|Making Magnificent Marriages
February 19-21, 2016
Marriage Vows: Living the Commitment
February 12, 2016
Christian Marriage Sabbath
February 13, 2016
Christian Home & Marriage Week
February 13-20, 2016
Making Love Last - Married Couples' Retreat
February 19-20, 2016
Mad About Marriage
February 19-20, 2016
Christian Parenting Sabbath
February 20, 2016
NAD Day of Hope
April 16, 2016
Family Togetherness Week
September 11-18, 2016
Family Togetherness Sabbath
September 17, 2016
April 29 - May 1, 2016
January 13-17, 2016.
Early bird rate expires November 17, 2015
|Claudio Consuegra, DMin
Pamela Consuegra, PhD
Our mission of evangelism is to provide resources, training, and networking opportunities for those working to strengthen or rebuild families within the territory of the North American Division.
Healthy families for eternity.
We welcome submissions of your conference or union sponsored:
- upcoming events
- photos or
videos of recent events
- ministry newsletters
We trust you had a blessed Thanksgiving with your l
ved ones. Thanksgiving is truly a very special holiday here in the United States and Canada (celebrated on different dates but with the same spirit in mind).
Now the Christmas season is in full swing, the stores are nicely decorated and fully stocked with clothes, toys, electronics, and so many other things, inviting us to buy them and share them with our loved one. Christmas carols sound through the air, and even some of the programing on TV seems to be a little nicer this time of year. but with the same spirit in mind).
For some of you, snow already blankets your neighborhood, while for others the palm trees wave their constant salute. Wherever you may be, we pray you will have a blessed Christmas season and a happy and prosperous new year. We look forward to what God has in store for you and for us in 2016 as we try to fulfill His call and mission for us all. May He continue to be your daily Companion, Father and Friend, and may He pour out His richest blessings on you and your loved ones each and every day of 2016.
Yours because of Him,
Claudio and Pamela
Married Lovers' Retreat
annual Married Lovers' Retreat was held this fall in historic Galena, Illinois, three hours west of Chicago. For ten years, couples have been making the pilgrimage to the beautiful Eagle Ridge Resort to revive, renew, and recommit themselves to one another.
Established in the fall of 2006 with just ten couples from Shalem SDA church in Waukegan, IL, the retreat has become a fall destination for many, boasting 57 couples this year from seven area churches. Couples have traveled from New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and the D.C. area. What makes the retreat especially rewarding for founders Deirdre and Joseph Garnett is the many couples who are not affiliated with the SDA church who, year after year, make the trek back to the resort for their yearly "tune up".
This year's presenters were Dr. and Mrs. Kitson Francis of Huntsville, AL; Derrick and Sonja McCollum of Atlanta, GA; and Joe and Dee Garnett, Family Ministries co-leaders for Lake Region Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists. This year's theme was "One Love Divine", celebrating spiritual oneness in marriage through Jesus Christ. The content that was shared addressed practical, real life issues and helped attendees to realize that they are not alone in many marital experiences.
From newlyweds to 40+ year unions, all couples were richly blessed and vowed to meet again next year! For information, please visit
Family Ministries Co-director
Lake Region Conference
To Stand in Defense of Truth
This year was Maryland Men of Faith retreat 10
year anniversary. It had a powerful impact in the men that attended the event. The theme was based on a relevant thought for today's man: "To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few-this will be our test." TC v. 5, p. 136.
Over 160 men attended and were blessed by the presentations made by Dwayne Lemon. It was a challenge to stand as champions of faith. Other presentations were made by: Dr. Philip Collins "The Protein Myth;" Geoff Crowley "Mentoring Young Men;" Volodymyr Grinchenko "Never Satisfied, Marria
ge Lessons;" Dan Jensen "The Power of Prayer;" Dewa
yne Lemon "Young Champions;" Eli Rojas "End Time Warriors;" and Tyler Trahan "Freedom from Addiction."
The mission offering colle
cted this year is to help a missionary in Japan buy a vehicle that will be used
for outreach. $2,360.0
0 was collected for this project.
Save the date for next year's MMOF. We are planning for October 1, 2016. It's an experience that will inspire and challenge you. Visit our
website MMOF.org f
or sermons and more information.
A good word at the right time.
