From the Worldwide Faith News archives


Date 02 May 1996 22:31:19


American Baptist News Service_____________________
Office of Communication / American Baptist Churches USA
P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851
Phone: (610)768-2077 / Fax: (610)768-2320
Richard W. Schramm, Director

_____ __________

UPDATE: APRIL 30, 1996
_____ __________

o  Dr. Jeanie K. Sherman, longtime missionary pastor in South Dakota
who was active in the life of American Baptist Churches USA, died
April 23.  In 1945, under appointment by the American Baptist Home
Mission Societies, Sherman became the missionary pastor at Timber
Lake and Trail City Baptist churches in Timber Lake, S.D.  Her
ministry in Timber Lake extended more than a quarter century.  She
then pastored First Baptist Church in Madison, S.D., before retiring
in the early 1980s.  An ordained American Baptist minister, she
previously had served pastorates in Massachusetts and Vermont.  She
held the B.D. degree from Andover Newton Theological School and was
awarded an honorary D.D. from Sioux Falls College.  In 1952 she was
honored for her achievements in rural ministry with the
denomination's Rosa O. Hall Award.  Sherman was a longtime member of
the American Baptist Churches' Ministers Council, and served as
president of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies in
1972-1973.  Condolences may be sent to her family in care of Joe and
Janet Brooks, 404 First St. NE, Madison, SD 57042.

o  A case study of American Baptist-related Keuka College in Keuka
Park, N.Y., serves as the focus of a new book challenging negative
predictions for the fate of small liberal arts colleges.  In The
Liberal Arts College Adapting to Changes: The Survival of Small
Schools, authors Gary Bonvillian and Robert Murphy cite Keuka as
"an example of what the small school is capable of achieving in spite
of the odds."  They note: "Keuka's situation also illustrates how an
institution's history, traditions and values can be linked to a
modern perspective of strategic management."  In their book,
Bonvillian and Murphy maintain that strategic planning is the key
characteristic of successful small schools.  Keuka, unlike many
similar schools, is succeeding because of its commitment to mission,
attention to external market forces and focus on decision-making
processes, they note.  Keuka President Arthur F. Kirk said, "For me,
the most powerful conclusion of Keuka's efforts is summed up in
this quote: 'Keuka's story is one of a community bonded together by a
sense of purpose and a shared vision for the liberal arts.  It is a
story of people.'"

o  Marguerite Belisle, general director of Church Women United, has
resigned that position.  A staff management team will handle
administrative responsibilities until a new general director is
appointed.  Church Women United is a grassroots ecumenical movement
representing Protestant, Orthodox and Roman Catholic women throughout
the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

o  Rhoda McKinney Jones, feature writer and journalist, has been
appointed to serve as special projects coordinator in American
Baptist National Ministries' Ministry Center for Biblical Justice.
The 14-month short-term assignment will begin May 1.  In announcing
the appointment, Dr. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III, executive
director for National Ministries, said that Jones will work with
Biblical Justice staff to develop overall strategies and design of
resources that articulate National Ministries' commitment to social
ministries.  In addition, she will help design a Valley Forge-based
Partners in Advocacy Network, expanding the focus of the current
Rapid Response Network to include other components of responsible
Christian citizenship.  A lifelong American Baptist, Jones is a
former president of the Black Journalist Association.  She holds
degrees from Spelman College (B.A./English) and Columbia University
(M.S./Journalism).  A former feature writer for EBONY magazine, Jones
has experience as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, the San Diego
Union-Tribune, and the Seattle Post Intelligencer.  She also served
as a U.S. Congressional aide.  Commenting on the appointment, the
Rev. Thelma C. Mitchell, associate executive director for Biblical
Justice and Issue Development, noted that Jones' term of service
"will enhance our ability to effectively communicate social justice
ministries to a wider constituency."

