President's Page

Life on Mission: Encounter • Equip • Empower

Posted by on Apr 26, 2017

by Patti Wethington SDB Church, White Cloud, MI As the time is drawing near to General Conference 2017, I pray that your plans are being set to join us in California for an experience that will challenge you to think differently about what it really means to live a Life On Mission for Jesus. The plans are set and our hearts are being prepared for all that is to come and an opportunity to share what God is doing in our lives from now until we meet again. I have been impressed with the way God covers our every need and supplies strength in times of weakness. This past month has been an interesting one with more transitions and challenges on the home front. Thank you to those who have been praying for my father who became very ill with this season’s upper respiratory bugs including Influenza B. I’m thankful he has survived the trial and is now recovering from a fractured hip at our local extended care rehabilitation center. One thing I know for sure is that God has a...

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Alliance In Ministry

Posted by on Apr 25, 2017

by Rob Appel, Executive Director Conference 2017 is but a few months away! Over the past few years, many people have said, “When are we going to have Conference in Southern California again?” Well here it is! However, there are some things that you need to know before you attend. It has not been easy in finding a suitable location for Conference in Southern California. I looked at a number of locations: one university was too high in cost; another college did not have the dates that we needed; and another location was having too many other events going on simultaneously with our event. At first Azusa Pacific University (APU) was not an option due to the dates. They were off my radar. But I emailed them a few months later and something had changed. I am not sure exactly what, but the dates we wanted were available. God works in great ways! Now having said this, you need to know that things are more expensive here in California. Our taxes are higher, our gas is higher, minimum wage is higher...

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Features

The Lord’s Prayer: Thy Will Be Done…

Posted by on Apr 26, 2017

A series by Assistant Pastor Phil Lawton at the Seventh Day Baptist Church of Shiloh, NJ. Check out Phil’s blog at contemplatingkenosis.blogspot.com If you want to live in the Kingdom of Heaven you have to submit to the King of the Kingdom. Last month this series was about the Kingdom of God. It was about how that kingdom is drastically different than any other kingdom. It is a place of justice, peace and mercy. The Kingdom of Heaven is the utopia that so many nation states try and fail to create. For some this may seem like a unicorn — a magical beast that everyone wants, but does not exist. The truth is that the Kingdom of God does exist. It is a place greater than anything we know, but living there is not easy. To live in the Kingdom of Heaven requires giving up every selfish desire. It means that you must submit to the King of that Kingdom. Free will is an interesting concept. If you go through the annals of philosophy you will find differing opinions on this....

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Departments

Posted by on Apr 26, 2017

Each year the SDB Christian Education Council solicits nominees for the Sabbath School Teacher of the Year Any member church (or branch church) of the General Conference may nominate ONE Sabbath School teacher (Nursery through Adult). Selection for this award shall be based on the following criteria: The Sabbath School Teacher of the Year shall : exhibit the qualities of faith and teaching found in the life and teachings of Christ serve as a Sabbath School Teacher be a member of the nominating church have other Christian education service that shall contribute to a fuller appreciation of the nominee’s Christian service A church whose nominee has received the Crystal Apple Award is ineligible for the following three years. The Christian Education Council selects a person from those nominated to be honored at General Conference. This person receives a certificate of award and a crystal apple. The deadline for nominations for this award for the 2016-2017 Conference year is May 31, 2017. The nomination form can be downloaded here. Upon completion of the nomination form, it should be sent to Peggy Chroniger...

