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ACS Summit Equips Leaders, Volunteers for Service

By Samantha Young

Approximately 75 leaders, volunteers, and pastors from Chesapeake Conference, all with a passion for service, recently converged at the conference building in Columbia, Md., for the annual Adventist Community Services (ACS)/Disaster Response Summit. This year’s theme was “Placing the Fingerprint of God in Our Local Communities.”

In addition to reporting on worldwide efforts, presenters also gave new ideas and inspired attendees to offer greater service. Speaker Nikolaus Satelmajer, editor of Ministry magazine, shared his vision for making churches integral parts of their communities. “Do the work of God and the Lord will bless you,” Satelmajer asserted. “You are the evangelists.”

During her workshop, presenter May-Ellen Colón, ACS director for the Adventist world church, zeroed in on Christ’s method of reaching people as outlined by Ellen White in Ministry of Healing (page 143). Colón encouraged participants to assess the needs in their neighborhood and find ways to meet those needs as a way of gaining trust in the community before sharing “the rest of the story.”

Using an inventive prop of banana bread with a saltshaker baked right in its center, Colón also reminded us that we are called to be the salt of the Earth. If we don’t leave our comfort zones and mingle with community members—people different than us—we’ll never get the opportunity to share that “salt” with others.