The Unity Conference: An Afterword

It’s been a few days since the Unity Conference in London ended, and Carmen and I have been enjoying our memories of the wonderful fellowship there. I think assessing the personality of a group is difficult, but we felt it to be a very affirming, friendly, supportive gathering, of people who genuinely love the Seventh-day […]

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News Briefs for June 23, 2017

Stories from Virginia, London, Hollywood, Papua New Guinea, Takoma Park (Maryland), Romania, Dayton, India and resources for you      …… Adventists from a local church joined other faiths in Alexandria, Virginia, for a prayer service the evening after the shooting of members of the United States Congress last week at a baseball practice. Community Praise Center, […]

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Wellness Grant Awarded to Southwestern Adventist University

June 23, 2017:   Southwestern Adventist University’s nursing department has been awarded a $62,000 grant to fund health and lifestyle education and activities. The Ardmore Institute of Health approved the grant for the Keene, Texas-based institution. The Cleburne Times-Review reported that the nursing department started a Wellness Counts program in 2016 to provide the local […]

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Closure of Walla Walla General Hospital Harms Medical Partners

June 22, 2017:   The closure of Walla Walla General Hospital has caused major dilemmas for several community partners that have relied on the hospital’s services. Walla Walla’s Union-Bulletin reported that partners ranging from those relying on the facility for contracted medical care to nursing students needing work experience, have been adversely affected by the […]

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Innovators: Foster Church Takes Its Name Literally

By Debbonnaire Kovacs, June 22, 2017    As many readers know, we have been featuring profiles of churches here at Adventist Today; churches which we believe to exemplify the loving communities Jesus had in mind when he sent out his followers to change the world. This story, about the Foster Seventh-day Adventist Church in Asheville, NC, […]

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Young Adult Event in Dallas-Fort Worth: Experiencing the Heart of Jesus

By Allan Martin, June 22, 2017:       “It great to know that Jesus is still a draw in 2017,” beamed Pastor Lola Moore Johnston, young adult ministries director for the Adventist denomination’s South Central Conference. “It was refreshing to be in a space with people, young and mature, who were excited to hear and speak about […]

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Adventist Representative Elected to Russian Government Advisory Body

From APD, June 21, 2017:      Pastor Oleg Goncharov, a staff member at the denomination’s Euro-Asia Division (ESD) office in Moscow, has been elected a member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation. He is the first Adventist to serve on this advisory body which provides input to the nation’s government. The body includes 166 […]

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George Knight: Unions Standing Together

Greetings, Before beginning my remarks I should note that I was blessed by the London meetings, not only by the Christian spirit of the presenters and participants but also by the balanced presentations. Looking back after two days at home, I would like to expand a bit on my Thesis 9.5 regarding the unions standing […]

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Trends in Religion: Only One in Four Americans Sees the Bible as Literal Words of God

By Monte Sahlin, June 20, 2017:       Last week the Gallup Poll released its annual survey asking Americans how they view the Bible: 26 percent said it is “an ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man” (the skeptical view), 24 percent said it is “the actual word of God to be […]

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“Lead Like the Queen” Event Encourages Adventist Women to Claim Leadership Roles

June 20, 2017:    Lead Like the Queen, a conference for women organized by an alumna of Australia’s Avondale College, encouraged Adventist women to claim leadership roles. The June 10-12 event was organized over a long weekend to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s birthday. According to a news article on Avondale’s website, the event was the first […]

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10 Philippine villages request baptism after hearing Adventist World Radio

10 Philippine villages request baptism after hearing Adventist World Radio

Duane McKey tells of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit during a major evangelistic campaign.

Duane McKey, right, holding a radio outside the Six Days Sari-Sari Store in Calapan, Philippines. Villagers hike an hour down a mountain to listen to Adventist World Radio at the store. [photo credit: AWR]

Ten villages are preparing for baptism on the Philippines’ seventh-largest island after listening to Adventist World Radio programming on local radio stations.

The villagers heard the Seventh-day Adventist message when nine radio stations started airing the programs on Mindoro, an island located five hours by car and ferry south of the country’s capital, Manila, 

Adventist World Radio purchased airtime on the local radio stations, and its programs hit the airwaves several weeks before major Total Membership Involvement evangelistic meetings opened June 9.

