President's Page

President’s Page

Posted by on Dec 21, 2017

Rev. David Stall, Conference President “I’m very excited to have Lori with us at our conference in WI in 2018! She is a great writer and speaker who is smart, engaging, and devoted to Jesus. Lori will be with us ALL WEEK sharing short talks and readings, a Christian writers workshop, and some teaching about the art of having hard conversations. Make your plans now to be at conference and be part of the ACTION! — Pastor Dave Stall” Lori Stanley Roeleveld is an author, speaker, and disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. Biblical, funny, and real, she inspires courage and Christ-centered confidence. She’s authored three non-fiction books including Running from a Crazy Man, Jesus and the Beanstalk, and the upcoming, The Art of Hard Conversations, as well as a Christmas novella, Red Pen Redemption. Though she has degrees in Psychology and Biblical Studies, she learned the most from studying her Bible in life’s trenches. Blogger. Wife. Mother of adults. Part-time giant-slayer. Not available for children’s parties. To join the adventure, knock on her door at...

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Alliance In Ministry

Posted by on Dec 21, 2017

Rob Appel Executive Director Last month I wrote about the benefits of having a Conference of churches, the Seventh Day Baptist Conference of churches! The fact that we can reach further, and do more, when we have a larger pot of spiritual gifts, experiences, perspectives, and resources for Kingdom work, is a huge reason for the pooling of our resources. I stated that we had 32 member churches that had not supported the work of the Conference in 2017, and, although this was the fact, we continue to provide services to these churches. It brings me to this conclusion: we do not have 100% inclusion in the budgets of the churches of the Conference. Somewhere along the line we have been lost in the budget decisions of the local church. This could be due to the fact that there has been a treasurer change, a lack of seeing the benefits of the Conference, or simply just an oversight. I communicated last month some of the benefits that the Conference provides. I will not print that list again here. However, I must...

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Features

Ready for Your Next Mission?

Posted by on Dec 21, 2017

By Pastor Scott Hausrath What was the last mission you went on? Mission? What’s a mission? A mission is an important task that someone assigns to us. For example, when you’re in the grocery store with your parents, do they ever ask for your help? “Sweetie, would you please help me find those rolls that we had last week?” When you’re at school, does your teacher ever ask for your help? “Would you please help me pass these out to the other students?” Do your friends ever ask for your help? “Would you please help me to find a gift for my sister’s birthday?” Every day we go on different missions, offering help to our parents, our teachers, our friends, etc. Sometimes even God asks for our help. But wait a minute. If God has the ability to do anything He wants, all by Himself, then why does He sometimes ask us to help Him? Because God knows that when we help other people, not only does it bless them, but it also blesses us. You know that feeling you get...

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Departments

Posted by on Dec 21, 2017

Strategic Evaluation for School of Ministry As we as a Conference continue to evaluate how we accomplish our work and how we can accomplish it more effectively, we have begun to consider our education and training ministries as a Conference. We have clearly understood that the local churches desire to have leaders trained in using their various giftings, but the training and educational responsibilities have been distributed among a variety of our different councils and agencies. To be very specific, the training of lay people has been the responsibility of our Christian Education ministries as a Conference, while the training of our pastors has been the responsibility, since the early 1960s, of the Council on Ministry. In the last three years, we have moved increasingly towards grouping our training initiatives, especially as expressed in the SDBU initiative. As our educational initiatives are increasingly part of a single program, it seems reasonable to ask if the oversight of this program should be undertaken by only one of our Councils. Accordingly, Director of Church Development and Pastoral Services, John Pethtel, and Director of Education...

