These Seventh-Day Adventists Want to Help People See Jesus in Everyday Life
Sep 18, 2017 05:06AM
● By Marlene G-C
The folks at the Merrimack Valley Seventh-Day Adventist Church are undergoing a ministry transition so their church can become a church more on outward mission rather than an invitational program based church.
This means members will be able to join a community on mission. Groups will begin meeting at member homes, share life together, and go out together on mission activities. These "missional communities" are called to go forward and become integral parts of the community, and helping people see Jesus in everyday life.
“We are part of the community, not separate, and we want to be involved with presenting the love of Christ to the Dracut community and beyond,” said Kevin Robert, pastor of the church. “We also have a strong emphasis on teaching God’s word and making it practical for one’s life. We are developing these missional groups/communities to give our members fellowship and purpose during the week. More than anything we want to obey the great commission and make disciples who make disciples.”
Robert believes the missional process will take the next couple of years to really blossom, but the members are looking forward to this gospel-centered approach to life and mission. One of their first missional efforts was to plant a garden on their property. They hope that it will grow into a community garden next year so anyone who loves to garden can join.
In the meantime, the church invites all those seeking a community of believers in Christ and reconciliation into a loving family to the church. If you were to attend their service, you would find between 120-220 people in worship, dressed in suits and dresses to jeans and t-shirts. You can expect to be welcomed by greeters at their traditional church building with traditional steeple, who will direct you to the Bible studies and or the worship service and provide you with a bulletin so you can follow along.
The service starts with greetings and announcements, an offering is taken, and then the Pastor/speaker brings a biblical message to the people. Praise songs and traditional scripture-based hymns, along with a special music performance each Sabbath can be heard. A vegetarian fellowship meal is served after the service on the second Saturday of each month.
Communion is offered four times a year, at the end of each quarter. At these quarterly services, they break for a time of foot washing to follow Christ's example, then go back into sanctuary for the bread and the juice. (Juice is unfermented grape juice.) Adult bible study (Sabbath School) is offered every Sabbath, as well as on Monday and Wednesday nights at 7pm.
Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. They hold 28 Fundamental Beliefs, which address everything from The Holy Scriptures, The Trinity and many other traditional Christian beliefs, to The Second Coming of Christ and the New Earth. (You can read details of these beliefs here: http://szu.adventist.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/28_Beliefs.pdf). These beliefs, as set forth in the document, constitute the church’s understanding and expression of the teaching of Scripture.
Robert stresses that they are a family oriented church and include children in many of their practices. Youth education is offered for different age groups and the Bible is taught in unique and fun ways appropriate for the age. There is always a children's corner story time for the kids during worship. They also offer scout-like programs for the children from 4-18 from September to June. They are called “Adventurers” for the 4-9 year olds and “Pathfinders” for the 10- 18 age group. Youth groups do missional projects each year, like making food baskets for needy.
“My husband and I joined this church 41 years ago when our children were small because we were looking for truth and guidance in bringing them up and found it and much more in this Bible-believing and teaching church,” said Rita McCall. “The Merrimack Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church is family. We share each other’s’ joys, sorrows, and encourage one another to develop and strengthen our love, knowledge and relationship of, and with, God. We pray for one another. We cry and laugh with one another. There is a feeling of love and warmth when you walk through the doors of this church.”
According to Robert, the Seventh-Day Adventist church officially started in 1863 and grew out of a group of Advent believers (those who believe in the second coming of Christ) in the early 1840's called Millerite. He explained that The Seventh-Day Adventist Church is a worldwide church only surpassed by the Catholic church in the establishment of hospitals, schools, and countries where they have a presence. There are over 20,000,000 Adventists, and it is one of the fastest growing denominations in the world today.
As it says on the church website: “We have a saying here at MVC: ‘Friends helping friends become fully devoted followers of Christ.’ We are both challenged and inspired by that saying. Challenged, because it can only be accomplished by God’s power. And inspired because it’s exciting to be a part of a community of faith striving to be like that for God’s glory. If you want to experience God’s power and presence in your life, come and visit us. You have nothing to lose but everything to gain.”
Merrimack Valley Seventh-Day Adventist Church
408 Broadway Road
Dracut, MA 01826
Handicap accessible? Yes
Worship Times: Saturday 10am bible study and children's bible classes all ages. 11:30 am worship celebration begins for all.