o  Evon Laubenstein, national president of American Baptist Women's
Ministries, has announced the annual observance of American Baptist
Women's Ministries Sunday for 1996.  "Women have been called the
backbone of the church, the heart of the church, the workers and the
givers over the years," Laubenstein said.  "American Baptist Women's
Ministries Sunday gives us an opportunity to say thank you and affirm
the gifts women bring in every area of church life."  The suggested
date for ABW Ministries Sunday is Sept. 15, 1996, although churches
are encouraged to schedule it for a day that best fits their
schedules.  "We encourage every church to celebrate the contributions
of women to their congregation's ministries at least once each year,"
Laubenstein said.  "The body of Christ needs to stop occasionally and
say 'Thank You' to anyone who gives to the work of the Kingdom.
Sometimes an added benefit is discovering unexpected gifts as the
women participate in worship on Women's Sunday."  The Rev. Carol
Franklin Sutton, executive director of ABW Ministries, noted that
materials for this year's observance were prepared by Helen Murrell
of Champaign, Ill.  "Helen is one of those multi-talented women that
ABW Ministries is so richly blessed with," Sutton said.  "The theme
of the day is 'People of the Way' and picks up on this year's overall
theme, 'We're On The Way.'  We encourage every church to use the
suggested service of worship.  It focuses on a dialogue between a
modern woman and a woman of the New Testament.  Check it out in the
Second-year Program Packet available from our office."  Call
1-800-ABC-3USA/exte nsion 2288 for more information or to order a
Second-year Program Packet ($5 plu s shipping/handling).  Besides the ABW
Ministries Sunday suggested service, the packet also includes
programs suitable for study groups or women's circles.  American
Baptist Women's Ministries' stated purpose is to provide
opportunities for each woman and girl to develop as God's person, to
build God's faith community, and to serve God's world by providing
programming resources for local church use throughout the United
States and Puerto Rico.

   o  The American Baptist Assembly in Green Lake, Wis., will offer a
number of conferences focusing on renewal during July 1996.  Set for
July 6-13: The Holy Spirit Renewal Conference theme of "Preserving by
the Power of the Spirit" will examine the dynamics of spiritual
renewal occurring among American Baptists; the National Bible
Conference will explore "Alternative to Brokenness: On Being the Body
of Christ" through study of Ephesians; and "Learning to Fly" will
provide an educational and recreational opportunity for
developmentally disabled youth and adults.  Chaplains and Pastoral
Counselors Week, July 13-19, will examine "Ministry in a Climate of
Hate, Fear and Frustration" and provide an opportunity for American
Baptist chaplains and pastoral
counselors to gather for worship, continuing education and
recreation.  Several important conferences are set for July 13-20:
the Green Lake Multi-Cultural Prayer Conference will focus on "The
Practice of Prayer"; the 1996 Family Life Celebration will look at
"Building Family Virtues"; the Green Lake Writer's Conference will
offer workshops and instructors willing to work on manuscripts with
participants; the Green Lake Arts Conference has been designed for
beginning and advanced artists to participate in 11 different art
forms; and the National Senior High Conference will bring together
youth from across the country to study and apply the Bible.  The
Green Lake Family Reunion, July 20-25, is an event for supporters of
American Baptist ministry, former staff, volunteers and past
conferees.  The theme "Renewing Your Spirit Through Music" will be
the focus of the Conference for Church Musicians, July 20-27,
designed to aid, train, equip and encourage musical church leaders,
ministers and lay persons.  Conferences during the week of July
27-Aug. 3 include the American Baptist Men's Conference, the National
Gathering of AB GIRLS and the National Women's Conference.  "Think
New," the American Baptist Men's Conference theme, will lift up the
expanded programming for ABBoys and ABYoungMen.  "Bread for the
Journey," the AB GIRLS conference theme, invites girls from all parts
of the country to learn more about their personal faith journey
through fellowship and fun.  "Joined in Love to Abide...Grow...Serve"
will set the tone of the National Women's Conference, a week of
renewal and refreshment.

For additional information or to register for any of these
conferences, contact the American Baptist Assembly in Green Lake at
(800)558-8898 or (414)294-7360.

   o  Singles will be able to choose from several major conferences
over the Labor Day holiday at the American Baptist Assembly.  Singles
Vacation Week, Aug. 26-30, will be an informal opportunity for
singles to get to know each other in a relaxed and friendly
atmosphere.  The Retreat for Single Professional Church Leaders, Aug.
28-30, will offer singles the chance to network with others in
professional church ministry.  Common concerns and strategies for
effective ministry will be explored.  Dr. Paul Eppinger and the Rev.
Valentine Royal will lead Bible study and discussions.  The theme of
the National Singles Conference, Aug. 30-Sept. 2, will be "Moving
from Isolation into Community."  Keynote speaker Dr. Will Miller,
comedian, psychotherapist and ordained minister, has been dubbed "the
prophet of the pop culture" by the Associated Press. Sixteen special
interest workshops and a variety of recreational activities will be
offered.  For more information or to register, call the Green Lake
Conference Center at (800)558-8898 or (414)294-7360.

