The President’s Desk | Elder Garth Gabriel

The president’s desk is an opportunity for acting President, Elder Garth Gabriel to share thoughts on the strategic plan voted in by the Lake Region Conference Executive Committee. In these posts the president will address & highlight the areas that will continue to lead our conference forward and break ground into new areas of ministry and mission.
 

UPDATES, TRANSITION PROCESS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Greetings Lake Region family,
Know that God is with our Conference. Here are some critical updates I would like to share with you about the changes taking place at the conference office. We are making significant progress as we process the transition of the Executive Office of President and Treasurer. Continue to pray for us as we carefully plan and implement these next steps.
 

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A NEW CHAPTER

Warmest Christian greetings. I pray you and your loved ones are basking in the sunshine and love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

As you may or may not know, I have accepted a call to serve as the Dean of the School of Theology at Oakwood University, effective July 1. Transitioning to the “School of the Prophets” will bring to an end my role as President of the Lake Region Conference. Thank you for the privilege of partnering with you in mission and ministry for the last 7 years, and please know that your love and support significantly contributed to making my service meaningful and memorable.

The process for electing my replacement is clearly outlined in the Constitution and Bylaws of the Lake Region Conference. Please expect to hear from Elder Garth Gabriel, Executive Secretary, in the near future with information regarding the process. According to the Constitution and Bylaws, Elder Gabriel will become Acting President of the Conference upon my departure. Thank you for receiving and supporting him during this period of transition and change, as well as in the days ahead.

As we prepare to write a new chapter in the Lake Region Conference story, let us be thankful for each other and continue to claim God’s promises of provision and protection. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11). “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).

Shabbat Shalom!

R. Clifford Jones, Pastor/President

“Encountering Christ. Engendering Change. Enriching Communities.”


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VERDICT OR VICTORY?

Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. It was the proverbial shot heard around the world. The word ricocheted from city to village to hamlet and from country to continent. In years to come, people will be able to recall exactly where they were when the guilty verdicts in the Derek Chauvin murder and manslaughter trial were read out loud by the judge, the defendant showing little or no emotion.

The death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers sworn to protect and serve our communities captivated all classes of people. It gave impetus to the Black Lives Matter movement, as thousands thronged the streets of major American cities last summer in protest. When the guilty verdicts were read, people applauded and danced in the streets.

On every hand and by every measure, the verdict was rare. While some saw it as a victory, others have chosen to view it as just what it is, one verdict. The justice system worked this time, thanks in large part to the engagement of concerned onlookers, including an alert teenager who shot videos of ex-officer Chauvin pressing his knee into the neck of a handcuffed George Floyd on the ground for over nine minutes. The graphic video triggered intense disgust and profound horror worldwide.

The United States president stated that the verdict, while significant, won’t be enough to stem the tide of police misconduct in the nation. Acknowledging that the struggle for racial justice is far from over, others hope that the verdict will come to represent the start of a new phase in America’s tortuous march toward justice.

In a sense, the trial of Derek Chauvin transcended the events that took place outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis last Memorial Day. The American legal system and its ability to deliver justice to all people regardless of race or ethnicity was on trial. Americans and people worldwide paid close attention to the case, waiting to see if justice would be served this time, and a collective gasp was emitted when the judge read the guilty verdict, and Chauvin was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

In the midst of the Chauvin trial, an unarmed young black man was shot and killed by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, a mere ten miles from Minneapolis. Around the time Chauvin was being convicted in a Minneapolis courtroom, a black teenage girl was shot to death by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio. The teen was brandishing a knife and refused to heed the police officer’s call to drop the weapon. Calls for the cessation of killings like these two and that of Floyd continue to reverberate around the country, as are appeals that police reform and sensible gun control legislation be enacted and implemented.

Ours is a broken world of deeply flawed people. We long for heaven. “Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders” (Isa. 60:18, KJV). “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away . . . And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new” (Rev. 21:1, 5, KJV).

“Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20). Shabbat Shalom!

Clifford Jones

President


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WE STAND WITH OUR ASIANS BROTHERS AND SISTERS

On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, a lone gunman shot and killed six Asian women and two other people in the Atlanta area. The horrific incident sent shock waves throughout the country and jolted the Asian American community. Condemnation of the mass killing was swift and included a rebuke from President Joe Biden. It appears that the gunman targeted Asian Americans, who have experienced a surge in violence since COVID-19.
 

The Lake Region Conference (LRC) joins all concerned Americans and people of conscience and good will in condemning the senseless act of violence that ended the lives of innocent people. Without question, what happened in Atlanta, GA, was an act of ethnic and gender violence that has no place in a civilized society.


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STATEMENT ON THE SHOOTING OF JACOB BLAKE

Another African American man has been unjustifiably shot—in the back, no less—by a white police officer.  Another round of violent protests by enraged citizens has erupted as a consequence. Another plea for peaceful demonstrations has been issued. Another state of emergency has been declared. Another contingent of the National Guard has been deployed.


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