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Recent Posts

Christian Education Update

Strategic Evaluation for School of Ministry As we as a Conference continue to evaluate how we accomplish our work and how we can accomplish it more effectively, we have begun to consider our education and training ministries as a Conference. We have clearly understood that the local churches desire to have leaders trained in using their various giftings, but the training and educational responsibilities have been distributed among a variety of our different councils and agencies. To be very specific, the training of lay people has been the responsibility of our Christian Education ministries as a Conference, while the training of our pastors has been the responsibility, since the early 1960s, of the Council on Ministry. In the last three years, we have moved increasingly towards grouping our training initiatives, especially as expressed in the SDBU initiative. As our educational initiatives are increasingly part of a single program, it seems reasonable to ask if the oversight of this program should be undertaken by only one of our Councils. Accordingly, Director of Church Development and Pastoral Services, John Pethtel, and Director of Education and History, Nick Kersten, have approached both Councils to consider the possibility of moving all responsibility for training and education to the Christian Education Council. The groups are working together cooperatively to evaluate this possibility. More information on this will be forthcoming if all of the current leadership in both Councils agrees this is worth pursuing. Child Protection Resolution Update At this year’s General Conference meetings, a recommendation was adopted which required that all local member churches of the General Conference either (1) indemnify the General Conference against potential litigation and/or (2) pass their own child protection policy. This recommendation follows continued progress in the area of child protection over the past few years, under the guidance of the Christian Education Council and the General Council. It is likely that some combination of both parts of the recommendation will ultimately become part of the Conference standard going forward, though churches will have the time necessary to meet this standard. The motivation for this standard is ultimately an affirmation of the autonomy of local churches which comprise the Conference. Up to now, there has...

Be A Leader

Be A Leader

Dec 21, 2017

by Katrina Goodrich A few years ago the SCSC committee sold a t-shirt/onesie that said “future SCSCer.” It was cute and seemed to come in handy for a few parents toward the end of Conference week when their kids ran out of clean shirts. SCSC is a leadership training program for young adults — but leadership doesn’t magically begin when a person turns 18, nor should it. Anyone can be a leader, even those as young as four (as evidenced by the myriad videos documenting the successes of intergenerational learning centers). It’s never too early to start teaching children to be leaders and getting them involved in their communities. Here are a few ideas that can help kids of any age start to explore and become more involved in their community. Kids: 1. Try new things. Taste that new food. Talk to people who are different from you and learn something about them. Volunteer to try different activities. Look for ways to help the people around you. You do not have to like or enjoy all of the new things you try nor continue to do them unless you’ve made a commitment. Try new things even if they’re scary because if it doesn’t work out you’ll have gained a new experience and that is a very good thing. 2. Learn to listen. When you use your ears more than your mouth you will discover many things you might have otherwise missed. When you listen, people notice and they are a lot more likely to listen to you in return. Adults: 1. Encourage kids to get out of their comfort zone — that is where they’re going to learn. Introduce them to people of different backgrounds, colors, and ages. Teach them how to interact. Take them to the nursing home to actually visit with the people who live there and do activities with them. Encourage them to try something different; get involved with a group, club, or activity that they haven’t tried before. Don’t criticize if they don’t enjoy it. At this point in their lives kids need to learn to try something and evaluate if it’s something they’re interested in. 2. Give kids a...

Five Years of Grace

Five Years of Grace

Dec 21, 2017

By Louie Brown Worship Leader Grace Seventh Day Baptist Church Grace Seventh Day Baptist Church, in Bloomington, MN, has been our spiritual home for over five years. Our first Sabbath service we gathered in Greg and Carol Olson’s living room. We had no way to envision what God would do from this humble beginning. Pastor Dale Rood (Dodge Center SDB) greeted us, introduced us to the Olsons and three other people. He picked up his guitar and away we went! Worship in this small setting was a different experience for us. Immediately we sensed a good Spirit about the group. We had searched a long time for serious Bible-based believers who lived what the Bible teaches, including keeping the God-appointed Sabbath Day worship. Our second Sabbath, Pastor Rood could not attend so we brought our keyboard and a couple hymnals. The worship, prayer, praise and fellowship lunch were better than the first! We talked for hours about our experiences and how God brought us to this point in time. It was decided right then we felt led to start a church. It was agreed we all were serious to commit our time and resources to the opportunity God had provided. Again, God was way ahead of us. The gifting of the people in that room was perfect. Even though we had only six people, we had all the elements necessary for a church. Pastor Advisor Dale Rood and the Dodge Center SDB Church were willing to nurture us as a “branch” church. Greg Olson’s deep desire to learn and teach God’s Word along with Marlene and Louie Brown’s music background plus Carol Olson’s business experience filled all the needs. It was good to have our people involved in the services but that left us with a congregation of two or three people! We agreed, we would always have a Sabbath service even if only one could come. Our recent fifth anniversary was a milestone. Space does not permit me to tell you all the amazing ways we have been blessed. Our congregation averages 18 each week with a range of 14 to 25. Pastor Greg along with Elder Jeff and occasionally Pastor Dale provide...

