Date: February 1, 2007
Over the last six months or so, Andrews University has had the privilege of participating in an exciting project for the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church called "Connecting with Jesus." Those who attended the summer 2005 General Conference Session in St Louis, Mo., heard the project presented on the first Sabbath by Elder Ted Wilson, General Conference vice president.
"Connecting with Jesus" is a plan to promote the reading and study of Ellen White's writings among Seventh-day Adventists. It is the most ambitious project of its nature that the Church has ever adopted. The plan is to publish two million copies of ten Ellen White books (a total of 20 million volumes) at a modest charge that is affordable and appropriate for church members in various regions of the world. The ten books are: The Conflict of the Ages Series (which includes Patriarchs and Prophets, Prophets and Kings, Desire of Ages, Acts of the Apostles, and Great Controversy) and five other individual books: Christian Service, Counsels for the Church, Counsels on Stewardship, Ministry of Healing, and Steps to Christ.
Crucial to this project, which promotes not just the distribution but also study, is the development of study questions to be included at the end of each chapter. Students, faculty, and staff at Andrews University have been very involved in this aspect of the project. The Center for Adventist Research and White Estate Branch Office have coordinated the development of these questions. Since the summer of 2006, dozens of Seminary students, together with faculty and staff from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary and the James White Library, have developed study questions for the 539 chapters contained in the ten books. Each book has had a faculty editor who took the questions and finessed them into their final form.
The project is almost completed, and on February 13, those involved will meet in the Seminary chapel in a special celebration.
The hoped for result of this project: To connect people with Jesus, to nurture spirituality among members, to increase involvement with the life and mission of the Church, enhance understanding of the Adventist identity and beliefs, and to help members to recapture a personal vision for how they will live and work for Jesus. Ellen White's writings always lead to the Bible as the foundation of faith. The prayer of those involved is that thousands of Seventh-day Adventists will become better Bible students and have a stronger biblical faith.