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Response to the Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Etc., Cases – “We Have to Talk”

In our staff meeting just before Thanksgiving, I promised that there would be a response from my office on the Michael Brown case. That promise came as a result of a question from some of the young adults on our staff. They believe, as I do, that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has a responsibility to get involved not only in preparing men and women for a better life in heaven, but also to do as much as we can to make life the lives of individuals better on earth now. My wife’s illness and the Thanksgiving holidays delayed my response.

Subsequent to that time, a grand jury declined in New York to indict the police officer whose chokehold ended the life of Eric Garner. My colleague, Dr. Daniel Honore, President, Northeastern Conference, wrote a powerful letter to his constituents, asking for the responsible involvement of his Pastors and constituents in addressing what certainly appears at first glance to be an injustice. I affirm his leadership in this area on this issue.

I am not an expert on any of the cases that arrested the attention of our nation of late. One of the things that I have learned in this responsibility is that it is all too easy to judge something or someone from afar, without having all the facts-I have had that happen to me and I know I have been guilty of doing that to others in my life as well.

But there are at least three common and dismaying things that are true of the cases Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin:

All the victims were black

All of victims died at the hands of authority figures who were not black

Each of those responsible for the […]

By |December 8th, 2014|Categories: Highlights, President's Blog|0 Comments

South Central Members Participate In The Nonprofit Leadership Certification Program

 

On September 21, 2014, five members from South Central Conference traveled from Alabama and Tennessee to Boyertown, Pennsylvania to attend the four-day training of the North American Division ACS Non-profit Leadership Certification Program, Session II which was hosted by Allegheny East Conference. Those making the trip were South Central Conference ACS Directors Barbara Ryans Barnes and Lillie M. Buckingham; Nettie Henderson, Disabilities Coordinator; Listiel Rock, Vice-president for the North Alabama Adventist Community Services Federation and Juliet Rock, assistant to ACS director at Mt. Calvary SDA Church, Huntsville, AL.

The training session focused on three areas. First, leadership in which the participants’ abilities were challenged allowing the influence of self, organization and the community.  Secondly, management which allowed the participants to effectively handle the administrative responsibilities of nonprofit management and thirdly, the social dimension of Evangelism, which allows the participants to look at the Biblical concepts of holistic ministry in order for them to provide ministry in their various communities.

Juliet Rock said, “I was not sure how attending the non-profit leadership certification could help me as a volunteer in my local church, but after attending this comprehensive program I feel equipped personally to be more engaged in evangelism in my community.”

“Having completed the Non-profit Leadership Certification Program, I can truly say that it is the most comprehensive, informative and transformative exercise for ACS volunteers .I have learned a lot, ” said Listiel Rock.

“I was blessed”, said Nettie Henderson.  “The non-profit leadership certification program met my expectation in terms of increasing capacity for excellence in leadership. It was a good learning experience for me.”

According to Dr. Sung Kwon, ACS Executive Director for the North American Division, it was his hope that all participants have a rich experience in […]

By |December 3rd, 2014|Categories: News|0 Comments

News and Notes from All Over Church Organization – I

This is a continuation of a series we began a few months ago on what we called “News and Notes;” sort of mini-articles about things that are happening around our conference.

We said that we would share news and notes relative to six areas:

2014 Camp Meeting
2015 Small Church Visitation
Pastoral and Administrative Evaluation
South Central Conference Christian Education
Innovation
Church Organization

We have reached our final news note-Church Organization. I thought about that this past August, when I had the privilege of being a part of the International Pathfinder Camporee, where nearly 50,000 Pathfinders from around the world came to Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

It was one of the most impressive and inspiring things that I have ever witnessed; it made me proud to be a Seventh-day Adventist. Very few denominations in the world-if any-could do what was done in Oshkosh-to bring that many people from that many different places from around the world for such a good purpose.

