Thankful, or Taken for granted?

Thankful, or Taken for granted? By Kevin Butler   As the calendar pages flip quickly toward the end of June, I’ve received a number of notes and e-mails thanking me for serving as editor. Many have said that they will miss reading this page. I’ve been humbled by how these words have made an impact. Some readers have used these “Korners” as devotionals at local gatherings and Bible studies, others have been collected and re-read, and one “clever” person even snuck some of my just-published words into a prayer at a family dinner—where I was a guest. Speaking of prayer, mine is one of thanksgiving to God for this ministry opportunity and platform. May the ongoing words shared in the Recorder continue to minister far beyond our denomination and years. Here’s a Korner from a dozen years ago. The title is not about me, but the Sabbath.     Receiving a thank-you note in the mail always gives me a boost. It’s a thoughtful gesture from a grateful person. During this spring’s Resurrection season, I had the opportunity to do a dramatic reading at the Milton church. One church member was so moved emotionally and spiritually that he sent me a thank-you card to express those feelings. I was encouraged to know that the Lord had provided a blessing through my efforts. I got two more cards this week. One was a belated thanks for a Christmas gift. (Hey, I just mailed a similar note of my own a couple of weeks ago.) The other expression came in the form of a “store-bought” card, all the way from Arizona. I had called an older gentleman who winters out there after hearing that his usual springtime return to Wisconsin had to be postponed due to a diabetes-related operation. Our phone conversation lasted less than 10 minutes, but when I opened that lovely American Greetings card, you would have thought that I had spent several days in person at his bedside. He and his wife were so grateful and thankful to hear from a friend.   God “wrote” into Creation a wondrous, weekly gift: the Sabbath. Do we express our thanks for His faithfulness? Or are...

Family Flux – May 2014

Births Rhoden.—A son, Jeremiah Omari, was born to Omari and Stephanie (Jones) Rhoden of Brampton, Ontario on January 27, 2014. Ashley.—A son, Malachi James William, was born to Keith and Natasha (Reynolds) Ashley of Toronto, Ontario on March 21, 2014. New Members Central, MD David Taylor, pastor Joined after testimony Charisse Henry Joined by letter Kim Merchant     Obituaries Welch.—Lowell A. Welch, 71, of Brookfield, N.Y., went to be with his Heavenly Father on February 18, 2012 after a long illness. He was born February 29, 1940 in Leonardsville, N.Y., son of Leslie A. and Henrietta (Davis) Welch. Lowell was a graduate of Leonardsville High School and lifetime member of the Leonardsville-Brookfield SDB Church where he served as a Sabbath School teacher and deacon. On July 1, 1961 he was united in marriage to Patricia Weidman. Lowell was a career farmer and spent many years working at Oertle Farms. He left farming in 1998 to work for the Village of West Winfield Public Works department, retiring from there in 2009. He always had time to play games with his children and grandchildren; a loyal and kind man who would do anything for anyone. Surviving besides his loving wife of 50 years are three sons, Robert Welch of Ashaway, R.I., Jim Welch of Oneida, N.Y., and Scott Welch of Leonardsville; three daughters, Bethany Rogers of Sellersville, Pa., Amy Krause of Arkport, N.Y., and Heather Welch of West Winfield; 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; five sisters, Leona Burdick, Leola Dye, Cynthia Tichnell, Julia Randolph, Martha Vaught, and one brother, Bert Welch. Funeral services were held on February 22, 2012 at the Dimbleby, Friedel, Williams, and Edmunds Funeral Home in West Winfield.   Tichnell.—Cynthia Welch Tichnell, 63, of Middleville, N.Y., went to be with her Heavenly Father on January 1, 2013. She was born on May 20, 1949 in New Berlin, N.Y., daughter of Leslie A. and Henrietta (Davis) Welch. She is survived by four sisters, Leona Burdick and Leola Dye of Brookfield, N.Y., Julia Randolph of Belpre, Ohio, and Martha Vaught of Milwaukie, Ore.; one brother, Bert Welch of Brookfield, N.Y.; and several nieces and nephews. She also leaves behind a daughter, Melissa Bartlett of...

