Home https://nwadventists.com/ Northwest Adventists in Action en Copyright 2022, North Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. All rights reserved. info@nwadventists.com admin@nwadventists.com Sat, 15 Jun 2024 10:36:26 -0700 Sat, 15 Jun 2024 10:30:00 -0700 Election Year https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/06/election-year In this election cycle may we as a church give our allegiance to the Leader that united men from all ends of the political/religious spectrum and prayed that His followers would be one. Kevin McGill perspective Faith Church 35240 Sat, 15 Jun 2024 10:30:00 -0700 Home

"Put not your trust in princes" (Psalm 146).

This year, Americans will go through another presidential election cycle; as a pastor and a citizen, I am apprehensive.

I am worried because political seasons seem to commodify fear and spark division. I am exhausted from endless debates that never seem to settle anything.

Nonetheless, I am hopeful that, this time around, we as a church can collectively decide to love our neighbor across political divides. I am committed to doing my part to spark conversations that connect instead of polarize.

Our differences matter, but our commitment to love one another matters more. I believe the church is the place to put this into practice. 

I visited a leader in our church recently who gave me hope that this is possible. In our visit, he brought up his respect for one of his good friends who is very politically different from himself. I know both of these men. They are both long-time leaders in the church, and they work well together.

Their differences in the way that they think complement one another. One is meticulous in detail and processes on a systemic level, while the other is a bulldozer that values expediency and getting things done.

Both mindsets are needed. They do have conflict but their commitment to respect enables resolution through the challenges.

In our culture, we have been taught to avoid talking about politics and religion, but this has led to a lack of understanding of politics and religion. What we should be taught is how to have a civil conversation about a difficult topic.

These conversations rarely happen on Facebook. The algorithm incentivizes polarization instead of meaningful dialogue. Mark Witas, a pastor/chaplain friend of mine who works for Adventist Health, recently made a post about this that resonated with me. He gave his permission to reshare his social post here. He asked, “Has anyone ever changed their political affiliations/leanings because of Facebook posts? Me neither.”

During this coming intense political season, how about we litter Facebook with positive posts about the things that bring us joy, the God appointments we keep with our fellow humans and the positive people who have made a difference in our lives?

Jesus says, "Seek first the kingdom." What's the kingdom? It's right in front of you. It's all the beautifully flawed human beings that He's placed around you at work and school. Seek their good. Seek to bless them. Seek blessings from them.

As you do, if you are inclined to share on social media, bless us all with your experiences.

Resist investing your posts on how right you think your side of the political aisle is. Remember, the empire is not the kingdom, and it never will be. Invest in the kingdom and you will not be disappointed.

As I look back on posts I have made during previous political seasons, I realize I can do better at this. I am committed to spending time connecting with others rather than correcting them. I am committed to placing my trust in the only leader who never fails. Placing trust in presidents and political parties is a path to disappointment.

In this election cycle, may we as a church give our allegiance to the Leader who united men from all ends of the political/religious spectrum and prayed that His followers would be one.

As I have been reflecting on this, I have been meditating on Psalm 146. Read it in context for yourself, but I want to leave you with my 2024 paraphrase for this election season.

Psalm 146:3–9 (Kevin's Presidential Election Paraphrase) 

Put not your trust in presidents, 
in mere mortals, in whom there is no salvation.

With their breath they make promises that they cannot keep, after four years; 
when they leave, their plans and projects leave with them.

Instead of looking to a president to find real hope, 
put your hope in God and know real blessing!

The God who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;

who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food to the hungry.
God frees prisoners.

He gives sight to the blind,
He lifts up the humble and the fallen.
God loves justice and those who speak up for righteousness,

The Lord watches over refugees and strangers,
He takes the side of orphans and widows,
the arc of the moral universe may be long, but it bends towards justice!

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Kevin McGill Election Year In this election cycle may we as a church give our allegiance to the Leader that united men from all ends of the political/religious spectrum and prayed that His followers would be one.
Bellingham Spanish Church Burns Mortgage https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/06/bellingham-spanish-church-burns-mortgage In an atmosphere of great joy full of gratitude and praise, the hard-working community of Bellingham Spanish Adventist Church celebrated a significant milestone: the acquisition and full payment of their church building. Juan Cancino Castillo Church 35214 Fri, 14 Jun 2024 15:30:00 -0700 Home

In an atmosphere of great joy full of gratitude and praise, the hard-working community of Bellingham Spanish Adventist Church celebrated a significant milestone: the acquisition and full payment of their church building. The building has served for nearly 20 years as a refuge for hundreds of families and will continue to be a place of light and peace for generations to come.

