Can your church top this? Celebrating Six Dads at Shiloh

Can your church top this? Celebrating Six Dads at Shiloh

Sep 25, 2017

by Cheryl Muffley During the month of June, as in previous years, Shiloh continued the tradition of celebrating “Dads and Grads.” But the celebration didn’t end there this year. After digging through our church history books, it was brought to light that we have six very special dads in our congregation. These six dads have several things in common. Along with being dads, five of the six are over 80 years old. The sixth dad isn’t far behind — he will celebrate his 80th birthday this summer. All right, you’re thinking, so they have their age in common. Well, that really wasn’t the reason for our celebration. We were not only recognizing them for their age, we wanted to thank each of them for their dedication, faithfulness, and positive examples they’ve shown over the years. You see, each of them has a church membership of at least 64 years! Throughout the years, each of them has led a very active membership. In addition to serving on various committees, singing in the choir, passing out bulletins, assisting as ushers, and serving as church moderator, all of them can say they have been instrumental in bringing many church projects to completion. Back in 1960 when Jersey Oaks Camp was being built, they were there every Sunday. We are blessed to have these Godly men continue to share their positive examples of faithfulness and dedication. During the service, as their names were called and their years of membership were announced, each dad stood as the congregation applauded. Dad Date of Membership Years of Membership Fred Davis 9/19/53 64 years Bill Nieukirk 9/19/53 64 years George Pettit 3/27/48 69 years Mark Sheppard 6/01/46 71 years Howard Scull 6/01/46 71 years Owen Probasco** 6/19/43 74 years Total: 413 years **Special note: Ruth Ayars, who became Owen’s wife, also joined the church on the same day as...

The Kingdom of God is like…

The Kingdom of God is like…

May 22, 2017

“The Kingdom of God is like…” a room full of brothers and sisters in Christ singing praise to God in several languages, the walls around them lined with the flags of many nations. It is bigger than that, of course. The sixty official delegates and observers sometimes swelled to more from nearby churches as they shared in worship, sermons, and Bible studies on the theme. Each represented many others as they pondered the Kingdom within us, among us, here and now as well as yet to come: this small thing, like a mustard seed, so full of potential to grow. Such was the spirit of the Seventh Day Baptist World Federation’s eighth session held in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil, January 22-28, 2017. President Dale Thorngate had planned a week full of business, education, worship, and fellowship. From the opening welcome by Brazil Conference President João Teles dos Santos to the closing communion and the celebration of the Federation’s Fiftieth Anniversary led by General Secretary Andrew Samuels, all went well. Participants enjoyed Brazil’s welcoming hospitality coordinated by Host Committee Chairman, Douglas Machado, a man for all challenges. Whether it was adjusting the sound system and video equipment, keeping everyone in tow for sightseeing and church visits, making an emergency trip to the hospital, or assuming around- the-clock translation service, our hosts were there. Friendly, gentle horses roamed the grounds of Chácara da Esperança retreat center with us, whether on the soccer fields or on the paths and seating under ancient Araucaria trees that shaded the buildings. Guests relished endless fresh mango and papaya, ubiquitous rice & beans, and, yes, Brazilian beef. Of course delegates’ main business was business: receiving reports from officers and each member conference, separating into committees to review reports and their recommendations and bring items back to the floor for action, election of officers and plans for the next five years of the Federation’s work. Five committees worked hard on that review and planning. They were chaired by Claudia Ferguson, Constitution Review; Canaan Phiri, Membership; Gavin Fox, Finance & Budget; Naval Harley, Nominations; and Devon Levy, Report Review. Perhaps the most exciting action was acceptance of the Seventh Day Baptist Conference of Rwanda...

Notes from a WF Sessions Observer

Notes from a WF Sessions Observer

May 22, 2017

by Levi Bond Attending World Federation meetings as an observer in Brazil was a wonderful experience. It took about eighteen months for planning and preparation to be able to go. I took the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course, which is sponsored by the Missionary Society. From there it was hard work — securing help from my association, church, and family to save up for the big trip. Last, was a trip to San Francisco to apply for a visa, and visit the Bay Area SDB Church. For the first weekend we were honored guests at the Brazil Family Conference. While I could only communicate with a few people in English, everyone was wonderful. The Brazilians also wore me out on the soccer field Sabbath afternoon and at 6:00 AM Sunday morning. The World Federation meetings had a similar format to USA & Canada Conference with a mix of worship, fellowship, and business. Observers were welcomed to participate in committees and business sessions, but could not vote. I was glad to have the opportunity to ask questions and share thoughts on a number of topics. The theme was “The Kingdom of God is like…” and it was a blessing to hear our brothers and sisters from around the world preach and teach on that subject. Highlights for me included sightseeing around Curitíba on Wednesday, where we only scratched the surface of many wonderful places to visit. Then on Friday we visited four SDB churches in the area. We were warmly welcomed at every one of them. It was a great blessing to meet more members of my Christian family who are in all corners of the world, and a challenge to see that family grow to many more...

