Pacific Union “All God’s People,” May 7, 2021 S5:E16
Elder Ricardo Graham Announces Retirement from Presidency
On May 4, 2021, Elder Ricardo Graham, president of the Pacific Union Conference, announced his intention to retire from church employment. A new president will be elected at the constituency meeting in August.
For nearly 47 years, Elder Graham has been working in ministry for Jesus Christ, as a pastor and leader within the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.
The past 15 of those years were devoted to the Pacific Union Conference, and for the past 13 years he has been its president.
Elder Graham has announced that he will conclude his service as president on August 16, 2021, at the election of the next president, and will officially retire on October 1, 2021. With gratitude for his servant leadership, compassion, friendship, and wisdom, we pray for God’s blessings for the Graham family in the coming years. We invite your prayers for the election process that is now underway, and for the upcoming constituency session.
Click the link below to read his letter to members of the Pacific Union Conference.
Read More: adventistfaith.com/featured/2021/05/05/pacific-union-president-announces-retirement/?fbclid=IwAR0-UUWz_ZPDdAeA5hvohP2Vtw3y2YQgACLw0DDu0U93M07LhlbzrYJu6vo
Community Servants Visit Holbrook Indian School for MAPS Wednesday
If you had visited the Holbrook Indian School campus on Wednesday, April 21, you might have thought they were having an emergency. Don’t worry—it was only MAPS Wednesday.
MAPS Wednesday is always a theme-based day at HIS. This particular day was focused on community servants and the preparation to serve. Local emergency medical technicians, firefighters, and police officers visited students to give them an idea of what they do as community servants and to help them explore potential service career opportunities.
Holbrook EMS conducted an Intro to CPR class and a demonstration of ambulance services. The EMTs gave students a tour of an ambulance—and all the bells and whistles that go with it. The local fire department gave students a tour of one of their firetrucks and presented firefighter service opportunities. Holbrook Indian School believes service is at the heart of Christian life.
Holbrook Indian School Celebrates 26 Baptisms
Last Sabbath, May 1, was a high day at Holbrook Indian School. It was Music Sabbath, and many students participated by playing instruments. AND 26 individuals made a commitment to Christ in baptism. Of that total, there were 16 students, two graduates who live and work on campus, five staff children, and three parents of students. In keeping with the Holbrook Indian School belief and practice of honoring Native American culture, each student was given a Native print blanket as a gift. A beautiful Sabbath day indeed!
Holbrook Indian School: holbrookindianschool.org/
National Nurses Week
National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale's birthday. It’s a week to shine a spotlight on the incredible nurses (registered nurses, nurse practitioners, LPNs, and others) across the country who have devoted their lives to the health and wellbeing of others. Nurses Week 2020 was unlike any other. As a society, we asked more of nurses than we ever have by asking them to put their lives on the frontlines in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you, nurses and healthcare workers, for all you do, 52 weeks of the year!
Read More: trustedhealth.com/blog/what-is-nurses-week
Nurses Week History: nursingworld.org/education-events/national-nurses-week/history/
Celebrating Mother's Day
Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 9—a perfect time to celebrate all mothers, including grandmothers, stepmothers, foster mothers, and other mother figures. The history goes way back: the modern holiday was first celebrated in 1908. Anna Marie Jarvis was the founder of this holiday in the United States.
This special day is celebrated in many countries around the world—some with different celebrations, traditions, and dates. Especially in these times, it’s good to connect with your family. Maybe you and your mom have already been vaccinated? Then it’s a great time to meet up again for a nice family brunch. But even if that’s not possible because of COVID, you can always surprise your mother with flowers, a card, or a phone call. Whatever you choose, when it comes from your heart, she will love it.
For all the moms, grandmas, and stepmoms around our beautiful Pacific Union: Happy Mother’s Day!
Read More: usamothersday.com/mothers-day-2021/
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“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.”
– Proverbs 1:8-9
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” April 30, 2021 S5:E15
Calexico Mission School Students Return for In-Person Classes
After a year of remote learning, many of Calexico Mission School students are crossing the international border once again to learn together. With a few adjustments to their on-campus routines, CMS welcomed elementary students back a week before their spring break and welcomed junior high and high school students back starting April 19.
