Updating Our Website

by Joel Osborn, Milton, WI As Communication Director of the Milton Seventh Day Baptist, I was given the task of updating our web site. The current web site was created more than a decade ago — so it was dated and built on an older web platform that made it somewhere between difficult and impossible to update. The site had been created by a local company and we felt we were getting little support. They would recover our site if it got hacked, but that would be an additional charge. We couldn’t change much of the structure or design of the website without an additional charge. We wanted to avoid those issues. I had heard that the SDB Tract and Communication Council was giving help to local churches with their websites. So I contacted Jeremiah Owen, Director of Communication for the Conference, and we started to plan. Jeremiah strongly urged that we go with WordPress as our platform. It is a well-established platform that is easy to use and can be modified. There is a wealth of knowledge about WordPress out there; so, if we should need to get some support beyond what Jeremiah or I could provide, we should have no trouble finding someone to help out. The WordPress modules are self-patching and would not need to be monitored for security fixes. Jeremiah was able to point us to more affordable hosting options and he pointed us to WordPress template vendors that allowed us to buy a template as a starting point for the look and feel of the new website. We were looking for a “responsive” template: that is a template that will adapt the way a web page is displayed depending on what device you are using. If you bring up our website on a phone, it looks different than if you bring it up on a laptop. But the content is readable on both. The conference also made available an online WordPress training class, which was very helpful in learning the ropes. Since all our URLs were currently in use, Jeremiah set up a temporary site. He installed WordPress and the template we had purchased and we started building content...

A Week in the Life of the Church Bus

A Week in the Life of the Church Bus

Nov 22, 2017

by Steven Moncrief SDB Church of Shiloh, NJ It was the week of October 9th and I knew that something was up. I had been sitting in my normal spot where I wait for long periods of time for someone to take me for a drive. Over the past several years I have been a part of the Shiloh SDB Church family. I have been used for several youth outings; have been to one Conference; made several trips to Lancaster, PA; and even taken youth to Snow Camp in New York. That was a cold trip! But this summer has been even more active for me. I have taken groups of adults to Lancaster on day trips and to Allentown, PA, for a ride on a mule-drawn barge. I even took the youth to Johnson City, TN, on a missions trip this summer. I am proud to be a part of this church. They take good care of me and I try my best to take good care of them. Back to the week of the 9th. Someone started cleaning me up inside and out — cleaning my windows, washing and waxing me, and checking me all over. I knew something was up. Sure enough the following Monday, October 16, I came to life again at 7:00 in the morning. Away we went to the church and there to meet me was a group of 15 adults. This time when they came aboard they brought lots of luggage. Wow! I thought we must be in for quite a trip. And yes, I was in for a busy week. We left Shiloh and traveled to Pigeon Forge, TN, arriving on Tuesday. There we visited the Bush Baked Bean Factory Museum and Restaurant. That evening we went to the Dixie Stampede Dinner Show. On Wednesday we went to Dollywood. In the park were several gospel groups singing throughout the day and we saw many different crafters. Thursday, we went to the Old Mill for breakfast: this is a beautiful old building with great food. Then we traveled over the mountains to Granite Falls, NC, to see Florence Dickinson. She is a 90-year-old member of the Shiloh...

Home Field Mission Opportunity in Florida

Home Field Mission Opportunity in Florida

Nov 22, 2017

by John Camenga Edgewater/Oak Hill SDB In 1999, members of the Daytona Beach Seventh Day Baptist Church started a weekly Bible study in the home of Norman and Linda McCall some thirty miles from the historic meeting place in Daytona. In 2008, this Bible study blossomed into a church that has now been recognized as a full member of the General Conference. This small congregation sees an expanding ministry. It is preparing a location for that ministry in a highly visible location on US Highway 1 in the center of the small town of Oak Hill. They are constructing the “meeting house” as funds allow, avoiding debt that might hamper their future ministry. Led by Pastor Keith McCall, the worship is informal, the fellowship rich, and the future limited only by our ability to hear and respond to God’s calling. This congregation has a weekly attendance of 20 to 30. Most of the members come to Seventh Day Baptists from other church backgrounds. The members demonstrate the enthusiasm of people with “something new and important to share.” This church expects growth to come primarily from the community – new believers and believers just now discovering the blessings of Sabbath observance. However, this infant congregation would welcome a transfusion of Seventh Day Baptists from other areas. • We need people who can come and participate. • We need people with experience as Sabbath School teachers, church officers, musicians, and prayer warriors. • We need those with “portable” skills to come for employment. • We need vibrant retirees to enjoy “snow bird” or year-round residence. We offer a location away from the problems of urban overdevelopment, yet near enough to visit theme parks, and the natural wonders Florida offers. We offer a place to remain comfortable in a Seventh Day Baptist congregation while enjoying the warm, relaxed and low-tax benefits that Florida offers. New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater are just north of our building location. Titusville and Kennedy Space Center are just to the south. You can contact us through:...