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Recent Posts

The Lord’s Prayer: Thy Will Be Done…

The Lord’s Prayer: Thy Will Be Done…

Apr 26, 2017

A series by Assistant Pastor Phil Lawton at the Seventh Day Baptist Church of Shiloh, NJ. Check out Phil’s blog at contemplatingkenosis.blogspot.com If you want to live in the Kingdom of Heaven you have to submit to the King of the Kingdom. Last month this series was about the Kingdom of God. It was about how that kingdom is drastically different than any other kingdom. It is a place of justice, peace and mercy. The Kingdom of Heaven is the utopia that so many nation states try and fail to create. For some this may seem like a unicorn — a magical beast that everyone wants, but does not exist. The truth is that the Kingdom of God does exist. It is a place greater than anything we know, but living there is not easy. To live in the Kingdom of Heaven requires giving up every selfish desire. It means that you must submit to the King of that Kingdom. Free will is an interesting concept. If you go through the annals of philosophy you will find differing opinions on this. People like Jean Paul Sartre thought that humanity could do nothing but express free will. He thought that it is the meaning that we put into things that determines how we act. Since we are the ones that put meaning in things we are responsible. Take the statement: “Without money for food I will die. Therefore I have to work.” Sartre says that you don’t actually have to work. You could choose to die, but since you put more worth in living that is why you work. It is your free will that determines that you work, not any cosmological determinism. (For more on this see Sartre’s Being and Nothingness.) Most philosophers, however, hold to some form of determinism. This is the idea that there are things outside your control. The ideas vary greatly, but in short they all agree that there are some things that we cannot control and therefore some of our actions are a result of outside forces. Enough with the philosophy lesson, on to history! (Have I bored you yet?) A History of Bad Choices If we look at...

MOTHER LOVE

MOTHER LOVE

Apr 26, 2017

Written by Rev. Charles Bond, 1945 Contributed by Donna S. Bond A real estate agent approached a young lady and wanted to sell her a house. This was her reply: “A home? Why do I need a home? I was born in a hospital, educated in a college, courted in an automobile, and married in a church. I live out of the delicatessen and paper bags. I spend my mornings on the golf-course, my afternoons at the bridge table and my evenings at the movies. And when I die I am going to be buried at the undertaker’s. All I need is a garage.” This statement may exaggerate modern living somewhat, but I am afraid that we will have to admit that it is only too true. There has been a breakdown in the family life in America. The child is commanded in the Holy Scriptures to “Honor thy father and thy mother.” But it must be hard for a child to honor a parent he scarcely knows and who because of his example does not command respect. “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother.” It must have been a great satisfaction to Jesus in these moments of suffering to see his mother standing close by. She had always given him the best of everything throughout life. Because she had kept her body clean and pure, he had been given a strong body. The halo which encircled his head was not a nauseating smoke but a God-like love. This love is revealed in his tender care. When the baby was but a few days old “they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.” And after this service of dedication they went to their own city of Nazareth “and the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon him. (Luke 2:40)” Yes, Jesus was brought up in a religious home by religious parents. I doubt very much if he ever came home to an empty house and a cold meal which showed the lack of a mother’s care and a mother’s time. We might try to slough it off...

Sabbath School Teacher of the Year Nomination

Each year the SDB Christian Education Council solicits nominees for the Sabbath School Teacher of the Year Any member church (or branch church) of the General Conference may nominate ONE Sabbath School teacher (Nursery through Adult). Selection for this award shall be based on the following criteria: The Sabbath School Teacher of the Year shall : exhibit the qualities of faith and teaching found in the life and teachings of Christ serve as a Sabbath School Teacher be a member of the nominating church have other Christian education service that shall contribute to a fuller appreciation of the nominee’s Christian service A church whose nominee has received the Crystal Apple Award is ineligible for the following three years. The Christian Education Council selects a person from those nominated to be honored at General Conference. This person receives a certificate of award and a crystal apple. The deadline for nominations for this award for the 2016-2017 Conference year is May 31, 2017. The nomination form can be downloaded here. Upon completion of the nomination form, it should be sent to Peggy Chroniger either by email (chroniger@gmail.com) or by postal mail (5940 St Rt 21, Alfred Station, NY 14803). Nominations sent by postal mail must be postmarked by May 31 to be...

