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SBC DIGEST: LifeWay VP to retire; Mt. Sinai lecture at SWBTS; GuideStone’s ‘Retirement:Now’; Baptist Standard

NASHVILLE (BP) — Mark Scott, longtime vice president of LifeWay Christian Stores, has elected to retire following several months of health challenges, LifeWay President Thom Rainer has announced.

Scott will be replaced by Tim Vineyard, currently vice president of LifeWay’s technology division, whom Rainer named as acting vice president of the retail division until LifeWay trustees can review and affirm the change.

Rainer, in a communication to LifeWay’s 3,900 employees, said the changes are both difficult yet affirming.

“In his 30 years of service to LifeWay, Mark Scott has had an incalculable impact on the stores division as well as the broader LifeWay organization,” Rainer said. “When he took over the division in 1992, there were 63 stores and 800 employees. Today we have 160 LifeWay Christian Stores with 2,400 employees.”

Rainer said Scott has made remarkable recovery after experiencing a stroke in June, followed by heart surgery to correct a congenital condition that caused the stroke.

“Mark needs to devote significant effort to achieving 100 percent recovery,” Rainer said. “However, I’m very pleased that his progress to date will allow him to serve as executive consultant to me, providing LifeWay the benefit of his vast knowledge and experience.”

Scott said serving at LifeWay has been “the greatest adventure of my life. I believe the future of LifeWay is brighter than ever as the organization continues to focus on providing the highest quality biblical resources to individuals and churches.”

“Of course, Mark’s retirement leaves a huge, strategic hole in our executive leadership team,” Rainer said. “But, I’m excited to announce that, after much prayer and consultation, the Lord has already provided us the individual who perfectly fits these stringent qualifications. That person is Tim Vineyard, current vice president of our technology division.”

Before coming to LifeWay in 2000 as director of the E-business group, Vineyard served 23 years as vice president of an Apple Computer retailer. He was named vice president of LifeWay’s technology division two years later and has led development of LifeWay’s diverse and extensive business systems and website portals including LifeWay.com, the corporate technology infrastructure and voice and data systems, including business systems for LifeWay Christian Stores.

“The Lord has provided Tim the experience, passion and commitment we need in a visionary executive to lead the stores division into an even brighter future,” Rainer said.

Rainer said the changes are effective immediately, and LifeWay will quickly begin a national search for a vice president of technology.

LECTURER AT SWBTS EXPLORES POSSIBLE MT. SINAI SITES — Egyptologist James Hoffmeier, in a lecture in conjunction with the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, examined the attempt to pinpoint the location of Mt. Sinai, where God revealed His glory to Moses and inscribed the Ten Commandments.

Different scholars have suggested 14 possible locations for Mt. Sinai, said Hoffmeier, professor of Old Testament and ancient Near Eastern history and archaeology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and author of “Ancient Israel in Sinai: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Wilderness Tradition.” Considering the biblical evidence concerning the route and distance that the Israelites would have traveled during the Exodus, Hoffmeier suggested a location for the mountain in the southern Sinai Peninsula.

Ultimately, however, Hoffmeier stated that the location of Mt. Sinai does not matter. Speaking to Moses on the mountain, the Lord commanded the Israelites to build a tabernacle in which His glory would reside.

“Once the glory of God comes into the tabernacle,” Hoffmeier said, “Moses never climbs Mt. Sinai again. … Why? Because God’s glory is now in the tabernacle with the people. And, of course, we read how that glory then moves with Israel into the Promised Land.”

Then, after Solomon constructed the temple in Jerusalem, the glory of God filled the temple. In short, Hoffmeier said in his Sept. 18 lecture, “Mt. Zion in Jerusalem becomes the new Mt. Sinai,” and for this reason the location of Mt. Sinai does not ultimately matter. Hoffmeier then reminded the audience that Jesus spoke of a time when God would not restrict His glory to its dwelling place in the Jerusalem temple: “The hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father…. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (John 4:21,23).

The Joan & Andy Horner Lecture Series at Southwestern, which takes place each Tuesday at 8 p.m. on the seminary campus in Fort Worth, Texas, accompanies the seminary’s Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible exhibition. To learn more about the lecture series or the exhibit, visit www.seethescrolls.com.

GUIDESTONE OFFERS “RETIREMENT:NOW” RESOURCES — GuideStone Financial Resources has announced its plans for Retirement:Now, a one-week event to coincide with National Save for Retirement Week (Oct. 21-27).

Retirement:Now “will help employers create a retirement-focused interactive, learning environment for the benefit of their employees,” according to a GuideStone news release.

All Southern Baptist and evangelical churches and institutions served by GuideStone are invited to take part in the free seven-day event. To participate, organizations will simply download ready-to-use resources that they can make available to employees throughout the week. There will be resources that are applicable to all employees regardless of how far or near they are to retirement age.

“As part of our core mission at GuideStone, we’re always looking for ways to enhance the financial security of our participants and their employees,” said O.S. Hawkins, GuideStone president. “Retirement:Now pushes this mission forward by giving employees essential resources that can help them achieve a better prepared financial future.”

Retirement:Now resources can be accessed at http://www.guidestoneretirement.org/Promotions/RetirementNow.aspx.

BAPTIST STANDARD TO GO ELECTRONIC IN 2013 — The Baptist Standard, newsjournal of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, will transition to electronic delivery in 2013 after 124 years as a print publication.

Circulation of the Baptist Standard peaked in the late 1970s with nearly 400,000 subscribers but declined to 143,271 in 2000. Currently, the Standard’s print edition has 26,600 subscribers, while the website reports 8,000 unique visitors per week and 4,000 subscribing to the FirstLook weekly e-newsletter.

“The digital Baptist Standard will contain the ongoing Texas, national and world news that readers have been accustomed to reading in the paper,” managing editor Ken Camps reported to readers in mid-September.

Meanwhile, a monthly magazine, CommonCall, will launch in January. Baptist Standard editor Marv Knox said CommonCall emerged from conversations and surveys of BGCT-affiliated local churches. Knox said CommonCall will provide “human-interest feature about changed lives” as well as “thought-provoking leadership-oriented articles and stories about effective church ministries.” The magazine’s name reflects a desire “to unify churches and our convention,” Knox added.

With the exception of reports of obituaries, ordinations, church staff changes and a one-page news-at-a-glance summary, content in CommonCall will not be duplicated in the electronic Baptist Standard. Those who have paid for Standard subscriptions for 2013 will automatically receive the magazine and will be entitled to two free subscriptions to the electronic Standard.
Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston.

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