Minnesota Conference Youth Director

Shelina 001print4x3The Minnesota Conference administration is excited to announce that on January 1, 2018, Pastor Shelina Bonjour officially began her new position as the Minnesota Conference Youth Director.

Prior to accepting this position, Shelina spent almost two years as the Associate Pastor for the Andover District, primarily working with the Pathways Adventist Church in Maple Grove, Minn. Under her leadership, the church moved back to a new location within the city limits of Maple Grove, began a consistent youth group which was regularly attended, and maintained a consistent attendance and membership.

Before moving to Minnesota, Shelina spent two years as Youth & Outreach Director at Caldwell Adventist Church in Idaho. Her experience included Adventurers and Pathfinders, working with the youth, and doing outreach activities. Prior to that, Shelina spent several years working in Kettering Ohio, first as the Young Adult Associate Pastor for the Kettering Adventist Church, then as the Assistant Dean and Spiritual Care Director for Kettering College and Kettering Health Network.

Shelina at Outdoor SchoolShelina has a love for youth of all ages, and a special place in her heart for summer camp. In her various pastoral roles, Shelina has been involved in Pathfinders, including restarting a club, training youth in evangelism and outreach, running the youth department during camp meeting, directing Vacation Bible School, organizing city-wide outreach events, and much more. Prior to becoming a pastor, Shelina spent multiple summers working in various summer camps, in a variety of roles including worship leader, parent liaison, counselor, communications director, department head, spiritual life director, associate programming director, and camp pastor.

Shelina Bonjour Commissioning ServiceShelina was commissioned on Sabbath, December 9, 2017 at the Pathways Adventist Church. Her favorite Bible text, Psalm 37:23-24, is meaningful to her because, ““This verse reveals the greatness of my God. The Creator of the Universe is guiding my journey. While He is King, He is also the closest Father, who cares about everything that shapes my life. I find hope here, for though I have the best of intentions, I mess up and fail often, but God’s love remains constant. God never lets go of His children, and that is that grace of Jesus that I want to share with the world.”

Shelina enjoys playing guitar, riding horses and being at the lake. When asked what she’s looking forward to most about this summer at North Star Camp, she said, “I am eager for the activities, programs, and adventures, but I am most excited to watch God touch lives at North Star.” Shelina met her husband, David, while working at camp. Now they support each other in ministry as they serve using each of their own God given gifts. They will celebrate their fifth anniversary this September.

e-TNL Staff: Savannah B. Carlson, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: scarlson@mnsda.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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Love In A Basket

02 - Litchfield BasketsA beautifully browned turkey, mounds of mashed potatoes with pools of gravy, herbed stuffing, a steaming side of corn, cranberry relish, and pumpkin pie with whipped topping; add a grateful heart, and you’ve got the makings of a happy Thanksgiving celebration! And that is exactly what the members of the Litchfield Seventh-day Adventist Church wished for everyone in their community when providing Thanksgiving baskets, filled to the brim with traditional fixings, for those experiencing financial difficulty during the last harvest season.

In their fifth annual Thanksgiving basket outreach project, members began planning and preparing for it as soon as last year’s project was completed. Offerings to fund the baskets were collected throughout 2017. Donations from local businesses were solicited. Names of prospective recipients were obtained from a county social services organization. The week before the scheduled distribution, recipients were contacted and invited to pick up their baskets on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Finally, the morning of November 19, 2017 arrived. Forty baskets, filled to the brim with all the ingredients necessary for a traditional holiday meal, lined almost every pew in the sanctuary. One by one, community members walked through the door and were greeted warmly. Happy people expressed their joy and thankfulness. Many stayed to share a delicious meal, lovingly prepared by church members. Everyone left with happy smiles and heartfelt thank yous. They took with them more than turkey and mashed potatoes; they left knowing that somebody cared. It was love in a basket, a love that started in heaven, found a place in the hearts of a church family, and overflowed to others in a tangible act of goodwill.

e-TNL Staff: Savannah B. Carlson, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: scarlson@mnsda.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.

Physical Challenged Day

Recently, Stone Ridge Christian School (SRCS) in Duluth, Minn. had a special activity day focused on living with physical challenges.