Residents of two villages were convicted to join the Adventist Church before the meetings even began, said Duane McKey, who oversees the Total Membership Involvement initiative for the Adventist world church and serves as president of Adventist World Radio.

“This is something out of a missionary storybook that you would have read many years ago,” McKey said. “But it is happening here and now in Mindoro.”

He credited the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the surge in interest.

Introducing the Radio

McKey, who has co-organized major Total Membership Involvement evangelistic meetings in Rwanda, Romania, and elsewhere, introduced radio to the church’s outreach efforts in Mindoro. 

McKey was appointed president of Adventist World Radio in January, and he hopes to make radio a key part of future evangelistic meetings, including with daily broadcasts in Tokyo before nationwide evangelistic meetings in Japan in 2018. 

The ongoing meetings in Mindoro are being led by 49 Japanese pastors and laypeople who are preparing for the 2018 campaign in Japan.

The nine radio stations airing Adventist World Radio programming reach nearly the entire island of 1.3 million people, as well as people on several neighboring islands. The programs are broadcast one to three hours daily. It was not immediately clear how many people have tuned in for the Adventist World Radio broadcasts or how many people would be baptized as a result.

McKey said he was delighted when two village chiefs contacted Adventist World Radio to request Bible studies before the evangelistic meetings even began.

“They said, ‘Please send us a teacher because we have been listening to the Adventist World Radio broadcast and we want to become Adventists,’” he said.

The chiefs also offered land to build Adventist churches.

Two Japanese pastors now are preaching in those two lowlands villages, and several Adventist churches have sent Bible workers to help prepare the villagers for baptism later this month.

2 More Villages

Residents of a third village, located high in the mountains, contacted church leaders to request baptism after listening to several weeks of programming. 

“At first it was only one family, but now it seems it is the whole village,” McKey said.

Church leaders have scheduled a June 24 baptism for the villagers.

McKey said a fourth village is also in the mountains but it doesn’t have radio reception. To listen to the Adventist message, the villagers walk down the mountain to an Adventist-owned store in Calapan, a major city. The owner plays Adventist World Radio prpgrams in the store, which is called the Six Days Sari-Sari Store because it is open every day but Sabbath.

“We went to the store today and were there with the villagers when the programming began with AWR’s theme song, ‘Lift Up The Trumpet,’” McKey said by e-mail Wednesday. “As soon as the song began to play, the villagers began to clap. We thought they were doing this because we were there but, no, it was because they love the program so much! They clap every time it begins with ‘Lift Up Trumpet!’”

McKey noted that Mindoro means “gold mine” in the local Tagalog language, a nod to its history as a gold mining island in Spanish colonial days. 

“Precious people, yes, more precious than gold, are making decisions for Jesus,” he said.

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Teachers Total Member Involvement yields 144 VOP graduates in Tanzania

Teachers Total Member Involvement yields 144 VOP graduates in Tanzania

Participants hope the program will give community a taste of Adventist education.

[Photo courtesy of the East-Central Africa division]

Adventist teachers in Tanzania are sharing Christ and serving people by offering free education to public school students in the rocky city of Mwanza. After realizing parents pay a lot of money to have their children taught when school is on break, the teachers decided to offer free education to students in the community.

During the summer session, teachers at the Nyanza Adventist Secondary school have also been giving Bible studies to 144 students who received the Voice of Prophecy certificates at the school’s graduation ceremony this week. The majority of the students who completed the Bible lessons, 111 to be exact, were not Adventist

According to the headmaster of the school, Sosthenes Mgunda, parents were overwhelmed with joy and felt the offer was too good to be true. Once they saw that the offer of free education was real with no strings attached, they enrolled their high school students for the summer session. 

 The free summer school conducted classes during the same hours as in regular times. The purpose, the headmaster said was to have children from non-Adventists parents taste and experience the joy of Adventist education and go home with the Adventist message.

Students were involved in studying both an academic curriculum along with the Adventist churches, Voice of Prophecy lessons. Teachers were willing to teach free of charge as they saw this as their way to get involved in the world church’s Total Member Involvement initiative. 

Students from a variety of denominations such as Muslims, Catholics, and Protestants enrolled along with students from several other religions. In addition to free education, the students were also provided with free breakfast.