Noah, the Thankful Pilgrim

Noah, the Thankful Pilgrim

Dec 21, 2017

By Sarina Villalpando Maranatha Community Church in Colton, CA   Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. — Genesis 8:20 When we were in school and it was around the time for Thanksgiving, we often heard about the pilgrims coming to America. But the pilgrims weren’t the first to step foot somewhere full of thankfulness in their hearts. Noah and his family stepped off the ark with thanks long before any of us. Noah, at the time, was the most faithful man to God. He had all of God’s trust. God could’ve chosen anyone or not chosen anyone at all…but He gave this task to Noah. And Noah followed through. Noah and his family were on the ark for over a year. In that year it is imaginable that they felt doubt or scared about what was going on and about God’s plan. It is a good reminder that sometimes even when we feel like God doesn’t see us or that He doesn’t care, His love and plan are always present. We can thank Him through action and appreciation. Noah was thankful to God for not abandoning him and his family and not forgetting them. He gave worship and sacrificed every sort of animal as a demonstration of his abundance of thanks that his heart contained. God presents a promise of a rainbow that He will never wipe out the world through a worldwide flood again. For the first time God’s promise came with a sign. He showed through a rainbow that He will be merciful to people whose hearts have a tendency to be wicked. Through this rainbow we can remember how caring and powerful God is; how much love and strength He has; and that no matter what, He is with us; no matter how long it takes, His plan will go through. Even when life gets tough — and we deal with our own flood — there will be a beautiful rainbow at the end. “Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God...

President’s Page

President’s Page

Dec 21, 2017

Rev. David Stall, Conference President “I’m very excited to have Lori with us at our conference in WI in 2018! She is a great writer and speaker who is smart, engaging, and devoted to Jesus. Lori will be with us ALL WEEK sharing short talks and readings, a Christian writers workshop, and some teaching about the art of having hard conversations. Make your plans now to be at conference and be part of the ACTION! — Pastor Dave Stall” Lori Stanley Roeleveld is an author, speaker, and disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. Biblical, funny, and real, she inspires courage and Christ-centered confidence. She’s authored three non-fiction books including Running from a Crazy Man, Jesus and the Beanstalk, and the upcoming, The Art of Hard Conversations, as well as a Christmas novella, Red Pen Redemption. Though she has degrees in Psychology and Biblical Studies, she learned the most from studying her Bible in life’s trenches. Blogger. Wife. Mother of adults. Part-time giant-slayer. Not available for children’s parties. To join the adventure, knock on her door at www.loriroeleveld.com. Sabbath Morning Conference Speaker: Johnmark Camenga, Pastor of the Lost Creek, WV, SDB Church “I wanted a preacher for Sabbath morning who is someone that I know and respect as a person and a pastor. I wanted someone who will handle the Word of God carefully and properly, and give great practical insight. Johnmark was my first choice! It will be a great service with our special combined choir singing and a great...

Ready for Your Next Mission?

Ready for Your Next Mission?

Dec 21, 2017

By Pastor Scott Hausrath What was the last mission you went on? Mission? What’s a mission? A mission is an important task that someone assigns to us. For example, when you’re in the grocery store with your parents, do they ever ask for your help? “Sweetie, would you please help me find those rolls that we had last week?” When you’re at school, does your teacher ever ask for your help? “Would you please help me pass these out to the other students?” Do your friends ever ask for your help? “Would you please help me to find a gift for my sister’s birthday?” Every day we go on different missions, offering help to our parents, our teachers, our friends, etc. Sometimes even God asks for our help. But wait a minute. If God has the ability to do anything He wants, all by Himself, then why does He sometimes ask us to help Him? Because God knows that when we help other people, not only does it bless them, but it also blesses us. You know that feeling you get when you’ve helped someone? That feeling you get when you’ve made a difference for someone? Isn’t it a wonderful feeling? When we’re helping our family members, teachers, friends, God, or anybody else, we’re also helping ourselves. So, when God sends us on a mission to help someone, it blesses that person, and it also blesses us. People need our help, and we need to help people. That’s one reason why missions are so important. So, what was the last mission you went on? What person, or people, did you help? And how did you feel when you accomplished that mission? Let me tell you about one of my recent missions. For two weeks last September I joined my friend Pastor Andy Samuels, and we went on a mission to three countries in Africa: Malawi, Uganda, and Rwanda. Most of my missions occur near my home in Nebraska — but this time God asked me to go on a mission to the other side of the world. What an amazing privilege! I had never been to Africa, so I had a lot of questions...

