On Sunday, September 16th, the Church Officers and I met together for what I consider to be a watershed moment in the history of the Shawnee Seventh-day Adventist Church. We had a full agenda and met for nearly four hours. And from that meeting, I am more encouraged than ever that the time we spent this summer in prayer to God for guidance was well spent.
Among the items we spoke of were the Blue Zones Project certification, The Appearing - Shawn Boonstra's mini evangelism series in October, and outreach projects. Tammie Zuker has put forth plans for reaching the Hispanic population of our city with an English as a Second Language Program and Shane Sexton spoke of sharing talents God has given us with our community. It is my sincere belief that as we minister to our community, the Lord will bless us.
There were two items the Board voted to bring to the Church in Business Meeting. The first of these concerns the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender, & Queer) community. While we affirm the teachings of Scripture as understood by the Seventh-day Adventist Church that homosexual behavior is not Biblical, I believe every child of God deserves love from those who claim Christ as their Redeemer. To that end, I'd like to talk about those who are willing, to attend the Pride Parades in Oklahoma City and Tulsa next year (if the Lord tarries) in June. Again, it would not be in any way to affirm lifestyle or behavior, but to simply show the love of Christ. There was a non-Adventist church in Austin, Texas who attended the Pride Parade there. They wore t-shirts that read "Free Mom Hugs", "Free Dad Hugs", etc. The response was tremendous. We need to come to the place we can disagree with people, yet still love them.
The second thing has to do with our property on Bryan Street.
Currently, we have a little over $130,000.00 in the Revolving Fund at the Southwestern Union. In the last four years, we have added approximately $4,700.00 per year. IF we could build a church for $400,000.00 (which is an extremely conservative figure), it would take us around fifty-six years to raise the additional $267,000.00 needed. For every dollar above $400,000.00 a new church would cost, it would be that much longer. Even if the Lord tarries, very few currently attending would see a new church in our lifetime at the current rate.
The Board has voted to discuss in Business Meeting the possibility of using the funds we have for a new church to remodel our church now and fund outreach programs. Our hope is to grow our congregation to the point a new church is a more feasible financial possibility. The intention is not to abandon the hope of a new church. Rather, it is working to put ourselves in a better position to make it a reality.
We would like each member to join us on November 11, 2018 at 9:00 A-M as we discuss these (and possibly other) issues.
With warm regards,