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Michigan Camp Meeting Unity Seminar

Dan Augsburger

The following resources were used with the United In Christ, Unity Seminar at Michigan Camp Meeting in June of 2024.

In preparing I studied more than 70 documents—chapters, articles, manuscripts and letters—from the writings of Ellen G. White. Prior to making this fairly exhaustive study on the subject I did not know what I would learn. However, having read, annotated, pondered and prayed, I am convinced and convicted that we must come into union as a church if we are to experience the blessings of God, including the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

What follows are resources that you will find helpful in your own study of the subject.

Some Key Thoughts

John 17:21-23 (NKJV) "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me."

We are to pray for union, and then live in such a way that God can answer our prayers. The Review and Herald, January 27, 1903, par. 14.  Perfect oneness,—a union as close as the union existing between the Father and the Son,—this is what will give success to the efforts of God’s workers. “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me,” to bring about this union, this sanctified harmony. “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” It is this union that convinces the world that God has indeed sent his Son to save sinners. Christ gives to his true disciples the glory of his character, that his prayer may be answered. Through the impartation of his Spirit, he appears in their lives. The Review and Herald, January 27, 1903, par. 15.

The instruction given me by One of authority is that we are to learn to answer the prayer recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John. We are to make this prayer our first study. ... Those who fail to learn the lessons contained in this prayer are in danger of making one-sided developments, which no future training will ever fully correct. Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8 239.2.

Then comes the wonderful prayer recorded in the seventeenth of John—a prayer that means much more to us than we realize. Let us receive it unto the treasure-house of the soul, and make it the daily lesson of our lives: Manuscript 1, 1903, par. 10 ... Let us make Christ’s prayer the rule of our life, that we may form characters that will reveal to the world the power of the grace of God. ... We are to pray for union and then live in such a way that God can answer our prayers. Manuscript 1, 1903, par. 14

There is no work more sacred for Christians than to maintain peace among themselves. Then they present to the world the unity that Christ prayed might exist, and bear witness that God sent Christ into the world to redeem the world. Manuscript 43, 1897, par. 16

If we have unity in the church, we must first have it in the home; for it is from the home that the church is formed, and the tempers and dispositions displayed in the family circle are the tempers and dispositions found in the church. The Review and Herald, July 2, 1889, par. 10.

There is a great and solemn work to be done by Seventh-day Adventists if they will only be converted. The great trouble is the lack of unity among them. This is a sin in the sight of God,—a sin which, unless God’s people repent, will withhold from them His blessing. General Conference Bulletin, April 7, 1903, par. 8.

As we approach the last crisis, it is of vital moment that harmony and unity exist among the Lord’s instrumentalities. The world is filled with storm and war and variance. ... At such a time as this let them not be found at variance with one another or with any of the Lord’s workers. Amidst the general discord let there be one place where harmony and unity exist because the Bible is made the guide of life. Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7 182.2.

The Seminar's Five Sessions

Christ Our Life: United to Christ

Christ Our Example: United to Each Other

Christ Our Head: United in the Church

Christ the Vine: Individuality & Diversity in Unity

Christ the Cornerstone: Promoting and Safeguarding Unity

Primary Illustrations

The vine nourishing the branches.

The Branches' unity abiding in the vine.

The diversity of the human body.

The perfect functioning of machine.

Diversity found in nature

Diverse gifts found in the church.

Construction of the Tabernacle and Solomon's Temple.


The handouts will be revised some in future seminars, but these provide plenty of evidence for the unity being called for. These line-numbered, discussion-friendly study guides will greatly enhance any study of this important topic.

• Seminar 1-3 Handout:  Unity 1-3 8x11 pdf    Unity 1-3  A5 pdf  Unity 1-3  A4 pdf

In this seminar I talked about uniting to Christ for conversion, a necessary element in seeking unity, uniting to each in answering Christ's plea for unity, and appreciating the God-planned diversity found in the church.

• Seminar 4-5 Handout:  Unity 4-5 8x11 pdf     Unity 4-5 A5 pdf  Unity 4-5  A4 pdf

This document covers challenges between various nationalities, caste and cultures/colors, as well as how God wants to overcome disunity and bring about unity. I continue to study the latter part of it and have found some key documents in this regard.

Ellen White Documents On Christian Unity

Here is a list of the documents if you want to look them up. For chapters of books, just put in the book/page identifier to get to the right document. For letters do the following Lt# year (Lt190 1890 for example). Do the same kind of thing for manuscripts.

A List Of Key Documents On Christian Unity

Here you will find a partial list of the documents that I studied in preparing for the seminar.

• Some Key Unity Documents From Mrs. White's Writings. 

These are just a few of the helpful resources I studied in preparing.

Ellen White, "That They All May Be One," Signs of the Times, February 7, 1900

This article answers many questions on what church unity is all about. I wish every member would read this article.

Ellen White: Church Unity And The Covenant Of Agreement, Letter 26, 1900.

This is the best article I have seen on how God can bring harmony into the disperate members of the church.

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