The June, 1977, issue of THE MINISTRY contained an interview article entitled "Ministering to the Neglected 'Singles.'" If you read that article you will re member that in America single people, including the unmarried, the divorced, and the widowed (some of whom are rearing children), now account for one out of every three households. According to Floyd Miller, president of the International PHILOSDA Club, there are 160,000 single adult Adventists in the North American Division. This represents a large segment of our church population and is gaining more and more attention from the leadership of the church.
The General Conference president, Pastor Pierson, and I had the privilege in July of attending the first "singles" camp meeting in the history of the church, perhaps of any church. Though it was not a large group as camp meetings go, it was very evident to us that these people were committed to finding a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord.
Anyone who attended this camp meeting in order to gain spiritual strength did not leave disappointed. Under Miller's leadership the program was well-organized. PHILOSDA is doing everything possible to erase the stigma of being merely a "lonely-hearts club" or a "datematch club." Their purpose is to help all adult Adventists not presently married, many of whom have gone through traumatic experiences such as divorce or the death of their spouse, to find a real purpose in life.
Frankly, my heart was deeply touched as I associated with this group. Though they differ greatly from one another in age and experience, they demonstrated a spirit of unity, harmony, love, and respect that I have rarely witnessed elsewhere. I am certain that one of the explanations for this spirit is the fact that many of these people have gone through so much anguish that they can empathize with one another; they are thus bound together in a common bond of fellowship. I am sure there are other reasons as well why people who live by choice or circumstance without spouses find common ground in a group like this.
The evangelistic fervor of this gathering was exhibited on a re cent Sabbath afternoon during the program entitled "Catch the Spider Spirit." The point of the program was that each person should try to make every movement count, to dedicate body, soul, and spirit to the one great cause of advancing the work of the Lord on the earth. They pro posed to give an offering for evangelistic projects, and set a goal of $20,000. When the contributions were all counted, the total exceeded $26,500, all to be sent to The Voice of Prophecy, Amazing Facts, and a project in Africa to build five native churches at $1,500 each. May the initiative and spirit of the PHILOSDA Club be a challenge to the entire church, around the world.