Martha Paulo, one of the parents, said she had never seen such a kindness of a church before. As a non-Adventist, she commanded the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tanzania for the intellectual growth and character development she has seen her son exhibit when he comes home from school each day.  

According to the teachers, most those who completed Voice of Prophecy lessons are preparing for baptism. They added that this type of community-based evangelism would be done every year.

Godwin Lekundayo, president of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Northern Tanzania and Joel Okindho, the coordinator for the Total Member Involvement campaign in East-Central Africa, commended the school for their commitment to “Total Teacher Involvement.” The three-week Total Member Involvement (TMI) evangelist meetings being held across the country of Tanzania are in their second week and are taking place in over 5000 sites.  

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Taste Is Key

A man on a mission, vegetarian butcher Jaap Korteweg is motivated by three things: making quality culinary products, freeing animals from the food chain, and reducing our ecological footprint.

A man on a mission, vegetarian butcher Jaap Korteweg is motivated by three things: making quality culinary products, freeing animals from the food chain, and reducing our ecological footprint. These are all things no one can disagree with…if it weren’t for the fact that meat is so tasty. Korteweg’s goal is to show meat lovers that they won’t be missing anything if they leave it all behind. “I want to become the world’s greatest butcher.”

Vegetarian butcher Jaap Korteweg understands the carnivore’s notorious meat craving. He was once a carnivore himself, before he made the transition to a vegetarian lifestyle. Now he wants to see the rest of the world make that transition too.

Korteweg has always been a world changer. “Health, sustainability, and the way we treat animals were the main reasons I stopped eating meat. The ethical side of things was especially important to me. The only point of an animal’s life is the product it becomes after death. If you let yourself mull over that fact for a while, it’s crazy. I wanted to change things.” He also wanted to change the taste of the meat replacements on the market, because in all honesty he couldn’t stomach any of them. “It was clear to me from the beginning that the key to the solution was in the taste. You can talk all you want about the environment and animal welfare, but a replacement product needs to taste good. It needs to match the taste of meat, and actually, it needs to taste even better than the meat version.”

Ambition

The Vegetarian Butcher (Dutch: De Vegetarische Slager) brand began life as a small business, and has since dominated supermarket shelves. Korteweg says: “This is only the beginning of our development. Our goal is simple: replace meat. We’re aiming to convince more than half of the population to stop eating meat, or convince everyone to eat half as much meat. Even though we’ve become the second largest competitor in a very short time, just behind Vivera, the fact remains that only 2% of meat in the Netherlands is plant-based. If you look at the numbers, we still have a long way to go. Sometimes we make great strides, though: 20% of the sausage roll filler at AH to go franchises is made of our vegetarian meat replacement, even though only 5% of the population is vegetarian.”

As soon as Korteweg realized his ambition, women became his greatest allies. Specifically, highly educated women between the ages of 20 and 50. These are generally the women with an interest in vegetarianism, and Korteweg is counting on them to educate their partners and children.

Target Audience

Vegetarians are buying more and more products from The Vegetarian Butcher, but they are not Korteweg’s target audience. “The fact that you can’t swallow our tuna salad because it tastes too much like fish is exactly the point. We don’t exist for the vegetarians. They’re managing just fine on their own. You can also live a vegetarian lifestyle healthily and easily without meat replacements – with beans and other legumes, for example. We’re specifically targeting the people who enjoy meat and fish, but are open to sustainability, animal welfare, and health.”

Essentially, The Vegetarian Butcher targets people with meat cravings, as Korteweg so aptly describes. “From studying brain scans, we know that an addiction to meat is comparable to a drug or alcohol addiction. I certainly experienced that when I stopped eating meat. The same thing happened in my brain as when I quit smoking.”

Paying the Price

Eating meat replacements is still an expensive hobby. For now, vegetarian products cost more than meat from a regular butcher. Korteweg acknowledges this. “In essence, our product is cheaper; it takes less land, water, and energy to make it than it does to make real meat. For now the price is necessary for us to cover costs. We make a modest profit, which we have just invested in a new factory.

“Through innovation, our products are getting better and more sustainable. We can also grow faster. As we grow, our prices will start to compete with the price of animal meet. The tipping point, at which we become cheaper, is around 25% of the market share. I expect we’ll achieve this in fifteen years.”

Incidentally, cheapness is not the aim of The Vegetarian Butcher. “We will continue to stand by our taste. Taste is the reason our product sells, and sells well. If we make concessions on that front, we will disappear into the margins.”

