Pacific Union “All God’s People,” January 29, 2021 S5:E03
Stockton Church Organizes Giveaway of 183 Bikes—
During the Christmas season, churches throughout the Northern California Conference found numerous practical ways to inspire hope that carried forward into 2021.
During a giveaway at the Stockton Mayfair church, 183 people—aged two to over 60—received a bicycle for Christmas. During the event, the parking lot was full of hope as participants waited for their number to be called to choose a bike.
The project was partially funded by a grant from the North American Division, which has sponsored bike giveaways at other locations. To promote the event, members distributed fliers in the neighborhood, Pastor Rudy Peters appeared on a local television program, and the church spread the word through social media.
The event will make a difference in people’s lives for years to come. "So much comes along with [having a bike]," said a father as he lifted his small daughter onto her new bicycle. "Being in her life, being there to teach her how to ride it—it’s a forever bond, a forever memory."
Read More: nccsda.com/during-a-difficult-season-ncc-churches-share-hope/
Behind the Scenes of Fresno Central Church's Tuesday Food Giveaway—
With COVID-19 continuing to spread, and millions of Americans still out of work, one of the nation's most urgent problems has only grown worse: hunger. Seventh-day Adventists in the Pacific Union have stepped up to serve—like never before. Our churches and members are continuing to meet needs in their communities.
Fresno Central church in the Central California Conference has a food giveaway every Tuesday morning, and recently, Pastor Daniel Gouveia took his camera and went behind the scenes to show what it takes for the church’s community service team to get ready, pack boxes, and open the gates for the people waiting in line.
And it’s not only much needed food that they give away—they have a table with books and literature, and they encourage people to study the Bible. The pastor asked various volunteers what they love about serving and why they do it every week. Thank you, Fresno Central, for your hard work and commitment to feeding the hungry.
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NPR on Food Insecurity in the US
Santa Clarita Teen Helps Feed Those in Need—
In Santa Clarita, in Southern California, Arianna Laolagi is doing what she can to provide food to those in need in her community.
In February 2018, Arianna founded "Meals That Heal," a volunteer-based Christian collective with 100% of its proceeds dedicated to aiding homeless and unemployed people in L.A. County. Since its formation, Arianna and her organization have helped more than 400 homeless people. The team cooks hot and nutritious plates of food and distributes them alongside hygiene care packages.
After schools were shut down in March, Arianna, with the help of the Pasadena church and the Meals That Heal team, organized a contactless drive-through grocery giveaway for nearly 100 families who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Nurse Uses Music to Promote Healing—
Doctors and nurses in San Bernardino County are swamped as a surge of COVID-19 patients continues to pour into hospitals. Tad Worku, a trauma nurse at Loma Linda University Medical Center, uses music to help heal patients and to help them recover by managing their stress during the pandemic. With his guitar in hand, he plays and sings for patients and hospital staff. Worku performs outside the hospital in Loma Linda—and his music cheers up the healthcare workers inside too, because they can watch him perform live from their computers. What a beautiful way to witness to patients and hospital staff!
Learn More: abc17news.com/news/national-world/2021/01/06/nurse-helping-to-heal-covid-patients-through-music/
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"The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'"
– Matthew 25:40
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” January 22, 2021 S5:E02
An Inauguration, Constituency Sessions, and more...
On Wednesday, January 20, we were all inspired and encouraged as we witnessed a peaceful transition of power in Washington, D.C.
Despite the unrest of recent weeks, the peaceful transition from one administration to another went forward in our American government this last Wednesday. There have been so many prayers ascending, asking for God’s blessing on the affairs of our nation. As we continue to express thankfulness and gratitude for God’s grace, let us also continue to pray for our leaders, that they will be led by God and will govern with integrity, compassion, and justice.
There is news this week that impacts our church as well. For the second time in 10 months, members of the Executive Committee of the global Seventh-day Adventist Church have voted to postpone the quinquennial session of the denomination, originally scheduled for late June of 2020, due to challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The General Conference session is now scheduled for June 6-11, 2022, in Indianapolis. Read the Adventist Review article via the link below.
