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Campion Sabbath School Class Reaches Out to Non-Attending Adventists »
There are hundreds of people in each community around our churches who hold deep in their hearts the truths of God’s Word but have become disconnected, discombobulated, or discouraged. It’s possible they are not even sure what they believe, but they were once, and maybe not that long ago, part of a community of faith called the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The reasons for their disconnection could fill an old-time dictionary volume, but what they hold in common is that they are all absent from our congregations.
The Bible University Sabbath School class at Campion Church has decided this situation is not acceptable. Taking a hint from the Church Manual that points out that while the purpose of a Sabbath School class is, of course, to study the Bible, it also advocates creating community and outreach.
Last fall, class members stayed after fellowship lunch to write handwritten notes of encouragement to every non-attending member on the church books. Class member Dick Stenbakken said, "We've been able to see members that haven't been attending come back and worship with us again. We've established connections and friendships with a wide variety of people."
But it wasn’t a one-and-done. "We plan to continue doing this as it's very rewarding," according to Stenbakken. In preparation for Easter, they again met, this time before Sabbath School, to address, stamp, and stuff envelopes, all with the goal of extending an extra invitation to this same non-attending group to come to the church’s interactive Journey to the Cross and Beyond Easter celebration. The invitations will continue, and other Campion Sabbath Schools are joining in. Best of all, a few of those absent hundreds have started to poke their heads back in.
-- Text and photo by Michael Goetz