The celebration remembered the courage, faith and effort of the Hispanic pioneers who planted this church and dreamed of a place to congregate, worship and grow together in faith.

Wagner Cilio, Washington Conference Hispanic ministries director, along with community members, rededicated the building in a responsive reading to never forget the church's purpose by saying:

"For the glory of God, for prayer and the teaching of the Word, we dedicate this house to God. For the comfort of those who mourn and the strength of those who are tempted, we dedicate this house to God. For the sanctification of the family and the salvation of men and women, we dedicate this house to God."

"For the defense of freedom and the defense to instruct the conscience to fight evil, we dedicate this house to God. To help the needy, to help the afflicted and to preach the coming of Jesus, we dedicate this house to God. And as an offering of love and gratitude, for all the blessings received, we give and dedicate this house to God and to the service of the people."

During the celebration, Juan Cancino Castillo, Washington Conference North Hispanic district pastor, symbolically burned the letters, debt commitments and mortgage of the church, reminding everyone that while the mortgage and the debt that lasted nearly 20 years is canceled, their commitment to God and the mission of the church continues until Christ comes.

In Bellingham Spanish Church’s new chapter, members will continue to write a story of faith, hope, service and love, reminding everyone who enters that God can make all things possible.

La Iglesia Hispana de Bellingham Quema su Deuda

En un ambiente de gran alegría lleno de gratitud y alabanza, la trabajadora comunidad de la Iglesia Adventista Hispana de Bellingham celebró un hito significativo: la adquisición y el pago total del edificio de la iglesia. El edificio ha servido durante casi 20 años como un refugio para cientos de familias y seguirá siendo un lugar de luz y paz para las generaciones venideras.

La celebración recordó el valor, la fe y el esfuerzo de los pioneros hispanos que plantaron esta iglesia y soñaron con un lugar para congregarse, adorar y crecer juntos en la fe.

Wagner Cilio, director de ministerios hispanos de la Conferencia de Washington, junto con todos los miembros de la comunidad, rededicaron el edificio en una lectura responsiva, para nunca olvidar el propósito del templo en ese lugar:

"Para la gloria de Dios, para la oración y la enseñanza de la palabra, dedicamos esta casa a Dios. Para el consuelo de los que lloran, para la fortaleza de los que son tentados, dedicamos esta casa a Dios. Para la santificación de la familia, para la salvación de hombres y mujeres, dedicamos esta casa a Dios." 

"Para la defensa de la libertad, para la defensa de instruir la conciencia, para luchar contra el mal, dedicamos esta casa a Dios. Para ayudar a los necesitados, para ayudar a los afligidos, y para predicar la venida de Jesús, dedicamos esta casa a Dios. Y como una ofrenda de amor y gratitud, por todas las bendiciones recibidas, damos y dedicamos esta casa a Dios y al servicio de las personas."

Juan Cancino Castillo, pastor del distrito hispano del Norte de la Confrencia de Washington, simbólicamente quemó las letras de la deuda, los compromisos de deuda y la hipoteca de la iglesia, recordando a todos que aunque la hipoteca y la deuda que duró casi 20 años están canceladas, nuestro compromiso con Dios y la misión de la iglesia continúa hasta que Cristo venga.

En el nuevo capítulo de la Iglesia Hispana de Bellingham, los miembros continuarán escribiendo una historia de fe, esperanza, servicio y amor, recordando a todos los que entren que Dios puede hacer posible todas las cosas.

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Juan Cancino Castillo Bellingham Spanish Church Burns Mortgage In an atmosphere of great joy full of gratitude and praise, the hard-working community of Bellingham Spanish Adventist Church celebrated a significant milestone: the acquisition and full payment of their church building.
Davis Announces Departure from Oregon Conference https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/06/davis-announces-departure-oregon-conference In late March 2024, Eric Davis, Oregon Conference vice president for finance, announced his departure. Oregon Conference communication department Church 35228 Fri, 14 Jun 2024 10:30:00 -0700 Home

In late March 2024, Eric Davis, Oregon Conference vice president for finance, announced his departure. In his time with the administrative team, his leadership has been invaluable in identifying the need for significant financial adjustments and helping the conference begin navigating the path toward stabilization. 

