Faith-Family-Education

by Katrina Goodrich

 

I have developed a better appreciation and understanding for who we are

and just what we have to offer.

 

Faith. Family. Education. These are the three areas that this year’s conference president, Rev. Dr. Ken Chroniger, has asked us to meditate on through the year as our 2016 General Conference theme. In his introduction to the theme, Rev.

Dr. Chroniger has affirmed these three ideas as important tenents of who Seventh Day Baptists are and what we stand for. They are the foundation of our denominational culture, each building upon the other helping create our denominational DNA.

Reflecting specifically on Faith, Family, and Education as they relate to us as a denomination has been comforting, as well as provoking, for me this past year. I can name dozens of instances in each of these categories where these have been demonstrated in my own life. Many times it is easy to take for granted and gloss over the blessings that have come from being an SDB. Having these tenets at the core of who we are as a people through this year-long reflection, I have developed a better appreciation and understanding for who we are and just what we have to offer.

Faith. Revelation 14:12 (January memory verse — you should know this!) speaks of faith and perseverance. SDBs have an extremely rich heritage concerning this. Faith has always been at the core of who we are. One example that has stuck in my mind recently is how our forbearers decided, in faith, to set up endowments to provide for the future of SDBs. They had faith that in another 100 years we would be around and they wanted to plan long-term. Planning in terms of 100 years — that takes a lot of faith. I can tell you there aren’t many other denominations and church-based organizations that have that foundation. Now it is this generation’s turn to live by the faith that has been demonstrated for us time and again. No matter how dark the days may seem, Christ is our light. Because of that, we should have faith enough to plan for the next 100 years.

Family. Every time someone new shows up at church or Conference they are asked at least a dozen times who their family is. If they aren’t somehow related to a Davis, Burdick, etc. everyone excitedly exclaims, “New blood!” This may be

a bit of an exaggeration; however, the enthusiasm remains because we love our family and meeting a new member is exciting. We love watching our family grow and learn together, even when we disagree. Matthew 12:50 (May memory verse) speaks about our kingdom family and how our service bonds us through the blood of Christ. While some of us are literal family, we are branching out and making more kingdom family. That’s what evangelism and church planting are ultimately about. The church provides a support system for Christians that is so desperately needed and no one supports you like family.

Education. Most people would respond positively if asked whether education is important. They would probably say it is one of the most important things you will do in your life. However, sometimes Christians are afraid of education because it causes questions. I remember one girl commenting after a course in theology that it had caused her to question her faith negatively. And that was a Christian theology course — not biology, philosophy or anything else typically associated with being anti-Christian. SDBs believe in the promise of Proverbs 22:6 (March memory verse) and so we place an emphasis on education with our Sabbath schools, scripture memory and Bible learning in general. Being a Christian is a commitment to lifelong education because life is full of questions and challenges. When faith is grounded

in scripture, those questions and challenges won’t cause corrosion but rather a deepening and returned commitment to studying God’s word for yourself.

Faith-Family-Education. This year’s conference theme has struck a chord with me and hopefully you as well. I look forward to further learning and growing in my faith with my family in Houghton, NY, this summer at General Conference, July 31- August 6. Hope to see you there!

Ladies, don’t forget to bring your crafts to Conference

as we will be having the craft table this year!

Proceeds go to SCSC!

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