/News

Native American Camp Meeting Hosted in Southern Utah

by Nancy Crosby

November is Native American Heritage month. The Pacific Union is home to more than 1.2 million Native Americans. Much of the Navajo Nation lies within the Pacific Union.

One of the highlights of the year is the Native American camp meeting. Nevada-Utah Conference held the annual Native Camp Meeting from September 6 to 8 in Southern Utah. The weather was beautiful for the event.

Dr. Winston Craig was the guest speaker for the camp meeting. Craig spoke on nutrition and diabetes prevention. On Sunday, volunteers prepared a delicious meal of Navajo tacos for lunch.

“Many people enjoyed the fellowship and time at camp meeting,” said Pastor James Crosby of Kayenta. “Everyone pitched in to make the camp meeting happen. Local community people even came to help set up the tent and attended some of the meetings.”

Top of page: Three Navajo church members stand together for a photo at the annual Native American camp meeting hosted by the Nevada-Utah Conference.

 

Church member Betty Greyeyes makes Navajo fry bread for attendees of the Native American camp meeting hosted in Southern Utah.

All photos by Thomas Lloyd

 

2019-11-04T11:49:20-08:00November 4th, 2019|News|

Oak and Acorn Author Lectures at Los Angeles Adventist Forum

by Faith Hoyt

The Los Angeles chapter of the Adventist Forum hosted Oak and Acorn author Gilbert Valentine on the last Sabbath of September at the Glendale City church.

Valentine, a recently retired professor of leadership and administration in the School of Education at La Sierra University, is the author of five books, with more on the way. His book, The Struggle for the Prophetic Heritage: Issues in the conflict for control of the Ellen G. White publications 1930-1939, was re-published by Oak and Acorn Publishing in 2018.

At the forum, Valentine spoke about coming across correspondence between General Conference president Charles H. Watson and William C. White, Ellen White’s son, while researching another topic. The nature of their correspondence prompted him to delve deeply into the relationship between the White Estate and the General Conference—and ultimately led him to write his book.

The book follows the events that played out between the White Estate (then located at Elmshaven, in California) and the General Conference after Ellen White’s death in 1915. According to Valentine, these events reveal how “tensions develop when roles of authority are not clearly defined.” His research follows the decisions that eventually clarify the understanding that Ellen White’s writings and inspiration belong to the church as a whole.

Valentine’s book was originally published by the Institute of Inter-disciplinary Asian and Adventist Studies at what is now Asia-Pacific International University in Thailand. The third edition of The Struggle for the Prophetic Heritage was published by Oak and Acorn Publishing, an initiative of the Ministerial Association and the Communication & Community Engagement Department of the Pacific Union Conference.

“Often we have relied on ‘travel brochure’ versions of our church history,” Valentine said. “Glossy, shiny, no one ever gets hurt. People are real people, and there have been conflicts and difficulties, but we have worked through them. The Lord has guided.”

To learn more about Valentine’s book, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Struggle-Prophetic-Heritage

 

Gilbert Valentine is the author of The Struggle for the Prophetic Heritage: Issues in the conflict for control of the Ellen G. White publications 1930-1939, reprinted by Oak and Acorn Publishing in 2018.

Photo: Faith Hoyt

2019-10-23T09:55:30-08:00October 21st, 2019|News|

Maranatha Celebrates 50 Years of Mission Service

by Julie Z. Lee

On Sabbath morning, September 21, Don Noble stood before a crowd of more than 2, 000 people in Sacramento, California, welcoming them to the 50th anniversary celebration of Maranatha Volunteers International. Behind him, a massive globe spun on a screen, showcasing the thousands of locations where Maranatha has completed a project. In total, Maranatha has built 11, 229 structures and more than 1, 000 water wells in 88 countries. The numbers are impressive, but they weren’t the focus of the weekend.

“The story of Maranatha is a fascinating story,” said Noble, president of Maranatha. “Each one of you probably has your own. It’s a fascinating story of people; it’s a story of miracles.”

These stories were at the heart of this year’s annual convention, which focused on Maranatha’s five decades of service. Established by a small group of friends in 1969, Maranatha has grown to be an international organization that has mobilized more than 85, 000 volunteers on short-term mission trips to build churches, schools, and other urgently needed structures around the world. Many of these volunteers have returned with powerful stories of transformation, and several were highlighted during the three-day event, held September 19-21.

Among the stories was the testimony of Laurelie Hillebert, a mother from Redding, California. Hillbert lost her daughter to illness but found new meaning in the tragedy while on a family mission trip to Zambia. Dominique Garcia, a college student from Houston, Texas, shared her challenge with an eating disorder and talked about how mission trips have helped to bring healing. Jack and Neoma Wisdom, from Paradise, California, told of their narrow escape from last year’s Camp Fire, where they lost everything but found grace and gratitude in God’s mercy.

The program also featured Adventist church leaders from countries around the world, including Cuba, Kenya, Peru, and India. They shared how Maranatha’s involvement changed the landscape of the Adventist church in their countries, including an increase in membership.

