Don’t Forget to Remember

Don’t Forget to Remember

Celeste Ryan Blyden

Celeste Ryan Blyden

Although I’ve been seeing more blogs, articles and TV shows about Adventists in the public media lately, I wonder if many people outside our sanctuaries and prayer circles know who we are, what we believe and how we serve.

Don’t Forget to Remember

By Celeste Ryan Blyden

Like many of you, I read the blog post from my friend Ryan Bell who announced in the Huffington Post his intention to spend a year away from God—and our church. Granted, the church isn’t perfect; it’s flawed and full of sinners like me. But, it’s also full of sincere people who have experienced God’s transforming grace, accepted His call to discipleship and are trying to help thirsty people find Living Water.

We are Seventh-day Adventists! While God may indeed use sheep of other folds—like the filmmaker Martin Doblmeier concluded after producing three films about our healing and educational ministries—we are unique, we are called and we add value to the world.

We also have a story to tell. Many stories. Everywhere I travel, I meet Adventist people, and find that, if I listen long enough, they’ll tell me a story. I love hearing stories about what God is doing in and through His people in the Columbia Union. Our stories touch hearts, change minds and transform lives. They also reinforce His Word and help me remember that God is real, present and able.

Over and over as recorded in Deuteronomy, God told His chosen people to “remember the stories” and “do not forget what I have done for you.” It seems He was concerned that we might suffer spiritual amnesia. Somehow He knew that when we’re discouraged, tired of waiting, hurt by others or can’t find our way, the stories would serve as lifelines, beacons of light, rays of hope.

While many journalists uncover stories, I think of one of my previous professors from Washington Adventist University. Rhondda Robinson Thomas, PhD, an assistant professor at Clemson University [S.C.], is a story archeologist. She spends days, months and oftentimes years researching, reviewing newspaper clippings and following the paper trails of 19th century African-Americans, many of whom were former slaves with little more than freedom papers and determination. “I recover their stories so they won’t be lost to us or future generations, so they won’t be forgotten,” she says.

Sharing Our Stories

Although I’ve been seeing more blogs, articles and TV shows about Adventists in the public media lately, I wonder if many people outside our sanctuaries and prayer circles know who we are, what we believe and how we serve.

We are all storytellers, called to share the stories of our people. Adventist people. God’s people. We share them in hopes that they will touch hearts, change minds and transform lives for the glory of God.

And, so that we won’t forget to remember.

 

Celeste Ryan Blyden (cryan@columbiaunion.net) serves as vice president for strategic communication and public relations for the Columbia Union Conference.