Tasting Panel

Korteweg likes to be in the kitchen, but he’s no gourmet chef. He doesn’t assemble the recipes for The Vegetarian Butcher himself. “We employ two chefs. They are not vegetarians, although they keep heading further in that direction. They are very enthusiastic about what we make.” As is Korteweg. “I’m the tasting panel,” he says. “I taste and decide, and for the moment that seems to be working. The things I like sell well.” He laughs: “Apparently I have very mainstream taste.”

The Vegetarian Gospel

Vegetarian butcher Jaap Korteweg wants to save the world from the consumption of animal meat. “We want to grow fast, at home and abroad. Soon Greece will be the fifteenth country where our products are available, and we’re in discussions with America. We would love to take over the American market.

“We keep hoping that people will embrace our philosophy, and offer others a taste of our products. People will only be persuaded by trying, and by taste. The way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. Good arguments have no chance against a meat addiction. Our alternative removes the fear of a life without meat. Only then is there room for discussion, and only then can we start replacing animals with technology. If we continue to grow at this rate, we’ll be the largest butcher in the world within twenty years, and in forty we will no longer be eating animal meat. I’m no prophet, but I wholeheartedly hope this will come to pass.”

Together with Unox

On his way to becoming the world’s most successful butcher, Korteweg is very pleased to be cooperating with Unox [a food brand of Unilever]. His vegetarian meatballs in saté are now part of Unox’s meat kingdom. “Unox is the largest meat brand. Unilever is a multinational corporation. If you want to reach the meat eaters this is a fantastic first step, and we hope it will be successful. That’s how we are tapping a new market, distinct from the meat substitutes, in a place where no vegetarian dares to tread. If successful, it will offer new prospects for meals, salads, whatever, where we want to offer vegetarian alternatives.”

Curious about meat addiction? You can see the documentary film “Need for Meat” in select cinemas beginning December 3, 2016.

Jaap Korteweg’s Meat Cravings

Jaap Korteweg is a ninth-generation farmer, and the founding father of The Vegetarian Butcher. As an organic farmer, he has always been concerned about sustainability and conservation. After swine fever and mad cow disease, he decided to become a vegetarian because he could no longer bring himself to care for, slaughter, and eat cows – even organic ones.

He still missed the taste of meat, though, and went looking for something that could satisfy his meat cravings without resulting in the death of an animal. After searching for many years, he started developing his own ‘innovative meat replacements with spectacular bite and texture.’ Together with concept creator (and Seventh-day Adventist) Paul Blom, Korteweg works towards a shift from animal to plant meat – with all the experience and taste of real meat.

Korteweg is married to politician (and Seventh-day Adventist) Marianne Thieme. They have one daughter together.

Want to know more about The Vegetarian Butcher? Visit: thevegetarianbutcher.com.

Entrepreneur of the Year

On October 6, vegetarian butcher Jaap Korteweg was named Dutch Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year 2016. Last year he was also chosen as Entrepreneur of the Year by the Dutch Centre for Entrepreneurship and the University of Amsterdam. The wide appreciation for the work The Vegetarian Butcher does is closely linked to the innovative nature of its products, and the company’s rapid international growth. In response to these awards, Jaap Korteweg had the following to say: “More and more people can see that we have a world to change. They see that the climate problem, as well as the problems of animal welfare, biodiversity, world hunger, drought, phosphate deficiency, and deforestation, are all literally on the consumer’s plate. We can solve these problems with good, sustainable food. Our knife and fork are our most powerful weapons.”

Make It Yourself!

Chocolate tarts with caramel and Smoked Bacon Strips (Gerookte Speckjes).

Makes 6 tarts

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 box Smoked Bacon Strips
  • 1 can condensed milk (397 gr.)
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder (15 gr.)
  • 130 gr. flour
  • 40 gr. powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 85 gr. cold butter, cubed
  • 150 gr. dark chocolate (72%), chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil (and a dollop to grease the baking tins)
  • blind baking beans filling (dried beans or uncooked rice will also do)

Instructions:

Put the (unopened) can of condensed milk into a saucepan of water. Bring the pan to a boil, and let it simmer for 3 hours. Top up the pan every now and then so it does not boil dry. Once the 3 hours are up, let the condensed milk cool to room temperature. In the meantime sift together the cocoa powder, flour, and powdered sugar over a bowl. Split the egg, and add the yolk to the flour mixture with the salt. Cut the butter into small chunks and add this to the flour mixture as well. Knead the mixture into a ball of dough, wrap it in cling film, and let it rest for an hour in the fridge.

