European Church Region Expands Strategic Focus

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Thank You for Supporting Independent Adventist Journalism

Our trip to Silver Spring for Annual Council is over, and we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for your comments on our stories. Thank you for your prayers and messages of support. Thank you for being members of Adventist Forum—part of our team.

Dear Readers,

Thank you so much. Our trip to Silver Spring for Annual Council is over, and we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for your comments on our stories. Thank you for your prayers and messages of support. Thank you for being members of Adventist Forum—part of our team.

As William Shakespeare said, “Thanks, thanks, and again I say thanks.”

It was a good trip this year. The meetings themselves improved by giving more time for discussing ideas such as nurture and retention with feedback from the attendees sought at key points. Departmental reports were shortened and sharpened. Division reports, which are usually just videos of varying quality, were dropped.

There are good people doing creative things in the name of the church. I came home looking forward to the stories that we will get to write in the coming year. Please join us in that journey, too.

And if you wonder, what is the impact of Spectrum’s work? The halls of the GC were practically vibrating with the whispers surrounding our publication of George Knight’s letter. Our up-to-the-minute coverage on Twitter received over half a million views, and we gained 300 new followers because of it. On Facebook, our coverage reached over 115,000 people, and over 53,000 of those individuals engaged with our posts in some way, either by liking, commenting, clicking, or sharing with their friends. We also gained over 300 new followers on Facebook. On our website, we received over 150,000 pageviews during Annual Council, from almost 40,000 users. 

So if you are thankful for the coverage that we have provided this year, please consider making a donation now by clicking here. Sending people to cover meetings like Annual Council is one of the most expensive things we do all year. And next up is the North American Division Year End meeting. Your help is needed in keeping independent Adventist journalism alive, in holding officials accountable when documents are developed in secret and then thrust on delegates at the last moment, in working for openness and transparency in our community life.

You play a vital role in sustaining our work through your support. Please give today. And again, I say thanks!

Cheerful best,

Bonnie Dwyer
Spectrum Editor

 

 

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Make sure your comments are germane to the topic; be concise in your reply; demonstrate respect for people and ideas whether you agree or disagree with them; and limit yourself to one comment per article, unless the author of the article directly engages you in further conversation. Comments that meet these criteria are welcome on the Spectrum Website. Comments that fail to meet these criteria will be removed.

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Thank You for Supporting Independent Adventist Journalism

Our trip to Silver Spring for Annual Council is over, and we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for your comments on our stories. Thank you for your prayers and messages of support. Thank you for being members of Adventist Forum—part of our team.

Dear Readers,

Thank you so much. Our trip to Silver Spring for Annual Council is over, and we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for your comments on our stories. Thank you for your prayers and messages of support. Thank you for being members of Adventist Forum—part of our team.

As William Shakespeare said, “Thanks, thanks, and again I say thanks.”

It was a good trip this year. The meetings themselves improved by giving more time for discussing ideas such as nurture and retention with feedback from the attendees sought at key points. Departmental reports were shortened and sharpened. Division reports, which are usually just videos of varying quality, were dropped.

There are good people doing creative things in the name of the church. I came home looking forward to the stories that we will get to write in the coming year. Please join us in that journey, too.

And if you wonder, what is the impact of Spectrum’s work? The halls of the GC were practically vibrating with the whispers surrounding our publication of George Knight’s letter. Our up-to-the-minute coverage on Twitter received over half a million views, and we gained 300 new followers because of it. On Facebook, our coverage reached over 115,000 people, and over 53,000 of those individuals engaged with our posts in some way, either by liking, commenting, clicking, or sharing with their friends. We also gained over 300 new followers on Facebook. On our website, we received over 150,000 pageviews during Annual Council, from almost 40,000 users. 

So if you are thankful for the coverage that we have provided this year, please consider making a donation now by clicking here. Sending people to cover meetings like Annual Council is one of the most expensive things we do all year. And next up is the North American Division Year End meeting. Your help is needed in keeping independent Adventist journalism alive, in holding officials accountable when documents are developed in secret and then thrust on delegates at the last moment, in working for openness and transparency in our community life.

