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Pacific Union ACS Teams Provide Continued Aid as Camp Fire Survivors Transition to more Permanent Residences

Faith Hoyt with Connie Vandeman Jeffery

Pacific Union Adventist Community Services (ACS) Director Charlene Sargent has been in motion for months now to coordinate specific kinds of support for Camp Fire survivors in Northern California.

In the last 11 months since the fire, many survivors have resided in hotels, with family and friends, and other temporary housing situations. This summer as survivors transitioned into more permanent places of residence, Sargent and her team helped provide items that recently became needs for these families: kitchen supplies.

Thanks to grant monies from Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and the North American Division (NAD), Sargent and her team purchased items needed to assemble kitchen kits, which included mixing bowls, silverware, pots, knives, baking ware, glasses, and more. Sargent then coordinated relief efforts with other agencies working in Northern California so as to distribute these supplies to survivors with verified needs. Though the process took time, ACS teams were able to host localized giveaways that ensured supplies were given to verified fire survivors. “We need to serve the people who need it,” Sargent said.

ACS has now hosted several kitchen kit giveaways in Northern California towns, including Yuba City, Orville, and Chico, and Gridley. The giveaways drew the attention of several news organizations, including KRCR News, who interviewed Sargent during their kitchen kit giveaway at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico. At each giveaway, survivors are directed to look for a red trailer with the disaster response logo.

Working along with ACS to help meet survivors’ needs are other organizations and groups.

“St. Vincent de Paul has provided some things like laundry baskets, mops and brooms, toilet brushes, and cutting boards,” Sargent said. According to Sargent, the kits weigh around 40 lbs., and these timely kits are serving as one crucial way to help return life to normal for survivors and their families. “These survivors have been eating out, or when they live with family or friends, it’s not the kind of food they’re used to eating,” she said. “They get to feel a sense of normalcy when they can make their own meals again.”

As a disaster relief organization, Adventist Community Services was present in the Camp Fire’s immediate aftermath—but their ministry continues as they help provide longer-term support for the survivors still working to put the basic pieces of their lives back together.

 

This summer, ACS hosted kitchen kit giveaways in Northern California towns, including Yuba City, Orville, and Chico, and Gridley. The kits included mixing bowls, silverware, pots, knives, and glasses—all items that have become needs now that Camp Fire survivors are transitioning into more permanent housing. (Photo by Charlene Sargent)

 

2019-09-10T08:59:06-07:00September 18th, 2019|News|

Pacific Union Pathfinders Attend 8th International Oshkosh Camporee

By Ray Tetz, with Faith Hoyt and Connie Vandeman Jeffery

The 2019 International Pathfinder Camporee brought more than 56, 000 Pathfinders and leaders from 92 countries to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, during the week of August 12-17— including more than 7, 000 from the Pacific Union.

Representing the Pacific Union were over 230 clubs from each of the seven conferences. Each day of the Camporee included a host of different activities and events. This year’s list of honors and activities proved especially innovative and unique, and young people earned honors for endangered species, stars, tornados, lighthouses, stewardship, spaceflight exploration, braille, and refugee assistance.

Pathfindering is now a global youth movement—and it was nurtured and developed right here in the Pacific Union. Our history with Pathfinders goes back some 90 years, including foundational work done in the 1940s and 50s. Pathfinders was first adopted by a camp in Southern California and then a club in Anaheim. The first conference-sponsored Pathfinder clubs were in Southeastern California, and many of the most familiar aspects of Pathfindering—the triangular emblem used worldwide, Pathfinder Fairs, Camporees, the Pathfinder Song—all got their start here in the Pacific Southwest.

Our Pathfinder roots go deep and they continue to deepen. Each night on the main stage, Pastor Damian Chandler, lead pastor of the Sacramento Capitol City church in the Northern California Conference, and keynote speaker at Oshkosh, shared messages about God as our refuge—that He sees us, and that He has chosen us to do great things for Him.

At its core, the Camporee is designed to inspire young people to lift up Jesus in their lives. At this year’s camporee, 1, 309 young people were baptized—including some 200 from the Pacific Union. Thursday evening of Oshkosh was a special time for our Pacific Union clubs, as large crowds gathered on the left side of the main stage to participate as witnesses in the baptisms of dozens of young people from our conferences.

The 2024 Camporee theme was announced on the final day of the Camporee. The next Camporee theme is “Believe the Promise.” The dates for the 2024 International Pathfinder Camporee are August 12-17, 2024.

