Information when you need it

Help for a busy pastor can come from a seldom-considered source. Find out how you can pick the minds of leading denominational thinkers and writers through a little-known and inexpensive tool.

Aletha H. Fletcher is editor of the Seventh-day Adventist Periodical Index, Loma Linda, California.

Have you ever been frustrated because you were unable to locate, when you needed it, an article you had read in an Adventist publication recently? Since only two or three Seventh-day Adventist periodicals provide an author and broad subject index annually, you can be at a loss to know where to look if you did not clip and file the article at the time. You have no choice but to leaf through each issue of a magazine in an effort to locate the article you need. In case you do not remember in which periodical you read it, your search may lead you through several. And even after spending valuable time, your efforts may end fruitlessly!

If this has been your experience, you will be glad to know that help is available. The SDA Periodical Index can give you immediate access, either through the subject or the author's name, to thousands of articles published in nearly sixty Seventh-day Adventist English-language periodicals.

But there are also other uses for the Index than simply trying to locate an article you have seen in the past.

Are you feeling the generation gap and wondering how to relate to the youth in your congregation? Did you know that six Adventist periodicals include regular question-and-answer columns dealing with teen-age problems? A year's compilation of these would give you an excellent cross section of the problems troubling youth today, as well as some of the answers suggested by qualified counselors. Columns dealing with youth problems may be found by looking under "Youth—Questions and Answers" and "Youth—Conduct of Life" in the Index.

What if you aren't a subscriber to the particular magazine that has the article you want? You can still have access to any article listed in the Index. The editorial office of the Index provides a copying service, and the charge is only 10 cents per page.

Perhaps you are looking for new sources of help in your sermon preparation. The Index offers help here, too. After the headings "Bible: O.T." and "Bible: N.T." you will find the various books of the Bible listed, with the individual texts discussed in each title shown in square brackets. Also, Bible studies are listed under their appropriate subject headings, as well as under the general heading "Bible Studies."

You are undoubtedly aware of the unprecedented explosion in soul winning in divisions outside North America. Why not read in division papers the detailed accounts of the preparation and methods employed in these evangelistic activities?

Perhaps, like Paul, you feel that we are currently being "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine," and that we need to follow his advice about "speaking the truth in love" (Eph.4:14, 15). What are other ministers around the world speaking, believing, and writing on righteousness by faith, faith and works, the sanctuary question, the Spirit of Prophecy, and other subjects? By researching these topics through the SDA Periodical Index you could find out. Try these subject entries: "Faith," "Faith and Reason," "Righteousness," "Law and Gospel," "Salvation," "Sanctification," "Justification," "Atonement," "Sanctuary," "Jesus—Rites and Ceremonies," "Tabernacle," and "White, Ellen Gould (Harmon)—Authorship," to name a few.

If you are a white minister with no blacks in your congregation, perhaps you do not often see copies of Message. You are deprived! In addition to its penetrating doctrinal studies, you are missing such unique features as its column Voices in the Wind, which quotes penetrating comments on our times from renowned people in the public sector who have things to say that should be .of concern to Christians.

Don't forget the needs of your church workers. The new "Children's Section" in the Index will provide invaluable access to children's stories directed to a particular moral value, ideas for programs, and guidance in youth work. Perhaps an article in a past Worker will give the Sabbath school superintendent ideas on conducting a successful Sabbath school council or Vacation Bible School. Another may help the junior division leader cope with his lively group and attain better classroom control.

In so many ways, continued access to the fine articles published in Adventist periodicals can enrich the life of your church and lighten your load as a pastor, teacher, or administrator. Why not give the Index a try by ordering your subscription today? After receiving it, request photocopies of articles on any topic found in the Index that would be helpful to you. You may order individual titles or a complete bibliography of articles on a particular topic, and be charged only 10 cents per page, plus postage.

Subscription orders for the SDA Periodical Index should be sent to: SDA Periodical Index, Loma Linda University Libraries, Indexing Services Dept., P.O. Box 8308, Riverside, California 92515. Individual rate (individuals, churches, church schools, junior academies), $7.00. Institutional subscription rate (academies, colleges, conference offices, hospitals, other institutions), $25.00. Some back issues are also available.

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

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Aletha H. Fletcher is editor of the Seventh-day Adventist Periodical Index, Loma Linda, California.

April 1981

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