Pacific Union “All God’s People,” May 1, 2020 S4:E17
In this week's episode:
—Adventist Community Services Focus—
Adventist Community Services is the focus for the month of May. And what better time to highlight what our local churches and schools are doing to reach out to their communities than right now!
—Charlotte Oh's Mask-Making Spreads Hope in Central California—
12-year old Charlotte Oh, from the Santa Maria SDA church, is doing something special to reach out to her community! Hearing from her parents about the challenges healthcare professionals were facing in her hometown, she decided to use her free time to sew face masks for those in need. She’s been providing masks for local medical professionals and her fellow church members at Santa Maria Church, AND she has also begun to receive requests from Marian Regional Medical Center; the Santa Maria Filipino Community Center; Nipomo Family Dentistry, and the Kumon Center in Orcutt. When she makes her deliveries, she includes a hope-filled GLOW tract in addition to her gift! Changing the world, one mask and one Glow tract, at a time. Thank you, Charlotte!
Learn more about what's happening in Central Calif.: centralcaliforniaadventist.com/
—Escondido Adventist Academy Teacher Hosts Zoom Gathering on Sabbath Mornings for Students—
When stay-at-home orders separated teachers and students, Escondido Adventist Academy's 4th-5th-grade teacher Valerie Blue had an idea. "Our principal helped me get started on Zoom,” she said, “so I invited my students to our first meeting of 'Sabbath Blessings with Mrs. Blue.' We've enjoyed it ever since and have met each Sabbath." From 9:30-10:00am, teacher and students visit together, read Bible verses, share what the verses tell them about God, and share prayer requests. Then they are dismissed so that students can join their own church's planned worship services online. What a great idea to connect with students on Sabbath mornings!
Learn more about EAA: eaaschool.org/
—El Monte Vietnamese Church Feeds Community—
One of the most exciting community outreach initiatives we've heard about during the pandemic has come from El Monte Vietnamese church in Southern California. Pastor Vinh Nguyen and his team have set aside a monthly budget to help 200 people in the community with food. Not only that, they’ve helped with rent for those struggling financially. The church has partnered with a local bakery that provides 100 free baguettes each week and grocery stores that give discounts on rice and noodles. Volunteers pick up the food and distribute it to families in El Monte.
Learn more: vietsda.org/
—For All His Goodness—
It’s exciting to see and hear how our churches are continuing to develop ways to carry on the work of Christ in our communities! The needs and opportunities to serve don’t stop because the church building is closed, or if circumstances prevent the membership from gathering. Working with Elder Brad Newton, who serves as both Executive Secretary, and as the Ministerial Secretary for our Union, and Elder Ray Tetz, who is the director of our Communication & Community Engagement Department—our All God’s People Team put together a bonus video about the importance of our continued support for our local churches during this critical time. Stay tuned for the Spanish version, which will be available next week.
Watch online: vimeo.com/413299217
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In Romans 5 it says, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit." (Romans 5:5 NKJV)
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” April 24, 2020 S4:E16
In this week's episode of All God's People—
—Education Sabbath, April 25—
Every April, the North American Division hosts Education Sabbath. Today you'll find Adventist schools in nearly 150 countries. 85,000 teachers, 1.5 million students, 7,500 schools—the Adventist school system is one of the largest Christian educational systems in the world. Learn more about Adventist Education via the links below.
—Redlands Adventist Academy Teacher Transforms Teaching Space—
God continues to bless His people in ways we could never have imagined before—and the stories from our schools and local churches reflect that fact. We couldn’t be more proud of how our teachers and students are working and studying under the most unusual circumstances in living memory. And they’re all getting very creative.
In Southeastern California Conference, Justin Hansen, high school science teacher at Redlands Adventist Academy, has transformed his wood shed in the back yard into a classroom with chalkboard walls and multiple angles for filming. And the students are loving it! Way to go, Mr. Hansen!
Learn more about Redlands Adventist Academy: redlandsacademy.org/
—Sustainable Farming at Holbrook Indian School—
The good people at Holbrook Indian School are accustomed to responding to unique challenges, and we've been so inspired to see how they’ve responded to the coronavirus pandemic. One Holbrook Indian School initiative that’s been so helpful during these times is the farm. It was established with the focus of holistic education through sustainable farming. A part of that initiative is Garden-to-Plate, where students help to grow, harvest, and prepare organic produce. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the HIS Farm continues to provide produce to the surrounding communities and HIS staff. The school is also continuing students' education via online and mail-in packets. The Holbrook staff looks forward to continuing the special projects that the farm and students were working on—and, when quarantines are lifted, welcoming their students back to campus.