 

Damian Chandler, senior pastor of the Capitol City church in Sacramento, Calif., served as this year’s keynote speaker at the international camporee in Oshkosh, Wis. (Photo: NAD Flickr) 

 

The Oakland Spanish Robles de la Fe Pathfinder club were among many participating in pin trading, enjoying cool treats, and visiting the petting zoo while at Oshkosh. (Photo: Elvira Hernandez)

 

Luis Ruiz, a TLT and member of the Tucson Thunder Pathfinder club in Arizona, has been involved in Pathfindering since 2011. “The most valuable experience I’ve had so far has been interacting with other cultures and hearing people talk in different languages,” he says. “It’s been really fun.” This is his first time attending an international camporee, and he’s excited to make lasting memories—and lasting friendships. (Photo: Faith Hoyt)

 

Hundreds of Pathfinders participated in the Drill and Drum Corps Competition, including the Kansas Ave. church Pathfinder club from Riverside, California. Before competing early Friday afternoon, some of their team posed for a photo with Sandra Roberts, president of the Southeastern California Conference. Kansas Ave. Pathfinders took home the 2nd place International Drum Corp competition award later that day. (Photo: Faith Hoyt)

 

On Thursday evening at Oshkosh, a group of six Pathfinders from the Aiea Ali’i Pathfinders in the Hawaii Conference performed a hula dance inspired by the camporee’s theme and the story of David. The song, “In the Palm of My Hand,” and the hula illustrated how we are held by God. The group began practicing the hula dance in May—and were excited to bring a piece of their Hawaiian culture to Oshkosh. Hula dancers: Danielle Roberts, Allie Clapp, Kimberlee Guadiz, Bethia Taylor, Danssyne Roberts, and Cailyn Castaño. (Photo: North American Division)

 

Thousands gathered on Wednesday afternoon of Oshkosh for a parade of Pathfinder clubs from several unions across the North American Division. Marching down Celebration Way with the Pacific Union clubs were some of the Union’s administrative team, who joined in support. (Photo: Faith Hoyt)

 

The Arizona Conference brought a particularly special surprise for Pathfinders at Oshkosh—a Reformation expo complete with a replica of the 95 Theses. The display was designed and built entirely by Arizona pastors. The roof and fencing were built at Thunderbird Adventist Academy, and the whole display took five days to assemble at Oshkosh. Included in this expo are portraits and stories of major reformers such as John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, and Martin Luther, as well as pages of the Gutenberg Bible printed in 1455. Each day, hundreds of Oshkosh attendees made their way through this piece of living history and took away their own copy of the 95 Theses. (Photo: Faith Hoyt)

 

The Ukiah Timberwolves—a group of 19 Pathfinders from Ukiah, Calif.—spent their first full day at Oshkosh earning honors such as the Tornado honor and the Star honor. For some of the group, the trip to Oshkosh took 38 hours to get to the camporee. From left: Samantha Ahumada Garcia, Tori Corbett, and Gabriella Deleon hold up their club pin. (Photo: Faith Hoyt)

 

Top of page: Nikko Bedoya, a member of the Inland Empire Filipino Pathfinder Club, participated in Wednesday’s parade by holding his club’s banner. Bedoya was most excited about participating in some of the many events hosted at the International Pathfinder Camporee. (Photo: Faith Hoyt)

2019-09-11T09:56:49-07:00September 12th, 2019|News|

Seventh Annual iShare Conference

By Bill Krick

The 2019 iShare conference was held at the Riverside Convention Center on Aug. 16-17. Now in its seventh year, iShare is an annual conference sponsored by the Pacific Union Conference that seeks to help equip young adults with the fire to share the gospel and the skills to do so effectively.

The theme of the conference this year was “Think Different.” Speakers included Clifford Goldstein, editor of the Adult Sabbath School Quarterly; Anil Kanda, young adult coordinator at Central California Conference; Chef GW Chew, founder of the Veg Hub Restaurant and Something Better Seventh Annual iShare Conference Foods, and Cynthia Heidi from the Nicodemus Society. More than 1, 100 young adults attended the event.

Through inspiring music and thoughtful presentations, attendees were encouraged to RE-examine how they have approached their faith, REthink current worldviews, RE-vive the zeal and “gospel fire” that may have cooled, and RE-store the love for our shared faith.

A highlight of the iShare conference was a baptism on Sabbath afternoon during which 18 young people committed their lives to Jesus Christ.

