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Sabbath School: A Place For All

Article by Lynden Williams, Sabbath School Director for the Adventist Church in the South Bahamas

Within the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Sabbath School has been a place of learning and nuture for both member and visitor. It has long been considered a training ground where the youth and new converts can develop their ministry of service to the wider body and the community.

Recently, there has been a decline in attendance at Sabbath Schools and a general lack of enthusiasm. Here are some tips to jumpstart your Sabbath School:

  • Song Service: Choose persons who can give meaningful, vibrant and diverse song service. During song service split the audience in two or more parts. Sing a verse or an entire song without music, to give variety to this ministry.
  • Prayer: Invite someone from another congregation, a child or a video (live or recorded) to offer the prayer.
  • Welcome: Use variety; gifts for the earliest attendee, and be enthusiastic.
  • Superintendent’s Remark: Be brief and relevant. Consider using a short skit to drive home the point. Make Sabbath School a place where people desire to hear what will be presented.
  • Mission Story: Sometimes have it dramatized, shown via video, or have someone from another congregation, or island tell the mission story in their own words. This may also be done via video conference, phone, etc.
  • Lesson Study: Where possible, have teachers meet to review the lesson together, before Sabbath, and occasionally switch teachers and place them before a different class. The class should involve controlled dialogue in order for the entire lesson to be reviewed. Invite a class member to come prepared to teach one of the days giving
  • time limits, or to answer one of the questions. Additionally, have someone research in-depth a specific section of the lesson.
  • Music: Ask the artiste to sing a song (where possible) in harmony with the emphasis for that day.

Special emphasis must be placed on the facilities and materials used for the children. The rooms should have adequate ventilation, colours appropriate for the age group along with visual aids.

Two factors should not be overlooked in membership retention are involvement and fellowship.

The Sabbath School can be used as a training ground for new members to become comfortable with speaking in the church and their involvement helps with the bonding process. Thus, they take ownership of their new place of worship.

Sabbath School classes are encouraged to have regular fellowship meals with a goal of once per month. Everyone can be involved in the planning process and where possible this can take place outside of the church grounds, and members will find this as an ice breaker for their visitors who are not of our faith.

Finally, utilize the five senses in the worship and learning process, as this builds a more vibrant and healthy experience for worshippers in the Sabbath School.

Pastor Lynden Williams, Sabbath School Director

Pathfinder March and Rally September 15, 2018

Photos below by Peresha Ferguson and Michelle Greene

Pathfinder March and Rally

The march begins at 4:30 p.m. from Windsor Park (Adventurers leave from Grant's Town Church on Wellington Street

The march ends at Christie Park

Route: North on to East St., West to Deveaux St., onto Baillou Hill Road, West to Meadows St., South onto Nassau St. ending at Christie Park with a brief rally.


Let's Prepare

As the Inter-American Division and the Atlantic Caribbean Union prepare for the grand Lord Transform Me Campaigns, the South Bahamas Conference launches the evangelistic lay training at the Living Faith Church on Wednesday, September 5 to Sabbath, September 8, 2018. See below:

  • Wednesday, Thursday,and Friday - 6:30 p.m.
  • Sabbath - 11:00 a.m. This is not a joint service. All other services are joint.
  • Sabbath - 5:30 p.m.

Members are urged to dress in their church T-shirts on Sabbath afternoon.

All roads lead to the Living Faith Church for five powerful training sessions/services that will stir hearts and expose minds to the transforming power of God that is able to do more than we could ever ask or think. Let us pray as we prepare for great exploits in 2019.

Pastor Asha-Dane Duncan (Photo), Assistant Personal Ministries Director

"God Covers Me" Prayers for Our School Children 2018

On Wednesday night, August 29, 2018, almost 250 parents and school children packed the Centreville Seventh-day Adventist Church for a special prayer service for school children entitled "God Covers Me." Believing that the time in which we live dictates that we intentionally and consistently cover our children, their parents and teachers in fervent prayer daily, the Women’s, Prayer, Education, and Children and Adolescent Ministries worked together to have this special prayer service to start the new school year.

Below are photos of the event taken by Michelle Green of Media Department.

The Back-to-School Safety Guide You Need

Starting the school year with well-maintained facilities and sturdy structures will help your students and staff begin on the right foot. It is also a great way to see what, if any, equipment or machinery needs to be replaced or fixed. Use this Back-to-School Safety Guide to help you take advantage of the last couple weeks before classes resume, and the halls are filled again with young learners.

A Sturdy Foundation: Preparing School Grounds

Start with the foundation and prepare your school grounds for the return of students. With the help of your staff, check all parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, fields, and stairs. These areas often receive the most wear and tear throughout the school year. Worn or deteriorated areas can cause injury if they are not smooth, sturdy, and obstacle-free. As your staff assists in the review, make notes of any cracks, holes, or loose rails that need to be fixed or replaced before the school year begins.

This is also an excellent time to address any loose or broken pieces of playground and sports equipment. Make sure all playground equipment is safe for use and spaced far enough apart for children to play without becoming injured. For sporting equipment, verify that there is a place for locking up loose items when not in use. This precaution can prevent theft or injury of a student using the equipment after hours and without supervision.

Parents and Student Orientation

The orientation and welcome meeting with parents and students is an excellent opportunity to address crucial elements of student safety and answer any questions parents may have. Additionally, this is when your staff could introduce any new policies or regulations that will come into effect during the new year. Consider also emailing or providing printouts of essential forms for distribution to the parents to help them prepare ahead of time. You can also direct parents to the school website to find these forms in the future. Confirm that current forms are uploaded to the website and easily accessible.
Remind parents of the importance of informing the school of any allergies, special conditions, or medications for their child. This information should be on file by the time the school year begins to allow staff to properly attend to the child should an incident occur. Remind parents to update emergency contact information, so school officials know whom to contact in the case of an incident.

Review drop-off and pick-up practices for parents. Parents should know the locations where it is acceptable to drop off their child. Is the drop-off only at the front entrance of the school? Is there a secondary entrance supervised by school staff to ensure the safe arrival of students? Parents should also make sure the school has an updated, approved list of names and contact information to whom the school is allowed to release the child. These details will help prevent any issues throughout the school year if a child needs to be picked up by someone other than a parent.

If parents plan to have their child drive to school themselves, make sure to review your school’s policy on student drivers. Are there any particular forms or permissions that need to be acquired by the school before the start of the year? Is there a specific section of the parking lot where student drivers must park? Do you have an identification sticker that all student drivers must have on their car for security purposes?
Address similar questions for any parent who plans to have their child cycle or walk to school. Both parent and student drivers should be alert and aware of walkers and cyclists while waiting in the drop-off line or when parking their cars. Inform parents of any designated areas for cyclists to lock their bikes. It might also be a good idea to ask parents to inform the school of whether their child will walk, drive, or cycle to school each day.

If parents plan to have their child ride the bus to school, review pick-up and drop-off guidelines for the bus as well as the specified routes for your school.

Prep, Review, Repeat

Now that your school grounds, parents, and students are ready for the start of the school year, it is time to create a plan to maintain a safe environment throughout the year. Maintenance checks and self-inspections are two critical elements to minimizing incidents, losses, and catching a potential hazard before it occurs. To get started, use ARM’s School Self-Inspection Form to conduct maintenance checks twice a year and after any major storms or weather events.

This material is fact based general information provided by Adventist Risk Management®, Inc. and should not, under any circumstances, be modified or changed without prior permission. It should not be considered specific legal advice regarding a particular matter or subject. Please consult your local attorney or risk manager if you would like to discuss how a local jurisdiction handles specific circumstances you may be facing.

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