SDB Women’s Retreat Held in West Virginia

SDB Women’s Retreat Held in West Virginia

Oct 26, 2017

by Susie Fox Pataskala SDB Church, OH       The annual Seventh Day Baptist Appalachian Association Women’s Retreat was held at Camp Joy the weekend of September 22-24, 2017. There were a total of 31 women attending the retreat from SDB churches in Alabama, Georgia, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. The program was planned by women from the Shepherd’s Fold SDB church in Tennessee this year with the theme “Running the Race.” Sessions were taught by Brenda Rankhorn and Cate Abraham on the topics of Focus, Training, Discipline, and Living Graciously. Women attending from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio prepared and provided the yummy meals! In addition to the teaching sessions, there was free time to enjoy the rustic and beautiful camp setting as well as fellowship with new and old friends. The weekend was a time to eat, sing, worship, pray, hug, talk, play, laugh, and learn together. By Sunday morning, the women were refreshed as they left to return home and also looking forward to next year! The annual women’s retreat is scheduled for the last full weekend of September each year at Camp Joy in Berea, WV. Any interested women are welcome to attend. Next year’s retreat will be planned by the women in Salemville, PA, and held September 28-30, 2018....

Seventh Day Baptists meet for North Central Association

Seventh Day Baptists meet for North Central Association

Oct 26, 2017

The Connecting Church — Milton Seventh Day Baptist welcomed around 150 SDBs for the North Central Association meetings on October 6 and 7. Attendees came from Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The theme for the meetings was Revival: “Times of Refreshing in the LORD.” Friday night, Pastor JR Shick of the White Cloud, MI, SDB church spoke on “Whatever happened to conviction?” Sabbath morning sermon by Pastor Wayne North, of the Freedom Community church in New Auburn, WI, was “Conviction is more than feeling sorry.” Graveyards to Gardens, a group from Elgin, IL, with Aaron Andries, led the worship time. Sabbath afternoon, there was a concert with the musical stylings of the Milton Quintet, five men from the Milton area singing classic harmonies. After that, Graveyards to Gardens performed, including a medley of hymns with an updated sound. Saturday evening, Pastor Nate Crandall, Senior Pastor of the Connecting Church, spoke on “Restoration takes patience and persistence.” Special music was provided during the Sabbath morning and Saturday night services by Pastor Tim and Karen Smothers of the Battle Creek SDB church. The Association meetings ended with a time of extended...

Salem Church Ordains and Trains New Deacons

Salem Church Ordains and Trains New Deacons

Apr 26, 2017

By Janet Thorngate, a deacon in the Salem SDB Church On a happy Sabbath last November 19, the Salem, WV, Seventh Day Baptist Church ordained four new deacons who had answered the church’s call earlier in the fall. To begin the day, each participated in the morning worship leading up to the sermon by Rev. John Pethtel titled “Rooted and Built Up in Releasing Leaders to Serve” from Colossians 4:7-18. Now Director of Church Development and Pastoral Services for the Conference, John had grown up in the church as an “older brother” to some of the candidates. Heart of the afternoon ordination service was the spiritual journey testimonies by each of the candidates: A. J. Curran, Andrea Huffman, Waine Nicholson, and Julie Richmond. Deacon Stephen Rogers conducted the service with Rev. Pethtel giving a charge to the candidates and Pastor Johnmark Camenga of the Lost Creek, WV, Church a giving charge to the church. Salem Pastor, Rev. Brent Hannah, led the consecration prayer and Deacons Paul Davis and Christine Sias, parents of two of the candidates, welcomed them to the diaconate. After the new deacons had been on the job for four months (and attended four monthly deacons’ meetings), the church sponsored a deacon training Sabbath which involved the whole congregation. It was Sabbath, March 25, when Director of Education and History, Rev. Nicholas Kersten, preached the morning sermon, “What is the Gospel?” Following a fellowship lunch, he challenged the whole congregation, “Working Out the Gospel in the Church,” and in the evening, Nick led the diaconate through an interactive seminar on “How the Diaconate Fits in With The Broader Church” based on Acts 6:1-7 and I Timothy 3:8-12. SDB churches have different selection patterns and roles for their deacons. Salem’s is a traditional pattern of ordaining deacons for life. The selection process begins when the church decides a new deacon or deacons are needed. Members write suggested names on a secret ballot. During a special meeting with focused prayer, the deacons review the list of suggested names and decide which individuals to ask if they would accept a call; candidates have as long as they need to consider the request. When all have...