Tabernacle SDAC: A Divine Design

By: John Devine, www.tabsda.org
Date: 04/05/06
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Seventh-day Adventist often refer to themselves as a peculiar people, but more than 150 young people set themselves apart by divine design.

The second annual Pure Reality retreat came to a close on April 1, but the work has just begun.

Pure Reality, the brainchild of three dedicated mothers from Tabernacle Seventh-day Adventist Church in Miami  Donna Kaye Scarlett, Dominique Diambois and Lauldi Nedd  focused on the importance of abstinence as part of Gods plan.

With that vision revealed, the ladies immediately went to work. The first year was a rousing success. This year, they refined their methods with more at stake. More than 200 teenagers attended, and nearly as many had to be turned away. Five churches (Tabernacle, Bethany, Mount Pisgah, Northwest Dade and Faith) entrusted their young people, and one parent sent their son from Alabama.

The venue was moved from a Miami hotel to Camp Kulauqa in High Springs for a more secluded setting to inspire conversation. There were skits by the young people explaining the symbolic and literal consequences of sex before marriage.

The young people were divided by gender and age (between 12 and 20) and counseled in small groups by mentors and counseled in large groups by speakers. Dr. Eric Walsh of California and life coach Heidi Day of Georgia talked to everyone about Dirty Little Secrets in their closet, and how, with Gods forgiveness, anyone can start anew and sins can be burned away just like the bonfire burned away the sins written down on paper that Saturday night.

As the weekend drew to a close, the Pure Reality experience didnt end there. The following week, AY gave young people a chance to testify about the weekend. Many of them talked about how their lives had changed. In many cases, their circumstances did not change, but their outlooks did. Closer connections to God were formed and smiles, praise and worship spread throughout the church like wildfire.

On April 1, the Treasure Key ceremony was the culmination of Pure Reality 2. The young people had a ceremony to confirm their commitments. The young men were knighted as Gentlemen of Honor (complete with a sword), and the females were named Ladies of Virtue.

To assist the young people, an honor board of older teens has been established to help each other on the path to purity.

As Pure Reality continues to grow, there will be a need for more mentors to guide our young people. For more information, check the website and www.purereality4u.org.
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