Eli Rojas, DMin
Ministerial and Family Ministry Director
Men's Ministry Initiative
Southern California Conference Men's Ministry, initiated a [free] job training program in the field of Heating and Air- Conditioning for members and communities, male and female. The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) t
raining has a six-month period followed by an EPA Certification exam at the conclusion of the training. Additional job placement programs are provided at A WorkSource program for all graduates in preparedness for the job market.
Many success stories have been told by individuals who pursued the training. Remember us in prayers.
Elder Charles Dolcey,
Men's Ministry President
Southern California Conference
Camp Meeting Two for One
For quite a few years now I've been doing something I've called "Family Worship" at our Camp Meeting. It is a time for all ages to meet together and worship God together. We had noticed that everyone was going their separate ways and families were rarely together at Camp Meeting. At first I thought it would mostly be families that attended, but have found that most everyone on campus comes. The program is an hour long and meets from 9:30 to 10:30 Monday through Friday.
Every year I pick out a theme and then divide it into 5 sections or subthemes of the main topic for the week. Some of the themes we've had are: (read more)
- "God's Top Ten" (Ten Commandments)
- "Zeroes to Heroes" (You don't have to have it all together or be grown up to work for God)
- "The Bee-Attitudes" (What God Wants Our Attitudes to Bee Like As Christians)
- "Thinkin' About Home" (Heaven)
- "God's Big Ideas" (We see ourselves in a box, but God looks at us differently...He has big ideas about us!)
- "Where's God In the Dark?" (God Helps Us Through Tough Times)
- "In the Beginning" (Creation)
- "Families Relying On God" (Growing Families Closer to God and Each Other).
My daughter and I made this frog family for the backdrop that week.
- This year's theme is "Fat Raindrops and Whirling Winds." It's about different storm stories in the Bible for the first 4 days. Friday is about the coming storm and how to be ready.
The two longest segments of each day's programs are:
- Song Service (15 minutes) - We have a combination of praise songs, kids' songs and hymns so there is something for everyone. Most days we have the kids come forward to sing one of the kids' songs from the platform. Sometimes we give them something to wear or hold while they are singing. (The year we had the "Bee-Attitudes I made bee antennas for all of them to wear!) We have a pianist that is really versatile, a violin, guitars, 4 vocalists, a bass and sometimes other instruments. We have the words, along with pictures up on the screen. Some of the background pictures are taken during camp meeting and people see themselves up on the screen. It's a fun, joyful song service. In fact, the whole week has a very relaxed and casual feel to it. I choose a theme song that we sing every day as well.
- The second longest part of the program is the main speaker. They get 8 minutes and I ask them to use visuals and speak in a way that even young kids can relate to.
The rest of the program is divided into very short portions so it moves along quickly with no breaks between each part. Although the program seems casual, warm and "camp-y" behind the scenes the entire program is scripted down to the minute so everything is designed to flow into whatever is coming next. I do a lot of work making up the programs each year and try to design them so that anyone from the different learning styles can relate to something that hits their target learning style. There are lots of visual things and interaction throughout the program. Sometimes people are drafted from the congregation to be part of what is happening up front. The programs include skits, monologues, art, puppets, music, etc. My plan is for people to always be wondering what is coming next. Here are two examples of segments from the programs over the years:
- I asked a very out-going woman to come onto stage dressed like a bag woman. She had layers of clothing on including a tired-looking hat, a huge, bulky coat, gloves without fingers, etc. She talked about what she used to be like and how sin had taken her down. Then she talked about how she heard of Jesus and how he began to change her. As she talked she (almost imperceptibly) began to take off the layers of clothes and dirt. Finally she talked about how Jesus set her free and how life is so different for her. She took off the last layer of clothing and underneath she had on tights and matching ballerina-type shirt and a large pair of beautiful blue butterfly wings with silver sparkles. She made her point and "flew" off stage."
- Another year one of our pastoral couples had just gotten married (so her dress still fit great! J). I gave them a skit and asked him to wear a suit and for her to wear her wedding dress. I had the organist play the bridal march and I stood up in front like the mother of the bride. (It was fun, the whole congregation also stood!) She came down the aisle and when she got close to the front the music stopped and the bride and groom both went to different sides of the stage. Then they carried on a dialogue. He wasn't sure he was ready to commit and gave a reason that would be similar to why we wouldn't commit to Christ. The bride would reassure him as Christ does us. Every time this happened they would move a couple steps toward each other. Finally they were together in the center of the stage and a pastor "married" them. Made a great point.
