We have launched for the NCU Church family the 2015-2016 Sabbath School Investment initiative. As brief historical reminder: Sabbath School Investment (SSI) has been around in the Seventh-day Adventist Church for more than 100 years.
The idea was to garner monetary means for acquiring or doing things for the church that tithes and offerings were, and are still not, intended to do. As early as the 1880s, church members in North America sought ways to fund specific projects through SSI — such as purchasing camp meeting equipment. People were encouraged to designate some specific project to the Lord and let Him bless it in a way that would provide a monetary return.
Some sceptics decided to commit a non-producing fruit tree or an infertile field — just to see what would happen.
Even they got amazing results. Apple trees that had never borne well produced bushels during the first season the Lord was in charge. Fields that had fallen into disuse were re-purposed and yielded bumper crops. Eventually people became convinced that the Lord would bless anything and everything that was put into His care on behalf of His work.
By 1900 this unique investment plan was used for various projects worldwide; and by 1908 it was being implemented by divisions around the globe. In 1925 the General Conference officially designated the plan as the Sabbath School Investment Fund.
Proceeds over the years have gone toward support of a designated venture or project — into purchasing items helpful in an outreach programme or that are essential to the smooth functioning of the church.
Our last project was an AMAZING SUCCESS!
We had set a Fund goal in November 2013 of J$300,000 to purchase for our Dorado Pathfinders a drum set. Twenty-five or more Sabbath School members signed up, joyfully designating proceeds from a range of individual projects — from sales of backyard produce to savings on doctors’ bills and taxi fares — to see us realise our goal. We surpassed the goal! In January 2015 we had an accumulated total of J$321,000; and the Pathfinders were able to purchase their shiny new drum set, plus an array of other instruments, on which, together, Pastor Harvey prayed God’s blessing in a ceremony of dedication.
As recommended by the Church board, we want to further support our model Pathfinders — this time with purchase of a high-tech Yamaha keyboard, which they’ll use to the Glory of God in outdoor evangelistic crusades they conduct every May. We want also, though, to use returns this year to purchase an additional item, one necessary for the smooth running and comfort of the church: a drinking water fountain — one that is also state of the art. The combined total goal we are setting to arrive at by December 31st, 2016 is, once again, J$300,000 — J$250, 000 for the keyboard, and J$50,000 for the fountain. We are thus encouraging ALL church members (who are automatically also Sabbath School members) to give some thought to a project of your choosing and let anyone of your SSI officers know. Better yet, why not share regularly details of and stories surrounding your project in this space with other NCU Church Facebook readers?!
Nurture and feed your project, then watch it GROW
NB: You may from time to time drop into the offering plate, in a tithe envelope, $ returns from your project. Write on the envelope ‘SSI’, and the Church treasurer will record it as such. SAMPLE INVESTMENTS 2013-14 1. Loose coins 2. Premium on personal grades 3. Premium on children’s grades 4. Savings from cooking own lunch/taking to work a sandwich (instead of buying from the cafeteria) 5. Savings on taxi fares 6. Savings on doctors’ fees Birthing of first grandchild 7. Toll road savings 8. Sales of produce from dedicated garden or fruit tree 9. A double tithe 10. Credit from paying utility bill early 11. Windfall bank interest payment
Co-directors - Bros Bernard Headley and Hermon Douce Secretary - Bro Ronald Clarke Elder in charge - Elder Lilieth Scarlett
Sabbath School Investment has been around in the Seventh-day Adventist Church for more than 100 years. As early as the 1880s, church members in North America sought ways to fund specific projects, such as purchasing camp meeting equipment. “People were encouraged to designate some specific project to the Lord and let Him bless it in a way that would provide a monetary return”. Some "skeptics" decided to commit a non-producing fruit tree or an infertile field just to see what would happen. Even they got amazing results. Apple trees that had never borne well produced bushels during the first season the Lord was in charge. Fields that had fallen into disuse were re-purposed and yielded bumper crops. Eventually people became convinced that the Lord would bless anything and everything that was put into His care on behalf of His work. By 1900 this unique investment plan was used for various projects worldwide; and by 1908 it was being implemented by divisions around the globe. In 1925 the General Conference officially designated the plan as the Sabbath School Investment Fund.