It will take some time to fully achieve the goal, but many of the difficult but necessary changes to reach a balanced budget are underway thanks to Davis’ astute financial guidance. 

“I’m grateful for the experience and relationships my family has formed across Oregon Conference, and I now feel God is calling us to new opportunities,” shared Davis. “I thank the conference administrative team for placing confidence in me to help chart a course toward improved fiscal health for the conference going forward. I also embrace this opportunity to prioritize spending more time with my wife and young son.”

Davis committed to certain key tasks before his April 11 departure, including:

  • Ensuring each department received its finalized 2024 budget statement and setting into motion a regular process of providing these statements to directors.
  • Assisting the treasury team with finalizing the 2023 financial statements.
  • Beginning work with the treasury team on a cash flow plan for 2024.

“Oregon Conference has truly been blessed by Davis’ contributions during this financially challenging period. He has provided tremendous leadership to our administrative team under God’s guidance. We also are grateful for the vital projects he will complete before moving on,” said Dan Linrud, Oregon Conference president. “Davis has been a wonderful part of our administrative team and a joy to serve with.”

The search for a new vice president for finance began immediately. Oregon Conference bylaws require that a recommendation for a treasurer/vice president for finance be brought to a joint nominating committee and executive committee to be elected for the remainder of the current five-year term.  

In the interim, treasury functions will be maintained by the present treasury team with support from North Pacific Union.

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Oregon Conference communication department Davis Announces Departure from Oregon Conference In late March 2024, Eric Davis, Oregon Conference vice president for finance, announced his departure.
Camp MiVoden Hosts UCC Outdoor School https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/06/camp-mivoden-hosts-ucc-outdoor-school Students spent the week participating in an activity-based curriculum that provided many unique opportunities for learning at Camp MiVoden outdoor school. Laura Silva Education 35245 Thu, 13 Jun 2024 15:30:00 -0700 Home

Oobleck, egg drops, potato launchers, chemical reactions, explosions, electrocuting pickles, welding lessons, high ropes course, building and cooking over a fire, new songs, new friends and new experiences — sounds like too much fun to be school! 

Those were just a few of the experiences that fifth- and sixth-graders were able to have when they attended outdoor school at Camp MiVoden. Students spent the week participating in an activity-based curriculum that provided many unique opportunities for learning.

“When we leave a class, the students say, ‘That was epic — definitely the best class!’” remarked one fifth-grade teacher. “Then we attend the next one and they say, ‘Wait, that was epic! That one was the best class.’”

Camp MiVoden’s outdoor school program emphasizes connections between teachers/sponsors and students. It's a fun way for teachers to engage with their students in such an exciting learning environment.

“When we created the states of matter curriculum, our goal was to provide opportunities for teachers and sponsors from each school to connect with and mentor their students,” said Caleb Foss, Camp MiVoden director of programming. “By using volunteers and MiVoden staff to run the classes and activities instead of teachers, we provide numerous opportunities for these connections.”

Teachers and sponsors from the schools agreed, with one reporting that it was so nice to be able to focus on bonding with her students instead of running a program.

Students also took part in an engaging worship program throughout the week. Jeremiah Smart, Coeur d’Alene Adventist Church pastor, spoke every morning and evening, sharing many stories illustrating God’s love and desire for a friendship with each person. 

Each class that students attended during the day included Biblical applications of the concepts they were learning and had a chance for them to do some journaling in response. The focus of MiVoden’s outdoor school is connecting with God, nature and each other, and there were numerous opportunities for all three.

The MiVoden outdoor school program has been steadily growing, maxing out this year with 278 participants from all across Upper Columbia Conference. Jeff Wines, UCC director of young adult, youth and club ministries, was able to come and talk about summer camp ministry and even offered a discount for outdoor school students to come experience MiVoden’s summer program for the first time. 

Coming together in this setting has been a great way for UCC schools and teachers to collaborate. “Not every classroom has four walls,” said Steve Whewell, education specialist. This was certainly evident for all in attendance at the 2024 Camp MiVoden outdoor school program.

