The beauty of the Christian experience is the chance to get involved in ministries you feel passionately about—doing things for the world that really matter and using your talents and gifts to bring other people into a knowledge of the Gospel. The Pacific Union Conference offers a wide range of opportunities and resources to help you put your faith into practice in your local community.
We are proud of the diversity in the Adventist Church, particularly in the American southwest. While we enjoy the strength and growth that comes from our membership in this family of people from all kinds of backgrounds, we also recognize the needs of traditionally marginalized groups, as well as those who simply want to preserve their own languages and cultural customs in their worship and other expressions of faith. Several of our departments are specially equipped to offer services for these groups.
Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI)
President, Lorayne Barton
Adventists come in all shapes and sizes and can be found in nearly all walks of life. Some are wealthy professionals; others are barely making ends meet in service jobs. No matter what they do for a living, the crucial mission of sharing Christ with all those they encounter is central to Adventist life. This does not always take the form of explicit witnessing, but it does require conscious awareness of the needs of others and a desire to find creative solutions to meet those needs. Business owners and other professionals come together to provide volunteer support to the Church as a part of the international organization Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI). Its motto is “Sharing Christ in the Marketplace.” Many Adventist business people in the Pacific Union Conference are members of the Pacific Union Chapter of ASI.
Director, Edwin Mendoza
There are all kinds of families in the Pacific southwest. Some are large, others small. Some are functioning happily; others struggle with addition, anger, and mistrust. Families deal with constant change, ideally coping together with the inevitable curves that life throws. Strong families make a tremendous difference to the health and happiness of entire communities. Family Ministries is dedicated to providing programs and resources that will help make families of all kinds the best they can possibly be. It provides training, conferences, symposiums, and interactive events.
Director, Lorayne Barton
Seventh-day Adventists have a long history of involvement with healthcare and helping to create healthy communities. We believe that taking care of our bodies is a sign of faithfulness to God and also helps us fulfill our goals and responsibilities as happy and complete people. Health ministries focuses on bringing health to local communities through free medical and dental clinics, training events for pastors and local leaders, educational events for communities, and other fun and interactive activities designed to create better health outcomes for everyone.
Ministerial Spouse Association
Director, Audrey Graham
Pastors’ spouses have roles that are both rewarding and difficult. They fulfill unofficial posts that have unwritten job descriptions and high expectations. Ministerial spouses often experience loneliness and frustration and can feel alienated from others in their congregations. The Ministerial Spouse Association works at providing space for pastors’ spouses to find help, encouragement, and inspiration. Through special events and regular outreach, the Association helps pastors’ spouses realize their unique value in the Pacific Union Conference.
Director, Gerald Bbanezhad
Muslims make up one of the largest religious groups in the world and are a growing presence in the Pacific southwest of the United States. Muslim Ministries seeks to build bridges between Seventh-day Adventists and our Muslim brothers and sisters, with whom we share many ideas and values. It focuses on training sessions and seminars and joint worship services to help create understanding and unity.
Native American Ministries
Director, Nancy Crosby
The First People of the Pacific southwest have not been treated with equality, compassion, or justice throughout the history of the region. As a result, their communities have much higher rates of substance and sexual abuse, health problems, and suicide than the rest of the population. Adventists are keen to make a tangible difference in these communities and to help Native Americans reclaim their identities through church plants, schools, and outreach activities.
Pathfinders and Camping
Director, Eddie Heinrich
Pathfinders is a global club for young people that is fun, educational, and helps kids grow closer to Jesus through nature, community outreach, and leadership development. Pathfinders go on camping trips, learn outdoor survival skills, help with soup kitchens and collecting food for the poor, clean up city parks, and earn honors in all kinds of skills, from ceramics to edible plants. They regularly participate in regional and international camporees where they get the opportunity to meet other Pathfinder from all over the United States and the world!
Director, Karen Martell
Prayer is a direct line from each of us to God. We can share our worries and concerns with the One who created us and who has a plan for each of our lives. We can also thank Him for the many good things He has given us. Prayer has demonstrable positive effects; those who regularly pray experience less stress, have better self-control, and are kinder and more forgiving. Prayer Ministries harnesses the power of prayer for large and small groups, teaching people how to pray, coordinating prayer rooms at events, managing weekly teleconferences where Church leaders can pray together, and conducting prayer retreats.
Public College/University Ministries
Director, Ron Pickell
Faith isn’t always easy even for students who attend Adventist colleges and universities with regular high-quality worship services and friends who have a similar faith background. It’s even harder for Adventists attending public universities—and all too easy to get lost in the crowd, disconnected from faith, and discouraged. Public College/University ministries is all about making sure that students remain connected to their local congregations and to other young Adventists studying in non-Adventist institutions all over the region. The ministry coordinates gatherings and retreats, as well as training conferences featuring student leaders from across North America.