03 - Triniti vision impairmentIn 2017, approximately 37.2 million people in the US reported having a hearing disability, 22.9 million folks reported vision trouble, and 18.2 million people reported finding it very difficult to walk 1/4 of a mile, according to cdc.gov. Ten percent of the total world population (roughly 650 million individuals) live with a disability of some sort.

In 2017, Duluth, Minn. records 12.5 percent of its population as physically challenged in some form or another, according to disabled-world.com.

In order to heighten the students’ awareness, and engender sensitivity to the challenges faced by others, they participated in a full day of activities as if they themselves faced those same challenges.

03 - Carisse Toe PaintingAccording to Rudy Carlson, head teacher at SRCS, he added Physically Challenged Day to his regular curriculum in 1996. The instructional objective, “is for the student to experience a challenge applied to each area of the curriculum. The student then demonstrates his or her empathy towards those who are physically challenged by writing a reaction paper at the end of the day describing the difficulty of each task.”

Students learned about the difficulties involved in reading if you have dyslexia, glaucoma or anathropy. In math, they struggled to use a calculator without using their fingers to press the keys, while art featured painting using feet instead of hands.

Even snack time came with a challenge: their job was to eat everything on a plate and drink everything in a cup while their arms were restrained. This particular activity came with a prize for the cleanest plate.

03 - Wheelchair CroquetOver the years, Carlson has amassed enough wheelchairs in various sizes for each student to experience the problems inherent to tight corners and not enough space to maneuver easily.

Carlson reached out to the church’s homeschool population and invited them to attend for the day. “I appreciate having our homeschool kids join us on all our special days, and have made it a habit to invite them to everything we do. Homeschool and church school are not mutually exclusive, but rather mutually beneficial. We support our homeschoolers in every way we can,” Carlson said.

e-TNL Staff: Savannah B. Carlson, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: scarlson@mnsda.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.

The Way Induction Sabbath

04 - The Way (1)In a special ceremony on Sabbath, November 18, 2017, The Way Company officially became a church in the sisterhood of churches of the Minnesota Conference.

The Way was started as a strategic church plant by the Minnesota Conference to reach a large area north of Minneapolis/St. Paul, where there was no English-language church. Pastor Carlos Rodriguez recruited a core group of fourteen people from the surrounding area, primarily from the Andover Church. Together, they scouted an excellent meeting location in the Mission Chapel of the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Shoreview, MN, directly across the street from a member who had been praying for a church in that area for 30 years. They began meeting in January 2015. The name was chosen from the verse John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

The new church plant went through a period of struggle and patience when Pastor Rodriguez left for a call to Texas in May 2016. God sustained the new church planters, and in October 2016, Pastor Jared Little joined their efforts. They began planning activities and outreach, and the church began to grow.

04 - The Way (4)During the induction service, the church was packed with more than 80 regular attendees and guests – people who came to share in the exciting event. Pastor Jared Little shared a history of the church plant and read a brief review of the 28 Fundamental Beliefs. Elder Brian Mungandi, Conference Vice-President for Administration, called forward the nucleus of the church: leader, Pastor Jared Little; treasurer, Orion Quarnstrom; and clerk, Rebekah Berlin. He asked them to affirm their belief in the fundamentals, their love for Jesus, and their commitment to sharing the gospel. Rebekah Berlin then read the list of 32 charter members and Elder Mungandi asked for a vote to accept them.
Elder Justin Lyons, President, announced the new church. He called for a nominating committee report of church officers and Pastor Jared Little made a motion to be accepted into the sisterhood of churches. Elder Lyons accepted the request. It will be formally voted during the next constituency meeting.

Elder Lyons encouraged the new church to continue their work of sharing the gospel. He reminded everyone that God works by multiplication, which is another form of rapid addition.

Sarah Little

e-TNL Staff: Savannah B. Carlson, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: scarlson@mnsda.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.

