By Tola Ewers
Madison Community Seventh-day Adventist Church
Members of the Madison Community Seventh-day Adventist Church, a local faith community blessed with a diverse congregation, hosted several gatherings Oct. 13‒15 to celebrate the congregation’s 30 years of existence. Since 2003 the congregation has called 1926 Elka Lane its home.
The weekend’s theme was “Through the Years.” Events focused on reminding attendees that regardless of whatever good or bad was happening in the world and in people’s lives since the congregation’s inception, it was important to be celebrating 30 years of blessings, and that all friends and members — past and present — are part of Madison Community’s church family.
The congregation welcomed back as guest speaker Pastor Richard Moore and his wife, Betty. The Moores traveled to Madison from Michigan, where he serves as associate treasurer for the Lake Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and she is a nurse practitioner. Pastor Moore was shepherd of the congregation when the Elka Lane property was purchased and remodeled.
Pastor Abraham Swamidass, PhD, and his wife, Joan, succeeded the Moores in congregational leadership. Pastor Swamidass is also a licensed counselor and serves the Wisconsin Conference of Seventh-day Adventists as director of Family Life Ministries. His wife is a reading specialist with an area school district.
Events included a Friday night program, Sabbath School and worship service followed by a potluck Saturday, a banquet Saturday night and picnic Sunday. A slideshow with historical photos and a memorial section played during worship. Some programming was streamed live on Facebook, and two children of Ko and Terri Saelee, the Hmong congregation’s pastoral family, created a YouTube video for the event.
The Madison Community church family has always been committed to meeting the needs of its members, the local community and those around the world and has a history of activities that reflect this collective mindset. The congregation has been involved in a number of thematic efforts over the years. These include: Keenagers, a social group for those over age 60; financial support of K-12 education in denominational schools; Christmas caroling at long-term care facilities; serving meals at the Salvation Army; cooking and serving the State Street Family meal and other connected homeless outreach; sending members to be international missionaries; being home to both a Spanish congregation and outreach to the Hmong population; active involvement in immigrant and refugee ministries; being the launch point for a nonprofit endeavor supporting residents of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota; various campus ministries at UW-Madison; and an annual outreach to children.
Once the congregation had a permanent home on Elka Lane, the church family began providing a Vacation Bible Experience for children every summer for a week. The event provides a holistic experience by blending an introduction to Christian principles through stories, singing and crafts with healthy snacks and physical activity through games.
Other activities have included a vegetarian food fair, a children’s health summit, a 5K fun run/walk and regular evangelistic meetings. The church will be sponsoring a major evangelistic event in the spring in collaboration with several other Madison-area congregations.
Services occur on Saturdays with Sabbath School for all ages beginning at 9:45 am. The worship service begins at 11 am. Learn more at madisoncommunitywi.adventistchurch.org or like us on Facebook.