You play a vital role in sustaining our work through your support. Please give today. And again, I say thanks!

Cheerful best,

Bonnie Dwyer
Spectrum Editor

 

 

Image Credit: SpectrumMagazine.org

If you respond to this article, please:

Make sure your comments are germane to the topic; be concise in your reply; demonstrate respect for people and ideas whether you agree or disagree with them; and limit yourself to one comment per article, unless the author of the article directly engages you in further conversation. Comments that meet these criteria are welcome on the Spectrum Website. Comments that fail to meet these criteria will be removed.

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Thank You for Supporting Independent Adventist Journalism

Our trip to Silver Spring for Annual Council is over, and we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for your comments on our stories. Thank you for your prayers and messages of support. Thank you for being members of Adventist Forum—part of our team.

Dear Readers,

Thank you so much. Our trip to Silver Spring for Annual Council is over, and we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for your comments on our stories. Thank you for your prayers and messages of support. Thank you for being members of Adventist Forum—part of our team.

As William Shakespeare said, “Thanks, thanks, and again I say thanks.”

It was a good trip this year. The meetings themselves improved by giving more time for discussing ideas such as nurture and retention with feedback from the attendees sought at key points. Departmental reports were shortened and sharpened. Division reports, which are usually just videos of varying quality, were dropped.

There are good people doing creative things in the name of the church. I came home looking forward to the stories that we will get to write in the coming year. Please join us in that journey, too.

And if you wonder, what is the impact of Spectrum’s work? The halls of the GC were practically vibrating with the whispers surrounding our publication of George Knight’s letter. Our up-to-the-minute coverage on Twitter received over half a million views, and we gained 300 new followers because of it. On Facebook, our coverage reached over 115,000 people, and over 53,000 of those individuals engaged with our posts in some way, either by liking, commenting, clicking, or sharing with their friends. We also gained over 300 new followers on Facebook. On our website, we received over 150,000 pageviews during Annual Council, from almost 40,000 users. 

So if you are thankful for the coverage that we have provided this year, please consider making a donation now by clicking here. Sending people to cover meetings like Annual Council is one of the most expensive things we do all year. And next up is the North American Division Year End meeting. Your help is needed in keeping independent Adventist journalism alive, in holding officials accountable when documents are developed in secret and then thrust on delegates at the last moment, in working for openness and transparency in our community life.

You play a vital role in sustaining our work through your support. Please give today. And again, I say thanks!

Cheerful best,

Bonnie Dwyer
Spectrum Editor

 

 

Image Credit: SpectrumMagazine.org

If you respond to this article, please:

Make sure your comments are germane to the topic; be concise in your reply; demonstrate respect for people and ideas whether you agree or disagree with them; and limit yourself to one comment per article, unless the author of the article directly engages you in further conversation. Comments that meet these criteria are welcome on the Spectrum Website. Comments that fail to meet these criteria will be removed.

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News Briefs for October 20, 2017

Stories from Cuba, The One Project, California, Germany, Washington DC, La Sierra University, Oakwood University, Kettering College, Southern Adventist University, Northern Asia-Pacific Division, Friedensau University and Younger Generation Church. ………..   Adventist missionaries are in Cuba for the first time in 50 years. Short mission trips began in 1998, but Christian Guana-Jarrin and Joseph Capeles are […]

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Another View

Life is the victim of time’s cruel work, the indiscernible decay of thick stone walls, incessant sluggish demise, its demonstrable erosion of man’s best efforts crushing our delusions of ego and might.

Recently on a trip to Wales, chasing my ancestors, I encountered something unexpected on top of a medieval castle.

Hoary markers of human existence stand tall and motionless reminding me the flow of human culture is endless. We move on littering our empty shells on history’s landscape as evidence “we were here.” Reflecting on such relics, I stand immobile pondering the history dramatically before me. Great men and women who crafted the course of western civilization have imprinted my thinking, causing me to wonder about the transient trajectory of my own life. Quiet pillars of time teach me I am not the center of the universe, not an apotheosis, only a pause in infinity, a chance to experience what having breath is like. Is there a better gift? Existence is the unwrapping.  

