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Prayer Concerns:
  • Churches in Transition: Gibbon Baptist Church
  • Prayer for all those dealing with illness, natural disasters, violence, and terror around the world.
  • For Covid19 response, safety, and recovery
  • O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in the bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that in Your good time [Lord may that time be now], all nations and races may serve you in harmony, around your heavenly throne. through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
When to Speak...

I spent much of my time yesterday writing a piece concerning the issue of racism in our country. This was something I felt was expected of me because of my position and so I worked hard to write a part of my story, hoping it would be helpful, challenging and relevant. In our tradition it is often expected of the "leadership" to write statements taking a stand on an issue and proclaiming it to our pastors and churches. What I wrote may not have filled any of those obligations but I felt what I would have shared was a good story. I find good stories helpful to explain and explore complicated issues. This was all ready to send out but for some reason I hesitated. I have learned through the years when I have a feeling of hesitation it is something I have to look at carefully  in order to be sure what I am saying or doing is what I should be saying or doing.

When I got home last night, after a long and hectic day I needed to mow my lawn. It does not sound very spiritual but often I do some of my best praying and thinking mowing my lawn. As I was preparing to mow I glanced at Instagram and came upon a piece written by a young woman who has no theological academic degrees but has a wise perspective on all that is going on and I believe the Spirit moved me to share those thoughts instead of mine in this space. She was questioned by someone on Instagram why she had been silent about all that was happening in our streets. The writer was pressuring her to take a stand, speak up and call for justice. Here is her response; " I want you to know my quiet on social media is not a difference of opinion but a difference of expression. I think taking a 'bigger' stand lies in the small opportunities we meet every day as go to the post office or order food in the restaurant. .....I believe Jesus teaches us mercy, love and empathy. And I believe social media posting under duress from the world is not the answer." She explains anyone can post a bold proclamation on social media, and next post pictures of their pets and favorite recipes. What is going to make a difference in our world is how we go about living day to day after all of this.

I may post my story sometime later. Today, however, I am going to concentrate on being merciful, loving and empathetic because I know there are people out there hurting and who have been hurting for years. I do not have the answers to make this all different. I do have a responsibility to make a difference in this time with those people I encounter every day. I have the responsibility to admit to the sin of racism in my own life and the passivity I am guilty of by not seeking to change it proactively when I have had the opportunity.

Here is my best council for all of us: pastors preach the truth about the worth of all God's creation, in particular at this time our brothers and sisters of color. Church, live the true Gospel of Jesus, allow the Spirit to use you to proclaim God's deep abiding grace, use what you have been given to benefit all, work where God has placed you to end racism in the systems in which we live. The most bright light we can reflect is the light of the One who desires that no would perish without knowing Him, whose desire continues to be His church known by the love they share. We have a long road, it all begins with our next step....

Moses Merrill Camp and Conference Center Summer 2020 Opportunities 

Please read the attached letter to get a full report on our decision to suspend resident summer camp.
In the meantime here are some important things to consider.
Please consider financially supporting MMCCC by joining the 2300 team, by donating the usual camping costs your church would provide in a summer, or by providing other ongoing or one time gifts. You can also contribute to our Building Bridges to the Future cabin remodel. For more information visit:

Download letter explaining decision to suspend residential summer camp

Steps to Lead Your Church to Rebound
June 2, 2020 Summary

Earlier today Region staff participated in a webinar from Church Fuel that discussed how to continue moving forward through this chaotic season. Here are some of the more helpful highlights:

Rebounding is about bouncing back so we can move forward. It's like a basketball rebound, it is the beginning of the transition from defense to offense. 

1. Focus on the Essential: what we define as essential has changed recently. What have we learned? What sort of things are truly essential for mission and ministry? Identify your 5 essential ministries and focus on them with more resources, volunteers, and communication than non-essential ministries. Now is the time to eliminate ineffective ministries and tasks that keep us off-mission. 
2. Communicate fiscal responsibility, corporate generosity, and recurring giving: Share with your congregation the wise choices of financial team decisions. Communicate budget changes. Show how money is being used to further the mission and ministry of the church. Email donors monthly sharing how resources are being allocated to build trust and demonstrate responsibility. Emphasize recurring giving to even out budget.
3. Focus on community not just content: people miss community more than content. Churches are not publishing houses. They are fellowship communities on mission with Jesus.
4. Open the digital front door: the new blended service will not be about mixing music styles but about blending physically present and digitally present worship experiences. Think through how to blend your online and physical experiences into one. Think of it like TV show with a live audience and a televised audience. Some things work for both some things only work for one group or the other.
5. Update (create) a ministry plan: identify your mission and ministry purpose (who we are). Identify how to accomplish that mission and ministry (how we live out who we are). Your actions should always be driven by who you are.
ABC Nebraska MMBB representative is now Rev. Dr. David K Hinson. If you or your congregation has need to reach out to MMBB he will be your first contact.

Here are a Variety of Helpful Resource Links UPDATED June 2

ABC USA has curated helpful links from across ABC Churches. Visit for more.

