by Phil Younts
More than 500 previous Camp Kulaqua staff members returned to the banks of Hornsby Spring located near High Springs in North Florida, September 22, to celebrate and to reminisce. “We are thankful for all the staff who dedicated their lives to camp ministry, and for 60 years of God’s blessings on Camp Kulaqua,” said Phil Younts, Administrative Camp Director since 1987.
From the original 273 acres purchased in 1953, the Camp has grown until it now encompasses more than 680 acres with housing for 1,000 people. More than 50,000 people use the facilities each year.
While developing into a year-round camp, the original purpose of bringing young people to the Lord in an outdoor setting has not diminished. During 2013, 75 young people were baptized, and hundreds more made commitments to Jesus.
Camp Kulaqua continues to improve its facilities to accommodate an increasing conference membership with the construction of three Woodland Lodges. Each lodge can house up to 120 guests in hotel-style rooms. A Visitor Center is also in the building process.
“We provide the opportunities. You provide the memories,” says Younts.
by Gladys Neigel
God is opening new doors in new facilities for His work to grow and prosper in Florida. During the month of October, three buildings were dedicated.
On October 26, members and friends gathered for the dedication of this Creole-speaking church congregation that was born into existence on January 5, 2013, after the merger of Shiloh and Morijah Churches in Miami, Fla. The dedicatory sermon was presented by Duane Rollins, Florida Conference treasurer.
Lay pastor Wesle Pierre shepherds this flock of 158 members. The church building at 10185 NW 7th Avenue in Miami was previously occupied by another denomination and, before that, a funeral home.
During the weekend of October 18-20, Fort Lauderdale members realized the fulfillment of a 27-year dream to dedicate a new sanctuary. Since 1986, the adjacent fellowship hall has served the 297 members as a place of worship.
Pastor Jeffrey Thompson led the weekend celebration that included guest speakers George Brown, former Inter-American Division president; Henoc Paulicin, Florida Conference ministerial field secretary; and Conrad Duncan, Florida Conference vice president for general administration.
Jupiter-Tequesta Church dedicated its new facility on October 11 as the first step in a building program that will eventually include a sanctuary. Florida Conference President Mike Cauley was the speaker for the worship service.
Church members currently are meeting in their fellowship hall. The campus provides ample seating, parking, classrooms, and amenities for the 115-member congregation under the direction of Pastor Richard Moseley.
by Robert and Thomas Broome
For the past three years, Apopka, Fla., Church has partnered with Florida Hospital Apopka for a Let’s Move Day 5K walk/run and health fair. On September 22, in addition to the main event with 130 participants, a Kids’ Fun Run was offered to youngsters 12 and under. The goal of this event was to encourage healthy kids and families in the community.
One success story was that of Shermin Tao, a return participant from last year’s race. Shermin did well in the race but was determined this year to win his age category. His preparation included running a mile every day and playing tennis in the evening.
However, just weeks before the event, Shermin was diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He took the news in stride and promptly changed his diet to improve his health. Changes included more plant-based foods, a reduction in meat consumption, and staying away from his favorite fast food restaurant.
Confirmation of the results from Shermin’s efforts came just days before the race when both his high blood pressure and cholesterol numbers were lowered to within normal ranges. On September 22, a healthier Shermin Tao finished the 5K run and won his age category!
by Lennie Schiefer
The Pathfinder Club of New Port Richey received free CPR instruction from Tom Mazzant and Daryl Sample, two certified CPR teachers from Florida Hospital of North Pinellas.
According to Pathfinder Club Director Carol Koch, 18 Pathfinders and staff members took the three-hour CPR course. The teachers gave each Pathfinder a Red Cross booklet to remind them how to perform CPR. Instruction included a video and a how-to demonstration of each step in giving CPR to adults, children, and infants.
Pathfinders also performed hands-on practice with various-sized manikins loaned from the hospital, and they were instructed in Automated External Defibrillator (AED) usage.
After successfully completing the Family and Friends CPR course, each Pathfinder received a case containing an official CPR mask and gloves and a certificate of course completion.
These Pathfinders are ready and prepared to act in a time of emergency. Director Koch has approached the Church Board with this request from the Pathfinders, “Our church should look into obtaining an AED to have on the premises in case we should ever need one. They are simple to use and could save a life.”
I was recently energized by two experiences. The first was several weeks ago in celebrating the organization of Lighthouse Ministries into a church mission group. It was so inspiring to witness this group of young adults who have committed themselves to become agents for transforming lives through the gospel.
In addition, I was especially encouraged that the Florida Living congregation was the sponsoring entity. To see these older members who love the Lord and His church so much, committed to encourage, mentor, and pray for these younger missionaries, was a wonderful experience. Only in the Church would you ever see folks from a previous generation in such solidarity with a group of younger people around a common, glorious cause—spreading the gospel and good news that Jesus is coming again!
The second experience was on the heels of that Sabbath. The following week, I embarked on a short-term mission trip to Guam to hold evangelistic meetings. The Guam-Micronesia Mission was recently made a part of North American Division. Several administrators from North America converged on this field to hold evangelistic efforts across the islands as a gesture of welcome to the Division. I was privileged to take part through an outside donation.
I was assigned to conduct reaping meetings at a newly planted church mission group in the northern part of this island that is only 35 miles long. Night after night, I saw the Holy Spirit work to change lives and see people come to Jesus. The smiles of joy and satisfaction on the faces of men, women, and teenagers linger vividly in my mind. It was a beautiful experience when we saw 35 people baptized in the Pacific Ocean on Sabbath, September 14,
Two church plants—one in Central Florida and the other in Guam—are both about seeing God change lives. This is our purpose. This is the reason that God called the Seventh-day Adventist Church into existence.
Beginning in 2014, Florida Conference is launching an initiative called Mission To the Cities. The focus will center on a section of the Conference each year for five years to help pastors and congregations with their mission and support the planting of new churches. The regions we will target are:
- 2014: Miami
- 2015: West Palm Beach/Fort Lauderdale
- 2016: Tampa/Naples
- 2017: North Florida
- 2018: Central Florida
Facilitating the work of evangelism and church planting is the reason that Conferences were organized at the beginning of the Adventist movement and, by the grace of God, what we will re-embrace as our focus. May God bless us as we keep our vision focused upon the heart of our movement and calling.
A Once-in-a-lifetime Opportunity
Florida Conference will relocate from Winter Park to Altamonte Springs in early 2014. Relocating provides us with a unique opportunity to ensure our urgent Adventist message is clearly depicted for all to see.
Special representations to be installed in the new office—such as Christ’s soon return, the seven-day creation week, and Jesus as the Water of Life—will be funded by the Light On a Hill project.
When you donate to the Light On a Hill project, you will receive the life-long benefit of having your name, organization, or name of a loved one on a brick (or bricks) that will be used to pave the covered driveway to our new building. In addition to supporting this project, 50% of the proceeds received will benefit a Florida Conference church, school, or organization of your choice.
Please be a part of making our new Conference office a bright Light On a Hill while creating a legacy for those you love and making a contribution to your own local church, school, or organization by ordering your brick(s) today.
Participation starts at just $100 with special bricks available in acknowledgment of greater contributions as well as larger bricks for corporate and professional sponsorships.
Hurry, a limited number of bricks are available. Orders must be placed by
December 1, 2013 extended to December 31, 2013. Place your order at http://www.floridaconference.com/lightonahill/
More information: (407) 644-5000 x251