Museums, monuments, ancient castles, headstones, old photographs, written histories, chronicling and remembering, we have a love affair with the Past. We possess a genetic need to continue, to feel Life’s never-ending pulse and to learn from it.

My thoughts were communal – them, myself, us. Then and now, where we have come from and speculating where our future leads us, I was riveted. I felt connected to ancient history yet dwarfed by the enormity of societal-cultural evolution. Kings and queens, knights in shining armor, torture chambers, draw bridges and moats, a time of acute austerity, brutality and war. I was swarmed with questions about their existence. What was ordinary life like? I couldn’t imagine their hardships, their common fears, daily struggles, everyday joys. How were their lives guided by religion and politics? Was quotidian dreariness a reality?

I reflected on my good life, my own battles, accomplishments, failures, cheers, and regrets energized and freed by a technology heretofore unimagined by my predecessors, my life a Xanadu in comparison. The stillness of the moment standing before ruins of a vanished era filled me with awe, a solemnity and veneration, and a lament for the little time I have left. My mortality annoyed me.

Life is the victim of time’s cruel work, the indiscernible decay of thick stone walls, incessant sluggish demise, its demonstrable erosion of man’s best efforts crushing our delusions of ego and might. My protestations against mortality are muted by the tacit testimony of primitive life. I am brought to the denouement of my existence on my knees, like a guilty prisoner facing execution. No escape from the veracity that glared at me. I felt small, irrelevant, and silenced by history’s mockery of my impermanence, underscoring I am helplessly consumed and forgotten by time, in the end I am dust, or so it seems. I exist for a moment in time’s interminable stream believing I am connected with the past while wondering if there is an afterlife future.

I climbed to the top of the tallest tower of Pembroke castle overlooking Pembroke River that flowed just outside its walls into a verdant valley, a shimmering Shire, and inhaled in its unaffected beauty. I thought of my traveling companions down below caught up in their own ruminations. I was alone as I absorbed the Valley’s intense greens, chartreuse, rich yellows and dazzling blues, a Van Gogh masterpiece. A breeze tussled my skimpy hair and rearranged billowy white clouds; I breathed deeply luxuriant spring fragrances. Would I ever witness this glorious view again?

The rocks of ancient walls made me think of the rocks and stones Jesus addressed in Luke 19:40, and the possibility those rocks and stones which Jesus referred to are still along the descending path from the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem. Some earthly things reflect eternity. The rocks of the castle walls cried out to me. They prompted me to reevaluate my gift of existence, to review the use of my limited time in life’s transient and ageless flow. While mulling these thoughts, a gentle consciousness descended on me. I was not alone. My mind heard, “…I will not leave you abandoned (orphaned), I will come to you,” (John 14:18).

A Presence found insignificant me on that tall tower.

Serendipity confronted me, unlike the “road to Damascus,” far less dramatic, minus the resplendent life-changing miracle, more subtle, tweaking, like a quiet undertone, remarkable and no less real.

The Incarnation, God in my likeness, the Hound of Heaven pursuing me across the United States, over the Atlantic Ocean, through London and Liverpool, over to Dublin, and finally down to south of Wales, catching up with me at the top of ancient ruins to gently nudge me He’s nearby, even at my side. Captivated, I froze. I did not venture on this journey anticipating a numinous moment, certainly not while sightseeing. I came to Wales to find the soul of my lineage, clues of my evolution, but perhaps unknowingly desiring to connect with something more illuminating. The extraordinary moment on the castle turret recalled what I read years ago in Rudolf Otto’s the Idea of the Holy, encountering the numinous, a cryptic unexpected run-in with the supernatural.

“I will come to you,” even here on top of a centuries old stony rampart? Why now? Why me? I thought how many times has He possibly come to me but I was too distracted, too self-absorbed, too thick-headed to notice, too befuddled with faith issues, skeptical and cynical, lost in the dark wilderness of belief to sense perchance I was not unaccompanied in this world.

I clung to the Presence trying to absorb its uncanny arrival. As the breeze quietly sneaked away, I waited intently to see if more transcendence was imminent. I wanted more. An enchanting experience with antiquity set the stage for me to consider something beyond castle walls. I looked around again to see if anyone else was present, I saw no one, but I had company.