Put the Smoked Bacon Strips into a food processor and blend them into crumbs (or chop them by hand, as finely as possible). Spread the Bacon crumbs on a baking tray covered with wax paper, and sprinkle them with a tablespoon of olive oil. Bake the Smoked Bacon Strips in a preheated oven (150ºC) for 15 minutes, until the crumbs are nice and crispy. Set them aside for later.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Take the dough out of the fridge and knead briefly. Roll the dough into a crust around ½ a centimeter thick. Grease 6 small cake tins with some oil, and dust them with flour. Line the tins with the crust and fill them with a blind-bake filling. Bake the cakes in the middle of the oven for approximately 8 minutes, until they are cooked. Let the crusts cool completely on a wire rack, and then remove them from the tins.

Break the chocolate into pieces and put them into a bowl small enough to fit into a saucepan. Boil a low layer of water in a pan, and hang the bowl of chocolate above it. Be careful that the bowl does not touch the water. Allow the chocolate to melt gradually. Open the can of cooled condensed milk and divide the contents between the six crusts (be sure to remove the blind-bake filling first). Pour the molten chocolate over the condensed milk, and garnish the cakes with the Smoked Bacon Strip crumbs.

 

This article was written by Lydia Lijkendijk and was originally published by Advent, the magazine of the Dutch Church. It is reprinted here with permission.

Image Credit:The Vegetarian Butcher

 

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Adventist Pastor Elected to State Advisory Body in Russia

Religious liberty advocate will advise on interethnic and interreligious relations.

June 11, 2017 | Moscow, Russia. In a first, a representative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been elected to the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, a State advisory body. Oleg Y. Goncharov, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor who serves as the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department director in the Euro-Asia Division church region, based in Moscow, will be a member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation for the 2017-2020 period.

Adventist leaders in the country believe this is a milestone for the Adventist church in Russia.

“For the first time, a representative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church was elected for such an important area of social and civil dialogue in Russia,” said church leaders in the region, which includes the Russian Federation and other former Soviet-era nations.

The results of the election to the advisory body were made public on June 6. The candidacy of Goncharov had garnered the support of the Russian Association for Protection of Religious Freedom (RARF), and other national and regional organizations, including the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Church leaders also believe Goncharov’s election is a nod to the work and status of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the country. “It certainly shows that in Russia, society and government leaders highly respect the Adventist Church,” they said. “It is a significant event in the life of our church.”

Voting members were invited to cast their votes for the Public Chamber candidates of their choice on the advisory body website for two weeks. Voting members included those who had been nominated by the President of the Russian Federation and those from regional public organizations. According to bylaws updated in 2017, 40 members of the Public Chamber are nominated by the President of the Russian Federation, while another 43 are elected by members with voting rights.

Candidates could apply for 14 different advisory areas. Goncharov was nominated to serve in Area #8, “Coordination of Interethnic and Interreligious Relations, Support for Civil Peace and Harmony.” Others areas include “Supporting Families, Children, Motherhood and Work with the Youth,” and “Supporting Charities, Volunteerism, and Civic Education.”

In his candidacy statement, Goncharov openly stated that he is a Seventh-day Adventist pastor, and mentioned his other religious liberty advocacy and public contributions. Only three positions were available for the 27 candidates that applied to this area. With 57 votes, Goncharov was third.

According to the official site of the Public Chamber, the advisory body, created in 2005, works to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens and the interest of public organizations. Its stated mission is to create conditions for egalitarian dialogue between social actors and government officials.

Church leaders in the country believe this is a wonderful opportunity for the Adventist Church in Russia. “As an official representative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, it is a great opportunity for service,” they said, hoping that Goncharov will work to strengthen the status of religious organizations in the country.

“[We expect him] to work to solve pressing problems that religious organizations may be going through in Russia,” church leaders said.

 

This article was originally published by Euro-Asia Division News & EUD News.

Image Credit: FreeImages.com / Gordana Mirkovic

 

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