What is the Minnesota Conference Constituency Session?

What is the Minnesota Conference Constituency Session?

Every four years, the Minnesota Conference holds a constituency session, which functions similarly to a church business meeting. It is an opportunity for delegates of the Minnesota Conference to vote on how we should be ministering to each other and to those in our communities.

Delegates are chosen by the organized churches they attend. Each church is entitled to one delegate just for being an organized church. In addition, each church currently receives one additional delegate for every 25 members based on the official membership record maintained by the Conference office.

During the session, which is taking place on Sunday, May 15, our departmental directors will report on all the Lord has done during the past quadrennial. This includes the sale and purchase of land, the amount of tithes and offerings, the number of baptisms and commitments, the increase in church membership, and what the departments are currently hoping to achieve.

How does the constituency session fit into church government on a broad scale?

The Adventist Church is organized, beginning with the local church, into regions of ever larger circles, until we reach the General Conference level.Diagram Churches send delegates to the Conference constituency session to vote on matters that affect the governance of the Church in Minnesota. When the Union Conference has a constituency session, delegates are chosen by each conference, and when the General Conference holds its constituency session, delegates are chosen by the divisions and union conferences. Delegates to those sessions vote on matters that affect their Union or the General Conference on a broader scale, such as where the church stands on doctrinal issues. So, the decisions and topics discussed during the Conference constituency session are incredibly important. This session helps the Conference officers and Board of Trustees feel the pulse of our members, allowing them to more amply determine the things that are most important to our Conference membership.

Why does it matter?

Within the church, there are many points of conflict regarding theology, practice, doctrine and more. These conflicts can often seem more important than, and distract us from, the true reason our church organized in the first place. Jesus is returning soon, and we need to be focused on helping people realize they are accepted in Jesus Christ, and come to know, love, serve, and share Him. If you’re reading this, your feet are on the ground making an impact on your neighbors, spouses, children and friends every single day. The constituency session is an opportunity for us to check ourselves and to remember to keep our focus on Him. As with any business session, there are the “must do” things that need to be discussed, like voting on who should be a member of the Board of Trustees, electing officers or reviewing the finances. We also need to discuss matters of mission. We will be discussing the future of camp meeting. We will also look at Maplewood Academy’s strategic plan for a healthy future. These votes and discussions help ensure we keep a clean house, so that when tough stuff comes along, we have people and procedures in place that can deal with those difficult situations. If we can reduce the impact of conflict on the conference, the churches, and ultimately on you—our church members—our eyes can remain focused on Jesus and on spreading His love and saving grace.

Justin Lyons, Minnesota Conference SDA President

e-TNL Staff: Brian Mungandi, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: mnsdanewsletter@gmail.com Website: www.mnsdanewsletter.wordpress.com

e-TNL is an informational bulletin issued by the Communications Department of the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. You are free to re-print any portion of the bulletin without need for special permission. However, we kindly request that you identify e-TNL whenever you publish these materials.

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Maplewood Student Accepted to Harvard Program

MWA studentOlivia Ogwang’i, a sophomore at Maplewood Academy, was recently accepted into the Harvard Summer Program for High School Students. Olivia will take Chemistry and Calculus on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, MA from mid­June to early August, 2016. When asked why she chose to participate in this program over the summer, Olivia indicated that she was looking for a meaningful way to spend her time this summer. She wanted to “keep her mind sharp and challenge herself to go above and beyond her typical summer routine.” This desire led Olivia to search online for summer academic options and she prayed for God’s leading in her search. On her own, she applied for and was accepted into Harvard’s program and we are very proud of her many accomplishments.

Stacy Stocks, Maplewood Academy Principal

e-TNL Staff: Brian Mungandi, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: mnsdanewsletter@gmail.com Website: www.mnsdanewsletter.wordpress.com

e-TNL is an informational bulletin issued by the Communications Department of the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. You are free to re-print any portion of the bulletin without need for special permission. However, we kindly request that you identify e-TNL whenever you publish these materials.

Commissioned Minister

Karen Lewis Commissioning prayerKaren Lewis was commissioned as a Minister at the Stillwater Church in Minnesota on April 16, 2016. Karen joined the Minnesota Conference in 2013 as a Bible Worker Trainer as well as Associate Pastor to the Stillwater Church. She is the only female pastor (at least) in Minnesota to have a two church district, pastoring the Stillwater Church and the Hinckley Church.

The Minnesota Conference Board of Trustees affirms Karen Lewis; Karen Lewis commissioned certificateshe has given satisfactory evidence of her calling and preparation for the work of the Gospel ministry. The Board of Trustees therefore voted to authorize her to perform all the functions of a Commissioned Minister within the scope of the tenets and practices of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Karen and Steve, (her husband) have been married for 33 years. Steve, a retired CPA with U.S. Customs is very involved in his wife’s ministry as a partner in ministry. He teaches Sabbath School as well as preaching. They have two grown daughters and a very active five-year-old grandson.

