Salvation in Jesus makes us one. The ground at the foot of the cross is level.

August 30, 2021

‘This is the church for me’

Ken Denslow starts his first week as the Lake Union Conference President

Our family was all out on the beach a few weeks ago when I got the phone call telling me that I had been elected as president of the Lake Union Conference. Right there in the sand we held a “family council.” The next day I accepted the invitation to serve in this great territory. Pat and I are delighted to be returning to our “home” in the Midwest.

The last time I wrote an article for a union paper, it was a guest editorial for the Columbia Union Visitor when I was a young pastor serving in the Chesapeake Conference. What follows is a slightly modified version of that editorial. The thoughts expressed here, I believe, are timeless and vital to the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Society tends to separate people, to classify us into groups and subgroups. In the secular world, there are divisions based on income, culture, race, gender, background and even political party.

Christianity, on the other hand, stresses unity and oneness. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all (Eph. 4:4-6 NKJV).

A friend once told me a beautiful story. Years ago, he was studying the Bible with an Adventist pastor. In time, the pastor invited Bill to attend the local church.

After Bill’s second Sabbath at the church, the pastor told him that the next week was to be Communion Sabbath. Bill was told how we practice foot washing as part of the Lord’s Supper. It was quite strange to him, but he agreed to come to the celebration.

The next Sabbath, when it was time to separate for the foot-washing service, Bill made his way toward the room where the men were to meet. Now it happened that before he attended that Adventist church, Bill had known two church members — one was his physician, the other his trash collector.

That day, as he walked into the room, the first thing Bill saw was his doctor washing the feet of his friend, the trash collector. Bill remembers, “When I saw those two men, whom society says are classes apart, doing the simple act of washing each other’s feet, I told myself, ‘This is the church for me.’”

That day the trash collector and the doctor were illustrating the truth that the apostle Paul wrote of: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28 NKJV).

Salvation in Jesus makes us one. The ground at the foot of the cross is level.


Ken Denslow is president of the Lake Union Conference.