Learn more (and watch the video): holbrookindianschool.org/farm
—Placerville Seventh-day Adventist Church Women’s Ministry—
During the past few weeks, the Placerville church women’s ministry (and friends) sewed 1,700 face masks and donated them to a variety of county agencies and members of their community. Recipients included the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, a newborn intensive care unit, several substance abuse recovery facilities, a maternity home, senior services, and more.
The sheriff’s office posted pictures on its Facebook page with a message: “A very grateful and special thank you to the Placerville Seventh-day Adventist Church Women’s Ministry for their donation of masks … The box of orange, yellow, and red masks is headed to our jails, where our correctional staff is working diligently to keep themselves and those in their care safe from COVID-19.” What an awesome way to reach out to your community, Placerville church!
Read more from Northern California Adventists in Action: facebook.com/NorCalAdventistsinAction/photos/a.152908394870102/1495686777258917/?type=3&theater
—Adventist Health BlueZones—
News from Adventist Health - on April 8, Adventist Health announced that it had acquired Blue Zones®, a pioneer in taking a systemic and environmental approach to improving the health of entire cities and communities. This revolutionary move by Adventist Health comes at a time when public attention is especially focused on the interconnectedness of our health to that of our friends and neighbors in the face of the coronavirus disease crisis. Read the entire article via the link below:
—Loma Linda Academy's Virtual Choir Sings Unclouded Day—
Loma Linda Academy’s Pro Musica is the school’s premier choral ensemble comprised of thirty-eight high school students. Until recently, they’ve traveled regionally, nationally, and internationally. Now, they’re appearing virtually from their own homes. Dr. Brenda Mohr, director of choirs, described this project as a “labor of love.” It was created for the livestream Easter Sabbath worship service at Loma Linda University church and took many hours of creating, compiling, and editing. Dr. Mohr chose “Unclouded Day” because it’s a song of hope—Hope in the coming of the Lord and that soon the “Covid Cloud” will be lifted. Thank you, Loma Linda Academy!
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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. –John 16:33
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” April 17, 2020 S4:E15
In this week's episode of All God's People:
—April Education Issue of Recorder Magazine Printed and Mailed; Special Thanks to Pacific Press—
There’s a reason why your Recorder is late—and an even better reason why we are receiving it at all! Our communication team loves collaborating with the Education Department on the Annual Education issue of the Recorder—and this year is our 3rd Annual issue. The Recorder was already printed and in the stitching machine at Pacific Press when the "stay-at-home" order was issued in Idaho. We were so fearful that it would not be mailed for weeks.
We were making plans to share it online only this month, and we were even facing the prospect of an online-only May issue when our friends at Pacific Press received the necessary permission to continue printing with a scaled down staff maintaining social distancing. The Recorder was the first thing that they finished up once they were able to re-open under the new restrictions.
We are so pleased and grateful that the magazine is in your homes or on its way! And a very big "Thank You" to our partners at Pacific Press for all they’re doing during this critical time.
Recorder Online: adventistfaith.com/recorder/
—Adventist Health Resources for Coronavirus Preparedness—
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Adventist Health has launched a very helpful symptom checker on their coronavirus preparedness page. It is easy to use, includes the most reliable and up-to-date information, and will help you with any questions you have about your own health during this time, or the health of your family members and those you love. And it is available in both English and Spanish. Links to this resource are below:
—Pacific Union Churches Live-Streaming Services—
Is your church live-streaming their services? So many of our pastors and churches are working hard to bring the worship experiences right to our homes through zoom meetings, teleconferencing, social media, and good old-fashioned phone calls. We are trying to keep the list that we publish up-to-date—so if we missed your services, please let us know. The link to the conference by conference listing is below:
—Interview with Newbury Park Adventist Academy Senior—
This week I had the opportunity to speak with Gisselle Asij, a senior at Newbury Park Adventist Academy. You may remember that Gisselle was a guest host on All God’s People last October following the annual Student Leadership Retreat at Leoni Meadows. She’s the ASB president at Newbury Park and was really looking forward to her senior class trip and graduation. Watch the full interview in this week's episode, or learn more about Newbury Park Adventist Academy via the link below.