In their new configuration, students participate in all their activities—from classes to recess to lunch—in cohorts. Hand sanitizer stations, temperature checks, and desk partitions are all in place, as well as webcams to engage the students who continue to tune in remotely. Teachers and students alike are grateful to be back together, and enthusiasm fills every hall.
Seth Katada is back on campus doing what he loves best: working as the school's athletic director and junior high Bible teacher. "I’m ecstatic," Katada said. "Probably the happiest person here." Despite the challenges of teaching in a hybrid classroom, he and his fellow teachers are thrilled to be able to once again help students learn and grow on their Calexico campus.
Calexico Mission School: calexicomissionschool.com/
Pacific Union Teams Represent at NAD Pathfinder Bible Experience Finals
Affectionately called the "Bible Bowl," the Pathfinder Bible Experience Finals took place virtually in mid-April. To prepare, six-member teams from local Pathfinder clubs study one book of the Bible and memorize large portions of Scripture. Six Pacific Union club teams made it to the North American Division Finals after completing the Area, Conference, and Union levels. Here are our six teams that placed first or second in the Division Finals.
Pacific Union Finalists —
Central Calif. Conference
The Ark and Visalia Pioneers Team Salty – 1st place
Northern Calif. Conference
Maranatha Emmanuel Team Guerreros de la Fe – 1st place
Southern California Conference
Tamarind Tigers – 2nd place
Whittier English Team Alpha – 1st place
Tucson Spanish Central Thunder – 1st place
West Valley Maranatha Team A – 1st place
A big congratulations to ALL of our Pathfinders in the Pacific Union who participated in the Pathfinder Bible Experience! We’re proud of every single one of you!
Watch the Awards Ceremony
NAD Youth Ministries
Pathfinder Bible Experience
New Location for International Pathfinder Camporee
In January, the 2024 International Camporee Executive Advisory Committee voted two things: a change of location for the 2024 "Believe the Promise" Camporee from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to Gillette, Wyoming; and new dates of August 5-11, 2024.
Watch the Promo Video: vimeo.com/504589116
Read More: nadadventist.org/news/believe-promise-international-pathfinder-camporee-going-west
Leoni Meadows Summer Camp Returns
If you or a family member are interested in attending a camp at Leoni Meadows this summer, act fast!
"We are almost sold out," said Craig Heinrich, executive director of the camp and retreat center. "If you’re interested in coming to camp, take a look at the website. There are a few spots open here and there."
Heinrich and his summer team are eager for camp to begin. After missing a whole season last year, the staff at Leoni Meadows are ready and anxious to have their friends back at camp. We can’t wait to see how God will bless Leoni this summer.
"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
– Mark 11:24
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” April 23, 2021 S5:E14
Adventist Health Nurse Plays Violin for Patients
Christian Pozo, a nurse from Adventist Health Bakersfield, has been helping patients in multiple ways. Christian has been playing music for patients with coronavirus on a violin that was given to him years ago by his grandfather. He plays to raise the spirits of those inside the hospital, and on March 19, he played for those outside the hospital. “Abide with Me,” “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”—beautiful reminders of a God who cares and abides with us, in sickness and in health.
North American DivisionHosts eHuddle 2021
A two-day clergy professional development conference organized by the Ministerial Association of the North American Division explored the definition of Adventist evangelism, highlighted challenges in achieving church growth, showcased innovative examples of service, and provided guidance for the new and evolving realities created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Key presentations focused on navigating church life after the pandemic and confronting conspiracy theories in faith communities. The event is available to watch online, and among the additional resources is a “Best Practices Podcast” that launched on March 8.
Best Practices Podcasts:
Watch on Facebook: facebook.com/watch/live/?v=491502272012508&ref=watch_permalink
Summit Christian Academy Remembers the Life of Samantha Claire Tibbitts
Summit Christian Academy students and staff joined one of their families in grieving the loss of a student to a tragic traffic accident in late March. "We are remembering our dear student Samantha today," the school shared on March 29. "The spark and passion for life that she had was amazing! She loved nature and the world around her. She loved her family and God fiercely. She also loved the song 'There is a Candle,' and she always danced to it. Our school is missing our Princess of God.” On Monday evening, April 5th, Summit Christian Academy was the location for the funeral service, which celebrated Samantha's life with prayers, songs, pizza, and a balloon launch.
