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ChurchRight Current Issue: October - November 2022

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Are You a Member?

An important responsibility of the General Conference and its affiliated congregations is maintaining accurate and up-to-date records of our members. Without such records, we cannot know who should be granted the privileges of membership within the General Conference and/or our congregations. One of those privileges is participating and voting in the business of our church. Members eighteen years of age or older may discuss issues and vote; non-members may not. 

How do we know who our members are? We consult our membership records.

For this reason and many others, we are updating and adding membership information to a single, new database program. As we do, we want records to be as accurate as possible. Therefore, our district superintendents and district area representatives are urging our pastors and other congregational leaders to update the membership records of their congregations and to submit them to the General Conference as soon as possible. 

This is especially important because these records will determine who can vote during the July 2023 General Conference Convention. If you are in the database and are otherwise qualified to vote at convention, you will be able to. If you are not in the database at that time, you cannot vote. Because of the time it takes to validate membership records and then enter them into the database, all those eligible members who wish to vote during convention should register no later than May 1, 2023. (Online registration will be available January 2023. Be sure to check the box indicating your intention to vote during convention.) Further, no new memberships will be issued the week of convention.

Are you a member of the General Conference? Now is the time to make sure. Ask your pastor or leader if your congregation’s records have been updated and submitted. Offer to help if they haven’t. Together, we can do this!

— Loren Stacy

GC President

Lend a hand!

GC Convention is coming next July (see details on p. 6), and volunteers are needed in several areas.

• Nursery Coordinator, who will help find and assign shifts. Volunteers are also needed to fill the shifts.

• Children’s program, youth program, young adult program, ushers and greeters, security, etc. Please sign up to help when you fill out your registration!

• Escalator monitor,
required by the Convention Center. If you would like to staff a shift so we can avoid paying security $40/hour to do so, please let us know.

Did You Know?

General Conference Convention ’23 will be here soon! We look forward to your presence July 10-15, 2023, in Covington, Kentucky.

Biennial conventions are mandated by our bylaws and are an essential aspect of our organization’s success. In these meetings, we conduct the business of the Church, including voting for our board of directors and the adoption of resolutions to update our bylaws. It is important that members of the Conference be present to share and represent their wisdom in these and other matters.

But wait — there’s more! Attend training workshops to enhance your faith. Learn about the exciting reports and plans for our GC Ministries. Children’s, youth, and young adult programs will encourage and equip our younger generations. There’s something for everyone!

This year, the Convention Committee thought it would be helpful to provide you some behind-the-scenes facts and information about GC Convention 2023. One big area of promotion includes room night counts and meal tickets. Hopefully, this is where you will find both useful information and answers to questions. 

Convention costs and you

A team of volunteers works years in advance to identify locations for conventions. Considerations include ease of travel, costs of hotels and food, and area attractions for those of you taking vacation time. Contracts are crafted months ahead of time to benefit attendees and the GC Conference, while convention sites are, of course, wanting to meet their budgets. We have been blessed with favorable contracts. In many cases, the local Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has granted us thousands of dollars if certain criteria are met. You are an important part of meeting those contractual issues.

Specifically, we have contractual agreements concerning the number of rooms we book at hotels and the amount of money we spend on food. If we don’t meet our contracted minimum room nights (the sleeping rooms you book) and purchase $25,000 in meal tickets collectively, we will lose the over $100,000 that has been granted to us to help pay for the Convention Center. Your little extra spending affords big savings!

If every person who registers for convention purchases just one meal ticket, we could meet our meal ticket minimum.

Hotel rooms booked through the official registration link, to be included in the registration process, guarantees that our organization receives credit for your room. Rooms reserved through discount sites or hotel points will not count as our group rooms. 

Registration

Registration fees cover the costs of the Convention Center rental; sound and video for our meetings; all printed materials; program costs for children, youth, and young adults; and many other convention costs. 

You can save money by registering during the early bird registration period, which is generally by the end of April. Watch the website for details. You get a discount and the committee receives timely and valuable information for finalizing plans.