A ministry of the Pacific Union Conference, iShare seeks to connect young people with Christ in a personal relationship that will bring spiritual revival and awaken the desire to do evangelism. The ministry provides training and resources for young people in the Pacific Union, fostering a year-round lifestyle of evangelism.

 

2019-09-10T16:39:20-07:00September 11th, 2019|News|

Northern California Conference Moves Headquarters

By Julie Lorenz

This summer, the Northern California Conference (NCC) moved its headquarters to a new office building at 2100 Douglas Blvd. in Roseville. The office officially opened for business on Aug. 5.

The building is the former headquarters of Adventist Health, which recently relocated to a newly constructed building, also in Roseville. Adventist Health is leasing about a quarter of the NCC office for some of its operations.

Through the years, the headquarters of the Adventist church in Northern California has been located Lodi, Santa Rosa, and Oakland. For the past 47 years, the NCC has been based at 401 Taylor Blvd. in Pleasant Hill.

Roseville—about 20 miles northeast of Sacramento—is more easily accessible to a greater number of church members throughout the conference territory and has a lower cost of living than the previous location in the East Bay.

For the time being, the NCC operated Adventist Book Center store, located in the Pleasant Hill building, is still open for business. In the near future, the Pleasant Hill ABC and the Sacramento ABC (located on Madison Avenue) will join together into a single store in the NCC headquarters.

Photo: President Marc Woodson (left) and Executive Secretary Jose Marin (right), along with some Northern California Conference employees, stand in front of the new NCC headquarters in Roseville

 

2019-09-10T16:42:57-07:00September 11th, 2019|News|

Southeastern California Conference Hosts FEJA Youth Congress at La Sierra University

Faith Hoyt, with Abigail Marenco

Approximately 1, 200 young people from across the Pacific Union Conference worshipped together and built community at the Federación de Jóvenes Adventistas (FEJA) Youth Congress held at La Sierra University in late June.

The event, hosted this year by the Southeastern California Conference, included a Bible Bowl focusing on Luke and Acts, several social events, and volleyball, basketball, and soccer games. Each aspect of a FEJA convention is designed to help young people grow spiritually, form Christian friendships, and enjoy physical exercise.

“We are grateful to God for the response we’ve seen from our youth,” said Alberto Ingleton, director of Hispanic and Portuguese Ministries for the Pacific Union Conference. “Our objective is to encourage young people to keep walking with Christ, but beyond that we want them to become active disciples who witness to others—young people who have a story, who found Christ, and enjoy sharing that story with others in their communities.”

Guest speaker at the convocation was Andres Peralta, associate youth director at the General Conference. Peralta spoke in both English and Spanish, sharing the Word of God, testimonies from young people, and illustrations of God’s unfailing love and calling to all youth.

Over the weekend, Ismael Cruz, FEJA president for San Bernardino County, led worship with a team of young people from churches across the Pacific Union. During their time together on Friday and Saturday, attendees watched videos summarizing FEJA activities from each respective conference and heard union and conference leaders share messages of encouragement and support.

On Sabbath morning, Manny Arteaga, pastor of the Kalēo church, encouraged young people to share their stories with others and step up as active disciples for the kingdom of God. At sundown, the gym was cleared to make way for a mini-Olympics event, and teams from all over the Pacific Union competed in soccer, basketball, and volleyball tournaments.

Many young people made new friends; others reunited with old friends that they had not seen for some time. According to many who attended, this congress was a spiritual blessing. One young person, when asked of his opinion of the event, simply responded: “When is the next one?”

 

The Pacific Union Conference FEJA Youth Congress was held at the La Sierra University gym in Riverside, Calif., on the weekend of June 28-30. On Sabbath, around 1,200 young people gathered to hear guest speaker Andres Peralta, associate youth director at the General Conference.

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Bible Bowl teams from each conference participate at the Pacific Union Youth Congress.

2019-07-29T10:34:26-07:00August 19th, 2019|News|

Linda Vista Robotics Team Wins Top Awards at National Robotics Competition

Faith Hoyt

A team of six students from Linda Vista Adventist Elementary School in Oxnard, Calif., won a series of top awards on May 5 at the National Robotics Competition.

The Astro Falcons, a team of students ranging from grades five to eight, travelled to the Adventist Robotics League (ARL) National Championship at Forest Lake Academy in Orlando, Florida, where they tested their skills alongside 29 other teams.