—Leoni Meadows Reaches Out to Housebound Neighbors—
One afternoon a week, Leoni Meadows food service director Ed Elsner makes bread for housebound people in nearby Grizzly Flats. So far, he’s given away more than 150 loaves. In early March, before Californians were ordered to shelter in place, the camp placed a large food order. When the scheduled group was unable to come, the camp donated all the perishable items to those in need through a local church. "The Leoni staff realize, now more than ever, how important it is to be a helping hand to our community," said Executive Director Craig Heinrich.
More news from the Northern California Conference: nccsda.com/
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In Matthew 6:11 Jesus taught us to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread." And it was not just for bread, the food. Bread was a powerful symbol of God’s provision for His people in the Old Testament. We can trust that our heavenly Father continues to make provision for our daily needs.
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” April 10, 2020 S4:E14
In this week's episode:
—Remembering Jesus' Resurrection—
It’s a moment unlike any in recent history—a time of unbelievable sadness and pain—and yet a time of hope, of rebirth and renewal; it’s a time to remember and celebrate the events surrounding the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. It's Easter weekend.
—Our Focus This Week—
There is so much wrong with our world on this particular “Good” Friday. And yet, there is so much right about how All God’s People are responding to the coronavirus pandemic – in our local churches; in our schools; in our hospitals; in our neighborhoods and communities. Last week we shared how your local church is coming to you right where you are, by way of live-streaming. This week our focus is on our schools.
—A Word from the Pacific Union Conference Director of Education—
Berit von Pohle, director of education for the Pacific Union Conference, joined us via Zoom this week to share how the online education of nearly 12,000 students in 1,000 classrooms is going from their homes.
—Lodi Academy's Spring Quarter Launches Online—
At Lodi Academy, keeping parents informed and engaged in the education of their high school students is important to the faculty. English/AP art history teacher Martin Surridge posted an orientation video for parents, showing what teachers and students did during the previous week. He also walked parents through the online school interface that the school is using during this critical time.
Watch the Orientation Video: youtube.com/watch?v=pVD65ZpLQhU&feature=youtu.be
—Orangevale SDA School Connects with Daily Video Greeting—
Ensuring that families stay connected is a priority for Principal Brad Davis and his teachers at Orangevale SDA School. They are posting a daily greeting for school families, which includes information on plans for distance learning, and other topics parents are concerned about.
Watch a recent greeting: youtube.com/watch?v=vBEdOJyMguE&feature=youtu.be+%28daily+greeting%29+https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ovschool.org%2F
—Yreka Adventist Christian School Teacher Records “Miss Meriah’s Adventures”—
To engage her students in learning, Meriah Matthews, lower grades teacher at Yreka Adventist Christian School records “Miss Meriah’s Adventures” and posts episodes on YouTube. She takes suggestions from her students and demonstrates the activities they propose. So far her adventures have included tips to stay healthy, snowshoeing, outdoor safety, and horseback riding.
Watch a recent episode: youtube.com/channel/UC2bMW5EanNlrcjWjdtUnmpA
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“With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:33. Under their labors were added to the church chosen men, who, receiving the word of truth, consecrated their lives to the work of giving to others the hope that filled their hearts with peace and joy. –The Acts of the Apostles, pg. 48
—April Recorder Magazines Online—
The Recorder is the monthly news magazine of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Pacific Southwest, providing thought-provoking stories and faith-based articles to challenge you in your faith journey. Last year, the Pacific Union launched the first ever quarterly edition of the monthly Recorder magazine in Spanish. These quarterly publications reach about 20,000 Adventist homes in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah! Read the latest edition of the Recorder via the link below:
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” April 3, 2020 S4:E13
In this episode of All God's People—
Local Churches Live-Stream Services; Stewardship in April; A word from Elder Ricardo Graham; and more...
—Local Churches Live-Stream Services During Quarantine—
As the number of coronavirus cases grows by the hour and the death toll inevitably rises, we want you to know that you are not alone. The stories of pastors and church leaders finding ways to reach out and minister to our members and communities provide ample proof of a simple yet important fact: Your local church cares about you very much!
—A Connected Community—
Your church is so much more than a building, and “church service” is so much more than coming together for study and worship. You may be at home, but “church” can actually come to you. Live-streaming of church services is going on all over our union – from Arizona to Hawaii; the Nevada-Utah conference to the 4 conferences in California. Members and pastors are calling to check on church members. Text messages are an immediate means for connecting with encouragement or information. We all have cell phones, tablets or laptops – and we can participate in “church” in ways we scarcely thought about just 3 weeks ago. Live streaming by Zoom or on church websites brings your pastor into your living room by way of technology. And what a comfort it has been to all God’s people.