Southview Steps Out in Faith

After many years of addressing over-crowding in our church building, which was built in 1916, Southview Seventh-day Adventist Church has finally made a big move.  In the past few years, our congregation has grown to more than 550 members. We no longer had enough space in our building to support all of our ministries. Sabbath School classes were overcrowded. There wasn’t enough room in the sanctuary to hold the entire congregation, not even holding two services every Sabbath. And there wasn’t enough space in the neighborhood to park all the cars, to the frustration of our neighbors. During a business session, when presented with a few different options, our church voted almost unanimously to put our church on the market and move forward to a new home together.

After two years on the market, and a lot of showings but few offers, the church board made a decision to move forward in faith and look for a place to rent for worship on Sabbaths while continuing to keep our space for our weekly ministries. During the week that followed, we received not one, but two offers on our church. God is good! We closed on the sale of our church building in early January.  It will soon be the home of a pre-school.

The last nostalgic Sabbath in our former church home included an elder’s ordination, where we ordained our first female, young adult, African American elder; three baptisms; and our final all-church potluck.  Hearing stories about Southview’s history, how the members came together after a fire in the sanctuary, how the pews were lovingly restored, and all of the love poured into our building over the years makes the move a bittersweet one. A special message from our lead pastor, Dustin Hall, reminded us that God doesn’t want us to get so comfortable that we stop growing and reaching out in love to those in our community who so desperately need to see Jesus through us.

Southview - House of PrayerWith that, we eagerly anticipate seeing how God will bless our ministry efforts in the future!  We have rented space at House of Prayer Lutheran Church 7625 Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis for Sabbath worship, and are looking forward to finding our own new church home soon with more space and, hopefully, a parking lot. We plan to stay in the Southwest metro, so we can continue building on our vision to be a center for ministry in Minneapolis. Please partner with us in this endeavor by keeping our search for a permanent home in your prayers.

Robin Trana

e-TNL Staff: Savannah B. Carlson, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: scarlson@mnsda.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.

Learn about Simple Church at this year’s Camp Meeting

06 - HorizontalSimpleChurchLogoEach year at Minnesota Camp Meeting, various breakout sessions are planned that focus on various aspects of ministry, whether that be training or preparation or inspiration. This year, Milton Adams with Simple Church Global Network will be sharing what Simple Church is and offering training on how to begin a “Simple Church.”

So, what is Simple Church? Simple Church is a global network of modern, missionary-minded people. They meet in homes on Sabbath. And all of these house churches are led by lay people, common people like you and me. The mission is to reach secular and/or unchurched people, introducing them to the Everlasting Gospel of Jesus. Why do we need Simple Church? Approximately 60% of the US population is no longer willing to walk into a conventional church.  Additionally, 104 million Americans have walked out of their local churches to “go find God.”  We need Simple Church to reach these people.

This front-line missionary work focuses on reaching secular and/or unchurched people, introducing them to the Everlasting Gospel of Jesus (Rev. 14). This is done by fostering a casual, non-intimidating environment to welcome truth seekers and support them in their individual spiritual growth. While this type of “church” may feel different or new to those of us more familiar with traditional church, this model of fellowship and worship was responsible for the wildfire-like spread of the Gospel Message in the New Testament era. Simple Church exists to go back to the New Testament model of discipleship, nurture, and church planting.

There have been several other modern terms for this type of church, such as House Church, Home Church, Organic Church, Home Meeting, etc.  For this particular Global Network of house churches, the name “Simple Church” was chosen. And http://www.SimpleChurchAtHome.com will link you directly to this network. Simple Church trains CORE4 missionaries to reach the mission fields where they live. Just as the Apostle Paul mentored others to become leaders and share the Gospel in their own spheres of influence, Simple Church strives to train leaders to continue this proven method of discipleship.

While this idea may feel “new” to those of us who grew up in a traditional church, house churches were the norm in early Christianity as believers shared the Gospel of Christ within secular cultures around the world. Simple Church decided it was time to come full circle.

To learn more about Simple Church, visit www.SimpleChurchatHome.com or come to Minnesota Camp Meeting, June 5-9, at 700 Main St. N in Hutchinson, Minnesota.

Savannah Carlson & Milton Adams

e-TNL Staff: Savannah B. Carlson, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: scarlson@mnsda.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.