Shiloh Church Honored

Shiloh Church honored

by Donna S. Bond, Shiloh, N.J.

 

Too often we hear the cries of separation of Church and State from those who wish for “freedom from religion” rather than “freedom of religion” as envisioned by our Founding Fathers. It was therefore refreshing to attend Ranch Hope’s* Founder’s Banquet celebrating their Golden anniversary on May 8, 2014.

We had been told that the Shiloh SDB Church was to receive the 2014 Christian Partner Award from Ranch Hope. However, we did not expect the State of New Jersey Legislature to acknowledge our 50 years of support to Ranch Hope with a framed “Joint Legislative Commendation.”

The citation is too lengthy to quote verbatim, but “Whereas” introduced the following:

 

1)    Our District Legislative Representatives are pleased to “honor and congratulate” (the) “Seventh Day Baptist Church of Shiloh upon receiving the 2014 Christian Partner Award”; and

2)   The church is “honored and saluted for its outstanding contributions to Ranch Hope and its exemplary dedication” to those in need; and

3)   Pastor and the congregation have provided volunteer assistance and supported special projects; and

4)   Strength and success of our State, our communities and our Nation depend on organizations which act together to “further a cause,” “perform a necessary service” or “relieve others from unavoidable hardship”; and

5)   The people of New Jersey are indebted to the Church whose endeavors improve the “quality of life of those surrounding them.”

 

Pastor Donald Chroniger accepted the awards on behalf of the church, stating that the church’s involvement began under the leadership of Pastor Charles Bond and continued through the pastorate of John Camenga to the present day. Executive Director Dave Bailey Jr. commended the congregation for prayer support, financial support and volunteer work.

Drawing from a variety of unexpected success stories, keynote speaker Dr. Tony Campolo of Evangelical Associates for The Promotion of Education, proposed that faith-based agencies work because they provide HOPE for those who need it.

However, some 400 in attendance did not need to rely only on secondhand success stories. Jermaine Jones, a former Ranch Hope resident who placed in the top ten on American Idol, embodied success when he sang, “I Look to You.”

The challenge today is to continue the legacy of assistance to faith-based ministries that go beyond the scope of the local church.

 

*(ref. April’s Sabbath Recorder or search “Ranch Hope” for more information)

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