“Sin and the fall have brought a lot of inequalities in the economic life, social life, political life, and even the spiritual life [of Kenyans], and Maranatha came in to fill the gaps, and we are very grateful for that,” said Samuel Makori, president of the Adventist church in eastern Kenya. “God has seen the work in Kenya change tremendously ever since Maranatha came in 2016.… We want to say, may the name of God be praised.”

Other events during the weekend included free seminars related to missions, a special anniversary dinner, and a Maranatha History Museum, which highlighted memorabilia and key moments in the organization’s history. Leading up to the convention, Maranatha also organized major renovation projects in August and September at three institutions in the Pacific Union: Pacific Union College, Rio Lindo Academy, and Leoni Meadows Christian Camp and Retreat Center. There are 24, 000 Maranatha volunteers and supporters in the Pacific Union alone—more than half of Maranatha’s current membership.

During the weekend program, Marc Woodson, Northern California Conference president, acknowledged the work Maranatha has done in the Pacific Union and around the world to further the gospel commission.

“Thank you. We are very proud of the fact that you are not only celebrating 50 years of ministry but 30 years with your home base in the Northern California Conference,” said Woodson, who has been on multiple Maranatha projects. “May God continue to bless this ministry. We recognize that’s it not really about building buildings. You all have been building lives.”

 

Main photo: More than 2, 000 people attended Maranatha Volunteers International’s annual convention, in Sacramento, California. This year, the program celebrated Maranatha’s 50th anniversary and focused on God’s leading in the mission organization.

 

Ricardo Graham, president of the Pacific Union Conference, welcomed the congregation on Sabbath morning. Graham, who has been on a couple of Maranatha mission trips, said, “I congratulate Maranatha Volunteers International, and we ask God’s richest blessings as you continue to reach the world until Jesus comes.”

 

Sixteen-year-old Shanti Slater, from Forbestown, California, spoke of her experience in Kenya on the Ultimate Workout, Maranatha’s project for teenagers. Shanti says she found God on the mission trip and was baptized. “One of the main things I learned about God is that He wants to come into everyone’s life.”

All photos by Thomas Lloyd

 

2019-10-16T16:11:20-08:00October 16th, 2019|News|

Church Support Services Expands Ministry Resources

Faith Hoyt

As Church Support Services Director Rich DuBose will tell you, his department is eager to help fulfill the mission of sharing the gospel. Formed to serve the needs of churches, his department has provided a host of resources to help churches share the gospel in the Pacific Union Conference territory.

DuBose joined the Pacific Union Conference as an associate director in the Church Ministries department in 1994. “Back then, we launched a new ministry help-desk called PlusLine,” he said. “We had an 800 number that local church leaders could call to help them find ministry-related tools and resources, and we handled event registrations. Toward the end, our staff answered as many as 100 calls a day.”

Soon, other unions were included in the service. Today, PlusLine, now known as AdventSource, is owned by the North American Division (NAD) and operates in Lincoln, Nebraska.

With the acquisition of PlusLine by the NAD in 2005, the nature of DuBose’s work transitioned to developing resources that could be used in local church ministry.

“Our mission is to develop and share curated content that inspires pastors, church leaders, and members to use their best gifts to connect people with Jesus,” DuBose said. “Our goal is to find and share knowledge and stimulate engagement that can help turn theology into biography.”

Over the years, Church Support Services has conducted seminars for ministry training; developed online study guides; created sharing cards and flyers on healthful living and other topics; and produced web ads and various theme-based websites for preaching, Bible study, and more.

Several recent projects include the creation of a smartphone app called SpiritRenew and an initiative called inSpire that celebrates and promotes using the arts in ministry. In addition, they’ve produced over 75 videos ranging from six to eight minutes in length that focus on specific ministries and individuals that God is using throughout the Pacific Union territory—a project called Stories of Faith.

“By far our most comprehensive website is Answers For Me,” DuBose said. “It provides content for people who may or may not be Christian-oriented. It has resources for users who wish to grow spiritually, but it is intentionally low-key in its approach.”

DuBose helps local churches use RSS technology to feature his department’s content, such as stories and recipes, on their church websites without diverting traffic away from their sites.

“It takes a village of ideas and efforts to help create a culture for change and experimentation,” DuBose said. “We focus on sharing traditional and innovative ideas that churches can experiment with to fulfill our shared mission.”

To learn more about the resources produced by Church Support Services, visit http://www.churchsupportservices.org.

 

Photo: “The inSpire TV show features Adventist creatives within the Pacific Union Conference who desire to bring good to life and to use their gifts to share God’s story,” says Rich DuBose, director of Church Support Services. “Art, film, graphics, music, and more are being used as a vehicle for sharing God’s message of healing and hope.” Left to right: Greg Evans, singer/songwriter; inSpire co-host, Jesús Noland, app and game developer; Cecia Garcia Lopez, music therapist; and Rich DuBose, inSpire host.

