Archive for April, 2012
Florida Conference In Mission is a monthly video series about people reaching people.
This month’s report highlights Apopka Church’s successful operation of a thrift store that provides them a daily presence in the community.
by Shelly Pinnock
In an effort to highlight the use of communication and technology in ministry, Lauderhill, Fla., Church hosted God’s Media Conference in South Florida. The weekend event began with a presentation by guest speaker Todd Mace, Information Systems Director for Southern Union Conference.
Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness and award-winning producer Collin Williams were among the experts donating their time and knowledge to make the conference a success. Relevant information was presented that attendees could use immediately to enhance their ministries, including marketing, community presence, photography, social media in ministry, operating the church sound board, writing, audio visual, Easy Worship, and information security.
Attendees expressed their desire for another conference as they left with a strengthening of their media mission for God to use time, talents, and technology to enhance worship services, to help spread the Gospel, and to increase each church’s presence in the local community.
A Sabbath of Voice of Prophecy memories, King’s Heralds Quartet music, and evangelistic preaching by retired Voice of Prophecy director/speaker Lonnie Melashenko inspired Treasure Coast members and friends who attended the February 18 services sponsored by WEHR-FM, Midport, Fla., Church’s radio station.
The community-wide event was the fifth in a series sponsored by the Adventist church-owned station to bring Treasure Coast listeners of all denominations together. Pictured, from left: Don Scroggs, Kings Herald Quartet first tenor; Jeff Pearles, bass; Lonnie Melashenko, retired Voice of Prophecy speaker; Russell Hospedales, baritone; Joel Borg, second tenor; and Dale Bass, WEHR president. (Photo: Haroldo Arismendi)
by Joy Hunter
Larissa Schiefer, a 12-year-old girl with a Christ-like spirit, approached Pastor Steve Adessa of Clearwater, Fla., Church with an idea for the congregation to do something special to help the homeless and hungry in the community. She named the event, Feeding the Five Thousand.
When the idea was brought before church members, there was a wonderful spirit of cooperation and unity. People brought packages of rice, salad items, pasta, sauce, beans, and bread. Others baked cakes and cookies. Participants cooked in their home kitchens as well as at the church. Men, women, and children worked tirelessly for several weeks.
Helpers wore special T-shirts advertising the event. A garage sale was scheduled along the street to help attract motorists. Larissa and several friends stood in front of a huge banner that read, “Jesus Still Feeds the 5,000.” Children held up other signs offering, “Free Food.”
Activities during the feeding included: vocal and guitar music, games, a bounce house, and a table with bags of food for guests to take home.
Donations and items sold at the garage sale brought in several hundred dollars for the Community Services Department.
by Lennie Schiefer
There was something unusual about the evangelistic series held this spring at New Port Richey, Fla., Church. The sermon titles were the usual topics, and even the theme, His Way of Hope, was familiar; yet, something was definitely different!
Overall, there was a new vitality and a new expectancy as it became apparent this was not the typical, grandparents’ church meeting or, for that matter, your parents’. This was a program led in all facets by Pathfinder youth, including speakers, platform participants, special music, and ushering.
Before the series began, Pathfinders went door to door inviting people with descriptive brochures. Advertising appeared on the internet, radio, and in the newspaper. Church members were encouraged to hand out business card invitations.
Carol Koch, Pathfinder Director for 35 years, reports, “The kids were enthusiastic with the Share Him evangelistic series that included visual presentations through videos and materials they used on a laptop computer.” The names, grade level of the speakers, and topics were:
- Markley Richard, 5th grade, How To Start Over
- Liam Montanez, 8th grade, The God of Creation & A Better Way
- Myranda Rodriquez, 8th grade, Rescue
- Tabitha Hobbs, 10th grade, Signs of the End of Times
- David Hecht, 11th grade, God’s Indestructible Sign & The Restoration of All Things
- Jake Hecht, Youth Leader, How Can You Know the Future?
- Miles Patterson, 9th grade, What Happened at the Cross?
Three people were baptized at the close of the series, and five more were baptized the following Sabbath.
Lynn and Leann Hecht, evangelism coordinators, helped Pathfinders put the meetings together; however, actual instruction for the program was received at a weekend retreat held in January 2012 by the Florida Conference Youth Department at Pine Lake Retreat, Groveland, Fla. Attendees paid one-third of their registration fee to the retreat, with the Conference and the local church each contributing an additional one-third of the cost.
by Gladys Neigel
The Shabbat (Sabbath) is drawing to a close on a balmy evening in December as visitors and members gather beneath a giant menorah set on the grounds of the Beth-El Shalom congregation in New Port Richey, Florida.
State Senator Mike Fasano of the 11th District accepted the congregation’s invitation to light the 10-foot-high menorah. It is a joyous time with music, food, and a message about the real miracle of Chanukah and the importance of the freedom of worship that we have today. For a congregation of 18 members, an attendance of slightly less than 100 at this Chanukah celebration is an achievement.
Outreach for the members of the New Port Richey congregation, as well as its sister congregation in St. Petersburg, often use the traditions of the Jewish faith to encourage visitors to attend their fellowship. Celebrations for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot (feast of booths) have also drawn many visitors. Friendship fellowship has also included a group meal at a restaurant where new attendees and visitors bond with members.
Utilizing traditional methods of outreach, the congregations have held many courses and seminars such as a monthly Eat Smart Cooking Seminar, a Stop Smoking Forever course, and various Bible meetings. A beginning Hebrew class was held, and two gentlemen who attend services recently conducted a six-week self defense course.
For decades, it has been difficult for Jewish people to leave their traditions behind and accept the Messiah. Jeff Zaremsky, the congregation’s leader, has combined Jewish traditions with the Messianic message and, over the past four years, has welcomed 17 people to this Messianic ministry of Florida Conference.
Editorial Note: Jeff Zaremsky recently authored a book entitled Jewish Discoveries. TEACH Services, Inc., publisher, announced that the book portrays how “Scripture intertwines with Jewish traditions to form a rich heritage of faith and spiritual truths.” It is available from the Florida Adventist Book Center and other retail bookstores.