A Decade of Boxes!

A Decade of Boxes!

Dec 22, 2016

by Courtney Mattus SDB Church of Shiloh, NJ Ten years ago, the Seventh Day Baptist Church of Shiloh was given the opportunity to support Mark and Lera Hamilton, missionaries in Belarus, by participating in a shoebox ministry. The congregation packed shoeboxes that were sent overseas and distributed to children by the Hamilton family to spread the love of God. After two years of participating in this ministry, the Hamiltons were no longer able to distribute shoeboxes but the Shiloh Church wanted to continue to spread God’s love through a similar outreach. In 2008, the congregation began packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child through the Samaritan’s Purse organization. This ministry sends shoeboxes all over the world to children who desperately need to know the love of the Lord. Samaritan’s Purse does not just ship shoeboxes — with each shoebox, they hand out the Word of God in each child’s native language and give each child the opportunity to enroll in The Greatest Journey, a dynamic, 12-lesson Bible study course guiding them through what it means to faithfully follow Jesus Christ. During 2016, the members of the Shiloh Church collected items for the Operation Christmas Child ministry. Each month, a new item or category was the focus. In January, they collected socks and tissues. In March, they collected toothpaste and toothbrushes … October was coloring books and crayons. They also collected boxes that members filled at home. The children’s Sabbath School classes packed boxes together. This year-long collection led to a Sunday in November when they had a church-wide “packing party” when members of the congregation came together and spent a couple hours filling empty boxes with material items and most importantly, LOVE. Each box brimmed with personal items such as soap, washcloths, toothbrushes, hair brushes and then had “WOW” items such as dolls, trucks, balls, flashlights, etc. The congregation prayed over the boxes and added a finishing touch to let the recipients know who was sending their love — a picture of the filled boxes with each person at the packing party. The Shiloh Church knows that these boxes filled with items are not just shoeboxes…they represent children. For some children this is the first...

Celebrating 35 Years of Ministry

Celebrating 35 Years of Ministry

Dec 22, 2016

by Theo Wilson Miami SDB Church, FL The evening of September 22, 2016, was one to remember, as brethren worldwide traveled to South Florida to celebrate Miami Seventh Day Baptist’s thirty-five years of ministry. This event truly marked a special milestone for the church and its existence, as it truly has made an impact on many lives and the surrounding community. The church’s theme for this year is “Fired Up! And Ready,” and the program for the evening truly showed a church that is fired up and ready for anything! The service was led by our Pastor, Andrew Samuels, who has been with us for 28 of the 35 years of the church’s life. The church was blessed to have the General Conference’s Executive Director, Rob Appel, to extend greetings, and also the keynote speaker, Pastor Garfield Miller, who delivered a soul-stirring message. To show how much of an impact the church has had, the South Florida SDB sister churches, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, gave warm and sincere reflections about how the Miami church helped with their launch, and continues to be a beacon of support today. A highlight of the evening was getting the chance to hear the history of the church. Many were intrigued to hear about the sacrifices made, especially at the beginning stages with the charter members. The church has endured so many changes and challenges, but by the grace of God, the doors remain open and the membership is still strong. There were testimonies given from several members, present and past, including one of the charter members, Lorna Sukie, and one of the newest members, Cleopatra LaTouche. Each person emphasized in their testimony that they made the Miami SDB Church their home because of the huge sense of family and the warm fellowship that everyone feels when attending. The music ministry featured prominently in the celebration, offering several renditions throughout the evening, which blessed the hearts of everyone in attendance. There was also a dance rendition from the children’s ministry and a mime ministry from Tsafiq Samuels. The program closed out with the entire congregation reciting the “Anniversary Resolution and Commitment,” wherein members pledged their on-going commitment...

The Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

Dec 22, 2016

The Lord’s Prayer by Phil Lawton Our Father is the first in a series about The Lord’s Prayer written by Pastor Phil Lawton from the Seventh Day Baptist Chruch of Shiloh, NJ. Check out Phil’s blog at contemplatingkenosis.blogspot.com   Our Father… These first two words set the stage for understanding the rest of the Lord’s Prayer. Every week, all around the world, Christians recite the Lord’s Prayer. They do it because that is what they have always done. They do it because it is familiar. They do it because that is the prayer that Jesus commanded us to pray. But I wonder how many of them really understand what Jesus is telling us through it. Do they understand that He encapsulated His sermon on the mount into this one prayer? If they really understood what the words mean would they still pray them? Our Father. These are the first two words of the Lord’s Prayer. At first glance they don’t seem to mean much. They are just an address to God and yet this address brings with it some rich theology. In these two words we find hope, community, belonging, identity. In these two words is a deep understanding of who we are as a people of God and who God is for us. These first two words set the stage for understanding the rest of the Lord’s Prayer. When many of us think about God the Father we are encouraged. We think about our earthly fathers’ love for us. We are reminded of family and belonging. But the truth is there is a growing number of people in this country who don’t make these associations with father. For them the term father refers to a cruel man who withholds love. Unless we deal with this we can never understand why Jesus used the term father. God Hates You The movie Fight Club typifies the nihilism of many in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It follows a man who has lost all hope in anything. It is a story of hitting rock bottom and coming out the other side. He decides that all social constructs, even religion, have failed him and thus he...

One Hundred Years In White Cloud

One Hundred Years In White Cloud

Dec 22, 2016

by Ed Cruzan White Cloud SDB Church, MI It all began at a meeting of the Church of God of Michigan in their state conference held in White Cloud, MI, September 27-30, 1917. There was a celebration at that time when the Church of God delegates voted to “thereafter be known as Seventh Day Baptists.” Rev. D. Burdett Coon, from the Battle Creek Seventh Day Baptist Church, in his October 29, 1917, Sabbath Recorder article, described it this way: “It would have done your heart good to see that people stand on their feet for the adoption of the resolution.” Well, nearly 100 years have passed since that celebration and through the providence of God, the Church is planning on celebrating its 100th anniversary in September of 2017! Preliminary plans have been underway for some six months now as we look forward to this upcoming celebration. Webster’s dictionary defines “celebrate” in several ways. The definition we most frequently think of is, “to mark a happy occasion by engaging in some pleasurable activity.” We certainly are planning on doing this! We are seeking to coordinate the celebration with the annual White Cloud Train Town celebration which is usually held on the last weekend of September. (The date of September 29-30 has yet to be confirmed.) In addition to the obligatory food, we are hoping to have some give-aways, conduct historical tours of the church and include some narrative vignettes. Webster’s dictionary also defines “celebrate”: “to solemnize publicly”, that is, “to perform something sacred in character.” Dr. Coon, in concluding his Sabbath Recorder article, said, “But with this increased joy and opportunity there is increased responsibility. Let us stay in deep humility at the foot of the Cross, trusting God for the leading of His Spirit all our doings.” We hope to celebrate in both ways! We invite anyone who has a favorite memory over these past 100 years to share them with us and we invite everyone to come join in this...

Rev. Dr. Kenneth Chroniger

Rev. Dr. Kenneth Chroniger

Dec 22, 2016

by Elianna Chroniger SDB Church Alfred Station, NY In 1991, the Alfred Station Seventh Day Baptist Church got a new pastor. Now, 25 years later we are celebrating his ministry to our church. On September 10, 2016, the church took time to remember all of the things Rev. Dr. Kenneth Chroniger has done for his church and community. A reception, including a slide show and photo album of memories, was put on in his honor. During this reception, a proclamation was read from Congressman Tom Reed’s office recognizing Pastor Ken for all of the things he has done. Pastor John Pethtel joined the church in thanking Pastor Ken for his service to the denomination. Thank you Pastor Ken for the amount of work you have done for your church, community, and the...