Director, Bobby J. Mitchell, Sr.
If Jesus were on earth today, it is almost certain that He would spend a good share of His time in prisons, visiting with perhaps the most neglected and marginalized population in our society. Jesus charged His followers with extending compassion toward many groups who are easy to forget—the poor, the other, the sick, the prisoner. They need friendship and hope, as well as practical assistance, to reflect the image of God as they put their lives back on track. Prison Ministries takes Christ’s charge seriously and works to create networks for those engaged in meeting the needs of prisoners.
Sabbath School/Personal Ministries
Director, Jim Park
A good Sabbath school is one of the main anchors of any Adventist congregation. As the name suggests, this “school” that takes place on Sabbaths (usually after the worship service) gives people the chance to study the Bible together, asking questions about how it applies to their lives, and processing the challenges of discipleship in a friendly and supportive community. Christians who feel grounded in their own beliefs and have experienced the transforming power of God in their lives are better able to talk about these things with their friends, neighbors, family members. Sabbath School and Personal Ministries uses training seminars and workshops to help equip leaders with the skills to train all church members in Bible study and good communication skills to help them spread the good news of Jesus.
Director, Barbara Babcock
So many church activities and events are geared toward couples or families with children. It’s easy for singles to overlooked in a world that emphasizes coupledom and celebrates holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day that rely on the assumption of parenthood. Singles Ministries supports the belief that church is for everyone, that God cares about everyone, and that singles have special roles in the community of faith that relate to their talents, personalities, and interests. Some people go through periods of singleness; others remain single for life. Whatever life’s circumstances, God is present and powerful. Singles Ministries coordinated activities to bring singles together and to provide training for more effective local singles groups.
Director, Dorothy Means
Women have been at the center of Christianity as key disciples from the very beginning. They sat at the feet of Jesus, were witnesses to His death and resurrection, and have joyfully proclaimed the truth of the Gospel over centuries. Women fulfill many roles: skilled professionals, wives and mothers, scholars, athletes, creators—and many of them perform a delicate juggling act in order to faithfully attend to all of their various responsibilities. Women’s Ministries particularly honors the work that women do in their churches, families, and communities in all kinds of ways. It provides training and orientations, as well as workshops, resources, and retreats to help keep the women of Adventism strong and healthy.
Director, Eddie Heinrich
Kids and teenagers are experiencing an exciting time of life. They are growing physically and mentally, gaining new abilities and skills all the time. Their energy and enthusiasm means they approach new activities with passion and a spirit of fun. This time of life can also be stressful as kids navigate the pressures that society has created—to achieve success, to look a certain way, to have the latest gadgets, to have a boyfriend or girlfriend, to fit in with certain peer group. Kids need grounding in faith and in a community that reminds them of their infinite value and purpose as they navigate an increasingly complex world. Youth Ministries works to create space for kids and teenagers to build strong Christian friendships and to explore the meaning of discipleship in fun and engaging ways.
Church and School Fund
Christian education should be a choice any family can make with complete peace of mind, knowing that it is affordable and the right decision for their children. At the same time, schools require an enormous investment of funds to cover overhead costs as well as salaries and development projects. The Church and School Fund raises and allocates money to Christian education, making sure that Seventh-day Adventist schools remain viable, cutting-edge, and affordable for any student who wants a Christian education.
Creative Evangelism Committee
Local churches have the best idea of the kinds of evangelism that are likely to work for them. A one-size-fits-all approach is rarely as effective as a creative effort specifically targeted to the interests and lifestyles of the people in the local community. The Creative Evangelism Committee offers funding to jumpstart creative outreach projects. It is specifically interested in projects that are creative and innovative, have a high chance of success, have a good investment to return ratio, and can be replicated by other similarly situated churches.
Contact committee chair Tony Anobile for information on applying for funding.
Worker’s Compensation Committee
The Pacific Union Conference wants to continue to attract top-level talent in ministry, media, education, and administration. The Worker’s Compensation Committee is dedicated to formulating attractive salary and benefits packages that make our region a viable place for professionals and their families to thrive in their chosen careers. The group is committed to fairness and equity in salary distribution.
Millennials, those currently in their twenties and early thirties, make up an especially influential segment of the population. They face multiple obstacles in their lives, from high student loan debt to finding rewarding employment. They have also become increasing disengaged from organized religion, often citing disillusionment with the lower status sometimes given to women, along with denominational infighting over issues they see as petty and unnecessarily divisive. The Millennial Taskforce is made up of a group of millennials with the aim of re-engaging this group with the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.