2014 Institute held

2014 Institute held

Jun 24, 2014

2014 Institute held Sessions dealt with the Sabbath by Gordon Lawton        Seven students gathered in Janesville, Wis., at the SDB Center for the final week of the “Summer” Institute in Sabbath Theology. The students began participating online in February and submitted their Sabbath Theology paper at the end of the class session in Wisconsin. Students were Tim Bancroft from Wellsville, N.Y. and a member at First Genesee SDB, Little Genesee, N.Y.; Clint Brown from Westerly, R.I and a member at First Hopkinton SDB, Ashaway, R.I.; Johnmark Camenga, Pastor at Lost Creek, W.Va.; Carl Greene, Pastor at Hebron, Pa.; Kevin Palmiter, Pastor at First Genesee, N.Y.; Ray Peterson from Racine, Wis. and a member at Pataskala, Ohio; and David Stall, Pastor at First Hopkinton SDB in Ashaway, R.I. The Sabbath—from creation through the Scriptures—was studied. This included looking at its origin and practices in the Old Testament, as well as the example of Jesus and the early Church. We had a session discussing the practical application of Sabbath principles found in the Bible, as well as a time of trying to understand the reasoning of those who do not keep the seventh-day Sabbath. (Understanding is not the same as agreement.) It was a good time of learning about this important topic as well as deepening friendships and building new ones. Those taking the class at the seminary/graduate level received a letter grade. Others were graded Pass/Fail. This is one of three such classes that teach SDB distinctives. Last year was SDB Polity and next year is SDB History.     Books read included: The Sabbath: Symbol of Creation and Re-Creation by Herbert E. Saunders (American Sabbath Tract Society, 1970) Perspectives On the Sabbath, Four Views edited by John Donato (B&H Academic, 2011) Spiritual Sabbathism by A.H. Lewis (American Sabbath Tract Society, 1910) True to the Sabbath, True to Our God: Practical Sabbath Keeping by Larry Graffius (American Sabbath Tract and Communication Council, 1998) Divine Rest for Human Restlessness by Samuele Bacchiocchi (Biblical Perspectives,...

O be careful little eyes…

O be careful little eyes…

Apr 23, 2014

O be careful little eyes… by Gordon Lawton In Mark 7:14-16, Jesus taught that uncleanness comes from inside, not outside a person. He explained in verses 20-23, “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean’.” (NIV) Jesus was not teaching anything new. Jeremiah had said something similar. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Beyond cure is also translated as “desperately sick” (ESV, NASB) and “desperately wicked” (KJV, NKJV, NLT). Saint Paul struggled with this issue and spoke of it in Romans 7:7-25. This side of heaven we all struggle with sin. One of the reasons that it is almost impossible to become a mature believer by ourselves is that we need our brothers and sisters to hold us accountable. From time to time we need to be asked how we are doing in our relationship with the Lord and how we can be prayed for or helped.   Parents should hold their children accountable for their words and actions. As believers we each need someone who will “speak the truth in love” so that we are challenged to deal with issues we would rather sidestep or ignore. Sometimes this person is our spouse; sometimes it needs to be someone else. The internet is a place where temptation is high and accountability is low, and at times non-existent. A person with a shopping problem can go wild sitting at home using their computer and credit card or PayPal. Pictures in poor taste or ones that wrongly entice are prevalent online. How do we deal with this? It is easy to say, “I don’t have a problem.” Some people who say that are truthful. What about the rest of us? We can say, “God sees all, so that is a deterrent.” That is true. However if we are honest, we all must admit with Paul: “I do not do the thing I want, but I do the very thing I...

Continuing Ed for pastors

Continuing Ed for pastors

Feb 21, 2014

Continuing Ed for pastors A chance for Re-Tooling… Recharging your Batteries… Rubbing shoulders with others… by Gordon Lawton   Did you know that there is assistance for an SDB pastor to have formal learning experiences every year? As a pastor you can say, “God is unchanging and the canon of the Bible is fixed,” and be heard to say, “I don’t need to learn new stuff.” I doubt that is what you would be meaning. The pastoral ministry covers so many areas that most pastors are generalists and not able to focus on only one aspect of ministry. Sharpening Bible skills, learning techniques of helping others face issues and grow, thinking about church growth and applying it in the home church are all important. This sharpening can occur as we read books, watch videos, have discussions with other pastors, and as we attend classes (on-line and otherwise) or seminars. Pastor, if there is a seminar or on-line course that you have been considering, you may qualify for up to $300 a year to help with the cost of that class and required books. Although the Center on Ministry no longer has a budget line for pastors’ continuing education, we do have some funds thanks to the generosity of the children of Rev. Earl and Mabel Cruzan.     For more information go to the Center on Ministry website: www.sdbministry.com. When there, hover over the “Pastoral Services” drop-down menu with your cursor, then “To Pastors”, then “In- Service Education”, and then click on “Continuing Education.” On the next page, click on “Continuing Education” and the description will appear. At the bottom of that page click one more time for the “Continuing Education Request Form.” On your way to the Continuing Education page you might have noticed that there was other information here. Take some time to look around and see what COM and COSAR have to offer. (A navigation hint: When you click on “Back to top” you will have to scroll up just a little to find the button bar and the actual top of the page). You may know the seminar that you want to attend. However you may want a seminar on...

