The General Council met October 14-16, 2016 at the SDB Center in Janesville. We were happy to welcome our newest elected member, Ralph Mackintosh from Foothill Community Church in Montrose, California. We had full and productive meetings all day Friday, Saturday evening, and Sunday morning. On Sabbath Day, General Council members attended services in Milton, Madison, and Portage churches. Pastors Dale Thorngate and Andy Samuels were also able to share at the Milton Church in their other roles as SDB World Federation officers.
It is very exciting to see God at work. Here are some highlights from our meeting:
- We continued discussion about ways to increase denominational giving and plans for fundraising. After several years of reducing our budget, we are now ready to increase our giving to cover new areas of outreach.
- A list of 31 action items from the 2016 General Conference business sessions was developed and owners assigned. The General Council will track progress on these through the year and report progress at next year’s General Conference meeting.
- We reviewed and adopted the Child Protection Policy which was piloted at General Conference 2016 and also met with the attorney who has been providing legal advice to discuss the next steps for working with our churches in the Child Protection area.
- We spent time talking about where we want to be in 5 years to support our SDB Vision Map. We will continue this future planning when we meet jointly with the Coordinating Leadership Team next March.
- We heard progress reports on several great new programs being piloted, started, or significantly revised. These include: SDBU, Youth-Con, Social Media sites, SDB Link, MULTIPLY & DWELL conferences, growing interest by several Spanish Speaking groups, historical Sabbath Recorders soon to be available online, mission trips, church revitalization teams, and more!
- Join us as we pray for our pastors – concentrated, intentional, proactive prayer for our Seventh Day Baptist pastors as well as those who are considering this calling!
- The Old Pastor’s Retirement Fund continues to be the largest single cost item in our budget. We need to continue the fund-raising efforts to support those who have ministered to us in the past.
- Congratulations and thanks to denominational employees Nick Kersten on his 10 year anniversary and Clint Brown on his 5 year anniversary!
Our next General Council meeting will be a Conference Call on Sunday, January 8, 2017. The next in-person meeting will be in March 2017 at the SDB Center in Janesville, including a joint session with the Coordinating Leadership Team. Feel free to contact the General Council as needed at SDBGeneralCouncil@seventhdaybaptist.org.