For everyone’s safety and security, nametags are required to be worn at all times. You must complete registration and pick up your packet at the Registration Desk prior to attending any convention activities.

Program

The theme of this convention is “Come and See.” An evening reception will be held on Monday, July 10, where you can meet new friends and get reacquainted with familiar faces. Daily programs will be offered for children, youth, and young adults. 

Hotel and center information

Our Convention Center features a humongous escalator! So parents, please monitor your children. 

Discounted room rates for our three contract hotels are available three days prior and three days post-convention (July 7-18). Come early or stay late and enjoy the area!

All three of our contracted hotels will serve a complimentary breakfast.

Location

When you make airline reservations, your destination should be Cincinnati, Ohio (CVG). A little-known fact is that the Cincinnati airport is located in Covington, Kentucky. Only the Ohio River separates the two cities. 

With everyone doing their part, our journey to Convention ’23 will be a success. We look forward to your being with us! “Come and See” what mighty things God has in store as our imagination comes to fruition in Covington, Kentucky.

Convention Committee

Refreshing time.

Upwards of 60 district brethren gathered July 14-17 at Silver Meadows Campground for the annual family campout, hosted by the Parkland congregation. Old friends renewed theircommitments to the kingdom cause and new friends were inspired to get involved in God’s mission.

Baptisms.

On July 9, the Calgary congregation rejoiced as three brethren publicly demonstrated their commitment to follow Christ by being baptized. The public “laying on of hands” at the parkemphasized to onlookers that the church is a praying church, dedicated to following Christ.

Super Sabbath.

Brethren came from near and far to join in the Calgary congregation’s annual Super Sabbath on August 13. Elder Jason Overman, Bible Advocate editor, encouraged us to “Come and See,” giving all a taste of the GC Convention 2023. He also spent time chatting with current and past students of Artios about pursuing their call to serve Christ’s church.

1 baptism.

Zemirah Keim, daughter of Dr. Richard and Janine Keim, was baptized on July 9. May the Lord reveal to her His plan, and may she hear His voice to follow Him all her days.

6 more baptisms!

On August 6, Zoe Riggs, daughter of Brian and Amber Riggs, was baptized. Landon, Titus, and Abigail Fields (parents: Mason and Annjuliena Fields) and Nathan and Aubrianne Watkins (parents: Robert and Brittanni Watkins) were baptized on August 13. 

35 campers.

Teens and staff attended Sis-Q-Meadows Teen Camp July 24-31 and Seekers Camp July 31-August 7. We heard great reports from both events! Neither high temperatures nor a loss of water could dampen the movement of the Holy Spirit among the campers.

40 years.

The Eugene/Springfield church marked its fortieth anniversary on July 17. It started as a church plant from the Harrisburg CoG7 congregation. A celebration was held August 21 in conjunction with the annual church picnic. May this congregation continue to love and serve our community and always be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Celebrating camp.

At the Northern California Youth Camp, every year is a “you had to be there” kind of year. Our young staff of former campers-turned-counselors brought new life and energy to the junior camp July 18-26. While at senior camp, our veteran staff tackled the tough topics of love and life, and our duty to be a light in the darkness. Six senior campers gave their hearts to the Lord. We know that God’s providence brought us together to experience His presence. 

Junior camp.

At the Sis-Q Meadows Junior camp, held July 31 – August 6, 69 campers and 25 staff gathered. With the theme “Keys to the Kingdom,” everyone enjoyed a wonderful experience. Events included swimming at our natural swimming pond, crafts,
classes, worship, and baptisms.

Pioneers.

The El Paso, TX congregation gives thanks to God for the visit of Rebeca Cárdenas on August 6. She is the wife of Brother Rodolfo Cárdenas, who sleeps in the Lord. Sister Cárdenas was one of the pioneers who began the work of the Lord in El Paso. We are grateful for this blessing and for the assistance of our sisters Rosita Méndez, Evangelina Gutiérrez, and Manuelita Ríos.