The Vital Link Between Ice Cream and SDB Worship in Berlin, New York

Written by Carl Greene

May 24, 2023

The SDB Vital Worship group continued their work at a retreat recently held in Berlin and Albany New York. Representatives of SDB Churches from throughout the United States participated in worship at the Berlin SDB Church.

The SDB Vital Worship retreat began on Friday evening and lasted until noon on Sunday. The retreat sessions were led by Rev. Dr. Michael Jordan, Dean of Chapel at Houghton University (Houghton, New York). Dr. Jordan led the group in multiple discussions, including an examination of the link between mission and liturgy as well as an introduction to his upcoming book, Healing Worship in an Age of Anxiety (Intervarsity Press).

The Berlin SDB Church graciously hosted the Vital Worship group throughout Sabbath Day, and provided the group with an introduction to a signature ice cream of Upstate New York. Along with experiencing the goodness of frozen delights in Berlin, the SDB Vital Worship group continued their work that has been underway for months. The overall focus has continued to be intentionally worshiping together, building relationships, assessing the unity through diversity of worship among SDBs, and developing a holistic understanding of SDB worship liturgy and Vital Worship. This program is made possible through a generous Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc.

SDB Vital Worship

SDB Vital Worship Session held at UAlbany University Library.

The SDB Vital Worship group includes in-person as well as virtual gatherings. Participants include: Andres Jara and Tabba Bernau (Anchor of Hope SDB Church, Dodge Center MN); Jennifer Bonesteel, Kevin Bonesteel, Rebecca Galusha, and Andrew Oathout (Berlin SDB, Berlin NY); Miriam Berg (Frontier Church – Carbon Valley, Dacono CO); Kelly Parker (Next Step Church, Thorton CO); Keith Ashley and Conlief Lyons (Toronto SDB, Toronto CA); Neil Lubke and David St. Clair (Milton SDB, Milton WI); Thelma Maxwell and Luan Comrie-Shaw (Fort Lauderdale SDB, Fort Lauderdale FL); Edson and Seanette Barrett (Philadelphia SDB, Philadelphia PA); Mark Prause (First Houston SDB Church, Houston TX). Participants also include the amazing hospitality coordinators, Danny and Danita Lee as well as the grant administrator, Carl Greene.

More to Go

The SDB Vital Worship group is engaged in a dynamic initiative that impacts Seventh Day Baptists and the broader Christian community. As stated by John Witvliet, director of the CICW, “We are eager to learn . . . from resourceful teams of local leaders responding to pressing needs and opportunities in their context. We look forward to sharing learning from these creative efforts over the next several months and years.”

The SDB Vital Worship is now working to complete the final report of the initiative. This report will be submitted to the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship as well as the SDB General Council, and will be made available to broader audiences. Thank you to all the participants for their commitment across many months for the good of Seventh Day Baptist Vital Worship!

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