    In an action based on the recommendation emerging from a space
utilization study, the American Baptist Churches USA has leased
20,000 square feet of its Mission Center building here.  The lessee,
LMC Properties, Inc. of Middle River, Md., is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation.  Lockheed Martin
Management and Data Systems is the division which will be the tenant.
   LMC Properties will begin occupancy in May 1996 for two short-term
lease agreements.  Business activities to be conducted by LMC on the
site will be restricted to developing unclassified commercial
contract software programs for communications corporations such as
Bell Telephone and to providing a location for recently employed
personnel who are "in training" in such subjects as ethics,
communications, management
processes and systems.
    The decision to lease a portion of the Mission Center building
was reached in 1995 following a study of space utilization authorized
by the American Baptist Churches' General Board.  The study concluded
that a reduction in the space utilized by the denominational offices
not only was feasible but desirable as an act of good stewardship.
Because of the lease agreement, an estimated $300,000 that would have
been paid annually by American Baptist organizations renting space
will be freed for mission.
    Detailed discussion focusing on Lockheed Martin as a potential
lessee was undertaken by the General Board Executive Committee at its
meeting Feb. 29-March 2, 1996.  Following that discussion, the
17-member committee voted, with one no vote, to use the same "screen"
which the General Board voted in 1995 in considering prospective
tenants.  That screen mandates that corporations with net revenues of
50 percent or more from alcohol, tobacco and gambling would not be
considered as possible tenants.  The Executive Committee vote cleared
the way for negotiations with Lockheed Martin to continue.  (The same
screen, which is considered to be in accord with positions expressed
in resolutions and policy statements passed by the American Baptist
General Board, had been applied to the Prudential Company, when it
entered a leasehold agreement with American Baptist Churches USA for
Mission Center property in the mid-1980s.)
    Lockheed Martin, which employs about 170,000 persons, was formed
in 1995 through the merger of Lockheed Corporation and Martin
Marietta.  It is a highly diversified multinational firm involved in
various business enterprises, including the manufacture of commercial
and military aircraft, communication technologies, electronics, and
the management of research facilities for the U.S. Department of
Energy.  A major defense contractor, the company recently has been
responsible for producing the Trident II submarine missile, the
Theatre High Altitude Area Defense ballistic missile interceptor, the
Milstar military communications satellite, and other aerospace
technologies.  According to Kinder, Lydenberg, Domini and Co., an
independent monitoring organization, Lockheed Martin additionally has
major defense contracts overseas, in such countries as the United
Kingdom, South Korea and Singapore.
    In its report on the company, Kinder, Lydenberg, Domini and Co.
also noted that a 1994 study by Careers and the disAbled magazine had
placed Lockheed Martin among the 25 companies and government agencies
with the best reputation for employing the disabled.  In addition, in
1995 Hispanic magazine included the company among its 100 companies
providing the greatest opportunities to Hispanics.
    American Baptist Churches General Secretary Daniel E. Weiss
addressed the fact that "a contract with any organization whose
parent company partly is dependent upon government defense contracts
may raise some questions, even though our tenants will be involved
only in management and communication software and
personnel training."
    Weiss noted: "While American Baptist Churches USA is not part of
the 'peace church' tradition, many of its organizations,
congregations and individuals have made profound commitments to
pursuing peace as part of their call to mission in Christ's name.
For some American Baptists, the pursuit of peace necessitates the
elimination of all major global weaponry.  For others, peace can best
be achieved and assured in part through a strong defense.  The
American Baptist General Board in 1985 spoke out strongly for a
reduction and eventual abolishment of weapons of mass destruction.
Certainly there are a variety of understandings on this issue, but
our common commitment to a deliberate pursuit of peace within God's
creation is shared.  We realize the contract with Lockheed Martin--or
with any organization with government defense contracts--will raise
questions and concerns."
    "This is a rental agreement with a specific division, not a
commitment to investment in or support for a parent corporation," he
continued.  "And our negotiations with Lockheed Martin Management and
Data Systems from the start have been based on the understanding that
business undertaken by LMC Properties at the Mission Center will be
for commercial and government management and data systems.  We long
have been aware that the pool of potential renters here in the Valley
Forge area is heavily weighted toward technological and
aerospace companies with corporate identities similar to Lockheed
Martin.  The fact that LMC Properties will restrict its activities to
the development of communications software and to staff training was
an essential component in the rental agreement.
    "We also are aware that as Christians, we now have an opportunity
to model ministry for an "outside" organization functioning within
our walls."
    "The leasing of corporate work space at the Mission Center is an
essential act of good stewardship," he added.  "Through it, our
resources will be expanded and our work in Christ's name will be

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