SCSC Team Fire

SCSC Team Fire

Sep 26, 2017

by Team Fire (The following are snippets from the exit testimonies of SCSC 2017 Team Fire) I originally did SCSC because my friends were doing it. There were four young adults from my church doing SCSC. So naturally, what do you do when all your friends leave you for the summer — you join them. I am so glad I did. Before leaving for training God was already working with me throughout my spring semester at college. This summer has been a real blessing. I am happy I was not disobedient when God told me I should participate in SCSC. He told me it was time to go further than just my home church. Nothing could have prepared me for the journey my first year of SCSC brought. From training, I learned to spend more time in reading God’s word. I also learned a lot about discipline, which really helped me to face challenges while on project. At training every emotional, physical and mental part of you is focused on God. At training, I continued to pray that God would bring me happiness and He’d light my fire for Him — every day I felt Him start to work. At first I wasn’t sure what to do, but I had a feeling that God was pushing me to ask this woman sitting next to me at the airport what was wrong. So I asked her if she was “ok.” She told me that a friend of hers had a heart attack and was in the hospital. She was afraid for his life and his family because he was the family’s foundation for faith. So I spoke with her about the power of prayer and prayed with her right there. This summer God was really trying to teach me to rely on His strength and focus on Him especially through listening and obeying. I felt Him grow in me even more while being on project. I found it a true blessing to be filled with so much love and be around God-loving people. Throughout the summer I felt this dark cloud dissipating. Through VBS, Bible studies, sermons and devotionals I have continued to feel God...

Robe of Achievement 2017

Robe of Achievement 2017

Aug 28, 2017

Janet Van Horn Thorngate by Karen Payne We are pleased to honor one of our very deserving women with the Robe of Achievement. Like many previous Robe recipients, our honoree is a deacon, wife, mother, (including foster mother), grandmother and great-grandmother. She is not only a wife, but a pastor’s wife and also a “preacher’s kid.” This being the case, her childhood and youth were spent in WV, NY, and AR. This year she was bestowed with the degree Doctor of Letters honoris cuasa by the Salem International University. The following is taken from the citation given her with her doctorate: Mrs. Janet Van Horn Thorngate graduated from Salem College with a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in English and History, and then earned a Master of Arts in English Literature from West Virginia University. She obtained West Virginia’s secondary school teacher certification. She has spent much of her life as a teacher. She was an instructor in English at West Virginia University and Salem International University, as well as with Upward Bound at then Salem College. She worked as a technical librarian at several Educational Resources Information Center clearinghouses, and was a member of the ERIC National Steering Committee, 1976-1981. She has devoted much of her life to the Seventh Day Baptist Church, whose members were founders of Salem College in 1888 and whose continuing support over the past 129 years has been valuable to the university. She was librarian and archivist for the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Library. She continues to be an instructor in Church History for the Seventh Day Baptist School of Ministry. She is the editor of Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society publications. She has been President of the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society since 2002. Her other literary endeavors include editorship of Seventh Day Baptist World, the newsletter of the SDB World Federation, of which her husband, Rev. Dr. Dale Thorngate, is President. She has been editor of Lead-Line, the leadership newsletter of the SDB General Conference, and editor and writer of a variety of church and organization newsletters, booklets, etc. Her extensive work in church history and her meticulous attention to detail in her research led to...

Life on Mission

Life on Mission

Jun 23, 2017

by Katrina Goodrich How do you live a Life on Mission? This is the question I’ve been contemplating throughout the year along with many others in response to our 2017 General Conference theme. I suspect that there are as many correct answers to this as there are people on the planet. Everyone’s life on mission looks just a little bit different in application — but the core of this missional life is sharing the love of Christ with the world (the Great Commission: Matthew 28:18-20). It’s easy to get stuck in the personal application of the Great Commission if your mind works the way mine does. When I’m thinking about what it means for me personally to live on mission I tend to think I have to find one big cause to dedicate my time to (like starving children in Africa). If you have that calling — that’s great! I don’t know where my “big” calling lies or if I even have one. Just thinking about it can be intimidating. That intimidation leads to avoidance, and so on. For the past year I’ve been focusing on simplifying the how portion of living life on mission to two things I can do every day regardless of where I am, who I’m interacting with, and what the big picture might be. 1. Smile “Attitude is like a cold — contagious. Make sure yours is worth catching.” This motivational poster or some variation of it has shown up in just about every elementary school I’ve ever stepped foot into — as well as countless other places — because attitude is important. Smiles, too, are contagious and an important foundation for attitude, yours and others’. Smiles can be used in a variety of ways to reassure, comfort, communicate worth, approve, and in general convey happiness. A simple smile can have a lot of power. I don’t think we need to walk around with a perpetual goofy grin on our faces but we can be intentional about gifting a smile to those whom we come in contact with. It may seem silly, but sometimes a simple smile is the only positive affirmation people may have that day. Next time...

