Holding on to the Truth

Holding on to the Truth

by Ruth Ellyn Burdick

SDB Conference 2007 – “Tell the Truth… The WHOLE Truth”

George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon

 

At Conference 2005 after the shock of being approached to consider the nomination for Conference President 2007, I asked for time to pray about it and consider the honor. The business responsibilities made me hesitate.

One thing I love about our God is that He is involved in the details of life. That evening during the message I was given a theme topic: God’s Word. Within the next day the daily themes jelled and that evening we were challenged to get enthusiastic and involved. Add to that the fact my whole family was supportive and positive about the possibility confirmed my acceptance to be nominated.

After the official vote took place, the theme, the Scriptures, the speakers and more detailed plans seemed to automatically come together. It was an exciting time seeing God’s intervention and guidance.

One of my first duties was to attend the final Conference meeting of General Council. With great relief I was not asked to chair the meetings that year since I was a “newbie.” Within the next three years I gained a solid respect for all the executives conducting business on behalf of the Conference behind the scenes. They work with diligence and professionalism.

The biggest challenge of the time I served was presiding over the Conference business sessions. I faced this with trepidation. It was further complicated in 2007 with a church-by-church vote concerning involvement with the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.

It was so encouraging to have a great backup team of executives and parliamentarians who guided me continually and covered any errors I made! Thankfully, the business went smoother than I expected.

I loved the planning for Conference 2007 because I was passionate about the theme, “Tell the Truth… The WHOLE Truth.” The location on the campus of George Fox in Newberg, Oregon was beautiful and peaceful.

Once I announced the theme, many became as excited as I was and encouraged me all along the way. I gave a challenge to our people to read the complete Bible in a year. Forty to my knowledge set and met the goal. The testimonies of changed lives and rededication to The Word were so rewarding. There is joy in knowing Jesus—every step of the way.

I loved traveling to our various regional Associations to excite our people about God’s Living Word and inspire individuals to make a reading commitment. Meeting and greeting God’s people in all parts of our country encouraged them as they encouraged me. These joys are immeasurable and will be treasured always.

On that final weekend at Conference 2007, I was most surprised and thrilled to have my siblings and a sister-in-law come support me on God’s Holy Day. How God blessed me throughout my time of service as Conference President. That does not mean that I wasn’t relieved when I passed the gavel on to the next President, Pastor Andy Samuels. I was satisfied and relieved.

As long as Seventh Day Baptists remain true to the Truth of the Holy Word and faithful to the Sovereign God Almighty, we have a future temporarily here and eternally with Him. I believe this with my whole heart.

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