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  • Writer's pictureDavid Graham

Joining Together in Ministry: The Community Services and Adult Sabbath School Retreat

“Follow Me” was the theme of the 2024 Adult Sabbath School and Community Service Workshop.

Each spring, leadership from around the conference convenes at Nosoca Pines Ranch to sharpen their ministry skills. This year, there were 54 leaders representing multiple churches around our conference. The keynote speaker was Joe Reeves, assistant director of the General Conference for Sabbath School and Personal Ministries. Pastor Reeves challenged the overall group to think more about discipleship-making strategies and spoke about the Global Total Member Involvement movement and what is happening around the world to finish the work. All were motivated to do their part as part of the larger world initiative.

In the adult Sabbath school breakouts, he gave practical suggestions on how to make adult Sabbath school come alive, revitalize mission and outreach, teach the Word with power, and be a super superintendent.

For the community service breakouts, Derrick Lea, NAD ACS Director, (pictured below) shared invaluable insights into the collaborative efforts between the church and the community to fulfill Christ’s mission. Collette Newer, NAD ACS Associate Director, vividly illustrated how our desire to change the world aligns with God’s call to service. She emphasized service’s profound and transformative power, stating, “Through service, we recognize our incompleteness and God’s completeness.” It was powerful!

Wynelle Stevens illuminated the importance of older adult ministries in churches, showcasing numerous opportunities for meaningful evangelism. David Graham, Carolina Conference ACS Director, delved into the profound theological implications of knowing and sharing Jesus as our Servant and Friend, highlighting how this understanding improves our service.

Andrea Simms, a licensed clinical counselor, brought attention to our communities’ escalating mental health challenges. She emphasized the role of individuals as community coaches in providing care and support to those in need.

Another vital part of the weekend is the networking over meals, boat rides, and walks around the camp. It is always wonderful to hear people share their stories, successes, and challenges, and to hear new insights to move forward in God’s work.

As the retreat drew to a close, participants left with more than just knowledge and inspiration. They were equipped with practical tools and profound insights, enriching their understanding and shaping their future ministry efforts. From understanding the theological significance of service to addressing pressing mental health issues in communities, each session offered a unique perspective. As attendees return to their respective congregations and communities, they are not just empowered and enriched, but also deeply committed to making a tangible difference in the lives of others throughout the Carolinas.

—David Graham, CS Director, David Wright, Adult SS Director

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