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Laura Silva Camp MiVoden Hosts UCC Outdoor School Students spent the week participating in an activity-based curriculum that provided many unique opportunities for learning at Camp MiVoden outdoor school.
Oregon Conference Hosts First Creators Lab https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/06/oregon-conference-hosts-first-creators-lab The first Creators Lab PNW was held March 22–24, 2024 and brought together podcasters, youtubers, social media content creators, writers and other digital creatives of faith from the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Kaleb Eisele Mission and Outreach 35238 Thu, 13 Jun 2024 10:30:00 -0700 Home

The first Creators Lab was held March 22–24, 2024 and brought together podcasters, YouTubers, social media content creators, writers and other digital creatives of faith from the Pacific Northwest and beyond. 

Over the past decade, the online world has rapidly become an embedded aspect of our culture, bringing with it a flood of new ways to communicate and connect with our neighbors. Under the Adventist umbrella, there are still relatively few occasions for digital creators to connect in person. With this in mind, Oregon Conference communication staff, Washington Conference media and communication teams, North Pacific Union, Oregon young adults and others put their heads together to create such an event.

"Creators Lab" refers to both our Creator and those using their creative abilities to point to Him. This year featured a variety of digital creative leaders including TikTok’s Kevin Wilson, @crossculturekev; Seth Pierce, Beast & Bible podcast host; Evelin Velinova, documentary filmmaker; Kaleb Eisele, Oregon Conference digital media specialist and host for Bridges Over Walls, How the Church Works and Humans of Adventism; Ernesto Hernandez, Washington Conference media director; and Nicole Dominguez, Faith, Reconstructed podcast host.

While many of the attendees call the Northwest home, others flew in from as far as New York, Chicago and Chile. Kristin Ward, a member of Church of the Advent Hope in New York City, was one such person. "Flying in from New York City, I had no idea what to expect from Creator’s Lab — I just hoped to learn something and meet a few fellow creatives," said Ward.

"This event was so much more than I imagined! Not only were there engaging, incredibly knowledgeable speakers, but I also got to meet such a diverse group of creatives in the Adventist community — from beginners to seasoned pros, representing so many different fields," Ward continued. "Everyone shared the same passion for creating things and believed that their talents were contributing to something greater. I never expected something of this scale and absolutely loved learning and connecting with like-minded people!"

Ward shared, "There were so many great quotes from the weekend, but I won’t forget Seth Pierce’s speech: ‘If God created us and we are made in His image, is the ability to create not also in us?’"

Though presentations were an integral part of Creators Lab, the planning team worked hard to create time and space for the development of community connections and new friendships.

Eunice Reyes, who manages the award-winning platform @ratedvfood, shared, “Creators Lab is something I personally believe every Adventist conference has been missing. I truly enjoyed how relatable it was as a content creator myself."

"There are many questions we have when we begin or when we start considering starting a platform, so being able to hear the stories and journeys of others is inspiring and refreshing to know you can learn from them," Reyes continued. "With media now being one of the largest types of expression and many young people using it, it’s a way to connect with others and helps bridge a gap. I look forward to seeing this event next year grow even bigger.”

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Kaleb Eisele Oregon Conference Hosts First Creators Lab The first Creators Lab PNW was held March 22–24, 2024 and brought together podcasters, youtubers, social media content creators, writers and other digital creatives of faith from the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
TCAS Seeks Partners for New Campus https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/06/tcas-seeks-partners-new-campus Trout Creek Adventist School in Montana is significantly growing beyond the capacity of its leased learning environment. Now, the school community is preparing to build a permanent school facility and is asking for many types of help and support. Maurita Crew Education 35188 Wed, 12 Jun 2024 15:30:00 -0700 Home

Trout Creek Adventist School in Montana is experiencing significant growth, with 15 new learners enrolled and a waiting list for the upcoming school year. To accommodate this growth, the school hired a second full-time teacher and initiated plans for a new building.

For the past 14 years, TCAS has operated in temporary spaces, including the fellowship hall in a church basement. The school also leased a former Mennonite school/church. However, the limitations of the current lease have prompted the school to pursue a permanent solution.

The church and school boards committed to developing a dedicated school campus and initiated a $50,000 matching fund campaign, which was successfully matched. Currently, the school has $142,000 — and counting — raised toward a $500,000 goal for their new campus.

“Trout Creek, Montana, may be a small community, but our vision for the school and its impact on our community is vast,” said Maurita Crew, TCAS teaching principal. “We believe our school is a mission opportunity in our community. We are excited to see how God provides a way for this school to be built.”

