RMMO Logo 2014

The offering supports those who have devoted their lives to God’s service by providing emergency assistance in times of need and a thank you check at the end of each year. We hope that RMMO will continue to serve as a rich tradition for ABC congregations and be an inspiration for so many who have served with gladness.

Thank you, church leaders, for your support of this ministry. Need resources to help get the word out about this ministry? Click on the RMMO logo above or click here.


In the October issue of Parish Paper, "How Can We Prevent Suicide", Cynthia Woolever recounts the struggle the Rick Warren family experienced (and still experiences) when their son took his life.

The issue is especially pertinent during these holiday weeks. The holidays act as an amplifier of both celebration AND depression. The article linked to above and the personal story submitted below are offered to help each of us to be more aware and offer appropriate help.

One of the most challenging and hurtful experiences is how people try to explain why a person would commit suicide. Woolever puts it plainly, "Because anyone can struggle with these challenges, churches can debunk the myth that depression or mental illness is a sign of spiritual weakness."

Xavier Whitford lost her son, Tommy, on August 18, 2014 to suicide as a result of depression. As a Pastor’s wife (Xavier's husband Cory is Youth and Christian Education Pastor of Belvidere First Baptist Church), she writes, "I have encountered all sorts of responses from people, both positive and negative.  We have received judgment from some who wonder what we did wrong or how could we not know and do something, but mostly we have received love and support." (Read the full letter.)

Ebola Is No Zombie Movie: Executive Minister Dwight Stinnett Cautions


It seems like Ebola is in the news daily.  I share with you two things, then a brief comment.

First, attached is a bulletin insert (in both B&W and color) regarding American Baptist work in Ebola-stricken areas, and requests for support through One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS).  You can include your clearly identified gifts in your regular mission support sent through the Region.  100% of OGHS funds go to OGHS.

Second, attached is a memo from a state emergency management meeting with the Centers for Disease Control with factual information.

Finally, my comments:  I was still working in the medical field when it was first described in 1976.  Yes, Ebola is scary.  There is a reason it is kept in high containment labs.  Still, it is an incredibly rare disease.  That is why U.S. hospitals and care workers are not “prepared” for it – they have much more pressing concerns.  That is also why no corporation has made treatment a high priority (there is more money in drugs for falling hair or falling cheeks).  Government support for research in general has gone down, and Ebola has not been high on anyone’s priority list.  Much of its devastating impact is directly related to the poor level of medical care, resources, and living conditions in West-Central Africa.  I am disappointed (but not surprised) at the political posturing, suspicion mongering and finger pointing that has followed this unfortunate outbreak.  I am amazed by the opinion-makers in the media who have become infectious disease experts overnight. 

Yes, be careful – just like you are about the flu (which can also be deadly and is much more contagious).  Be compassionate in your support of those caring for victims of this disease.  But stay away from the hysteria bandwagon.  This is not a zombie movie.

A Service of Your GRR: Challenging and Relevant Articles

The most recent edition of The Parish Paper is "What Can We Do the Prevent Suicide." Cynthia Woolever shares how we in our churches are often not aware of persons who may attempt this. She lists warning signs to look for and elements of strategies for churches to discern as churches take steps to intervene with love.

Gary L. McIntosh, in his monthly Growth Points, continues his discussion of the part our churches play in mission.

The Parish Paper and Growth Points are e-mailed out to each church and are archived on this web site.

Dwight Stinnett Urges Churches to Review Pastors' Salaries

I am writing to you because you have been entrusted by your Church with a position of special responsibility. My concern is the compensation of your Pastor (and other
ministerial leaders). (Read letter, information, and recommendations.)

Speakers' Presentations: GRR Annual Assembly

Posted as processed per requests.

Brian Romanowski on Gifford Habitat Rebuild

Don Ng (Friday & Saturday Worship)

Costa Rica MissionMission Costa Rica

In celebration of the 30th Anniversary partnership between the Great Rivers Region and the Federation of Baptist Associations of Costa Rica, John Grisham will lead a "See and Hear" Mission travel experience from November 12 - 19, 2014. Contact John for more details.

John Grisham, retired GRR staff member, continues (as a contract employee of the GRR) to encourage mission trips to Costa Rica (Read story of Partnership Celebration with Costa Rica Baptists in the August 8, 2014 edition of the Mainstream). The picture here is of the Baptist Camp and a few of those who were on a recent trip.

GRR Staff Welcomes...

We are pleased to announce that Nancy Fromme has joined the GRR administrative staff as Executive Assistant and Office Coordinator.

Nancy comes to us with 30 years of experience in customer service and management.  She has her BA in accounting from the University of Illinois in Springfield and is a resident of New Berlin.  Her region e-mail address is:  Nancy@abcgrr.org

You will get a chance to meet Nancy at the GRR meeting in Chesterfield.  We are very happy to have her and the experience she brings to the GRR administrative staff.

Executive Minister Appeals for Prayer

Read Rev. Dr. Dwight Stinnett's pastoral letter concerning the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. Read the pastoral letter from Rev. Dr. Dwight Stinnett and Rev. Muriel L Johnson concerning the unrest in Ferguson.