The Linda Vista Astro Falcons won first in robot performance, first place in robot design, first place in project, and second place in core values. The team was then awarded the National Champions Award and received the ARL nomination for the Global Innovation Award—an award given based on a team’s project comprising six documents and a video, which, for this team, focused on ways to protect astronauts from radiation in outer space. “The Astro Falcons chose to address the issue of radiation exposure in long-term space travel,” said Heidi Pennock, a robotics coach at Linda Vista. “They came up with a new type of tile that covers a space craft with boron nitrate nanotubes to deflect 90% of solar radiation.”

Team captain for the Astro Falcons was Joseph Pennock, who graduated this June from Linda Vista Elementary. This was Joseph’s third year as team captain and his fourth year in robotics.

“Being in robotics was fun! My co-captain and I were able to keep everyone focused on the main goal,” said Pennock. “I’ve learned about computer design, project management, keeping things organized, leading people, and public speaking.”

Linda Vista started their robotics program in 2015. According to Anne Blech, co-coach and faculty sponsor for the school’s robotics teams, the program impacts students in significant ways.

“The students learn how to work together and listen to each other’s opinions,” she said. “They learn how to solve problems, and they create attachments and plan displays for the judges, such as core values, project, and robotic design.”

Heidi Pennock added, “All of these students have learned how to present an idea and speak to a panel of judges. It takes a lot of guts to present a project your very first time. They did it, and they did so well.”

Blech and Heidi Pennock watched the Astro Falcons team put in extra time each week into preparing for the competition. Though teams are only required to meet once a week, the Astro Falcons regularly chose to use free time and Sundays to practice and work on their project.

In addition to working hard on projects and practice, the team also worked on fundraisers in order to pay the airfare to participate in the ARL competition. They met their $8, 500 fundraising goal thanks to support from local churches.

 

In early May, Linda Vista Adventist Elementary School’s Astro Falcons team travelled to the Adventist Robotics League (ARL) National Championship, where they tested their skills alongside 29 other teams.

 

The Astro Falcons team included Joseph, Gilart, Grace, Bryanna, Hudson, and Janae.

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Linda Vista’s Astro Falcons received first place in robot performance, first place in robot design, first place in their project, and second place in core values at the ARL National Championship. Additionally, the team won the National Champions Award and the ARL nomination for the Global Innovation Award.

2019-07-29T10:35:43-07:00August 12th, 2019|News|

Pacific Union Education Department Presents Five Students with Scholarships—Future Teachers Committed to Living God’s Love

Faith Hoyt

Earlier this year, leadership from the Pacific Union Department of Education attended the graduation weekend ceremonies of five students in order to present them with scholarship awards.

Every year since 2015, the Pacific Union has awarded four-year scholarships to five high school seniors pursuing education degrees at an Adventist university. The winners for this year’s scholarships are Alivia Lespinasse, Dannica Roberts, Lauren Vandehoven, Molly Gram, and Se Bin Bong, five students who share common goals: living God’s love in their classrooms and helping their future students discover the joy of learning.

When Alivia Lespinasse graduated from Loma Linda Academy this June, she knew without a doubt that the career she wanted to pursue was elementary education. “My love for teaching and helping others is something I believe God gave me for a reason,” Lespinasse said. “Kids are the future of our church. I want to be able to teach them about the joy of Jesus so that they continue down the path of wanting to know more about Him.” Lespinasse plans to pursue a degree in elementary education from Andrews University.

Dannica Roberts, who graduated this year from Hawaiian Mission Academy, wants to use her future role as a teacher to inspire others to love, serve, and live the way Jesus did. “My school has encouraged me to help those around me by assisting with their needs and teaching them about God’s love,” she said. Roberts believes her participation in several activities at the Aiea church contributed greatly to her desire to become a teacher. From volunteering as a crew leader for Vacation Bible School to working with young people on a mission trip to Peru, she learned how to teach others about Jesus. Roberts looks forward to earning her education degree at Southern Adventist University.

On her first day of Kindergarten, Lauren Vandehoven fell in love with school and met the first of many teachers who would inspire her decision to pursue a degree in education. “I have had a teacher who helped me wrestle with questions on spirituality, two who helped me find my passion for art, another who taught me how to make a good presentation and reflect questions in my answers, one who explained long division to me six different ways until I got it, and one who encouraged me to pursue teaching and has guided me along the way,” Vandehoven shared. She believes that teaching is the path towards infinite learning. “There will always be something new to find out and another perspective to discover,” she added. Vandehoven is a graduate of PUC Preparatory School and plans to attend Pacific Union College this fall with the goal of someday teaching high school English.