Celebrating 25 Years of Service

Celebrating 25 Years of Service

Apr 23, 2014

Celebrating 25 Years of Service by Theo-Nathan Wilson   In the summer of 1988, a young man was called to take on the leadership role as Senior Pastor of the Miami, Fla., Seventh Day Baptist church. Twenty-five years later—after 106 baby dedications, 99 baptisms, 86 weddings, 47 funerals, and extending the right hand of fellowship to 163 members—the need to honor a man of God who has given himself wholeheartedly as a servant-leader to the Miami SDB Church was quite necessary. On Sabbath September 28, 2013, church leaders and congregation members, family and friends traveled from various parts of the world to join Pastor Andrew Samuels and his wife Kay in celebrating their 25 years of pastoral service. The service was enhanced with music from the Miami SDB praise team, dance ministry, and a combined ensemble which included members of both the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale churches. It was a Sabbath evening to remember. Pastors Noel Campbell and Ericessen Cooper shared the leadership responsibilities for the evening, and guest speaker Pastor Whaid Rose, President of the Church Of God Seventh Day Denver Conference (a school colleague of Pastor Samuels’ wife Kay), delivered the message. “It’s All About People” was inspired by Romans 16:1-16, 21-27. Pastor Rose’s message, along with other ministries throughout the evening, brought a few main points to the forefront: 1) The service to God through service to people, 2) The partnership of ministry colleagues over the past 25 years, and 3) The Faithfulness of God. Pastor Andrew has demonstrated throughout the past quarter century that he is a prime example of a servant-leader. During his tenure, 66 pastors have shared the Word at the pulpit. He has also reciprocated this act at various churches in the United States, in the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and South America.     He is always willing to serve in ways that are beneficial to others. Additionally, he is known for demonstrating extreme acts of kindness, and a high commitment level to whatever he lends his service. The aforementioned comments were conveyed by many friends, including a Sunday morning soccer club in which he participates, as well as alumni from his high school in Jamaica, Wolmer’s...

Winning at losing

Winning at losing

Apr 23, 2014

Winning at Losing by Leanne Lippincott-Wuerthele   In Psalm 139:14, King David wrote, “I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (NIV). Commenting on this verse, S. Michael Houdman [founder, president, and CEO of Got Questions Ministries] wrote, “The context of this verse is the incredible nature of our physical bodies. The human body is the most complex and unique organism in the world, and that complexity and uniqueness speaks volumes about the mind of its Creator.” The human head contains the human brain, which is the most important part of our physical bodies. Like many older people, I tend to misplace or totally lose things. I am, after all, an imperfect Child of God. However, I’ve been “accidentally abandoning” things, hither and yon, most of my life. One of my earliest memories is of my mother towering over me and saying—with more than a hint of frustration in her voice—“Leanne, it’s a good thing your head’s attached.” When you’re a kid, that statement can be very confusing, especially if you take your parents’ proclamations literally.     Isn’t everyone’s head attached? I thought. Are there thousands of headless people wandering around, bumping into other people? How do people lose their heads in the first place? And, if they’re truly headless, how in the world can they find anything, including their heads?         At the time, those puzzling questions were way over my head. Fortunately, I usually end up recovering mostof my lost items, either through my own efforts or those of others. When I play euchre with a circle of friends twice a month, I inevitably leave something at the host home. (In the winter, it’s usually a sweater or a pair of gloves.) Everyone, rightly so, assumes those wayward items belong to me, so I eventually get them back. But that doesn’t always happen. Several years ago, I wore a favorite suit jacket to a healthcare center in Edgerton, Wis., while singing with a group from the Milton SDB Church. Just before starting our musical program, I removed my jacket. When we headed back to the church, I inadvertently left that...

Guyana: The Next Hundred Years

Guyana: The Next Hundred Years

Apr 23, 2014

Guyana: The Next Hundred Years by Clinton R. Brown        “Using the dead as our seeds will not yield life.” Thiswas the message I took away from listening to speakers at the 100th Anniversary celebration meetings of Seventh Day Baptists in Guyana, South America. The closing Sabbath service at the Bona Ventura SDB Church on the Pomeroon River brought in delegates from across Georgetown and up and down the river. A significant portion of the service was spent looking back at the past 100 years, but the point was brought back repeatedly that we cannot rest or even tarry long on the achievements of the past.      I felt compelled to echo this sentiment, but as a visitor I was reluctant to diminish the sacrifices of those who built the Guyana SDB Conference. Though I saw new faces and new families, many in attendance were part of generations of ministry history. Some had done extensive research and shared the history of those who came before us. It was in one of those looks backward that I was freed to speak about learning from the past, with a focus on the future. After introducing myself, I shared reasons that Guyana is a particularly special place for me. For one, the first time I ever packed my bags to work with a missions ministry was five years ago when I joined an SDB team to Guyana. I helped for a couple weeks in constructing a men’s camp dormitory. Another reason was that the SDB Missionary Society, where I am currently the executive director, has decades of partnership in ministry with the Guyana Conference. And then I discovered I had family history, as well.          One of the speakers mentioned a relative of mine among the early contributors to the Guyana mission. Wardner and Bertha Fitz-Randolph had been active in the work in Jamaica, and later Wardner came to help minister in Guyana. Wardner was one of my great-grandfathers. He died 10 years before I was born and I knew very little about him or the work he had done. However, Wardner Fitz-Randolph’s importance that day was how I could speak of setting aside...