Honoring of Church Leaders

    I was compelled to write after our young adult class finished this study of “Honors Reward” by John Bevere. It’s been awesome to see some of the changes people are making — like showing up for S.S. on time when they used to be chronically late; or giving over and above in a love offering to the pastor. It’s been fun to observe the changes! — Becky Van Horn SDB Church, Pataskala, OH Our Sabbath School class has just finished listening to the video series “Honors Reward” by John Bevere. He has taught us what “Honor” is and the three aspects of a “Reward” when we do honor others. Those would be a “Full Reward,” “Partial Reward” or “No Reward.” He teaches about honoring civil leaders, social leaders, domestic leaders, church leaders, our peers, husbands/wives and children, and last but most important: God. The one I feel led to share more about is “Honoring of Church Leaders.” The foundational scripture for the study is Matthew 10:40-41: “He who receives (honors) you receives (honors) me, and he who receives (honors) me receives (honors) the one who sent me. (That is God). Anyone who receives (honors) a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and anyone who receives (honors) a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward.” My question is: how does your church treat your pastor and church leaders? Do you honor them, respect them, pray for them daily, give them extra money from time to time, take them out to eat once in a while to show them you love them? Do you go over to their houses and help fix something that’s broken or help them do yard work? Do you stand up when your pastor comes into the room or put a glass of water on the pulpit for him on Sabbath morning? Did you know God’s word says we should be paying our pastors double? I Timothy 5:17-18 says: “the elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the scripture says, “Do not...

Salem Church Ordains and Trains New Deacons

Salem Church Ordains and Trains New Deacons

Apr 26, 2017

By Janet Thorngate, a deacon in the Salem SDB Church On a happy Sabbath last November 19, the Salem, WV, Seventh Day Baptist Church ordained four new deacons who had answered the church’s call earlier in the fall. To begin the day, each participated in the morning worship leading up to the sermon by Rev. John Pethtel titled “Rooted and Built Up in Releasing Leaders to Serve” from Colossians 4:7-18. Now Director of Church Development and Pastoral Services for the Conference, John had grown up in the church as an “older brother” to some of the candidates. Heart of the afternoon ordination service was the spiritual journey testimonies by each of the candidates: A. J. Curran, Andrea Huffman, Waine Nicholson, and Julie Richmond. Deacon Stephen Rogers conducted the service with Rev. Pethtel giving a charge to the candidates and Pastor Johnmark Camenga of the Lost Creek, WV, Church a giving charge to the church. Salem Pastor, Rev. Brent Hannah, led the consecration prayer and Deacons Paul Davis and Christine Sias, parents of two of the candidates, welcomed them to the diaconate. After the new deacons had been on the job for four months (and attended four monthly deacons’ meetings), the church sponsored a deacon training Sabbath which involved the whole congregation. It was Sabbath, March 25, when Director of Education and History, Rev. Nicholas Kersten, preached the morning sermon, “What is the Gospel?” Following a fellowship lunch, he challenged the whole congregation, “Working Out the Gospel in the Church,” and in the evening, Nick led the diaconate through an interactive seminar on “How the Diaconate Fits in With The Broader Church” based on Acts 6:1-7 and I Timothy 3:8-12. SDB churches have different selection patterns and roles for their deacons. Salem’s is a traditional pattern of ordaining deacons for life. The selection process begins when the church decides a new deacon or deacons are needed. Members write suggested names on a secret ballot. During a special meeting with focused prayer, the deacons review the list of suggested names and decide which individuals to ask if they would accept a call; candidates have as long as they need to consider the request. When all have...

