An Open Letter from the SDB General Council

Written by Jeremiah Owen

June 2, 2017

The General Council met May 19-21, 2017 hosted by the SDB Church in Pataskala, OH. We meet every 2-3 months to look at progress, concerns, budgets, decisions, and future direction across the SDB General Conference (USA & Canada).

(L to R: Dale Thorngate, Rod Noel, Susie Fox, chair, Ralph Mackintosh, Rob Appel, ex-officio, Andy Samuels, not pictured Ron Ochs, ex-officio)

Part of our focus is to look forward at where we want to be 3-5 years from now and what we need to do to get there. It was exciting to see the five year plan from the CLT at our joint March meeting. We have asked the Directors and Councils to work out interim steps, goals, and timelines (some are already started) to use as our game plan. In our ever changing world, our Directors and Councils are proactively finding new ways to share the timeless Gospel message. At times it’s easy to criticize, but let’s support and keep these people in our prayers!

Here’s a list of some exciting things happening across the SDB denomination you may not be aware of:

  • New & improved CALLED is now SDBU Pastoral Training & Lay Leadership certification
  • Church revitalization teams are formed and meeting at 4 churches
  • Successful Pastor’s Conference was held with 48 in attendance
  • Together we completed 28 of 31 action items from last year’s Conference Business Session
  • Online forms are now on to submit calendar events & church info
  • Assistance provided to several churches on their local church websites
  • 3 new groups applied for church membership in our General Conference
  • SCSCers from Jamaica will join us this year as they consider their own SCSC program

We are not without concerns. Many of our pastors and their families continue to have difficulties as they faithfully serve our local churches. Some churches are without (and looking for) pastoral leadership. We still have to tell new contacts the nearest SDB church is 4 or more hours away! So, three messages to take away: 1) it is exciting to see God at work through Seventh Day Baptists, 2) our Directors and Councils are doing a great job working together, and 3) keep our Pastors and their families in your prayers. We hope to see many of you at General Conference in just a few more months!

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