Awards, etc.

Awards, etc.

Aug 30, 2017

Winner of the Scripture Memory Awards

The Mary G. Clare Scripture Memory Bowl has for many years been given to the member church of our Conference with the most participants to successfully complete our Scripture Memory Program. In recent years, one church has dominated the competition—the First Toronto Seventh Day Baptist Church. After a year off from the pinnacle, once again, Toronto won the Clare Bowl this year.

Last year, the Christian Education Council introduced a new award for participant churches in the Scripture Memory Program to honor churches with the highest percentage of participation in the program. The new award, the Andrew J. Camenga Scripture Memory Award was given last year to the First Hebron, PA SDB Church. This year, Hebron repeated their victory!

The Gold-Headed Cane Award

Formerly a lifetime achievement award given the SDB Historical Society, the SDB Historical Council has taken over in honoring outstanding contributors to the preservation and communication of SDB history by giving the Gold-Headed Cane Award. The award consists of two parts: one of two traveling canes which the recipient of the award keeps for a year, and a plaque, which the honoree keeps. This year, the Council on History elected to honor the outstanding contributions of Norma Rudert (White Cloud, MI, and Daytona Beach, FL) with the Joseph W. Morton Cane for her contributions as a Trustee and Officer of the Historical Society, as well as her service in the work of editing works of SDB history and her ongoing service heading up the recent Centennial Fund campaign.

Scholarships Awarded by the Council on Ministry to those preparing for ministry

The Council on Ministry administers two scholarships for those training for ministry: the Charles H. and Margaret S. Bond Scholarship, and the Alcott Lynch Pastoral Training Scholarship. Both of these scholarships were made by the respective families following the passing of beloved family members who devoted their lives to service in ministry to the body of Christ. In 2017, both of these scholarships were given to Conlief Lyons, of the First Toronto Seventh Day Baptist Church, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Conlief is a student at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto. We are grateful to both families for their continued commitment to the training of Seventh Day Baptist pastors. For more information about either scholarship, or to find out more about the School of Ministry’s training programs, please contact Dean Nick Kersten at the SDB School of Ministry.

The Crystal Apple Award Winner

Each year, the Christian Education Council recognizes a great Sabbath School teacher. This year, we are proud to honor Shari Severance, of the Boulder, CO, church as our Crystal Apple Award recipient. Her church nominated her on the back of the testimony of several members about the impact of her dedicated and loving teaching in their own spiritual growth. We are proud to join the Boulder church in honoring Shari.

The roll call vote regarding the proposed change to the Statement of Belief

At General Conference 2016, local churches of the General Conference were asked to prepare for a roll call vote at the 2017 sessions regarding a possible addition to the Conference’s Statement of Belief regarding marriage and family. All churches were given the opportunity to cast their votes on the question, either by sending their vote in advance by mail or email, or by casting it on the floor. In addition, churches were given the opportunity to give a justification in writing and/or verbally from the floor (providing it could be given in less than one minute) along with their vote. After the votes were tabulated, the motion to amend failed, 56% to 44% (a 2/3rds majority was required for adoption). Among those churches voting “no” who wished to explain their vote, the sentiments were largely that either (1) the proposed addition did not belong in the Statement of Belief or (2) the proposed addition would present an obstacle to Gospel outreach. No church who voted “no” and who chose to give an explanation of their vote indicated they thought the Bible was unclear about the nature of marriage. No additional action surrounding the broader belief was brought to the floor of Conference at this year’s sessions.

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