by Pat Arrabito
Sharing their energy and enthusiasm for God, 130 Seventh-day Adventist young professionals gathered on Sabbath afternoon and evening, Nov. 15, at the Northern California Conference (NCC) office in Sacramento, Calif.
The event was sponsored by the Pacific Union ASI (Adventist Laymen’s Services and Industries), an organization that brings together business and ministry for the sake of the gospel. The group was welcomed by Ed Farguson, assistant to the NCC president. Attendees included teachers, business persons, lawyers, entrepreneurs, at least one psychiatrist, a Kickstarter employee, a denizen of Silicon Valley, a professional fundraiser, several chefs, a filmmaker, a social media marketer, realtors, builders, a GLOW (giving light to our world) leader, several pastors, and many others.
Students of Weimar college and music teacher Erwin Nanasi opened the meeting with singing and a devotional time of sharing stories of Total Member Involvement—a weekly community outreach that has connected Weimar with their neighborhood and brought people to Jesus. Shue Vang, high school chemistry teacher and sponsor of the “Bread of Life Club” at his public high school, told the group of how 70 students have come to his club to read the Bible during their lunch break.
After the Sabbath hours were over, business education began. Randy Bivens, Weimar Institute Chief Operating Officer, talked about the importance of EQ—emotional intelligence—in the business world. Danny Kwon, executive director of Life and Health Network, gave a short and practical lecture on the process of starting a 501(c)(3) organization.
Supper was an example of young professionals in the business world. It was catered by Chef Chew, who feeds the hungry of Oakland in his vegan restaurant, and featured his own invention: delicious meat substitutes, which are now available at Whole Foods.
The rest of the evening brought more inspiration and education from Beautiful Minds, the psychiatric practice of Daniel Binus; John Huynh, who shared his story of successful fundraising; and Chef Chew, who shared his food journey and what God has done in and through him. Ostap Dzyndra of Build and Restore International talked about the ways in which mission trips help the volunteers as well as those who were helped.
The evening ended with an opportunity for young professionals to engage with mission, to connect with each other more fully, and to engage more deeply in God’s work in order to hasten the coming of Jesus.
Top of page: Young people from around Northern California and beyond sit together during the catered lunch at the ASI Young Professionals Conference. Photo: Patti Guthrie
Danny Kwon, executive director of Life and Health Network, spoke at the ASI Young Professionals Conference. Kwon gave a short and practical lecture on the process of starting a 501(c)(3) organization. He has worked with ASI self-supporting ministries for almost 20 years and has been instrumental in the legal formation of several ASI ministries. Photo: Pat Arrabito
Chef GW Chew, general manager of the Veg Hub restaurant in Oakland, Calif., catered a delicious meal that included his famous vegan “chicken” noodle soup and barbecue sliders. Chef Chew has been a vegan food inventor/restaurateur for over 10 years and was one of the speakers at the ASI Young Professionals Conference. Photo: Patti Guthrie
The ASI Young Professionals Conference room was set up for 99 attendees, but the event drew 130. Photo: Patti Guthrie