Life is meaningless when you feel abandoned (orphaned). Existentialists claim existence is absurd and being is angst. For them, you are ultimately alone. My tower-top experience challenged that notion. What if I indeed walk in company with Another? The visit fell out of the sky. Thinkers scoff at such things and I understand their skepticism. A delusion or not, all I know is I could not dismiss the unexpected advent anymore than I could dismiss the splendor of the valley below.

Mild depression dogs me. At times, I feel alone and hopeless. Gloomy darkness clouds my smile, nagging heaviness weighs me down for no particular reason or feeling alone among intimates is not uncommon. Such experiences feed my angst. Perhaps the Lord wanted me to know I am not orphaned nor forsaken. Fundamental to having abundant life is belonging. I am His. Nothing spectacular, no clash of thunder, no earthquake or falling stars or soaring meteors, just an unanticipated gentle prod of divine assurance.

Thoughts surfaced. Jesus didn’t arrive as conquering emperor or triumphant general but as a dirt-poor vulnerable baby. He did nothing to defeat Rome. Instead He lived homeless without even a pillow, and died a helpless victim of injustice, an outlaw. He did not incarnate into something unlike us, but as one us, from the weakest to the vilest outcast. He lived as a wanderer, a refugee from another dimension, unarmed against a society bent on evil, a world fractured with hate and cruelty. He didn’t conquer, He participated.

The parapet visitation lifted the veil, a portal to new understanding. God comes to us powerless. Like a manger Infant, He approaches us weak and vulnerable. No clash of thunder, nothing earth shattering, no cyclonic winds, just “a still small voice” whispering in my ear. This seems to be His style. He comes to us as He came to Judea: without splendor or majesty, fire or lightning, He arrived quietly a helpless baby in a filthy stall, His response to evil.

Through Incarnation, He is the downtrodden, the raped woman, the destitute refugee, and the orphaned child of war. He chooses not to eradicate suffering but to embrace it. His supernatural manifestation for our time is weakness. God’s gently tapping me on the shoulder hinting that He is not what I had hoped for, but He’s not dead either. Operating outside my rational constructs of misguided hopes, I live in a dispensation reflecting Jesus’ earthly life, from manger to the Cross.

I grew up hearing stories of God and Jesus exercising the miraculous. Parting seas, confusing armies, giving sight to the blind, raising the dead, even walking on water were among the marvels committed in the presence of ancients. Being raised a fundamentalist we expected the same. Over the decades I observed something markedly different. God abandoned the Big Tent demonstrations and opted for the quiet castle tower approach to the affairs of men and women.

Pembroke Castle reminded me “He is alive” though His glory is veiled in power unavailable. Life has taught me there is no miraculous opposition to wickedness. Asking why God allows suffering is pointless. He elects to confront evil through humanity and takes a risk in doing so. We often fail. Nevertheless, humanity is His terrestrial solution to suffering and villainy, not celestial fireworks. Whoever I help in my community of influence is a recipient of His incarnate grace.

Incarnation is scandalous. The ills of this shattered world are mine to remedy; my compassion seeking to end suffering is His compassion. The past’s real significance is people, more than castles or wars. What I do with them is linked to what the Gospels said He did with them. He leaves me the implementation. When my brother died, He came to me as family and friends. He lives through us. Every act of kindness, generosity, or courtesy is divine presence. The Resurrection promises something better down the road, but for now, we participate in goodness, His kingdom.

A powerful God Jesus was not, just the opposite, a weak God, a suffering God, a lowly God, a human God. I’ve had to re-examine my faith. Old biblical tapes no longer suffice. Pesky contradictions of a compassionate God allowing eons of brutality and appalling cruelty compelled me to revisit a hackneyed Christian narrative. God’s weakness prevents Him from directly intervening in the world. Perhaps in the past and hopefully in the future, but now errant humanity is the “miracle” addressing the ills of the human race. God doesn’t, won’t, interfere in the machinations or choreographies of mortals, not openly. He refuses to stop wars, prevent floods, earthquakes or hurricanes, or ravages of fire. Whether unhinged Nature or human depravity, He does not enter His creation as a conquering king or benevolent Svengali. He bows to humanity to fix things. In our post-modern world, Almighty God hides in powerlessness, you and I His majesty.