“I believe God is stirring up that ministry right now. Ever since the school started many years ago, the enrollment was a steady 10–12 students,” said Renae Young, former Montana Conference education superintendent and current North Pacific Union early childhood education director. “However, the interest and inquiry about the school from the community has been significantly picking up this year as parents are choosing a school for next year. The growth is tremendous.”

The TCAS family is specifically looking for support, whether through prayers and financial contributions, along with skilled services and experience. All the ways to contribute and get involved with “Help Build a New Home for Our Students” are detailed at troutcreekschool.com.

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Maurita Crew Heidi Baumgartner TCAS Seeks Partners for New Campus Trout Creek Adventist School in Montana is significantly growing beyond the capacity of its leased learning environment. Now, the school community is preparing to build a permanent school facility and is asking for many types of help and support.
AGA Volunteers Build a Church in the Dominican Republic https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/06/aga-volunteers-build-church-dominican-republic Students, staff and volunteers from Amazing Grace Academy spent their spring break building a church and leading Vacation Bible School in the community of La Caleta. Sidney Needles Mission and Outreach Education 35194 Wed, 12 Jun 2024 10:30:00 -0700 Home

In March 2024, a group from Amazing Grace Academy in Palmer, Alaska, spent two weeks on a project with Maranatha Volunteers International, a supporting ministry of the Adventist Church. 

The group laid block walls for La Caleta 6’s new church building in the Dominican Republic. Richard Jordan, project coordinator, recalled his first impressions of the congregation’s meeting space. “When I went on my site visit in November, there must have been almost 40 people meeting in a backyard. You had to walk through a house to get to the backyard, and it was just an unideal situation.”

The volunteer team was eager to help remedy this situation, but Jordan wasn’t sure if their 21 members would have enough manpower to finish the project. He was pleasantly surprised when volunteers exceeded their construction goal. Not only did they finish the building’s exterior walls, but they also completed a sizable portion of the interior walls.

“This is, hands down, the hardest working, best group I’ve ever worked with,” said Jordan. “Everybody showed up ready to work.”

In addition to construction work, the group’s eight student volunteers led Vacation Bible School at a public school around the corner from the building site. At the end of each weekday, they presented the same program to a different class, tailoring the content for each age group. The VBS team presented to roughly 400 kids total and was thrilled when several public school students joined them for church on Sabbath.

Maranatha mobilizes volunteers to build churches, schools, water wells and other urgently needed structures around the world. In addition to projects open to the public, Maranatha helps church and school groups organize their own mission trips at no additional cost. Since 1969, Maranatha volunteers and crews have constructed more than 14,000 structures and more than 3,000 water wells in nearly 90 countries.

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Sidney Needles AGA Volunteers Build a Church in the Dominican Republic Students, staff and volunteers from Amazing Grace Academy spent their spring break building a church and leading Vacation Bible School in the community of La Caleta.
GSAA Students Express God-Given Creativity https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/06/gsaa-students-express-god-given-creativity Gem State Adventist Academy students express their creativity and God-given talents by entering various artistic contests. Marta Stone Education 35252 Tue, 11 Jun 2024 15:30:00 -0700 Home

Each year, Gem State Adventist Academy’s student body includes many who are exceptionally talented in creative endeavors. 

Whether it’s an interest and ability in music, graphic design, art or writing, students take advantage of opportunities to be mentored and to expand their God-given talents during their course of study. In turn, when they have opportunities to showcase those developing skills, their community is blessed.

Kimberley Mitchell, GSAA teacher, has a front-row seat for creative learning and growth as she guides all students in their respective English classes and those who choose to enroll in art class. 

For the majority of her time teaching at GSAA, Mitchell has shared writing contest opportunities with her students. Each year, several students receive awards for their submissions and/or are included in a publication.

This year, 16 GSAA students were selected by Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence’s writing challenge, Love Languages in Healthy Relationships. Hundreds of Idaho students submitted short works in multiple languages, and GSAA students were among those chosen for publication and awards.

Those who wrote were reminded by the challenge's introduction that “through self-reflection and writing, we can begin to understand how to recognize the characteristics of healthy relationships and engage in practices and build skills to foster healthy relationships.”

Per the submission requirements, each piece had to be 100 words or fewer and an original work by an Idaho student in middle through high school. All selected pieces will be published by the Coalition in a book. 

