Some Things I Will Miss

Some Things I Will Miss

Mar 21, 2014

Some Things I Will Miss by Kevin Butler The reminiscing continues as my June 30 end date looms.   While I probably won’t regret giving up the constant deadlines and myriad of Conference responsibilities, I will certainly miss the people. I’ve enjoyed some good relationships with Center employees, with fellow members of the Coordinating Leadership Team (other execs), the General Council, and so many members of our local SDB churches. My biggest assistance came from members of the American Sabbath Tract and Communication Council, the agency of the Conference that hired me. During my first few years, Neil Aiken chaired the TCC. The next 20 years we were under the steady and loyal leadership of Joel Osborn. Thanks, guys! The Tract Council consists of at-large members elected by the Conference, plus appointed committees to work on media, publications, Sabbath promotion and the Sabbath Recorder. We have been blessed with top-notch people. I am so grateful for the outstanding work of the Sabbath Recorder Committees. Myrna Cox chaired the group comprised of members from our Colorado churches in Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs. The committee then moved to the Pacific Northwest with Dave and Doreen Davis taking the reins. Members came from Seattle, Portland and Centralia. Jean Jorgensen then said ‘yes’ to chairing the committee of folks from Nortonville, Kan., and North Loup, Neb. And the most recent committee was from the southeast (Atlanta area and Paint Rock, Ala.) with another set of married co-chairs, Jeff and Debbie Hargett. Each of these committees reviewed and critiqued the past year’s issues, then would forge ahead to propose new themes and suggest SDB writers. In the latter years, committee members did much of the soliciting and dealt with the deadlines. Did we always follow the planned calendar? “Life” would creep in on the writers and I’d have to scramble to come up with different features. Sometimes, “life” (and death) would descend on the world at large and we would need to respond. The first and second Gulf Wars preempted our original schedule. We ran a whole tribute—and surprise—issue for Historian Don Sanford at his retirement, thankfully not waiting until after his passing. One more unplanned issue bears...

Family Flux – April 2014

New Members Miami, FL Andrew Samuels, pastor Joined after testimony Fefelia Gooden-Walcott   Toronto, ON Herlitz Condison, pastor Joined after testimony Misha Clarke     Obituaries Green.—Connie Lucetta (White) Green, 72, died on September 7, 2013, at the Providence Memorial Hospital, Valdez, Alaska. Connie was born in Denver, Colo., on May 29, 1941, the daughter of Robert C. “Ralph” and Grace Eola (Burdick) White. She was baptized at age 12, by Rev. Harmon Dickinson, and joined the Denver Seventh Day Baptist Church. She graduated from West High School (Denver) in 1959 and attended Milton (Wis.) College. Connie transferred her church membership to the Milton SDB Church in 1961, following her marriage there to Edwin H. Green. Four children were born to this union: Norman, Gordon, Andrew and Ilean. Connie and Ed were divorced in 1984. She continued to live in Wisconsin with Ilean, transferring her church membership to the Boulder (Colo.) SDB Church in 1988. In 1990, she and Ilean moved to North Dakota, and in 1993 she took a job in Valdez, Alaska and loved it so much she never left. Living away from a church of her choice, she continued to worship God in special ways on Sabbath day. In Valdez, she found spiritual strength in God and the mountains that enfolded her and at the various churches she attended. Connie took courses at the University of Colorado (Boulder) and Prince William Sound Community College (Valdez). She was a life-long learner, always eager to learn about creation, history and life around her. Over the years, Connie inspired all of us with her fortitude, resiliency, and determination. She valiantly battled lung cancer in these latter two years, refusing radiation and chemotherapy and, for the most part using over-the-counter pain medication. Connie is survived by her four children; seven grandchildren; her sister, Jean Jorgensen; five nieces and six nephews. Connie was predeceased by her parents and brother, Robert Charles White. Three memorial services were offered: One by her friends and caregiver in Valdez; another by her children and Green family in Atlantic, Mich.; and a third by her son, Norman, in Salem, W.Va., with Pastor Dale Thorngate officiating. Burial of her remains will be...

