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Personal From Ministerial and Member Services: June 16, 2022

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Personal From Ministerial and Member Services

June 16, 2022

Our new ministerial trainee, Marcus Lucas, and I returned to Cincinnati on Monday of this week after a very profitable and productive trip to Fargo and Bismarck, North Dakota, for the Sabbath and Pentecost, June 4 and 5. We had ample opportunity to spend time with Ken and Dianne Skorseth and with Mike and Nancy Fike, as well as a number of leaders from our congregations in North Dakota.

We met just about all our members from North Dakota on this trip and were really pleased to spend time with them. We even had opportunity to stuff envelopes with invitations sent to Beyond Today subscribers for a special Sabbath in the near future. It is always encouraging to visit with such faithful men and women who have dedicated their lives to God the Father and to Jesus Christ! God’s Spirit binds us all together in faith and unity.
Marcus and I drove our church van on this extended trip, so we had an especially close male-bonding experience! After seeing much of North Dakota, we traveled back through much of Minnesota where we especially enjoyed the very beautiful and fragrant lilac bushes which were in full bloom throughout both states.

On Tuesday, June 7, near Pelican Lake in Orr, Minnesota, we joined up with seven other ministers for our second ministerial Boundary Waters Wilderness canoe adventure! Nathan Ekama, David Jones, Kevin Kenady, Len Martin, Scott McKeon, David Meidinger, Troy Phelps, Marcus and I greatly enjoyed God’s blessings as we appreciated near perfect weather and safe canoeing and camping! The fishing was also quite good throughout the trip, as we managed to feed everyone their fill of scrumptious northern pike and large and smallmouth bass fried in corn meal. But truly, once again, the highlight of our trip was the camaraderie we experienced as many conversations were shared with one another about how we may be more effective ministers as helpers of our members’ joy and how we may be more pleasing to God and Christ in our service.

We spent much of the Sabbath, June 11, in spiritual edification and discussing some of our greatest rewards and some of our greatest challenges in the ministry. It was truly a bonding experience none of us will ever forget. I feel especially blessed as I have now had two opportunities such as this to become better acquainted with our pastors. I look forward to, perhaps, a third such opportunity with eight other pastors next summer! And, yes, we did experience a bit of adversity with mosquitos and, for me personally, a badly swollen and very chapped, cracked lower lip!

This Friday, I fly to Denver, Colorado, to spend some time with David and Joy Jones and family and with our brethren there at a church-wide campout that will also have Sabbath services webcast to all our brethren throughout the state. Then on Sunday, preteen Camp Colorado begins with about 70 of us joining together near Estes Park. This is our 12th year to meet here (except for the past two years, as COVID-19 got in the way), and likely my last time to direct the camp as I plan to turn that opportunity and responsibility over to the residing pastor, David Jones, who will be assisting me. It has been a very rich and rewarding experience for me to be so heavily involved in our preteen and teen camp program. As MMS Operation Manager, I oversee our camp programs and plan to stay heavily involved in a variety of ways in the future.

After camp, I will be joining my wife in the great northwest as we will have opportunity to spend time with Roc and Nancy Corbett and Roberto and Barbara Parada before I will head up to the annual Tacoma Men’s Weekend, June 24-26. After the weekend I will rejoin my wife, Barbara, for a northwest region ministerial retreat/conference at Camp Magruder where we hold the northwest teen camp. I will likely write more about these events upon my return in a couple of weeks.

Wishing you all a very inspiring and uplifting Sabbath!