The winning GSAA students each received a $25 Amazon gift card and Brinley Kendall, GSAA junior, received a $250 cash award for being selected as one of the top 10. In addition, the teacher was awarded gift cards based on how many students submitted and how many were chosen.

The annual Art Show in conjunction with the music department's final concert served as another opportunity for students to showcase creativity. Students in art class displayed the portfolios and paintings developed throughout the year, and the exhibit was full of work showing great passion and talent.

Several students in particular completed exceptional paintings and art pieces. Abrianna Drake’s painting, “Helping Hands,” stood out, as did Grace Mirra’s, “Passion’s Summer Breeze.” Alivia Thomas’ portrait, “The Scarlet Lady,” was truly stunning and took untold hours to complete. 

GSAA is eager to see how God is going to use these talents as the young artists continue to express themselves creatively and grow in their abilities.

Whether through thoughtful and well-chosen words, drawing and painting, or other expressions of art, the hope and goal is that all will bring honor to God, the true Creator and Artist.

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Marta Stone GSAA Students Express God-Given Creativity Gem State Adventist Academy students express their creativity and God-given talents by entering various artistic contests.
Siblings Discover Truth in Bible Study Together https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/06/siblings-discover-truth-bible-study-together After years of searching for the truth, two siblings discover the Three Angels' Messages with a sister inviting her brother to study the Bible with her and a Bible worker. Aaron Dasher Mission and Outreach 35201 Tue, 11 Jun 2024 10:57:00 -0700 Home

Siblings Ruth (Abraham) Nanalook and Brian Abraham were raised in a Christian home by their father, a devout Catholic, and their mother, who followed the Moravian faith. Therefore, they were familiar with the Bible, religion and Jesus from an early age. 

While Abraham was baptized into the Catholic faith as a baby and later into the Pentecostal church, he never felt a strong spiritual connection. However, God had other plans. Abraham knew of the Sabbath, but it wasn't until Nanalook talked about her spiritual journey that Abraham felt the connection he had been missing.       

In October 2023, Nanalook, Abraham and Aaron Dasher, Arctic Mission Adventure worker for the Dillingham and Togiak district, were brought together by what seemed to be a divine plan. Todd Parker, Dillingham and Togiak district pastor, introduced Nanalook to Dasher as a potential Bible study student, which she enthusiastically accepted. Over several months, Nanalook and Dasher delved into Bible study over the phone, given Nanalook's location in Togiak and Dasher's in Dillingham. 

Sometimes, they studied in person when Dasher visited Togiak. During those visits, Dasher had the opportunity to meet Abraham as Nanalook sought prayers for her brother's spiritual journey. It wasn't until April, during the statewide Hope For Humanity evangelism series, that Dasher and Abraham grew closer as Abraham joined the Bible studies. 

Alaska Conference collaborated with It Is Written to bring the Hope for Humanity series to the state. The meetings took place in Anchorage in person and also streamed to churches across Alaska.

Abraham actively participated in the meetings, expressing his enjoyment and appreciation for the truth being shared and his beliefs confirmed during the nightly topics. When John Bradshaw, It Is Written president, made an appeal for baptism, Abraham eagerly responded with a "yes" on the interest card. 

Following the seminar, Parker, Dasher and Abraham had a heartfelt discussion about Abraham's baptism request. Abraham faithfully continued attending meetings and Bible studies, eventually becoming a dedicated follower of Christ.

The Holy Spirit had been at work in Abraham's life for a long time, leading him to recommit his life to Jesus and join a church family that he believes holds the truth. Abraham's journey is a testament to how God has continuously spoken to him, and anyone visiting Togiak can inquire about Abraham. He will joyfully share his story of God's transformative work in his life.

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Left to right: Ruth (Abraham) Nanalook, Brian Abraham, Todd Parker and Aaron Dasher (front) celebrate Brian's baptism.

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Aaron Dasher Siblings Discover Truth in Bible Study Together After years of searching for the truth, two siblings discover the Three Angels' Messages with a sister inviting her brother to study the Bible with her and a Bible worker.
Dwelling in Community https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/06/dwelling-community Community has been a cornerstone of Heidi Baumgartner's life narrative, shaping her experiences and relationships in profound ways. Find encouragement to intentionally be a community builder and dweller in your own life! Heidi Baumgartner Mission and Outreach Faith Spiritual Growth 35243 Sat, 08 Jun 2024 13:00:00 -0700 Home

My heart's desire is to be a community builder and dweller. Here's how it began.