Fostering Hope for 50 years

Fostering Hope for 50 years

Mar 21, 2014

Fostering Hope for 50 years by Donna S. Bond   “So, y’think they saved the best for last?” I asked my brother-in-law-turned-chauffeur. With an opinion as unbiased as mine, Ron agreed. We had arrived for the last 90 minutes of a 50-event extravaganza hymn sing celebrating the 50th anniversary of Ranch Hope, a ministry for troubled youths and their families in Alloway, New Jersey. The 50 events included something for everyone—traditional hymns and modern choruses by a congregation of 600 voices, as well as selections by 15 church choirs, praise bands and soloists. The participants hailed from at least four states and had gathered to praise the Lord for His benevolence in the vision and life work of Rev. David Bailey and his wife Eileen. Rev. Bailey shared from the early entries in his diary concerning the challenges in starting the ministry with a $20 donation from a local insurance agent, a 100-acre farm and an old farmhouse which housed the Bailey family and their first clients, affectionately dubbed, “The Dirty Dozen.” The Ranch now serves 90-some clients through family counseling, residential facilities and a special education school with training in mechanics, woodcraft and animal husbandry—all with a Christian component. Back to Shiloh’s participation… Finally the Shiloh (NJ) SDB Sanctuary Choir was called to the forefront. Pastor Don Chroniger, accompanied by wife Charlotte on the keyboard, led us in singing “I Must Tell Jesus” and “We Shall See the King.” Rev. Bailey then surprised us with the announcement that the Shiloh Choir had indeed been saved for last, for the church is to be honored later this spring with the annual Ranch Hope Christian Partners Award in recognition of consistent Christian service to young people. He then invited “all of the Shiloh choir except GP” (the insurance agent) to come to the annual Founder’s Banquet to receive the award. The evening closed with a 600-voice rendition of “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.” It was chosen, Rev. Bailey said, “because my wife’s name is Eileen and I lean,” which he then demonstrated with his posture. Upon reading the letter from Ranch Hope to the Shiloh congregation the following Sabbath, Pastor Chroniger challenged us to continue...

The Final Four?

The Final Four?

Mar 21, 2014

The Final Four? by Executive Director, Rob Appel   Various sports have some of the largest followings in the world. Every year billions of dollars are spent on attending sporting events and purchasing team-related items. The dedication and zeal that a sports fan shows for his team is admirable. Have you ever considered how Christians don’t usually show this same enthusiasm toward Jesus or the things of God? I believe many Christians stop short of full surrender (being a true fan) to God because of what others might think or say about them. So what can sports fans teach Jesus fans? 1. Sports fans are Loyal & Passionate about their team! True sports fans cheer on their team no matter the record. A true fan sticks with their team; win or lose. You make a commitment for life! Just look at Chicago Cubs fans. They haven’t won a World Series since 1908—yet their fan base is loyal! Christians should have that same loyalty towards Christ. Their personal relationship with Christ is first and foremost! You are never disappointed in Him. Some of you know that I’m a St. Louis Cardinal fan. In 2011 I was talking to a Milwaukee Brewer fan whose team was 10 games ahead of the Cardinals in their division. I simply stated to the Brewer fan that “we just were looking for the wild card” spot. The Brewer fan said, “You Cards fans never give up!” The Cardinals went on to win the World Series that year. Jesus fans need to have that same passionate attitude towards our Savior. Our relationship with God should dictate our very lives! After all, God is the reason for all that is good and blessed. There should be no doubting God’s love and compassion for us. We must remain faithful! 2. Sports fans are Faithful! Sports fans like to identify with their team by wearing caps, jerseys, t-shirts, and jackets with the logo on it. A Steelers fan can leave Pittsburgh and cheer and wear the colors proudly, but a Christian gets into a crowd of lost people and loses his voice! If a sports fan can be so bold by representing their team, why aren’t Christians...

It’s Your Choice!

It’s Your Choice!

Mar 21, 2014

It’s Your Choice! by Rev. Steven James As we round the bend towards Conference at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota from July 27-August 2, I thought I would share with you several articles based on the memory verses for this Conference year. (How are you and your church family doing on these?) We know from our main passage in Joshua 24:14-15 that Joshua challenges the people to choose the Lord. He tells them that 1) they have to choose; 2) they should choose the Lord; 3) not everyone will make that choice with them; 4) they should make it a “family affair” as much as they possibly can; and 5) they will be held accountable for their choice (vv. 22-27). Joshua also conveys to the people just what they were getting into if they were to choose the Lord—much like Jesus did when he spelled out to the crowds what it meant to truly choose Him in Mark 8:34-38 and 10:44-45. If they were going to choose God, they were choosing to:   Fear God. There’s no way to soften this word up for our 21st century sentiments. At its core, the word means to be terrified of God—of Who He is and what He can do. However, it is like a two-sided coin. On the one hand is the idea of terror; on the other the idea of a reverential awe towards God. On the one hand is a fear of consequences, perhaps. On the other, a loving, deep respect for God’s character. Both motivate obedience, much like those of my generation and before me would give to our parents or others in authority. If I did something wrong, or was thinking of doing something wrong, the consequences of my Mom finding out and how she would respond would keep me in check (sometimes). My Mom would have preferred that I did what she expected simply because I honored her and respected her. I think this is what God would prefer as well.   Serve God. The idea is to work, tend, till, or slave for. Overall the idea of being “occupied with” is conveyed. How can we serve God like that? God’s people, including pastors, can’t...