My Pembroke tower visit reconciled my view of God. Clearly I no longer expect heavenly wonders or divine meddling. Parting seas or quieting tempests appear more like ancient tribal folklore. God has simply abandoned such displays. I hang on the Cross with Him facing virulent evil and doubting deliverance. Meantime I am not alone as I embody His love in my community.

What He does in the future is none of my concern. I do myself a disservice trying to figure what He’s up to regarding His return. Humankind has never controlled the future. We wield our prophecy in attempts to do so, but often foolishly. His belated coming is His business; I am to concentrate incarnating His love to a world starving for lack of it. Perhaps a feeble response to a disheveled violent planet, but so was the manger Baby. I have my own “practical theodicy,” as Richard Rice calls it, my own personal process theology, but I can live with it. All theodicies are spin attempting to explain the incongruous notion of a loving God who observes millennia of unspeakable suffering.

My “castle moment” is another view.  Immanuel.

 

Greg Prout is father of three, grandfather of three, and has been happily married for 34 years to Mary Ventresca.

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Make sure your comments are germane to the topic; be concise in your reply; demonstrate respect for people and ideas whether you agree or disagree with them; and limit yourself to one comment per article, unless the author of the article directly engages you in further conversation. Comments that meet these criteria are welcome on the Spectrum Website. Comments that fail to meet these criteria will be removed.

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General Conference Responds to Tom Lemon’s Departure from Unity Oversight Committee

The General Conference has issued a short statement concerning reports that Thomas Lemon, general vice president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, is no longer chair of the Unity Oversight Committee.

On Tuesday, reports began circulating that Thomas Lemon, general vice president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, was no longer chair of the Unity Oversight Committee.

The Committee, which was created after the 2016 Annual Council, was tasked with reviewing the processes outlined in the document “Unity in Mission: Procedures in Reconciliation” and monitoring and assisting divisions toward compliance with General Conference policies.

On Wednesday, Lemon confirmed to Adventist Today that “he and GC president Ted Wilson agreed together that the committee should have a new chairman.”

Yesterday, the General Conference issued a short statement concerning the situation which read as follows:

While there has been a discussion of a possible change of leadership for the committee, no action will be taken until the Administrative Committee of the General Conference meets to consider the matter.”

Sam Neves, associate director of communications for the GC, confirmed that the Administrative Committee (ADCOM) must vote on any change in leadership before it takes effect. “There is no story,” Neves said, until ADCOM meets to vote. He added that the Committee could choose to keep Lemon on as chair.

According to Neves, ADCOM will not meet again for at least six weeks, after President Ted Wilson returns from his current travels.

Additionally, there seems to be confusion surrounding the proper name of the committee in question. In official documents, including the recent “Procedures for Reconciliation and Adherence in Church Governance Phase II,” the committee is referred to as the “Unity Oversight Committee.” However, during Annual Council last week, delegates on the floor started referring to the committee as the “Unity in Mission Oversight Committee,” a name which seems to have stuck, and has appeared in reports from various news outlets. Neves confirmed that there is no current consensus among GC officials on the committee’s name, but they are looking into the matter.

The confusion may stem from the fact that the name of the initial 2016 document that outlined the procedures for reconciliation with non-compliant entities is “Unity in Mission.” It seems in the weeks ahead, the Committee may be tasked both with finding a new chair and deciding on its official name going forward.

Thomas Lemon has declined requests for comment on the GC’s statement regarding his leadership of the Committee or ADCOM’s role in the matter.

 

See also: Thomas Lemon Removed as Chair of Unity Oversight Committee

 

Alisa Williams is managing editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.

Image Credit: adventist.org / outlookmag.org

 

If you respond to this article, please:

Make sure your comments are germane to the topic; be concise in your reply; demonstrate respect for people and ideas whether you agree or disagree with them; and limit yourself to one comment per article, unless the author of the article directly engages you in further conversation. Comments that meet these criteria are welcome on the Spectrum Website. Comments that fail to meet these criteria will be removed.