The Pathfinders turned that campground in Oshkosh into a little city-indeed, there were almost as many Pathfinders on that campground as there were in the entire city of Oshkosh.  If the Pathfinder Camporee were a city-“Pathfinderville”-would have been one of the larger cities in the state of Wisconsin.

One of the things that impressed me the most was the ingenuity and the innovation of those who came along to prepare the meals. One of my academy classmates, Mrs. Brenda Platt Ashby, of the Mobile Cody Road Church, in the Gulf Coast States Conference, was the cook for her club. She gave me a tour of her “kitchen” (and a sample of the cookies that she baked). They had set her up in a camping setting as though she were a short order cook of a small restaurant.

While […]

By |November 26th, 2014|Categories: President's Blog|0 Comments

Update on Mrs. Jill Edmond

Greetings, yesterday Mrs. Edmond was released from Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee, where she has been for the past six days. We are thankful to God that her doctors have told us that they expect a complete recovery and a full return to normal activities in approximately thirty days.

We have no words to express our enormous gratitude for all of the visits, calls, texts, gifts, E-mails, cards and prayers that have come from around the conference and the country. You will never know how much your kindness has meant to us.

We thank you for your interest and ask for your continued prayers as Mrs. Edmond goes through the recovery process. We shall provide additional updates as events dictate.

We are asking the Pastors and the church clerks in the South Central Conference to disseminate this information in whatever is the normal mode of communication.

Blessings on you and yours.

– President D.C. Edmond

By |November 14th, 2014|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Breath of Life 40th Anniversary Celebration

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By |November 7th, 2014|Categories: News|0 Comments

Disabilities Awareness Day, Bessemer, AL

First Seventh-day Adventist Church, Bessemer, Alabama held its very First Disabilities Awareness Day on October 11, 2014 under the pastorate of Elder William C. Scales, Jr. The activities of the day were coordinated by Sharon Lee, Disabilities Ministries’ Leader and  Friends of People with Disabilities’ team.  They received supplies from various community resources, including smoke detectors, to give to people with disabilities. Disaster starter-kits were provided by South Central Conference with instructions for disaster readiness and given to those who were disabled.  Dark-red ribbons representing adults and children with disabilities were given to everyone; as well as brochures on caregiving and disabilities outreach.  Much prayer, planning, and effort went into programming for the day. Tamekia Lee welcomed guest during Sabbath School and went beyond the call of duty to support her mother and the program in its entirety.

During morning worship, God poured out His spirit on the congregation during the children’s story told by Saerquita Belton.  She defined disabilities as a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movement or senses.  The children helped her with a “show and tell” presentation.  Belton engaged the audience in naming some obvious types of disabilities such as diabetes, cancer, mental illness, autism, etc.; then she innovatively illustrated how ‘sin’ is a disability.  She had the children to display signs with a number of “sin” disabilities on them; such as, lying, stealing, hatred, adultery, jealousy, gossiping, selfishness, envy, fornication, and selfish ambitions. She concluded the story by giving hope for overcoming spiritual disabilities found in Roman 7:24-25, which states “O wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death?  I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”  Christ is the deliverer and He is […]

By |November 4th, 2014|Categories: News|1 Comment

Funeral Announcement: Pastor Samuel R. Hutchins

By |October 28th, 2014|Categories: Funeral Announcements, News|2 Comments

Lima Drive Members Say “NO” To Violence Against Women

On Sabbath, August 23, the Lima Drive SDA Church in Lexington, Kentucky joined the North American Division in observing End-It-Now Sabbath.  End-It-Now is a global campaign launched in 2009 by a partnership between the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and the Department of Women’s Ministries of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church where the 4th Sabbath of August has been dedicated as “Abuse Prevention Day”.  The mission of the End-It-Now campaign is for communities to raise awareness and advocate for the end of violence against women and girls locally and globally. Violence against women and girls impacts individuals from all walks of life – the poor and rich; young and old; Christians and non-Christians; all cultures – across all settings.