Celebration of Life: fb.watch/4JO1RbnUye/
Follow Summit Christian Academy: facebook.com/SCAUtah
Resources for Grief Recovery and Funeral Expense Assistance
This past year has been one of tremendous loss for so many families. We have gathered some resources for you on grief recovery and dealing with loss below, as well as resources from FEMA about assistance with funeral expenses for those who have lost loved ones to COVID. There are many stages of grief, and there are ways to help your family members, friends, and fellow church members cope with loss.
Beyond Loss – Bereavement Ministry: adventisthealth.org/glendale/patient-resources/beyond-loss-bereavement-ministry/
Life After Loss: family.adventist.org/life-after-loss/
FEMA Financial Assistance - Spanish: youtube.com/watch?v=NGaWq_Hg87I&feature=youtu.be
FEMA Financial Assistance - English: youtube.com/watch?v=DgvN_9m58Z0
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“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
– Revelation 21:4
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” April 16, 2021 S5:E13
Gavin Newsom Visits Vaccine Clinic at Adventist Church
On Friday, April 2, Governor Gavin Newsom visited a coronavirus vaccination site in San Bernardino’s Westside—one of the most impoverished regions of the state—to encourage eligible Californians to get vaccinated and to highlight efforts to vaccinate people in the state’s most socioeconomically disadvantaged areas.
The pop-up vaccine clinic at Sixteenth Street Seventh-day Adventist Church was scheduled to give 500 people the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through a partnership between Loma Linda University Health and C.O.P.E—Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement, a network of churches focused on Black residents in the Inland Empire. The first of the 500 to be vaccinated was Sonya Gray-Hunn, age 52, a housing organizer with C.O.P.E.
A big thanks to Pastor Andrea King and the Sixteenth Street church for providing the vaccination clinic! Next week, we will feature an interview with Pastor King in All God’s People.
San Bernardino Sun Article: sbsun.com/2021/04/02/gov-gavin-newsom-visits-san-bernardino-coronavirus-vaccination-site/
Press Conference: youtube.com/watch?v=MWZFzoePTgs
Fourth Annual Education Issue of the Pacific Union Recorder
April is Education Month for the Pacific Union Recorder, and we’re delighted to bring you the fourth annual education issue!
Over a year ago, the coronavirus pandemic forced all of us to adjust to new ways of doing things in almost every aspect of daily life. Our schools have been deeply impacted. In this issue of the Recorder, we take you inside our school system to see how God has continued to bless this important ministry and to celebrate the unselfish love and commitment that has kept our schools open and teaching during this extraordinary time!
Read Online: adventistfaith.com/media/recorder-archive/
Forest Kindergarten at Pine Hills Adventist Academy
For Pine Hills Adventist Academy in beautiful Northern California, childhood is valued as a treasured, respected period of time that is not to be rushed, but embraced and peacefully nurtured through inquisitive, play-based learning. Students in the Forest Kindergarten program are given a wide range of opportunities and activities to develop a balanced and holistic education. You know it’s been a good day in Forest Kindergarten when your once-white socks are now brown, there is mud or paint on your pants, and your pocket contains a treasure from nature.
Pine Hills Adventist Academy: phaaonline.com/
Watch the Video: youtube.com/watch?v=-9maj2E6nR8
Virtual Youth Service Day
Are you ready for a Servolution? Join youth across the Pacific Union and North Pacific Union as they share God's love through acts of kindness on Saturday, April 24. Make a sock teddy bear, dog, or cat or paint a flowerpot and give soil and seeds to comfort community members who've lost loved ones to COVID-19. Join virtually or organize the service projects at your church. Sponsored by the West Coast Youth Conference, this is a wonderful way to celebrate Youth Service Day!
