July 9, 2012

Web Letters

Our Duty to the Homebound
Kimberly Luste Maran addressed well the plight of the homebound within our churches in her article “Shut In and Left Out” (June 14, 2012). My husband and I have had chronic health challenges for the past six years that have increasingly limited our abilities, including going to church. There have been occasional remembrances with a call or card; yet, when we’re seen less often we feel abandoned, especially my husband. Another aspect of our situation is that neither of us has energy for very long visits or phone calls, which causes church members to hesitate to call.

It would be helpful if there was an organized group of interested and committed members to receive some training in how to approach the homebound in various situations and know what questions to ask regarding needs, etc. Yes, people seem to be busier than a couple decades ago, but if we don’t take care of our own, how can we be God’s light in the community?

A quick note of appreciation for the enlightenment about the frequent migrations recorded in Genesis in “A Tale of Migrations” by Ronald Nalin. I have a little knowledge of his experience, as my husband and I knew him and his wonderful family in Italy. It’s inspiring to see his spiritual growth through the article and through his work with the Geoscience Research Institute.

--Tina Thomsen
Silverdale, Washington

The cover story “Shut In and Left Out” was most validating to me as an older adult. Where is the passion and concern for the elderly, as well as for those with mental and physical disabilities? Sometimes it seems that the church is becoming and functioning more and more like a country club with dinners and other social gatherings rather than pure divine worship. We need fellowship, but we also have to have sensitive caring and concern for each other.

It seems only a short time ago that I was in my mid-thirties working in the health care field as a visiting nurse. One of my assignments was to visit senior centers and provide physical assessments. Now I am at the age of my former clients. I can say from personal experience that it certainly doesn’t take long to arrive at this point.

It saddens me to think that older adults who were once the backbone of the church are now being neglected. Whatever
happened to singing band visitations on Sabbath afternoon before Missionary Volunteer meetings, and visiting sick and shut-in members? What keeps the church from establishing an Older Adult Ministry Department? The Lord isn’t finished with us yet, or we wouldn’t still be here.

This begs the question: “Is this a case of neglect?” My response is a resounding “yes!” It’s time for us to awaken and give attention, care, and concern to this population. Need I mention that it is this population that, in most cases, started the church and sustained it to this point in history before failing health and age dictated that we can no longer fully participate? Although considerably less mobile, we can still feel, think, pray, and want to be included, albeit in our limited fashion, rather than excluded and in some cases, summarily dismissed.

--Martha Hardy-Lee
Vallejo, California

I was touched by “Shut In and Left Out” by Kimberly Luste Maran. When I lived in Atlanta I visited shut-in members of my church on a weekly basis.

Now that I have moved to Alabama, I do what I can to contact those who may appreciate my contact. I send E. G. White quotations to more than 480 people five day a week. If someone would like to receive these, please contact me at [email protected] If someone would like me to write them via e- mail they may write me at the same address. If someone would like for me to write them via US mail, write me at 1714 Winnsboro Drive, Birmingham, AL 35213.

I am willing to do what I can, as long as the Lord gives me the strength.

--Richard S. Norman
Birmingham, Alabama

A Historic Link
My thanks to Mark A. Kellner for his excellent report of the work in South America in “Brazil’s Adventist Publishers Launch New Offices” (June 21, 2012). My wife, Lucila, and I were invited to be there for the dedication of the R. M. Rabello Museum! Her father was speaker of the Voice of Prophecy (VOP) for more than 40 years. Her uncle, Walter Rabello, and his wife, Martha, were honored as well.

R. M. Rabello was called by H. M. S. Richards to be speaker/director of Voice of Prophecy in Brazil in 1943. It was the first religious radio program in the country and people from all denominations listened to his velvet voice, excellent diction, and powerful messages. For a time most of the individuals who joined our church came as a result of the VOP ministry.

--Leo Ranzolin
Estero, Florida

A Keeper
Practically every issue of Adventist Review has an article or two I tear out and file. However, after devouring the June 14 issue from cover to cover in one sitting, I am presented with a pleasant dilemma: I’m going to have to keep the entire issue intact. Every well-written article in this issue “spoke” to me, from the editorial about our church’s founders to the reflections on Psalm 23. I was especially interested in the Care Connections ministry and will check out the on-line resources. My thanks to all the contributors who shared a bit of their personal lives. As Dixil Rodriguez so aptly wrote, “We’re all just trying to get home.”

--Marie Walwyn
Bronx, New York

Make It Last
Each and every Adventist Review is a treasure trove of blessings! I have just one criticism about the special summer issue (May 24, 2012): it was too short!

Actually it was just perfect! As I read the final phrase of Gerald Klingbeil’s article “On Vacation With God,” “and let God renew your heart”, I knew I was blessed! The sweet savor is just as it should be!
Thank you to each one who works for our benefit and blessing!

--Linda Steinke
Millet, Alberta, Canada

The editorial “Media Blitz” by Gerald Klingbeil (May 17, 2012) was so appropriate and necessary. Along the lines he quoted from the 2005 ChuMerch Manual is this quote from Ellen White: “There is no influence in our land more powerful to poison the imagination, to destroy religious impressions, and to blunt the relish for the tranquil pleasures and sober realities of life than theatrical amusements” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 653).

Is it possible that some of the dramas presented by our schools fit the category of theatrical amusements?

It is my conviction that if our people would heed Paul’s admonition, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things” (Phil. 4:8, NIV), the desire for those amusements would be eliminated.

--Donald E. Casebolt
College Place, Washington

Don’t Forget the Offering
I couldn’t agree more with Sandra Blackmer and her editorial “Why attend Sabbath School?” (Apr. 19, 2012).

Blackmer points out that one of the reasons for Sabbath school is that it has a consistent world mission focus and helps finance missions. I like the idea of world mission offerings! I understand that Sabbath school offerings are the largest source of financing for our church’s mission work.

Since our family lived in Singapore as missionaries for almost 12 years, I realize more than ever how very important Sabbath school mission offerings are. I can’t help but wonder how many members really give to Sabbath school mission offering.

In many churches I have attended over the years the offering plate is passed for Sabbath school expense. Nothing is even mentioned about putting a mission offering in the envelope and marking it as mission offering to contribute to our mission work.

It’s so easy to put money into the offering plate that very few people give mission offerings. This, no doubt, is the reason our mission Sabbath school offerings have declined. It’s high time to let it be known to all members who want to help with the mission work to make sure it happens.

The same is true for church offerings. It seems so selfish that in most churches all the loose money in the offering plate goes for church budget rather than for the special offering designated by the conference or General Conference. I wish something could be done to change this trend.

Let’s get God’s work finished; giving the gospel to all the world so that Jesus can come soon!

--Lillian R. Guild
Loma Linda, California