Sermon Development

  • is a platform with template models, illustrations, presentation modes, and ability to archive your preaching history. It helps with sermon prep. You can share your sermons on your churches social media page or give the outline for online worship. 

Graphic and Social Media Aids:

  • If you have ever seen a cool graphic, a neat quote, or sermon series logo and thought, "I wish I could make one of those." Here is how to do it. Use the downloadable app called Word Swag on your mobile device and start creating. For a more advanced graphic maker try Canva.

  • Do you have lots of social media accounts to keep balanced? Want to coordinate your posts and campaigns. Try Hootesuite or Buffer or ways to navigate your multiple social media accounts in one place. They both have mobile, PC, and Mac versions for your convenience.

  • Don't want to make your own graphics? Use to download a large library of FREE images.

Video and Streaming:

  • Zoom is the easiest video meeting software. You can sign up for a membership through MinistrELife for only $100 right now. You can get a membership directly through the website for about $150 a year. 
    • Helpful hint. Zoom offers breakout rooms. You can bring your whole church together for a large group meeting. Then you can send them into breakout rooms for small group interaction, prayer, conversation, etc. Learn more about break out rooms. 
    • You can also insert polls into your zoom meetings.
  • Youtube is the most famous video site. You can stream live via YouTube with an account or you can record your ministries and post directly to website.

Webinars and Newsletters


Stream Content

  • Bible Project for videos on Bible. This is a free service.
  • Seminary Now...high quality seminary level content. Visit the website and submit your email info to be first in line for the newest content. Membership required.
  • Mr. Phil TV for the complete library of Phil Vischer's videos for kids. Membership required.
  • RightNow Media. The Region has a membership and each church can have access by emailing Greg Mamula at if you don't already have access.

Church Management:

  • manage online giving. Meaningful, simple, and fast—these three words represent what online giving should be. provides giving tools that are specifically for churches and ministries. Five giving tools, to be exact: mobile app giving, text giving, online giving (via donation form), kiosk giving, and administration gift entry. There are reports, receipts, and a dashboard all in one secure platform.
  • Slydial An app and web based phone and text system. Send messages to everyone in your congregation or just a select group.
  • Church Calendar management:
  • Call Em All: Web based phone and text system. You can send a phone call or text message to your entire congregation. A credit bases system; only pay for the calls and texts you send.
  • a text service for that instant communication needs.
  • create a poll to set up meeting times convenient for everyone. 
  • Create a digital info card for people who visit or attend your online services. Can be made in google drive. How to video. Place a link on your social media, website, or live stream service page. Here is an example. This way you can track online visitation and get new contact info.
  • easily track and measure important data that is shaping your church. 
  • Planning Center helps organize your church life and keep members connected. It has calendars, online giving platforms. worship planning, meeting spaces, etc. It allows customization and even has a free option for small congregations. There is also a mobile app. 
  • Loop Community is a resource for worship planning and leading. It has many tracks to sing along with or supplement live performers. You can even record your own songs to share and use.
Remembering with gratitude the life of our friend and colleague Don Gaines who served as ABC/NE Minister of Mission Support, we invite you to join us in honoring his life and ministry during his years in Nebraska.  Please consider a gift to Camp Merrill in memory of Don.  This will be a particularly challenging year for Camp and it seems fitting to honor Don by supporting this ministry he loved.  If you recognize our names, you probably knew Don.
Susan Gillies, Dave Lundholm, Steve Bils, MaryBeth Robertson, Clarence & Trudy Reiss.

Don Gaines Obituary
Rev. Donald Dean Gaines, 92, retired Ordained Minister of American Baptist Churches, passed away Sunday, May 24, 2020 in Wichita, KS. Rev. Gaines was preceded in death by his first and second wives, Arlene and Merna Gaines; parents, Marion and Emma Gaines; sister, Bonnie Fox; and step-son, Bruce Jernberg. Survivors include his sons, Ronald Gaines (Loree), Randy Gaines (Melinda), and Jay Gaines (Tiffany); sister, Doris Horner; step-daughters, Barbara Horton and Beth Jernberg; ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Questions to consider before re-opening your local church

Here are guidelines from the State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Guidelines for the Conduct of Faith-Based Services Including Weddings and Funerals Held in Houses of Worship. It is a helpful document to discern how to host people in your church buildings.
Secondly visit for the ABC USA insurance information to help with your local church and Covid19 response. 

Third, visit for a large amount of helpful resources directly from Church Mutual and Covid19 response.

Finally, Acting General Secretary Rev. Dr. Jeff Woods has created a "reopening your church building conversation guide" that you might find helpful as you and your church leadership teams discern next steps. The guide can be downloaded here.

You can also access dozens of Corona resources on the ABC-USA website
Where are Robin and Greg this week?
Monday: Office
Tuesday: Office
Wednesday: Office
Thursday: Office
Monday: Office
Tuesday: Office
Wednesday: Moses Merrill Camp and Conference Center
Thursday: Office
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