The Pacific Union Conference Constituency meeting is scheduled to take place August 15-16, 2021, in Tucson, Arizona. More information and details about the meeting will be coming in the weeks ahead.
News from Adventist Health
Adventist Health serves more than 80 communities in the West Coast and Hawaii. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist heritage and values, Adventist Health provides care in hospitals, clinics, home care agencies, hospice agencies, and joint-venture retirement centers in both rural and urban communities.
Their compassionate and talented team of 35,000 includes associates, medical staff physicians, allied health professionals, and volunteers driven in pursuit of one mission: living God's love by inspiring health, wholeness, and hope. Their efforts in caring for COVID-19 patients, distributing vaccines, and providing for their workers have been highlighted in the media these past months.
Adventist Health White Memorial hospital, a facility that's been besieged by the COVID-19 virus and inundated with patients, is getting some help now from the California National Guard, the state, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Read more from NBC Los Angeles news via the link below.
Hospitals have been offering the first vaccinations against COVID-19 in their communities. Just as crucial as properly storing the vaccine or administering shots is the health education that accompanies them. One of those on the frontlines of health education is Dr. Ronald Reynoso, chief medical officer at Adventist Health Bakersfield and Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley. Read the informative Q & A with Dr. Reynoso about how the vaccine works via the link below.
And from Hawaii—Adventist Health Castle begins vaccinations for seniors over 75 who live or work in Windward Oahu. See link to this story below.
Religious Liberty Focus, Jan. 23
Every year on the third Sabbath in January, Seventh-day Adventists around the world take time to remember the God-given gift of religious freedom.
On Religious Liberty Sabbath, we take time to reflect on the precious gift of religious freedom and we pray for the many millions of men, women, and children who continue to suffer harassment, discrimination, and even imprisonment or physical harm because they choose faithfulness to God, no matter what.
Religious Liberty Sabbath in North America will be commemorated tomorrow, on January 23. Through our prayers, we can support our brothers and sisters around the world, and we can express our support for freedom for all people, no matter what their faith.
In the January Recorder, we have a special four-page insert on Religious Liberty that you can download from our website. These four pages are a great way to share Religious Liberty with your family and friends.
Special Religious Liberty Insert
Religious Liberty Sabbath
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“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
– John 8:36
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” December 18, 2020 S4:E50
Nothing stops Christmas! It’s Christmastime—even though the plans we made had to be canceled. It’s a season of celebration—even under new restrictions. Joy is the currency of Christmas—and it is the birth of Christ our Savior that is the reason for the season and brings joy to our lives!
In this episode of All God's People, join us as Pacific Union Conference President Ricardo Graham talks about some of his favorite things about Christmas.
Additionally, we have a huge Christmas treat from Hawaii! A big thanks to Matt Webster and Miki Akeo-Nelson from the Hawaii Conference office for making this happen. And a shout out of appreciation to these outstanding teachers:
From Adventist Malama Elementary School - Cathie Workman, Joann Talitonu, and Shannon Kaneshiro.
From Hawaiian Mission Academy - Zoviel Charles and from Hawaiian Mission Academy Windward Campus, America McColley.
From Kohala Adventist School - Jackie Millar.
Joy to the World and Mele Kalikimaka from Hawaii to All God’s People.
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Stay tuned! We'll be back in 2021 with Season 5 of All God's People. Happy Holidays!
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” December 11, 2020 S4:E49
Messages from our Pastors at Christmas
The holiday lights are everywhere as people try to capture the joy and festive spirit of the Christmas season, in spite of the times we are living in. One giant blessing this year has been the way our pastors all over the Pacific Union have responded to the pandemic. They have kept us connected, engaged, and inspired—all while going through the same challenges we are all facing. Today we feature two of our wonderful pastors.
Todd Leonard is the senior pastor of Glendale City church in Glendale, California. He is an amazing pastor, one who is willing to share openly and honestly about his own personal mental health journey while staying connected to his congregation and inspiring them with dynamic messages. Firmly believing that robust spirituality develops when a broad diversity of people come together in community, Pastor Leonard and Glendale City church continue to live their mission of revealing the love of Christ in all its tenderness and grandeur to the community in which they live. He joined us by Zoom recently to talk about mental health, especially during the holidays.
