New members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church attended the annual New Member Day Open House at the Upper Columbia Conference (UCC) office on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2004. The open house is held each year to give new members an opportunity to better understand the church organization and its methods of accomplishing the Lord’s work.
The day’s events included a tour of each department in the conference office, a presentation by Max Torkelsen, UCC president, and a video about the work of the church and how it is organized.
The most exciting part of the day was the testimonial time. Some of the new members shared stories about how they became Seventh-day Adventists.
One new member was baptized into the Adventist Church when he lived in Panama, but he was continually tempted to play on the soccer league that always played games on Sabbath. Eventually he gave up going to church. When he moved to Othello, Wash., he looked for an Adventist church to join, but couldn't find one. Then one day he found the Spanish version of the Adventist Review, the Sentinel, and was excited to read it. In it he saw an ad for an evangelistic series in a church in Yakima. He attended and started making friends there, and that was all it took to get reconnected.
There are many different stories about how new members become Adventists, but they all have one thing in common: Someone in the church became their friend. “It’s true that only God can convert a human soul,” said Torkelsen, “but I believe he uses people and relationships as His instruments to make it happen.”