Molly Gram, a graduate of Newbury Park Academy, discovered her love of teaching while leading gymnastics classes for children ranging in age from 1 to 14. Her hope is to not only inspire young people with the fun of learning, asking questions, and being curious but to also teach children about God’s love. “I want to be able to show up to work every day and teach children about the love God has for us,” she shared.

Se Bin Bong, a graduate of Redlands Adventist Academy, attributes her passion for teaching to the mentorship and help from teachers in her life, as well as her love of children. “My teachers molded me into the person I am today and never failed to love and support me,” she shared. “They taught me about God and showed me who He really was through their actions. I want to make a ripple effect of God’s love.” Bong believes in the importance of mentorship and showing God’s love through actions. She will use her Pacific Union Education scholarship to attend Andrews University this fall.

The scholarships provided to these five students are one of the ways that the Education Department of the Pacific Union Conference is planning for the continuation of a quality education system. “As we identify individuals with a passion for teaching, there is nothing more exciting than to be part of helping them reach their goal,” said Berit von Pohle, Director of Education for the Pacific Union Conference.

Alivia Lespinasse, a June graduate of Loma Linda Academy, plans to pursue a degree in elementary education from Andrews University. Her passion for teaching grew through her experiences leading children’s Sabbath School at the Kansas Avenue church and serving as a ministry director in high school—an opportunity that involved teaching elementary students about Christ. Lespinasse receives her scholarship from Martha Havens, Associate Director of Elementary Education for the Pacific Union Conference.

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Molly Gram, an incoming education major at Pacific Union College this fall, discovered her passion for education while teaching gymnastics classes. At her graduation from Newbury Park Academy this June, Gram is presented with a scholarship towards an education degree by Berit von Pohle, Director of Education for the Pacific Union Conference.

2019-07-29T10:27:08-07:00August 5th, 2019|News|

Native American Ministries Serves Unreached Communities in the Pacific Southwest

Nancy Crosby

The Pacific Union Conference is home to over 1.2 million Native Americans, the largest population of Native Americans residing within any of the unions in the North American Division. Yet this population is the least reached by our church. We are called to witness to all nations, but Native Americans have been neglected. Native American Ministries is currently working to reverse this problem.

The Nevada-Utah Conference decided early in the year to focus on supporting the Kayenta Mission in Arizona as it reaches out to share the gospel with the Navajo people. The fruits of these efforts are now being harvested. Kayenta Mission has begun a women’s brunch ministry and has held two successful events so far. The ladies enjoy fellowshipping together at these brunches. Also, the mission received needed repairs thanks to missionary supporters from Daystar Academy, who helped with landscaping work, painting, and fence building.

Southeast of Kayenta, Chinle Mission is sharing the gospel with many whose lives are filled with addiction, abuse, and pain. Walla Walla student Rebekah Fink is currently leading the children’s ministry for the mission. Don Krimmer, an Adventist Alcoholics Anonymous volunteer abuse counselor at Chinle Mission, is another integral worker in witnessing about Christ’s love and forgiveness. At least one precious soul is currently receiving Bible studies as a part of a journey to become an Adventist as a direct result of the help, love, and acceptance felt from the church.

In Page, Arizona, volunteer Bible worker Milika Saafi is doing door-to-door work and giving Bibles studies. Moreover, the Page Mission community garden, Seeds for Life, added several new plots thanks to Pacific Union funding. Interest from the community is growing, and with the largest coal-powered plant west of the Mississippi closing in December, the hope is that the garden will help provide for those in need.

Preliminary planning stages for an Adventist World Radio station in the Navajo Nation are in motion. All conferences involved are very supportive of this project. We hope that the station will reach the majority of the Navajo Nation. Through this, we pray that many Native Americans will have the opportunity to hear the gospel and that as the work moves forward many souls can be harvested for the kingdom.

Together with North American Division Community Services, the Nevada-Utah Conference is exploring other opportunities to connect with Native Americans. They have begun using American Indian Living Magazine—an Adventist lifestyle publication that encourages healthy living. Over the next few years, the Pacific Union will supply churches with this magazine to distribute to tribal offices and clinics in their area.

There is still a need for short- and long-term missionaries. If you, your church, or your school would like to experience the life-changing and gratifying experience of serving on a mission, please contact Nancy Crosby at 217-322-2516 or pucnativeministries@gmail.com.

 

Community members gather for a women’s brunch hosted at the Kayenta Mission.

Photo by Nancy Crosby

2019-06-18T15:18:13-07:00June 27th, 2019|News|

Blythe Church Aids in Riverside County Humanitarian Crisis

Faith Hoyt

Responding to the need created by the sudden influx of homeless migrant families in Riverside County, Adventist believers from the Blythe Spanish church are providing help in the form of food, lodging, and clean clothing.