We also have a daily feature. It is 4-5 minutes long and is the only thing in the program that doesn't go along with the theme. I choose something that I think would be helpful for people like health or how to witness, etc.
- Last year's theme was about health. I asked one of our pastors to do it and each day he talked about something that would be good for people to know to make their health better. That segment I called "What's Up Doc?" I ordered a Bugs Bunny costume and the pastor wore it each day to do the talk. Kids remember it better if it comes from a bunny!!!
- Another year I had someone bring in part of their woodpile and put it on the platform. He dressed in jeans, a plaid shirt and suspenders and brought his axe. He cut some wood up front and talked to us like we were his neighbors. I called it "Wisdom from the Woodpile."
I really work to have things that are visual. One year the week was about fish stories from the Bible and I had a huge helium fish that we flew over everyone to choose who got the give-aways that day. (Expect the unexpected sometimes-on Thursday a kid jumped up and hit the fish so hard it disconnected and floated to the ceiling like a dead fish in a fish tank! We worked it into the program and went on....
) I like to wear something each year that goes along with the theme too. When we did Families Relying On God I bought a huge pair of Kermit the frog slippers and wore those during the program and around campus for awhile after the program (good advertising for Family Worship). The year we had "The BEE-Attitudes I found a bee costume and wore it, complete with antennas. When we had the year about "God's Big Ideas" and how He doesn't see us in a box I made myself a big dress out of a box and painted it and wore it. People always wonder what I'll be wearing. I'm already working on my "storm" costume for this year!
Every day when I do announcements I have 3-4 books that I give away. I like to choose things that will help families or bring people closer to God. There is a part in the program where the kids all get something too, that goes along with that day's theme-Oriental Trading has great little prizes. I put the prizes into a lunch bag and leave it at the end of the pews by the center aisle. When I say it's time the adult passes those down the row to the kids in his/her aisle.
I make up a bulletin for the adults and one for the kids. The kids' one has things for the kids to do that go along with the theme for that day. I also have hand-out on a table in the back of the chapel that are family-strengthening-articles about parenting, marriage, etc. I also put out hot-line numbers in case people need them.
One of the things that has happened that has been a great by-product is that you can address some issues that people need to hear, but they aren't offended-because it's for the kids.
Family Worship is a lot of work and takes quite a bit of time. I usually have about 40 people involved in helping with it each year by the time all is said and done. But it has been something that has been well accepted and has brought families together. Sometimes I give a 3-4 time slot for families to pray together about a specific topic in the program and I see the tears flow. (For those that don't have biological families with them we ask them to join with others and become a "family of God" for that part of the program. More young families attend Camp Meeting than would have otherwise attended.
I am grateful that God is using my little part to make a difference.
Family Ministries Director
Minnesota Conference Hispanic Churches--
Familia a Familia
As part of their outreach effort, Hispanic churches at the Minnesota Conference are using the
Familia a Familia Plan (Family to Family Guide) this year. A resource developed by the General Conference Family Ministries department, the guide provides a sermons, a step by step process, daily devotionals, and more to progressively guide seekers of Jesus into His presence. Our sister churches in Minnesota have set out to work the one year plan and have made their material in Spanish available on line which can be viewed by clicking here. Please keep the success of this effort your prayers.
They said yes!
We'd like to give a special thanks to conference
directors who've accepted the invitation to create the resources for the ministry awareness day:
Cheri Corder, Oregon Conference - Single Adult Sabbath
Pastor Baldwin Barnes, Northeastern Conference - Men's Day of Prayer (English)
Pastor Juan Acosta, Iowa-Missouri Conference - Men's Day of Prayer (Spanish)
2016 Awareness Dates
February 13-20 - Christian Home & Marriage Week
February 13 - Christian Marriage Sabbath
February 20 - Christian Parenting Sabbath
May 21 - Single Adult Sabbath
September 3 - Men's Day of Prayer
September 11-17 - Family Togetherness Week
September 17 - Family Togetherness Sabbath
Help! I'm a Parent Kit
A Follower of Jesus - Discipleship Guide
Making Jesus My Best Friend - Baptismal Guide
, ASAM, and Men's Ministries training programs AdventSource offers a handy record card for the trainee to chart their progress in the curriculum process. They are free to conferences.