Karen was baptized by Elder Mark Finley in Chicago, Illinois in 1982. The Lord continues to bless Karen Lewis’ ministry, and her churches have seen significant growth by baptisms and profession of faith. She is constantly lifting up Jesus, leading men and women to Christ.

e-TNL Staff: Brian Mungandi, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: mnsdanewsletter@gmail.com Website: www.mnsdanewsletter.wordpress.com

e-TNL is an informational bulletin issued by the Communications Department of the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. You are free to re-print any portion of the bulletin without need for special permission. However, we kindly request that you identify e-TNL whenever you publish these materials.

A Youthful Vision

We asked, “Marvin, as a Seventh-day Adventist, what do you consider important?” He explained that we all have a role to play in God’s work, and as we get closer to the end of time, we all need to use our time, talents, treasures, and our body temple in the Lord’s work, preparing boys and girl, men and women for the Second Coming of the Lord. “I believe that our young people are the future leaders of our church and without them, the church will suffer a real lack of direction. We must prepare them and engage them as we reach out in evangelism to the world around us,” said Marvin. Marvin Ward is a member of the Detroit Lakes Seventh-day Adventist Church, and he has a special burden for the young people in this conference.

NSC_9334The Ward family gave a significate amount to the “Lift the Lodge” campaign. Marvin and Donna (late) believe in the direction and future of the church in Minnesota Conference. The family also believes that the big issue today is young people. Young people need good role models. Donna always had young people on her mind, therefore it was “easier” to financially help on this project. “Our gift is just an examples of what we think it means to be a Christian Steward”, then he added “I am hoping this build will attract more young people to come to camp and enjoy the blessings of spending time with God in nature,” Marvin said.

Marvin is an active member of his community and his local church. He has travelled outside the United States on mission trips helping in building schools and churches. These mission trips have impacted Marvin in that he has gained an understanding of how the Christian faith can go forward in visible ways. Marvin believes that helping communities in visible ways, impacting the disadvantaged for good is part of the mission of the church.

NSC_9347The “Donna Ward Lodge” is central to Marvin’s understanding of mission being part of the community. The Ward family hope that all the people who come through the doors of the “Donna Ward Lodge” will go out to make the Gospel of Jesus Christ a reality. We as a conference, hope that our young and old will be strengthened by their experience on the camp ground to go out and live a Christ-like life with power. In the dedication prayer, the president of the Minnesota Conference, Elder Justin Lyons, prayed and asked God to bless all the people who will use the facility. “May they experience in full, the power of God as they use this nice facility.”

It is important for the Church to represent God in all that we do. Concluding our interview, Marvin Ward said, “In this new facility we are showing that we respect God. This is something that is nice and representative of God not only for our youth, but for anyone or group coming to North Star Camp.”

Marvin’s generosity will go a long way in preparing men and women, boys and girls for the kingdom. Thanks Marvin. We praise the Lord and now dedicate “The Donna Ward Lodge” to the honor and glory of our God!

Fred Crowell, Pastor for the Detroit Lakes District
Brian K. Mungandi, Vice President for Administration

e-TNL Staff: Brian Mungandi, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: mnsdanewsletter@gmail.com Website: www.mnsdanewsletter.wordpress.com

e-TNL is an informational bulletin issued by the Communications Department of the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. You are free to re-print any portion of the bulletin without need for special permission. However, we kindly request that you identify e-TNL whenever you publish these materials.

North Star Camp Open House

NSC_9449scOn Sabbath, May 7, 2016, from 3-5 p.m., North Star Camp will be hosting an Open House to celebrate the completion of the new Donna Ward Lodge. We would like to invite all our members and friends to visit the camp and experience the blessings God has provided. Come roast hot dogs, make s’mores and check out the new and renovated buildings!

NSC_9278aNorth Star Camp (NSC) is the Minnesota Conference youth camp, and is located on Rice Lake in Brainerd, Minn. The past ten years have resulted in an incredible transformation at North Star Camp. When the NSC Visioning Committee was created and met for the first time in 2006, the dream of tearing down and rebuilding the lodge was not even a glimmer in the committee members’ eyes. Yet, ten years later, not only have we rebuilt the lodge, which is the camp’s dining hall, but all the camper cabins have been replaced, two new staff cabins were constructed, the canoe shed was replaced, and the caretaker’s house was remodeled. In addition, Polaris Hall (the primary meeting house) and two bath houses were renovated. All these are to provide space for year around ministry at North Star Camp.

The Donna Ward Lodge shines as the capstone of the work the Visioning Committee had hoped to accomplish at North Star Camp. Because the camp has been so blessed, our mission can continue for many years to come. Let us praise God for His blessing of the camp and request His continued blessing as we focus on helping people realize they are accepted in Jesus Christ, and come to know, love, serve, and share Him.

Savannah B. Carlson, President and Gift Planning & Trust Services Administrative Assistant

e-TNL Staff: Brian Mungandi, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: mnsdanewsletter@gmail.com Website: www.mnsdanewsletter.wordpress.com

e-TNL is an informational bulletin issued by the Communications Department of the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. You are free to re-print any portion of the bulletin without need for special permission. However, we kindly request that you identify e-TNL whenever you publish these materials.