Investment offerings have gone beyond what we regularly and systematically do with our tithes and offerings. They have gone toward support of a designated venture or project dedicated to building up the kingdom of God---such as an outreach programme of the conference or local church.
The NCU Church Sabbath School Department is asking each member to devise over the next few months your own investment plan. The proceeds from your plan will go toward purchase of an essential item for the good of the NCU Church community. What's a good starting point for a project?
A good starting point for generating an investment idea, then a plan, would be to ask: “What’s one way (perhaps seemingly unlikely) I could expect a Blessing over the next few months”? Think hard about it; and then, after you decide, put God to the challenge, saying: “Surprise me God!” Here was Sister Lola Christian's three-part investment plan for 2013: 1. Sale of ripe bananas (actual value $1,500) 2. Unexpected free rides between July and November (value $50 per ride for actual saving of $3,150) 3. No visit to medical doctor for August and October (actual saving $2,000) Total turned over to Church treasurer in November 2013 came to $6,650! What will the proceeds from our separate 2014 investment projects go to?
Our Pathfinders (the Dorado, Adventurer and Eager Beaver Clubs) have, under the inspirational leadership of the Morris family (Richard, Una and Chantal), been making the NCU Church family ALL proud parents.
However, on those special occasions, when the Pathfinders do to rave reviews their processionals, their parade of colors and their march pasts, they’ve either had to bring in from out of town (often at prohibitive costs) drummers, who then bring with them their own drum sets.
Or our Pathfinders have had to “rent” the drums for their use.
We simply oughtn’t to have any more of that!
Our Pathfinders should have their own drum sets.
Our Pathfinder leaders say a good drum corps costs around J$300,000. I do have the Pastor’s and Church Board’s approval that the combined proceeds from our individual SSI projects should go towards that J$300,000 for purchase of drums (as well as requisite other furnishings) for our star Pathfinders.
Project samplers On Sabbath March 15, I asked for members to indicate on small slip of paper a project they were thinking of investing in. I am getting back several interesting investment ideas and plans. Here's a sampling: Pastor Harvey and Sis Vanassa Carr are investing in school grades: he $1,000 for every “A” his son, “MJ”, brings home this year; she $200 for every "A" and $100 for every "B" she earns.
Sisters Hazel Barrow and Lilith Scarlet will be investing, in marked containers, ALL their loose coins. Sister Sharla Broomfield has named her project "Stop & Cook". This is how she says it will work: "When I have the urge to buy cook food on the road, I will resist and go home and cook my own meal instead. I will use the money I would have spent on the road for my SS investment". Mine is "Toll Road Savings". I frequently alternate using Highway 2000 with the old, bad Old Harbour road on trips to Kingston. The toll savings I put into my SS investment. Sister Morvia Facey-Gordon is investing in her grand daughter "doing well" this year in university abroad.
Teacher Rose is investing proceeds from select yam hills in his farm garden.
On Sabbath May 24, Sister Barrow celebrated her 84th birthday! In thanksgiving, she turned over to the church treasurer, as part of her investment, 84 U.S. dollars!!! I turned in at the end of May J$1520 from one month's one-way toll road savings. For those of you I have not heard from, please respond by scrolling to end of this blog and do "Leave a Reply", then hit "Submit". Or you can call me at 625-4826. Tell me:
NAME OF YOUR PROJECT: DESCRIPTION OF HOW IT WILL WORK:
Please feel free to post ANY helpful comment or feedback. I appreciate immensely those I have received. Blessings!
Bernard Headley, Sabbath School Investment Director, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Northern Caribbean University (NCU), Mandeville, Jamaica. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org