Glendale City Church
Glendale City Sermon Archive
Chanda Nunes this summer after searching for more than a year for the right candidate. Pastor Nunes has served the Northern California Conference since 2015, most recently at the Capitol City church in Sacramento, California. She is the first Black woman pastor to serve within the conference, where she was ordained in June 2018. We close our program today with her Christmas devotional.
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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
– Matthew 11:28-30
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” November 27, 2020 S4:E47
How can we think about gratitude in 2020? In the midst of a pandemic, social unrest, and great political divides, we are truly grateful for not only the small things but also the great big blessings. We're thankful to be Seventh-day Adventists living in the Pacific Union, right now, during these times. Why?
Because of the kindness of co-workers, friends, and neighbors. Because of family and their support and love. Because of the way pastors and teachers, students and members, all over our union, have gone above and beyond in extraordinary ways.
For this Thanksgiving weekend, we’d like to share a short video demonstrating the ways our churches, schools, and members have reached out to others like never before. We are grateful for YOU—for your generosity and continued faithfulness. May you have a blessed Thanksgiving weekend.
Pacific Union “All God’s People,” November 20, 2020 S4:E46
Historical Profile of Holbrook Indian School
Holbrook Indian School is a first- through twelfth-grade boarding academy that has provided Native American children and youth a safe place to live, learn, and grow for nearly 75 years. It also manages a first- through eighth-grade day school on the Navajo reservation in Chinle, Arizona.
The school’s history began in 1916 with Elder Orno Follett and his wife doing mission work among the Navajos. A school was built in New Mexico in 1918, but it was closed in 1937 due to the Great Depression and a shortage of funds.
In 1941 the Arizona Conference became concerned about doing something for the growing tribes within the conference borders. A full-time evangelist, Marvin Walter, was hired for the job. Learn more about Walter's work at HIS in this week's episode.
Holbrook Indian School is operated by the Pacific Union Conference. Its important mission is also funded through donations from individuals who have a heart for Native American youth and Christian education.
Holbrook Indian School History:
HIS Alumni Break the Cycle of Poverty and Abuse; Become Difference Makers for Future Generations—
Four alumni of Holbrook Indian School are dedicating their time and talents to give back to their alma mater. Seeing the students rise above the challenges of their backgrounds, breaking the cycle of poverty and abuse—well, this is the reason Holbrook Indian School was founded.
Learn more about Shanel Draper, Adrain Wiles, Terell Bahe, Mr. Fred Bruce, and Jerena Hunter in this week's episode, or read more of their story online!
Life at Holbrook; Classes During COVID—
The year 2020 has been one of challenges for Holbrook. The pandemic forced the small boarding school in the desert to make some tough decisions. In doing their part to curb the spread of the virus, students were unable to return to the HIS campus to finish out the 2019-2020 school year. After leaving for spring break, they remained home, many of them living on the Navajo reservation.
The conditions for many of the students were dire. The Navajo Nation had the highest transmission levels of coronavirus in the country. This is largely due to lack of clean water, access to healthy foods, and adequate medical care, along with overcrowded homes. Lack of internet also posed a considerable obstacle to distance learning. Under the leadership of Holbrook principal Pedro Ojeda, the staff worked diligently to keep in contact with the students. Once the state mandates were lifted, they found a way to have them safely return to school as soon as possible.
When the students were allowed to return to campus on August 17, the school had a detailed plan to keep everyone as safe as possible. The year started with 65 students enrolled. From the one-building mission school that opened its doors in 1946 as “SDA Mission School,” Holbrook Indian School has grown into a modern, fully accredited facility that has kept pace with today’s technology and educational standards.
We are blessed by its ministry of faith, hope, and love, and we feel privileged that it is a part of the Pacific Union Conference. Please continue to pray for the students and staff. For more information, visit their website via the link below.
Holbrook Indian School
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“But Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.'”
– Matthew 19:14