Reflections of a Life on Mission: Warrior Princess Stephanie Sholtz

Reflections of a Life on Mission: Warrior Princess Stephanie Sholtz

Apr 25, 2017

By Jenni Wangsness Women’s Society President Stephanie — “Steph” — was not just my cousin or my VP for the Women’s Society. She was my closest friend. Her friendship and life inspire me, and so I’m sharing her story so that it may also inspire you.   Steph grew up on her family farm in Oneida, NY. She had a cheerful, fun personality from the beginning. However, her childhood was not exactly “easy.” Her health was limited by asthma and allergies from a young age, and she was hospitalized in an air tent before she ever went to school. It was here that she earned the nickname “Tougher Nutter,” her inner Warrior already showing through. She was a fierce competitor. Legend has it that she was banned from partnering with her grandfather at Pinochle when she was five years old. They were ruthless as a pair and no one wanted to play against them. She made the decision to follow Christ at a young age, but that didn’t mean life was suddenly rosy. Yet, she never lost her cheerful personality. She was very intelligent, so when life in her house was less than peaceful, she would often escape through books, school activities, or music. SCSC was an experience that God used to help Steph begin to see herself, not only as a warrior, but as a Princess — chosen and loved by her Father. She served in SCSC as a student for three years and went on to be a Project Director, host, and Training Staff member. As she experienced the love of her Father, she was able to see the people around her as our Father sees them. One of her unique gifts was teaching us to see ourselves the same way. I am blessed to have first-hand experience of this. This was the beginning of her mission. Steph was a Conference “Regular” — someone you expect to see every year. She viewed giving her talents and time to our Conference as part of her mission. Not only did she show up, but she was often an official delegate from a church and took business sessions seriously. Reference and Counsel was her favorite...

2017 SUMMER CHRISTIAN SERVICE CORPS — TEAMS AND PROJECTS

by Katrina Goodrich We are incredibly blessed as a denomination to have an established program like Summer Christian Service Corps (SCSC). It’s been equipping young adults for leadership for over 50 years and has made a transformative difference in the lives of its participants and those who come into contact with them. This isn’t the sort of program that many have an opportunity to be a part of. Yes, it has many similar qualities to a mission trip but there is a different focus. The focus of a mission trip is on being a servant who shows the love of God to people, typically through tangible means. You go and build houses, wells, or work in a shelter, or run a VBS. These are all worthwhile endeavors that serve as a Christian maturing field. They contribute to the kingdom and have turned lives toward Christ — and yes these are things that we do in SCSC. SCSC focuses on servant leadership. Now it may seem like there is little distinction between servant and servant leadership. The distinction is important to understand why SCSC is a unique opportunity. On the surface SCSC is a 3 or 4 week mission trip — but there is so much more to it than that. The program’s focus isn’t on the project and what the students accomplish while in the “mission field.” Though it is an integral and important part of the program, it’s more long-term than that. The goal is to raise up future leaders and give them knowledge and experience being a leader — a servant leader. It is long term. I look at this program and see three parts: 1) Equip, 2) Send, 3) Sustain & Grow. First, students are given knowledge and experience through pre-training assignments and training (just ask a student about practicum time: if you were afraid of handling a group of kids, you won’t be after your turn). It’s okay if you don’t think you’re the “leader” type because that is what training is all about: equipping students with the ability to lead. Not everyone in SCSC is the next Billy Graham or Kirk Cameron— that’s ok. It doesn’t mean you aren’t...

We Are Not Doomed

We Are Not Doomed

Feb 22, 2017

by Katrina Goodrich In the course of my college career I took a psychology class called Motivation and Emotion. The goal of the course was fairly self-explanatory — learn about emotion and motivation and how they work together. I can’t recall exactly what spurred the discussion — if there had been a recent crisis or if it was brought up in the flow of course material — but my professor started lecturing about evil in the present world and how it affects a person’s outlook on life. This was several years ago and things were different at that time, but I believe what she said is no less relevant today. She said something like this, “Many people say that the world is more evil than ever and is going in a downhill spiral. Don’t allow them to dictate the future to you. There are many ways in which the world is a better place than it was even 30 years ago.” She then gave a brief summary about why she held this view. To say this is not a popular worldview is an understatement, particularly coming from a credible Christian source. Hearing that the world is spinning out of control, irredeemable as it gets ever closer to its demise, is routine. The crux is that the view is not incorrect. The world will end. While my professor’s words have stuck with me, I find myself immersed in skepticism. We are more informed about the evil of the world and it affects us on a more personal level. Rather than succumbing to ignorance, we are now forced to acknowledge the evil around us. All you need to do is look at news headlines or glance at your Facebook feed to be up-to-date on the terrible happenings around the globe. So how is it that an intelligent, educated, Christian woman can stand up in front of a room full of young adults — who’ve had a front row seat to the depravities that have been committed in the world — and say, “It’s okay, the world isn’t irredeemably evil and you should stop looking at it that way?” Evil doesn’t change — it is still bent...