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General Conference Responds to Tom Lemon’s Departure from Unity Oversight Committee

The General Conference has issued a short statement concerning reports that Thomas Lemon, general vice president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, is no longer chair of the Unity Oversight Committee.

On Tuesday, reports began circulating that Thomas Lemon, general vice president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, was no longer chair of the Unity Oversight Committee.

The Committee, which was created after the 2016 Annual Council, was tasked with reviewing the processes outlined in the document “Unity in Mission: Procedures in Reconciliation” and monitoring and assisting divisions toward compliance with General Conference policies.

On Wednesday, Lemon confirmed to Adventist Today that “he and GC president Ted Wilson agreed together that the committee should have a new chairman.”

Yesterday, the General Conference issued a short statement concerning the situation which read as follows:

While there has been a discussion of a possible change of leadership for the committee, no action will be taken until the Administrative Committee of the General Conference meets to consider the matter.”

Sam Neves, associate director of communications for the GC, confirmed that the Administrative Committee (ADCOM) must vote on any change in leadership before it takes effect. “There is no story,” Neves said, until ADCOM meets to vote. He added that the Committee could choose to keep Lemon on as chair.

According to Neves, ADCOM will not meet again for at least six weeks, after President Ted Wilson returns from his current travels.

Additionally, there seems to be confusion surrounding the proper name of the committee in question. In official documents, including the recent “Procedures for Reconciliation and Adherence in Church Governance Phase II,” the committee is referred to as the “Unity Oversight Committee.” However, during Annual Council last week, delegates on the floor started referring to the committee as the “Unity in Mission Oversight Committee,” a name which seems to have stuck, and has appeared in reports from various news outlets. Neves confirmed that there is no current consensus among GC officials on the committee’s name, but they are looking into the matter.

The confusion may stem from the fact that the name of the initial 2016 document that outlined the procedures for reconciliation with non-compliant entities is “Unity in Mission.” It seems in the weeks ahead, the Committee may be tasked both with finding a new chair and deciding on its official name going forward.

Thomas Lemon has declined requests for comment on the GC’s statement regarding his leadership of the Committee or ADCOM’s role in the matter.

 

See also: Thomas Lemon Removed as Chair of Unity Oversight Committee

 

Alisa Williams is managing editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.

Image Credit: adventist.org / outlookmag.org

 

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Make sure your comments are germane to the topic; be concise in your reply; demonstrate respect for people and ideas whether you agree or disagree with them; and limit yourself to one comment per article, unless the author of the article directly engages you in further conversation. Comments that meet these criteria are welcome on the Spectrum Website. Comments that fail to meet these criteria will be removed.

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ADRA House—A new life for domestic violence victims in Romania

October 20, 2017:      We all know about domestic violence. It touches us indirectly through television, radio, magazines and social media. We may personally know families experiencing pain. And, while some are concerned about this trend, others are indifferent, considering it normal behavior—at least for Romania. When we hear of special cases, however—cases of spousal murder, […]

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Child Molestation Charges Lead to Arrest of Former Fresno Adventist Academy Teacher

October 19, 2017:    Christopher Bispham, a former teacher at Fresno Adventist Academy, has been taken into police custody in Florida after appearing to be on the run from authorities. He faces 15 child molestation charges dating from 2013 to 2016. Fresno-based ABC 30 television reports that Bispham was arrested in Orlando due to the […]

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Kwahu chiefs fight over cemetery land

There is tension between the chiefs of Kwahu-Obomeng and Obo in the Kwahu South District of the Eastern Region, over the sale of cemetery land to a private developer for the construction of a fuel station. The uneasy calm situation has pushed the chief of Obomeng, Nana Effah Opinamang, to condemn the Obo chief, Nana Afari Oboagyan II, for the sale of a Seventh Day Adventist Church cemetery land to a private business company, as the youth of Obomeng have reportedly waded into the imbroglio.