50 years for the Center on Ministry

50 years for the Center on Ministry

Aug 26, 2013

50 years for the Center on Ministry by Gordon Lawton     On August 17, 1962 the SDB Center on Ministry was formed when delegates to the General Conference adopted the recommendations from Commission and the Committee on Ministerial Training. Recommendation #1 had the Conference “Notify Alfred University of its intention to discontinue support of the Alfred University School of Theology effective June 30, 1963…” Recommendation #3 established a Council on Ministerial Training, and recommendation #6 authorized that “council, in consultation with the Commission, to employ the Director effective Jan 1, 1963, or as soon thereafter as possible.” Rev. Victor Skaggs was employed beginning June 1, 1963 (part-time until the end of June 1964 when he began full-time) as the Dean for the Center for Ministerial Education. In the 1963 report of the Council on Ministerial Education (COME), it was noted that Edward Sutton was enrolled at Crozer Theological Seminary for the fall 1963 and that Herbert E. Saunders, who had been attending at Alfred, was seeking admission to Colgate-Rochester for the fall of 1963. The 1964 yearbook listed Glen Warner as a student enrolled at Andover-Newton and that he and Ed Sutton had been first-year students. Two of these first three students are still serving SDB churches: Herb Saunders at Madison, WI, and Ed Sutton at Salemville, PA. The first Summer Institute was in SDB Polity and representatives to CoWoCo—the predecessor of the World Federation—were able to participate in the class. Those who took the institute were Paul Beebe (USA), Otrain Manani (Africa), Glen Warner (USA), Naval Harley (Jamaica), Ed Sutton (USA), James McGeachy (England), Dean Skaggs, Jacob Tyrrell (Guyana), and Joe Samuels (Jamaica). The name was changed from COME to Council on Ministry (COM) in 1971 by adopting recommendation #3 of Commission. Since 1962 the Council on Ministry (formerly COME) has been responsible for the ministry of the Center on Ministry (formerly COME). The two are so closely connected that the distinction is seldom important. There have been 87 students in the Seminary Education program from 1963-2013. Forty-five are still in ministry with SDBs as a Pastor, Executive, working with the World Federation, or as an endorsed Chaplain. Six have died, seven...

Seminarian Profile: Johnmark Camenga

Seminarian Profile: Johnmark Camenga

Mar 25, 2013

Seminarian Profile   Name: Johnmark Camenga Birthdate and place: September 14, 1978     Little Rock, AR Family: Cathy Rogers and I got married on August 5, 2000. We are blessed with 5-year-old triplets: Cate, Eve, and Jonah. We also have a 7-year-old Miniature Dachshund named Winston.   Education: Mainland High School, Daytona Beach, FL Salem (WV) International University (1996-99); University of Central Florida, Orlando (2006-09); West Virginia State University, Institute, WV (2009-10) Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY (2010-present) I hope to graduate in May of 2015 (but certainly not later than May of 2020).   Ministry experience: SCSC for four years (1996-99) at North Loup, Lost Creek, White Cloud, Daytona Beach Currently blessed to serve as pastor of the Lost Creek (WV) SDB Church where I began in September of 2012. Prior to this, I was licensed to preach in the Salem, WV and Daytona Beach, FL SDB Churches. Other employment: My only other significant employment was at the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home. I held several titles, and I most enjoyed the time spent working with the elementary school-aged boys. Those kids keep you running and love to push the limits. It helped tremendously in preparing me to be a dad. Favorite Bible passage: Matthew 5:43-48 helps me remember that what is demanded of me as a servant of Jesus is something that I cannot do in my own strength. Favorite author: Greg Ogden If given a $10,000 check we would: Take the family out to dinner, replace Cathy’s computer, and invest the rest in Cate, Eve, and Jonah’s college fund. A great answer to prayer: The peace and contentment that met us on the doorstep at the Lost Creek parsonage. When it sometimes feels like all we’re doing is making our best guess from day to day, the Lord truly worked in our hearts and heads as He led us here. A project I’m excited about: is the new West Virginia Children’s Fellowship. The Salem, Lost Creek, and Middle Island churches have been blessed with an abundance of kids in the 3 to 12 age range and they have been coming out in force for our monthly get-togethers. If participation in Children’s Fellowship...

Center on Ministry

Center on Ministry updates SDB Polity Institute:  Eight students have signed up and are participating in the Institute on SDB Polity. Online participation began February 3, 2013 and will end May 24. This is followed by an intensive week at the Center in Janesville, June 2-7. Please pray for clear minds and God’s direction as they study about how SDBs do church. SDB Pastors Conference:  Pastors Conference, held every two years, is being hosted in Shiloh, NJ, April 23-27. The theme is “Seeing With God’s Eyes.” Seminary Students:  Our eleven seminary students are studying hard.  Please continue to keep them in your prayers. Thank you so much. Pastoral Transitions: Steve Saunders (Nortonville KS) has retired. Bill Burks back as interim, Remembrance SDB, Ft. Worth, TX. Jeff Bloedel is no longer the pastor at Albion, WI. John Pethtel (Metro Atlanta, GA) is going to Colorado Springs, CO in...