The purpose of the office of the executive secretary is to participate with the officer team in the overall mission of Southeastern California Conference through administrative, pastoral and support services to churches, schools, ministries and members.
The conference is about people, people that follow Jesus.
In the office of the secretary, we keep record of church membership and recognize that for every person that is added to our conference membership, every member who dies, every member that is removed from the church books, there is a personal story. We analyze membership trends and produce reports for the conference executive committee and we remind them that the numbers shared represent real people.
SECC continues to grow. During the past five years, we have seen a collective effort by our church and ministries to carry out our mission of “expanding the kingdom of God.” Evangelism of many kinds have resulted in people deciding to follow Jesus. The Spirit of God is at work and all of us have the incredible privilege of partnering with God in His work.
We have added 13,538 new members in the past five years through baptism, profession of faith and membership transfers. We continue to be concerned about member retention and as you look
at the charts and graphs you will notice that we have lost 4,534 members who have been removed or reported missing during the same time period. Our office is encouraging each church to have an ongoing and prayerful process of reaching out to missing members, and to invite these members to fully participate in the life of the church.
2,692 members have moved out of our conference territory and 1,980 members have died during the past five years. This leaves a total growth of 4,240 members.
eAdventist, the web-based North American Division church membership program, has continued to make it simple to transfer members between churches and conferences within our division. Nevertheless, we still face some challenges in membership transfers between divisions. We are continuously working to assist churches with these issues.
Susie DeCanio, the part time membership clerk, helps train church clerks and pastors on the membership software and assists them on a daily basis with any membership transfer questions they may have.
In this office, we record the story of God’s activity in SECC through keeping minutes and records of meetings where prayerful and important decisions are made, such as the conference executive committee (the governing body of SECC).
We also keep files of every congregation in our conference. These files include notes of important historical events and celebrations that churches have held. We attempt to keep anniversary programs, pastor installations and church organization programs, as well as other major events for future reference.
This office also issues credentials and licenses to conference pastors, teachers and office employees. It produces and updates the conference master calendar and maintains various databases. We have moved to a more paperless method of both tracking administrative data and communicating both in the office and to the conference at large. Edna Thomas, the administrative assistant, is responsible for the bulk of this work.
Church Status Changes
Over the past 5 years, we have added 14 new churches and companies to our sisterhood of churches in SECC. Each one has been on a journey of faith with growth both in size and mission. It has been and continues to be a joy to organize and to welcome them into our conference. We have implemented a church board training process for new church boards in recent years.
|Name||Organization Type||Date Voted|
|Redlands Spanish Company||Company||2009|
|Temecula Valley Spanish||Company||2010|
|Lake Elsinore Spanish||Company||2013|
|El Centro Spanish||Church||2009|
|San Diego Central||Church||2011|
|Riverside Central Spanish||Church||2011|
|SDA Fellowship of Rancho Cucamonga||Church||2013|
|Apple Valley All Nations||Church||2013|
A major function of the office of the secretary is to work with the officer team on pastor transitions and new hires. We believe that we have a gifted, God-led group of pastors, who are passionate about serving the people. We encourage our pastors to be life-long learners and work closely with our ministerial director to provide professional growth opportunities for all pastors. We also continually remind our pastors that their first priority is to be the people of God before they do the work of God. That way their fruitful ministry grows out of a deep relationship with Jesus, the one we follow.
In recent years we have intentionally hired many young pastors, as we have recognized that in the near future we will be faced with many retirements. This allows us to pair these pastors with more experienced colleagues, so they can be mentored and prepared to step into sole or senior pastor roles.
Over the past years it has been a joy to work with a team of officers, pastors and conference staff that are focused on following Jesus. They are committed to excellence and are always looking for ways to do things better and to serve you more effectively. In the end, we recognize that it is always about people, people that choose to follow Jesus.