New Award and Traditional Awards given at Conference

New Award and Traditional Awards given at Conference

Aug 29, 2016

By Nicholas J. Kersten

Christian Education Council

As promoted in the pages of the Sabbath Recorder over the last year, the Christian Education Council honored two churches and an outstanding teacher during the awards time at this year’s General Conference meetings.

The Sabbath School Teacher of the Year for the 2015-16 Conference year is Rev. David Fox of the SpringsLife Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Pastor David wasn’t able to attend General Conference. We are making arrangements to award the Crystal Apple Award for outstanding work in developing and teaching in the Sabbath School program they have in his local church later this fall. David was instrumental in the development of the current program and his students and their parents rave about his work in teaching the Gospel and its implications to his classes. Congratulations David!

Possibly owing to the encouragements of Conference President, Rev. Dr. Ken Chroniger, there was spirited competition for the Mary G. Clare Scripture Memory Bowl, awarded to the church with the highest number of members/ attendees who complete the Conference Scripture Memory Program. Traditional powers Toronto were once again strong challengers for the award — but after concerted effort, the winner of the 2015-16 award was the New York City Seventh Day Baptist Church, with 30 participants.

NYC Wins Mary G. Clare Scripture Memory Bowl

After General Conference last year, the CEC received a suggestion to consider giving an award to the church with the highest percentage of people who completed the Scripture Memory Program — offering an opportunity to smaller churches who might not be able to reach the total numbers of some of the larger churches. In response, the CEC created an award for the church with the highest percentage of attendees (not number of members) in the church who completed the Scripture Memory Program. In order to qualify for the award, local churches needed to have at least 20 attendees and report their membership and attendance numbers to the General Conference Directory for this Conference year. (How could we figure a percentage unless we had up-to-date numbers?)

The new award also needed a new name. After deliberation on the part of the Council, the award was named after a tireless advocate for Christian Education among SDBs — and a leader who has constantly striven to support and encourage all of our local churches regardless of their size: the Rev. Andrew Camenga.

The first recipient of the Andrew J. Camenga Scripture Memory Award for the Conference year 2015-2016 was the First Hebron (PA) SDB Church. Twenty-five of their reported average attendance of 31 completed the program this year — that’s nearly 75% of their regular attendees!

Certificates for those individuals who completed this year’s Scripture Memory Program will be mailed soon, along with the materials for next year’s program. Keep your eyes peeled for your church’s information! Information about the 2016-17 nomination process for the Sabbath School Teacher of the Year will likewise be forthcoming!

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