I imagine the Kingdom of God is a lot like the SDB World Federation sessions from January 2017 in Curitiba, Brazil.

By John Pethtel Vice President for North America SDB World Federation   The World Federation is a gathering of delegates from member SDB conferences around the world. It often includes representatives from conferences who are not yet members as well. These delegates gather together to discuss the business of the World Federation, which meets generally every five years, and for member conferences to communicate and cooperate with each other in their ministries. English is the official language of the World Federation, although many others are often spoken. The Kingdom of God is like the SDB World Federation sessions because of a common belief that the Word of God as the revelation of God is meaningful and powerful. The Bible, as God’s words for us, was constantly at the forefront of the many discussions, prayers, meetings,worship times, and studies that occurred over the course of the week we had together. While some disagreements happen on the application of God’s words into our everyday lives, there was no disagreement on its primacy or power for us. The Bible was constantly used as a standard of our faith in practice, whether it was in a business meeting or at a friendly soccer game. One day when the Kingdom of God is in its fullness, the audible Word of God spoken by the King Himself will be perfectly understood, obeyed, and lived out. What a great desire to share as SDBs! The Kingdom of God is like the SDB World Federation sessions because of the concern rendered for all of God’s people, not just a few. This time was not just an assembly of a privileged few to talk about how to help those with greater need. This was a gathering in which, as a representative of the USA & Canada, I was encouraged, rebuked, corrected, and shepherded with a genuine love and desire that our conference look more and more like a movement of Jesus rather than a business or philanthropy. So many laughs and cries were shared about how the grace of God was thick with SDBs around the world. One day when the Kingdom of God is in its fullness, true equality with each other...

Honoring of Church Leaders

    I was compelled to write after our young adult class finished this study of “Honors Reward” by John Bevere. It’s been awesome to see some of the changes people are making — like showing up for S.S. on time when they used to be chronically late; or giving over and above in a love offering to the pastor. It’s been fun to observe the changes! — Becky Van Horn SDB Church, Pataskala, OH Our Sabbath School class has just finished listening to the video series “Honors Reward” by John Bevere. He has taught us what “Honor” is and the three aspects of a “Reward” when we do honor others. Those would be a “Full Reward,” “Partial Reward” or “No Reward.” He teaches about honoring civil leaders, social leaders, domestic leaders, church leaders, our peers, husbands/wives and children, and last but most important: God. The one I feel led to share more about is “Honoring of Church Leaders.” The foundational scripture for the study is Matthew 10:40-41: “He who receives (honors) you receives (honors) me, and he who receives (honors) me receives (honors) the one who sent me. (That is God). Anyone who receives (honors) a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and anyone who receives (honors) a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward.” My question is: how does your church treat your pastor and church leaders? Do you honor them, respect them, pray for them daily, give them extra money from time to time, take them out to eat once in a while to show them you love them? Do you go over to their houses and help fix something that’s broken or help them do yard work? Do you stand up when your pastor comes into the room or put a glass of water on the pulpit for him on Sabbath morning? Did you know God’s word says we should be paying our pastors double? I Timothy 5:17-18 says: “the elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the scripture says, “Do not...

The Lord’s Prayer: Thy Kingdom Come…

The Lord’s Prayer: Thy Kingdom Come…

Mar 23, 2017

by Phil Lawton When I think about kingdoms I get images of knights and kings and wizards. For some, you might think about our neighbor across the pond. Our earthly understanding of kingdom is geopolitical. It must be in a physical location and it must have some form of political power. The United Kingdom can be pinpointed to a specific geographical location. The kingdom of Arthur, though legend, can be characterized by a certain form of politics. Yet if I asked you to point to the Kingdom of God you could not find it on a map. If I said what are the politics of the Kingdom of Heaven, you might be able to tell me about ideals — but not any treaties that the Kingdom of God has with North Korea. The Kingdom of God does not have a seat at the UN. It does not have a navy nor an air force. No, the Kingdom of Heaven is something very different than all other kingdoms. Like all the other phrases in this series, we spend very little time actually trying to understand what it means. We simply say it and assume that it means the same thing to me as it does to you. The problem with this is that we have not truly looked at what God, through the Bible, has to say about it. We are not the first group that thought we knew what God wanted in a kingdom. Give Us a King In the early years of the nation of Israel there is no king. For 40 years they wander the desert with God as their guide. When they enter the promised land it is under the leadership of Joshua, but he is not their king. When they set up their nation there was no king. Each of the twelve tribes was given land. The book of Judges shows us that the People of God continually did what was right in their own eyes. The people would fall away and God would raise up a judge to free the people from oppression. Judge after judge take over leading the people. By the time of Samuel this position is...