According to an article published by the Desert Sun in April, “On March 28, Yuma sector Border Patrol officials started releasing migrant families from their custody, because their three processing centers—including one in Blythe—were overflowing with recently apprehended migrant families.”

Jesus Jacquez, pastor of the Blythe church, reported that his congregation first got involved in providing help to local homeless in the spring of 2018 when the church was approached by Riverside University Health System’s “HHOPE” program about providing aid.

The church responded by inviting homeless people to their facility to take showers, to get clean clothes during the weekdays, and to eat a hot meal. This year, the church expanded their outreach ministry to include providing a place for homeless migrants to stay overnight, access to on-site social workers, and free Bibles and copies of Steps to Christ (Camino a Cristo).

The church’s outreach efforts are made possible solely through donations from church members and the local community, which have included funding, clothes, food, and volunteers. Jacquez shared that his small congregation has stepped up to help even though the church struggles to cover their growing outreach expenses.

For now, the congregation provides various services for an average of 70 people each day.

“The primary reason the church became involved was because we wanted to become active in the community,” Jacquez said. “The migrant crisis is an opportunity to help. We have the facility, so we went forward by faith.”

For the Blythe church, now is the time to apply the words of Leviticus 19:34: “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself” (NIV).

Learn more about the Riverside County humanitarian crisis at: http://www.desertsun.com.

To learn more about how you can support the Blythe church outreach efforts, call 760-922-0644.

 

Church members tend a booth with free books and magazines in Spanish for migrants.

2019-06-18T15:07:30-07:00June 25th, 2019|News|

Pacific Union Hosts NAD Asian-Pacific Pastors’ Convention

Faith Hoyt

Pastors from across North America, Canada, Guam-Micronesia, and Bermuda gathered in Ontario, Calif., from May 13-16 for the North American Division Asian-Pacific Pastors’ Convention.

About 400 pastors and spouses registered for the convention, which was hosted at the Ontario Airport Hotel & Conference Center.

“The convention brought our pastors a renewed passion for study of the Bible and helped them embrace the relevance of planting and growing healthy churches,” said VicLouis Arreola, director of Asian-Pacific Ministries for both the Pacific Union Conference and the North American Division. “This gathering was an upper room experience that prepared them to meet the challenges of these end times and finishing the work.”

According to Arreola, this is the third NAD-wide Asian-Pacific pastors’ convention to be hosted. As the host of conventions in years past, the Pacific Union extended invitations to other unions. Now, NAD Asian-Pacific conventions bring Asian-Pacific pastors together once every three years, and Pacific Union conventions continue to be hosted yearly.

For Arreola and his team, who work to provide this opportunity for those in ministry, the NAD convention is a time to celebrate the diversity of and ministry to 33 different cultural language groups. The convention is also an opportunity for the Asian-language advisories to meet, plan, and renew their mission and vision for reaching the communities in this division.

“One of the goals of having this convention is to gather the pastors in the North American Division and fellowship together,” said Bernard Castillo, administrative assistant for Asian-Pacific Ministries in the Pacific Union, “as well as continuing education for all the pastors.”

Pastors who attend the convention earn five continuing education units through attendance at various sessions hosted by professors from Andrews University Theological Seminary and the HMS Richards Divinity School at La Sierra University, as well as other guest presenters. Pastors attended courses on New Testament theology, Old Testament theology, archaeology, pastoral care and counseling, systematic theology, and church growth and evangelism. Course curriculum included SDA foundational studies, interpersonal ministry, outreach in the community, applied pastoral skills, and concepts of church growth.

Sessions were also offered for the spouses of pastors and were coordinated by Imelda Arreola. Topics by guest presenters included “How to Thrive in the Journey of Ministry,” “Serving with my Spiritual Gifts,” and “The Pastor’s Wife and Healthy Self-Worth.”

This year’s convention was themed “Redeeming the Time.” Guest speakers included Dan Jackson, president of the North American Division; Ricardo Graham, president of the Pacific Union Conference; and Randy Roberts, senior pastor of the Loma Linda University Church.

The pastors in attendance represented many of the 820 Asian-Pacific churches across the U. S., Canada, Bermuda, and Guam-Micronesia. For these pastors, the fellowship, continuing education, and time for spiritual renewal make these conventions both a professionally and spiritually significant event.

2019-06-18T14:58:30-07:00June 20th, 2019|News|