A New Beginning in Dunedin

A New Beginning in Dunedin

Apr 26, 2017

By Pastor Michael Spearl For several years, I had been convinced that Bradenton Seventh Day Baptist Church needed to find its own home. However, we were comfortable meeting at a local Presbyterian church where we had a good relationship. The problem was that the relationship was too good. The building was beautiful, but we had no community outreach and no identity. We were little more than an event item listed on the Presbyterian Sunday morning bulletin. Some of us were praying about the situation. Our prayers were earnest prayers, but they weren’t “active” prayers. They were spectator prayers. If you want your prayers to be answered, then you need to give God something to work with. You need to ask and you need to seek and knock (Matthew 7:7). On October 12, one of our members, Perry Cain, a retired SDB pastor, was in the hospital for the 30th time in five years. He too had been praying; he prayed for healing and he prayed that God would use us in Bradenton as a presence in a community. Perry’s condition varied from difficult to critical. He was basically confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk more than fifty feet without experiencing total exhaustion; he was never without an oxygen generator. This trip to the hospital was due to chest pains. His heart, although apparently healthy, was pumping extra hard because his lung capacity was far below normal. During his uneasy, restless sleep the following day, he had a dream, a vision that laid out two different possibilities for his future. The voice speaking to him said, “Recommit to serving God and you will no longer need a wheelchair or an oxygen tank. Choose not to recommit to serving God and your life will soon be over.” When I saw him a couple of days later, I didn’t know what to think, at first. There he was, beaming with joy, no wheelchair, no oxygen generator. He was excited as he told me all about his experiences over the previous few days. I was a little skeptical at first — but before long I realized that Perry had been supernaturally lifted out of his wheelchair and...

Life on Mission: Encounter • Equip • Empower

Life on Mission: Encounter • Equip • Empower

Apr 26, 2017

by Patti Wethington SDB Church, White Cloud, MI As the time is drawing near to General Conference 2017, I pray that your plans are being set to join us in California for an experience that will challenge you to think differently about what it really means to live a Life On Mission for Jesus. The plans are set and our hearts are being prepared for all that is to come and an opportunity to share what God is doing in our lives from now until we meet again. I have been impressed with the way God covers our every need and supplies strength in times of weakness. This past month has been an interesting one with more transitions and challenges on the home front. Thank you to those who have been praying for my father who became very ill with this season’s upper respiratory bugs including Influenza B. I’m thankful he has survived the trial and is now recovering from a fractured hip at our local extended care rehabilitation center. One thing I know for sure is that God has a plan in all things and the opportunities were there, just as they are for you, to share the message of Jesus’ love through the journey we walk daily. Last month I shared about Dustin Willis and Emily Klotz, who will join us in Azusa this summer. In addition to their contributions, two more exciting experiences are planned. Alan Briggs has become a friend to many in our church teams. He has been spreading the gospel in a very unique way as God has called him to ministry and outreach for local and international gospel purposes. He is a man of God, husband, father, pastor, coach, author, and creative influencer in the cause of Christ. The following snapshot tells a bit about his life and work. I’m thrilled that he is coming to share, listen, and give wisdom to those who lend an ear. Alan Briggs is the Director of Frontline Church Planting, a network and equipping hub in Colorado. He is the Multiplying Pastor at Vanguard Church in Colorado Springs where he makes disciples and trains leaders to multiply. He is also the...

Six Steps Towards Multiplication

Six Steps Towards Multiplication

Apr 25, 2017

Here is a list of the top six steps towards Multiplication to counter the most common pitfalls: 1. Recognize that Multiplication is Part of Health. The reality is that healthy living things multiply for the survival of their species. The lack of multiplication is an indicator of an unhealthy organism. If your denomination or network is healthy, it will have a strong emphasis on multiplication at every level. 2. Have Unity Around the Essentials. Your denomination or network must have a well-defined plan for multiplication that includes (with explicit clarity) the theological, missiological, and ecclesiological expectations for churches within your ranks. 3. Define Cooperation Clearly. Your denomination or network must clearly define cooperation. This step is closely related to the second. Cooperation occurs around a common set of beliefs — a common theological confession that leads to missiological cooperation. 4. Follow and Build the Right Leaders. Church partnerships must follow good leaders and build leaders for the future. Don’t let your leadership choices be accidental; cultivate the kind of leaders that will continue to develop your denominational identity and lead a multiplication movement. 5. Celebrate Multiplication. We celebrate the things that are important to us — and people get that. So, healthy denominations celebrate multiplication. I have said it before, but it bears saying again: What you celebrate, you become. 6. Grieve the Fact that the World is Filled with Lost People. Finally, grieve lostness. It is that simple. Hurt for those who have not been transferred from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of the Son God loves (Col 1:13) *Used with permission from Dr. Ed...