The End-It-Now websites notes that approximately one in three of the world’s women experience gender-related violence in her lifetime, with rates reaching 70 percent in some countries.  Abuse ranges from emotional and verbal abuse to sexual assault and murder.  Because of the high incidence and devastation of domestic violence and abuse the Lima Drive church has begun to mobilize its members and community to take a stand against violence towards women and girls.

The day began with a stirring message during the eleven o’clock worship service by Jonathan Smith (the Pastor of the Lima Drive church) based on the narrative found in Judges 19:22-30 where the great wickedness of the men of Gibeah who — as a result of a hospitable man sacrificing a concubine to protect his houseguest — violently beat, raped and killed the man’s concubine, and subsequently the anguished and distressed man divided her body into twelve pieces, sending them to each tribe of Israel, with the hope that such a (most likely common) atrocity […]

By |October 14th, 2014|Categories: News|0 Comments

South Central Conference Celebrates Multicultural Day

South Central Conference (SCC) celebrated its Annual Multicultural Day on August 9, 2014.  This day afforded another opportunity for SCC’s administrators and departmental directors to express their respect and appreciation for diversity.  Conference leaders visited Haitian, Latino, Korean and Portuguese churches to reiterate their love and support for the members.

Nettie Henderson, Disabilities Ministries Leader, and Bettye Moore-Reese arrived at the Mount Zion Iglesia  Adventiso  in Jasper, Alabama at 9:00 A.M.  It gave them time to mingle and to establish a deeper relationship with the Latino brothers and sisters. Henderson greeted the congregation and informed them that “Elder Edmond, our conference president, loves you; and he does not want to wait until we get to heaven to fellowship together”.  They smiled.

Immediately following worship service, Henderson, with the help of an interpreter, informed the congregation that South Central Conference sent backpacks with school supplies in them for the children.  Some parents took pictures and some helped the children to pose. Backpacks were also given to the church to use in their Latino community outreach.

Lillie Buckingham, Adventist Community Services Co-Director, visited the Spanish Church in Memphis, TN.  She said, “When my husband and I arrived at IASD Aliento de Vida Church in Memphis, Tennessee, we were greeted with smiles and warm hugs. During worship service, a young man served as our translator. Having a translator made us feel as though we were special and most of all it showed us how much they cared that we understood what was happening throughout the service. I brought greetings from the South Central Conference Administration as well as the Adventist Community Services Department. As I looked into the smiling faces of the congregation, it reminded me that we are Sons and […]

By |October 14th, 2014|Categories: News|0 Comments

Literature Evangelist Visit Gives Perspective on Ferguson

Long before Ferguson was the struggle, injustices, and lives that were sacrificed on the behalf of freedom that African Americans have faced for the past few centuries.  More recently, just over 50 years ago, our nation witnessed what I would deem a movement, somewhat prophetic. Yes—the Civil Rights Movement.  Literature Evangelist of South Central Conference of SDA visited the National Civil Rights Museum  in Memphis, TN while canvassing for the summer.  They visited the museum to honor the legacy of Dr. Martian Luther King and his message of non-violence as the only appropriate response to hatred, violence, bigotry, and racism.  The courage, determination, and commitment to face police brutality, systematic prejudice, and economic inequality gave insight to these students what it will take to stand in the final conflict between good and evil.  As Christians, this movement, shed light on how Jesus calls us to “love our neighbor as ourselves” and not to “render evil for evil.”  More importantly is Jesus call to forgiveness.  How do we remove the bitterness and resentment?  How do we get past the desire for revenge and retaliation?”  Our student literature evangelist concluded that the only way is to look to Jesus’ example.  Only the cross of Christ gives us that freedom to forgive like Jesus forgave.  Only the cross gives us the serenity to assume the best motives in others when their actions nailed us to our crosses we bare.  How do we understand the hatred in this world that seems to never go away but for a while, except we look to the cross.  It is at the cross where we experience the epitome of hatred, injustice, and the axis of evil.  But it is there where it […]

By |October 14th, 2014|Categories: News|0 Comments