International Ministries

IM announces 200th anniversary celebration and new three-year theme

January 23, 2012 News
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Starting this year, American Baptist International Ministries (IM) will begin celebrating 200 years of global mission.  “This is a remarkable occasion for IM. Not many mission agencies have been able to reach this milestone. We are indeed grateful for God’s leading and guidance during our 200-year history,” commented Reid Trulson, executive director.  “We are honoring the past while moving forward into the future.”

 IM’s overarching theme for the next three years is Mission to the Third Power or Mission3.  U.S. and Puerto Rico churches, friends, missionaries, donors, ABC regional staff, volunteers and missionary partnership network members will begin seeing this theme on all IM materials starting in 2012.  “We’re excited about Mission to the Third Power because it recognizes our missiology rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” commented Trulson.

IM’s 3-year bicentennial theme, Mission3, is a shorthand way of expressing the following core ideas:

1.      IM’s entrance into its third century of mission

2.      The mission of our Triune God

3.      IM’s three-fold understanding of making disciples:  helping people come to Christ, grow in Christ and change their worlds with Christ

4.      Three years of bicentennial celebrations, starting in 2012

               5.      Three mission foci: evangelism; health & healing; anti-human trafficking

IM will kick off the three-year anniversary with a huge 7-day World Mission Conference (WMC) May 18 -25, 2012. After a six-year hiatus, the weeklong WMC is coming back to the Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, WI.  The 2012 conference, which will include a 3-day call retreat, focuses on discerning God’s call to Christian service and how to make that call a reality.  The theme for 2012 is Hear the Call. For more information about the conference, click here

The "Call Retreat" portion of the WMC will be an experience designed to help individuals consider and discern God's call to ministry in an international and cross-cultural setting, or right here in the U.S. in pastoral leadership of a local church, or missional engagement in local church communities.  "International Ministries is moving into an era of renewed, proactive efforts to cultivate missionary candidates and match them with the invitations and opportunities from our international partners," notes IM director of recruitment, Rev. Jim Bell.  "We are looking forward to meeting and interacting with persons whom God might be calling to step out in faith into new ventures of service."

 Moving forward into 2013, IM will be providing information about significant celebrations in Myanmar (Burma). Baptists in Myanmar are inviting American Baptists to their country to share in bicentennial celebrations. 200 years ago in 1813, American Baptist missionaries Adoniram and Ann Judson arrived in Burma as the first Protestant missionaries from North America. They translated scripture, led people to faith and helped establish churches, schools and medical work in Burma.  The Judsons mission and work inspired many Americans to hear the call to support mission and to become missionaries. Their ministry 200 years ago was an early part of the remarkable movement of people throughout S.E. Asia becoming followers of Jesus. 

 In June 21-23, 2013, American Baptists in the U.S. and Puerto Rico will gather in Overland Park, KS for the ABC Biennial meeting. IM will bring its global missionary focus to the Biennial, celebrating the missionary service of Adoniram and Ann Judson under the theme of Mission3: Embrace the Cause!

 The year 2014 will include a grand finale: all the American Baptist missionaries will be brought back to the U.S. for a national bicentennial World Mission Conference to celebrate IM’s founding 200 years earlier in 1814 as the “General Missionary Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States of America, for Foreign Missions” and to launch us into our “third century” of global mission. The conference will be held July 19-26 at the Green Lake Conference Center in WI. The theme for 2014 will be: Mission3:  Rise to the Challenge!

 For more information, or to use your financial resources to contribute to the bicentennial events, please email david.worth@abc-usa.org.