Photo by Summer Medina

 

2019-10-01T09:49:22-08:00October 1st, 2019|News|

Hispanic Heritage Month in the Pacific Union: Highlights from our Churches and Remembering the Work of Marcial Serna

By Faith Hoyt and Connie Jeffery

Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15) began last month across the United States. In the Pacific Southwest, the contributions of Latino and Hispanic church members were honored with special church programs and events.

Currently, the Hispanic population in the United States stands at more than 56 million, making it the largest racial or ethnic group in the United States.1 Members of the Pacific Union Conference administrative team took time in mid-September to share some of the many ways that Hispanic and Latino churches are making a difference. In a recent episode of All God’s People, the production team spoke with Alberto Ingleton, the director of Hispanic and Portuguese Ministries for the Pacific Union, about the significant contributions that Hispanic churches are making to ministry in the West.

“The majority of our Hispanic members come from Inter-America and South America,” Ingleton shared. “They come with a unique passion. We have a couple of churches—the San Bernardino Spanish church and the La Sierra Spanish church, for example—who are doing a wonderful work with the homeless.” Ingleton described how these churches feed the homeless, give them an opportunity to shower, and provide them with clothing. “We have the Blythe Spanish church, which has been very effective at helping immigrants transition to a new life in the United States,” he continued. “Helping those that have been processed, providing shelter for them, and helping them get in touch with friends and relatives who can accommodate them.”

Ingleton described how other churches are also providing different services, such as offering cooking and English classes, hosting soccer tournaments, and presenting seminars on various topics for the immigrant community. “They find different ways to be relevant and to be present,” he said. “They are always looking for ways to do what they can in their own communities.”

For the Seventh-day Adventist church in the West, Hispanic roots are deep and strong. The first Hispanic Adventist church was founded in Sanchez, Arizona, in 1899. The founding of the church came about after Abel and Adiel Sanchez, while studying their Bibles, discovered that the day of worship was the seventh day, sabado. They learned that Marcial Serna, the pastor of the Tucson Mexican Methodist-Episcopal Church, had become an Adventist through the work of Adventist colporteurs, and they contacted him.

Eventually so many of the Methodists in Sanchez became Adventists that the Methodists gave them their church on the condition that the Adventists help them build a new one—and the church in Sanchez became the first Hispanic Adventist church in the U. S. Pastor Serna continued to share his newfound beliefs with those he knew in Tucson, and many of them became Adventists, forming the second congregation of Hispanic believers. The following year the Methodists deeded their church in Tucson to the Adventist group. Marcial Serna was granted a ministerial license by the General Conference and so became the first Hispanic ordained Adventist minister.

Learn more about Marcial Serna and other Adventist pioneers in the west in episode #337 of All God’s People! Visit Adventistfaith.com.

Ingleton described how other churches are also providing different services, such as offering cooking and English classes, hosting soccer tournaments, and presenting seminars on various topics for the immigrant community. “They find different ways to be relevant and to be present,” he said. “They are always looking for ways to do what they can in their own communities.”

For the Seventh-day Adventist church in the West, Hispanic roots are deep and strong. The first Hispanic Adventist church was founded in Sanchez, Arizona, in 1899. The founding of the church came about after Abel and Adiel Sanchez, while studying their Bibles, discovered that the day of worship was the seventh day, sabado. They learned that Marcial Serna, the pastor of the Tucson Mexican Methodist-Episcopal Church, had become an Adventist through the work of Adventist colporteurs, and they contacted him.

Eventually so many of the Methodists in Sanchez became Adventists that the Methodists gave them their church on the condition that the Adventists help them build a new one—and the church in Sanchez became the first Hispanic Adventist church in the U. S. Pastor Serna continued to share his newfound beliefs with those he knew in Tucson, and many of them became Adventists, forming the second congregation of Hispanic believers. The following year the Methodists deeded their church in Tucson to the Adventist group. Marcial Serna was granted a ministerial license by the General Conference and so became the first Hispanic ordained Adventist minister.

Learn more about Marcial Serna and other Adventist pioneers in the west in episode #337 of All God’s People! Visit Adventistfaith.com.

1 Pew Research, Hispanic Trends Project Statistics & U. S. Census Bureau.

Photo: Alberto Ingleton has been director of Hispanic Ministries for the Pacific Union Conference since 2018. Watch his interview about the ministry and outreach of our Hispanic churches in episode #337 of All God’s People.

 

2019-09-12T13:51:10-08:00September 30th, 2019|News|

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)

 

2019-09-10T08:59:06-08:00September 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)

2019-09-11T09:56:49-08:00September 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.

 

2019-09-10T16:39:20-08:00September 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

 

2019-09-10T16:42:57-08:00September 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.

Top of page:
Bible Bowl teams from each conference participate at the Pacific Union Youth Congress.

2019-07-29T10:34:26-08:00August 19th, 2019|News|