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Gov’t to partner with church on social intervention programmes

Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, says the Government will be partnering with faith-based organisations to undertake social-intervention initiatives in communities that are impacted by crime. Holness, who was speaking to Seventh-day Adventist leaders at the Western Jamaica Conference Centre in Montego Bay yesterday, commended the church for the work that it is doing at the community level, particularly in the Zone of Special Operation in Mount Salem, St James.

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SDA pastor rallies support for Ghana’s leaders

Ghanaians have been asked to pray for their elected leaders and to give strong support to them to help them to succeed. Pastor Fredrick Nnubeng, Konongo District Head of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, said they should show good understanding and accept to stand with them every step of the way to implement their development vision.

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Fundraiser For Razed Redwood Adventist Academy (Adventist EDU News Shorts)

Also in this week’s headlines: Pacific Union College resumes classes as NorCal fires contained; La Sierra University touts top diversity ranking; Southwestern Adventist University ranks #2 in diversity regionally; and President’s Gala nets Southern Adventist $300k.

Galt Adventist School Raises Money for Redwood Adventist Academy. Galt Adventist School hosts a special yard sale fundraiser today and tomorrow (October 19-20) to raise funds for its sister school, Redwood Adventist Academy, which was destroyed by the Santa Rosa fires. The Galt Herald announced that the sale takes place Thursday and Friday from 8 am to 3 pm on the Galt campus. The Adventist News Network reported that “On Monday, Oct. 9, the Tubbs Fire, a wildfire that burned at least 28,000 acres in Napa and Sonoma counties in Northern California, swept into the Larkfield-Wikiup area of Santa Rosa, California and destroyed Redwood Adventist Academy, located on Mark West Springs Road. No students or faculty were on campus at the time.” Redwood has made plans to move the school to a new location.

Pacific Union College Resumes Classes As NorCal Fires Contained. After a one-week suspension of classes amid Northern California wildfire activity, Pacific Union College resumed classes yesterday (October 18). The Angwin, California campus was never in immediate danger from the many devastating fires to pass through Napa and Sonoma counties, but the campus’s Virgil O. Parrett Field airstrip served as a staging area for aircraft and firefighters. Volunteer firefighters from PUC, both students and college staff, were among the more than 11,000 firefighters and first responders who worked around the clock to contain the fires. PUC also housed many pilots who assisted in fire relief work. Students returning to campus were advised that air quality could remain poor due to smoke from the fires. Administration recommended bringing N95 or N100 air masks as a precaution, especially for those with respiratory problems. For more on this story, see, “PUC Resumes Classes After Wildfire Concerns.”

La Sierra University Touts Top Diversity Ranking. Southern California’s La Sierra University is celebrating being ranked number one for diversity by the Wall Street Journal again. The Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education College Rankings 2018, which rated more than 1,000 colleges and universities in the United States, placed La Sierra atop its annual college rankings guide list, beating out California State University, Northridge (second), UCLA (tied with Cal State Long Beach and two campuses of the City University of New York in 8th place), among others in environment ranking. The ranking also considered overall diversity and inclusiveness by factoring in the proportion of international students, diversity of students, faculty and staff, percentage of Pell grant recipients and number of students who are first in their families to attend college. The other three main criteria used to create the guide include academic resources, student outcomes, and student engagement. For more, see “Wall Street Journal college guide ranks La Sierra No. 1 for diversity.”

Southwestern Adventist University Ranks #2 in Diversity Regionally. U. S. News has ranked Southwestern Adventist University the second most ethnically diverse university among Regional Colleges West (including 15 states). Southwestern was also ranked 20th overall in the same region, marking the second straight year of the university’s moving up the Best Colleges rankings (22nd in 2015 and 21st in 2016). See “SWAU Moves Up in U.S. News Best Colleges Rankings.”

President’s Gala Nets Southern Adventist $300k. On October 5, Southern Adventist University’s President David Smith hosted a gala event that garnered over $300k in scholarship and endowment contributions from local businesses. The event honored three “servant leaders,” high school student Wilmer Perez, retiree Irvin Overton, and Every Valley Leadership Academy Executive Director Ron Lowe. For more, see “President’s Gala Increases Scholarships.”

 
 
Jared Wright is Southern California Correspondent for Spectrummagazine.org.
 

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