories of the Americas in which Spanish or Portuguese are predominant languages, usually former territories of Portugal or Spain) Altar Piece will grace the Sanctuary, and in my sermon I will recognize the significant ministry of one of my mentors, The Reverend Ruth Morales.
The World Mission Offering is one of the main ways in which American Baptist Churches support the work of International Ministries. This year, the interpretive materials for the offering highlight the seeds of love, hope and encouragement American Baptists have long sown and nurtured in Cuban Baptist Churches. The recently retired Executive Director of International Ministries, Reid Trulson, writes, “IM’s presence in Cuba dates back to 1898 and IM’s first in-country, post -revolution ministry dates back to 1996.” Our gifts to the World Mission Offering make a difference in Cuba, Puerto Rico and many countries around the globe. (LABC is planning to join with the Northminster Church of Monroe, LA in a mission trip to Cuba in November 2017. Jesse Lucas is the contact person.)
On Sundays October 16, 23, and 30, the sermons will lift up persons significant to and lessons learned from the commitment of Baptist churches to what was once known as foreign mission. On October 16 I will tell of George Leile, a freed slave who likely was the first missionary from a Baptist church in the United States to a foreign country (Jamaica). On October 23 I will call our attention to Ann and Adoniram Judson who arrived in Burma on July 13, 1813. On October 30, the Reverend Greg Sneller of American Baptist International Ministries will be with us to help us all, children, youth and adults, know about some of the good work God is doing through our support of the World Mission Offering.
I am happy to say that on September 19, I, at the request of Sharon Koh, the new Executive Director of International Ministries, sent on behalf of LABC a contribution of $500 to the I Am IM Challenge Fund. This newly established fund will:
- Provide support for our global servants,
- Recruit train and send more workers,
- Impact more people with the gospel,
- Evaluate and develop new ministry,
- And more!
May it long be said that LABC has a heart for the global mission of the Body of Christ.