From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ABCUSA National Ministries Enables NEW LIFE 2010

From "SCHRAMM, Richard" <>
Date Sun, 23 Jun 2002 02:36:06 -0400

American Baptist News Service (6/22/02)--In the report of the Rev. Dr.
Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III to the Board of National Ministries today,
financial concerns and opportunities topped the executive director's list of
items that potentially could affect the home mission organization's future
plans and programming.

Concerns and opportunities brought before directors attending the semiannual
meeting included:
* National Ministries' actively managed and socially responsible Common
Investment Fund once again performed well through difficult markets
(receiving a rate of return in 2001 of -0.6 percent). This performance, said
Wright-Riggins, provides us "with an opportunity to respond to the mission
needs before us."
* National Ministries also continues to provide leadership for the
denominational emphasis NEW LIFE 2010 and funding for particular New Life
* The newly negotiated American Baptist Churches budget covenant could mean
as much as a $200,000 to $300,000 decrease in annual income.

The executive director's report also included a presentation about progress
with National Ministries' 
current Mission Action Plan (MAP), which features purpose and essential
values statements for each ministry center.  The MAP process will enter its
final phase by the end of the year, with the ultimate objective of guiding
the board in evaluating the mission effectiveness of National Ministries'

Wright-Riggins outlined the next steps in the process toward completion of
the MAP initiative:
to assign timelines to the ministry centers;
to prioritize goals by September;
to develop budgets utilizing program input;
to prepare performance appraisals; and
to present a final budget to the Board of National Ministries. 

Basing his opening remarks on the creation story in Genesis 1:1, the
executive director cited Sept. 11 as a sign of the state of our society, a
signal that "the world is a mess."  He reminded board members "how important
it is that there are systems like [National Ministries] that work against
the forces that debase and defile humanity."  In God's ultimate relationship
with us, in the midst of our chaos-no matter how deep the darkness-God's
spirit is hovering, waiting to create "a new thing," he said.

Ultimately, said Wright-Riggins, God uses "folks like us" who are in mission
to bring change and renewal: "God's day always ends in light, not darkness."

Alexander Commissioned

Also during its semiannual meeting here the Board of National Ministries
commissioned Aundreia Alexander an American Baptist home missionary.

Alexander, who has served National Ministries as director of Socially
Responsible Investing and Ecology since August 2001, is a licensed minister
with First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, an American Baptist
congregation in Somerset, N.J. 

In her letter to the board requesting commissioning, Alexander said, "My
passion is to see persons made whole and given the tools to reach their
greatest God-given potential."  Her call to National Ministries' office of
Socially Responsible Investing helps her "bring justice and faith together
to transform organizational systems."  This ministry, she says, "confronts
principalities and powers in high places, which debase personhood, deny
justice and destroy creation."

Alexander, who is seeking ordination, received a master of divinity degree
from Princeton Theological Seminary in May 2000.  She also holds a law
degree and a bachelor's degree in Accounting from the University of Missouri
at Columbia, Mo.

Alexander has been a consultant with The Ministers and Missionaries Benefit
Board and the National Council of Churches of Christ, both in New York,
N.Y., and the Elizabeth Port Presbyterian Center in Elizabeth, N.J.
Previously she worked in the Missouri State Attorney General's office in
Jefferson City, Mo., as assistant attorney general.  She interned at
Sakiziswai Christian Church in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

The Rev. Susan S. Maybeck, president of the Board of National Ministries,
charged the people to affirm, support and pray for Alexander that she might
have "patience, courage, articulation, and even [skills of] confrontation"
in her ministry.  "We confidently both send you out and receive you,"
Maybeck said.

National Ministries missionaries serve in a variety of home mission settings
across the United States and Puerto Rico.


American Baptist News Service: Office of Communication, American Baptist
Churches USA, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851; (610)768-2077; fax:

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