Giving Facebook to God: Teens Can Strive for Action in Social Media Use

Giving Facebook to God: Teens Can Strive for Action in Social Media Use

Dec 21, 2017

By Katie Brown “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” It’s a phrase that was thrown around a lot by youth pastors and camp counselors when I was a teenager. Even now, the saying reminds me of campfire smoke, burnt marshmallows, early morning Bible studies, and fellow teenagers rolling their eyes. At the time, the lessons were on secular messages in popular movies, television shows, and video games. Of course we understood that ungodly influences were not the best choice for our spiritual walk, but the pressures of participating in popular entertainment were difficult to just walk away from. Besides, we had the ability to filter out the harmful messages by our own Godly world views, right? God’s Word and scientific research says we were wrong. In Galatians chapter 5, Paul instructs the Church to “walk by the Spirit” and to not “gratify the desires of the flesh” (verse 16 ESV). The rest of the chapter outlines the “works of the flesh” as unpleasant characteristics such as idolatry, jealousy, fits of anger, and envy. The Bible outlines over and over again what we focus on is what determines our attitudes. This is why we are told in Philippians 4:8 to think about things which are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise. Easier said than done! But our daily habits and what we allow to influence us can impact change in our lives. Like I hinted earlier, modern research is catching up to Biblical wisdom. Studies in the 1990s showed links between watching hours of television daily with increased depression and low self-esteem. Over the past five years research continues to show hours of daily Facebook use can cause higher rates of envy in relationships and is linked to a higher likelihood of depression in certain populations, including young women with past issues with mood disorders.   Is it surprising that our new form of “media” is becoming so harmful for teens and young adults? In studying social media, researchers found that people tend to share their best selves on their social media accounts, which showcases a life with few problems or worries. This means most of our friends post edited photos and...

Are You and Your Church In? Part Two

Rob Appel Executive Director Last month I wrote about the benefits of having a Conference of churches, the Seventh Day Baptist Conference of churches! The fact that we can reach further, and do more, when we have a larger pot of spiritual gifts, experiences, perspectives, and resources for Kingdom work, is a huge reason for the pooling of our resources. I stated that we had 32 member churches that had not supported the work of the Conference in 2017, and, although this was the fact, we continue to provide services to these churches. It brings me to this conclusion: we do not have 100% inclusion in the budgets of the churches of the Conference. Somewhere along the line we have been lost in the budget decisions of the local church. This could be due to the fact that there has been a treasurer change, a lack of seeing the benefits of the Conference, or simply just an oversight. I communicated last month some of the benefits that the Conference provides. I will not print that list again here. However, I must communicate that the work of the Conference from 2015-2018 has been more and better than I have seen it in the past 25 years! This speaks highly of the work that John Pethtel, Nick Kersten, Clint Brown, Ron Ochs, Jenni Wangsness and Jeremiah Owen are doing! Their collaboration in the Kingdom work has been inspiring to me. So how do I get you to see their efforts and get you on board with partnering with their labor? I also want you to know that the work of the General Council, the Coordinating Leadership Team, the Councils, the Missionary Society, the many sub-committees and the Standing Committees (Christian Social Action, and Faith and Order) are operating in a state of cooperation and teamwork. I have to state for the record, “In a way that I have never witnessed in the many years that I have watched our Conference operate.” So it is a bit confusing to me that while we are in a time in our long history that we have such cooperation, communication, and mutual trust, that we would be struggling to meet...