Paint a Memory Flower Pot: docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSepxkXl8DMpRCFjTg4vSRqSGngqzPQXE0C_EX1MEtYvkgyzaQ/viewform
Sew a Sock Teddy Bear: docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfaWHXWiMqBrD_3tuXYcGfnaSzQasNpPJdVUmighmfd4-_D5Q/viewform
Promo Video: youtube.com/watch?v=Bo3Fp4J-uMo
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"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
– Jeremiah 29:11
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” April 2, 2021 S5:E12
Easter Weekend 2021
Christians around the world are celebrating Holy Week—the final week in the ministry of Jesus Christ that includes the two pivotal moments in His life so significant to the Christian faith: His death and resurrection. As Adventists, we understand this extraordinary moment in the context of the great controversy—and the unfailing love and commitment God has made to the human race.
The resurrection is God’s answer to sin, disease, adversity, conflict, and all those things that break our hearts. We serve a risen Savior; He’s in the world today. He lives! Christ Jesus lives!
Easter is the story of our greatest hopes and aspirations for the future, rooted in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Our prayer today is that All God’s People may be blessed as we contemplate God’s grace and unwavering love for our world during this special time.
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The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”
– Matthew 28:5-7 (NIV)
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” March 26, 2021 S5:E11
The Templeton Hills Community Farm
What started as a simple idea has grown into a flourishing community farm that is building strong relationships! You would never know it from the street, but between the Templeton Hills church and school, a little farm sits on what used to be a soccer field. With the help of a grant from the Pacific Union Conference, the farm started with one hoop house, a small greenhouse, and some outdoor row crops. A month before the farm was ready to open to the public, the pandemic shutdowns began. But amid lockdowns, the Templeton Hills Farm became a place of peace for so many people. Since the farm opened, it has gained another hoop house, and more plans for expansion are in the works. Several news outlets have covered this story, and on April 18 the farm will celebrate its one-year anniversary! Templeton Hills Community Farm is a place to gather, learn, nourish the land, and be nourished by its bounty! Many thanks to Pastor Zac Page, Matt Giese, and the Templeton Hills church for this wonderful community outreach!
Paso Robles Press: pasoroblespress.com/news/templeton-hills-community-farm-impacting-their-community-one-seed-at-a-time/
New Times: newtimesslo.com/sanluisobispo/templeton-hills-community-farm-is-a-place-to-gather-learn-nourish-the-land-and-be-nourished-by-its-bounty/Content?oid=10502266
Atascadero News: atascaderonews.com/news/templeton-hills-community-farm-impacting-their-community-one-seed-at-a-time/
Facebook Farm Tour: facebook.com/watch/?v=184525893140563
Orangevale School's Spelling Bee
There’s nothing like a great spelling bee, and Orangevale SDA School in Northern California held a socially distanced one recently. Each classroom held its own preliminary contest, and one winner from each grade participated in the final event. Beginning with words at first-grade level, the spelling bee got progressively more challenging. It took 19 rounds to declare a winner. Sixth-grader Liann Wagner won by correctly spelling yeoman. Her name will be included on a plaque in the school office, which displays all the spelling bee winners since 1994.
Orangevale School: ovschool.org/
Safety Sabbath and Cybercrime
Safety Sabbath is March 27, 2021. This year the focus is on helping churches protect against cybercrime, avoiding liabilities from streaming services online, and adapting child protection policies to an online environment. Sign up today to receive a valuable resource kit to help you protect your congregation. You can participate in Safety Sabbath whether you are meeting in person or virtually.
Learn More: adventistrisk.org/en-us/safety-resources/safety-sabbath
Kathleen Diaz Named SCC Treasurer/CFO
In a virtual meeting on the evening of March 16, the Executive Committee of the Southern California Conference voted Kathleen Diaz as the new Treasurer/CFO of the SCC, effective March 17, 2021.
“I am very honored to be able to continue using my skills and capabilities in the advancement of preaching the gospel to the whole world,” Diaz said. “This calling comes at a time our world is in crisis, but if we put ourselves in the hands of the Lord, He will provide for us.”
Diaz is the first female to serve as SCC Treasurer/CFO and the first female to serve as one of the conference executive officers. Welcome, Kathleen Diaz. Three of our seven conferences now have women Treasurers.
Read More: scc.adventist.org/stories/kathleen-diaz-named-scc-treasurer
Southern Calif. Conference: scc.adventist.org/
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“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
– 1 Peter 5:10, ESV