Churches Live-steaming in the Pacific Union: adventistfaith.com/news/2020/04/live-streaming-services/
—Stewardship in April—
Perhaps it is in God’s providence that the nationwide “focus” for the month of April is Stewardship. More than a year in advance, the North American Division plans the Calendar, and this April is Stewardship month. We see how the economy is suffering during this pandemic. We see people struggling.
When we are unable to gather for church, how does that affect our tithes and offerings? You know what – it doesn’t need to negatively impact our giving at all. Just as we use our computers to stay connected with our church family, we can use our computers and mobile apps for online giving. If it’s not something you’re in the habit of doing, now is the time to learn. Many churches in our Union are set up online for Adventist Giving. Click the link below to learn more about giving your tithe through the app.
—Stewards of Mission, Help, and Hope—
We are all stewards of our time, health, abilities, and finances. By being Christ-filled stewards of what God has given us we can help fund the mission to give people hope and help them become whole.
The story of Adventist stewardship centers not on the story of highly-educated super-Christians sacrificially giving extraordinary amounts of money. It’s the story of everyday people who answer the call to give of themselves and touch the lives of others in the name of Jesus. And it’s our story because together we help make it happen. The support of the ministries of your local church is one more important way that we can come together during this very difficult time.
And, by the way—this is another area in which prayer is so important. Please pray that God will keep all of our local churches and schools safe and secure during this time.
—A word from Elder Ricardo Graham—
Elder Ricardo Graham, president of the Pacific Union Conference, joined us from his home to share some encouraging thoughts and ways to serve others during this time.
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"But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble." –Psalm 59:16
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” March 20, 2020 S4:E11
In this week's All God's People—
From the Pacific Union Conference: Coronavirus Update and Resources
We have watched together as the coronavirus crisis has caused the leaders in our nation and community to call for the virtual suspension of public life. Our church leaders have prayerfully decided to cancel worship services in most of the churches across the Pacific Southwest, and activities and instruction have been suspended in the majority of our schools. Almost all of the church business meetings and events are canceled or postponed well into April.
General Conference, North American Division, and Pacific Union Conference personnel are all working remotely, and the office buildings are closed. This is true for several of our conferences as well. La Sierra University and Pacific Union College—as well as Loma Linda University and many of the other Adventist Colleges across the country—have moved to online instruction for the Spring Quarter.
—Connecting Despite Distance—
The leaders of our churches, schools, and hospitals are carefully following the recommendations and requirements of civil authorities—recognizing that public health and safety are paramount during this time.
As new terms like social distancing and self-quarantine have become commonplace, our understanding of how we relate to one another has been challenged and changed. The handshakes must now become phone calls and text messages. While we may be constrained from embracing, we can still be warm and appreciative in our conversations with one another—verbal and virtual.
The fiscal viability and health of our ministries and churches is very much at risk because of the impact of the coronavirus crisis. We are thinking quite specifically about the tithe and the support of the church and congregation that you are a part of. God will be faithful to us in helping us meet every situation, of this we have no doubt. And each of us is given the opportunity to be a part of how His mission is fulfilled.
Please continue to pray for our pastors, teachers, and leaders. Special prayer is needed for those who are serving in our hospitals and clinics—and for the thousands of dedicated women and men serving in healthcare throughout our nation and the world. Pray for the health and safety of all those who are personally impacted by this virus.
Join us in praying that the crisis will end soon and that our communities will be spared further losses. Thank you for your faithfulness in the support of our shared faith. May you sense God’s blessing and grace during this time.
—Churches Go Online—
Our churches have responded so wonderfully to the extraordinary task of keeping our members informed and engaged during this time. Many churches are live-streaming their worship services and are using online tools and social media to bring our churches together virtually.
Bryant Taylor, media pastor at Azure Hills church, recently shared tips on streaming sermons. He covers prerecording as well as live stream options.
Streaming your Sermon: vimeo.com/398403274?fbclid=IwAR1vJy1t4pYpyuI-gQxSVMR8L6Xfi2mydPsPW4tb6WXVGCeEre2S6s5RGmA
—Continuing Support of the Gospel Ministry During COVID-19—
Orville Ortiz, treasurer and CFO of the Southern California Conference recently responded to frequently asked questions about the online tool for supporting ministry—Adventist Giving. Watch the video on YouTube via the links below.
—World Church Executive Committee Votes to Postpone General Conference Session to Spring of 2021—
Read the statement—