Community has been a cornerstone of my life's narrative, shaping my experiences and relationships in profound ways.

My first job was in healthcare marketing at a former Adventist Health facility in Southern California. I had a lot to navigate in my new adult life.

With family and friends primarily on the East Coast, I struggled to find spaces where I could build authentic and healthy friendships. I wasn’t into coffee, didn’t ever plan to visit a bar, didn’t think about joining a gym and never did find the local library.

My initial attempts to find a church family failed miserably. Before long, my room rental situation turned difficult with a closet alcoholic landlady and her new beau. I desperately needed a community network.

That summer, I filled in for a patient resource coordinator named Kate, who was on medical leave.

Kate and her husband, Tom, heard about my housing situation and invited me into their home, their lives and even a family gathering — providing my first welcoming community that summer. Their generosity and friendship provided a safe place for me to live, be and grow.

Nearly 20 years later, Kate and Tom once again extended hospitality when I brought my family to meet them at their home in Hawaii. They continue to practice generosity and kindness in their home and around their table.

As I advanced into adulthood in western Washington, I found increasingly more community connections where I formed meaningful relationships with fifth-graders, young adults my own age, a few newly married couples, families with children and grandparent-like figures.

It still took a while, and it required a lot of give-and-take grace. Eventually, church did become a welcoming space and gave me opportunities to become my own community builder.

One of my favorite community builders in the Bible is the Shunamite woman in 2 Kings 4. Whenever Elisha traveled nearby, she invited him in for food and a place to stay.

When he wanted to do something nice to bless her for her kindness, she affirmed that she desired to dwell, to be together, with her community as she cared for her neighbors. She ultimately did receive extra blessings.

Community building takes intentional, but not impossible, effort, and may look like a smile or a wave, a remembered name, an interested conversation, a shared meal or a bonding experience through a service project, Bible study, prayer time or social interaction.

Together, may we embrace God’s invitation to be community builders and dwellers. It will enrich our lives and the lives of those around us with blessing after blessing.

Table Talk Prompt

Think about a time when you felt a deep sense of belonging and connection. What made that experience special? How can you intentionally create similar moments of community in your life?

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Heidi Baumgartner Dwelling in Community Community has been a cornerstone of Heidi Baumgartner's life narrative, shaping her experiences and relationships in profound ways. Find encouragement to intentionally be a community builder and dweller in your own life!
Attitude Counts https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/06/attitude-counts When Jesus saw the great multitude, He was moved with the attitude of compassion for them and spent the entire day ministering to them. You cannot minister to people you are not moved by. You must be moved to move! Byron Dulan Church Faith 35269 Thu, 06 Jun 2024 10:30:00 -0700 Home

The feeding of the 5,000 is considered by some as the greatest miracle Jesus performed. All four gospel writers tell the story. The disciples had just returned from their first student mission trip and were eager to tell Jesus what they had seen and done. They were looking forward to a quiet time of relaxation and fellowship with Jesus. 

Attitude Among the Multitude, Jesus and the Disciples

The multitude had another idea. Somebody found out where they were going, and it went viral. A multitude of about 25,000 people streamed out of the small cities and towns looking for truth, help and healing.

When Jesus saw the great multitude, He was moved by the attitude of compassion for them and spent the entire day ministering to them. You cannot minister to people you are not moved by. You must be moved to move!

The dilemma Christian leaders have is that the multitude is rarely cognizant or respectful of your time or timing. They want to make their emergency your emergency. The disciples were not happy with their sabbatical being hijacked by pressing crowds and pressing matters. They had done their duty.  Now, they needed — yea, deserved — a vacation. Where is the boundary between ministry and rest? That tension continues to plague us today.

While Jesus was moved with compassion for the multitude, the disciples were unmoved. As the day dragged toward an end, their body language and verbiage revealed that they wanted Christ to send the people away — just like a deacon trying to close the church announcing, “You don’t have to go home, but you do need to get out of here.”

The disciples needed Jesus to send the people away, but He was busy meeting their needs. The disciples felt they needed to formulate a real and plausible reason to convince Jesus to send them away. Their proposal read something like this:

  • The people are hungry and need to eat for their physical health
  • Whereas we are in a food desert — no McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy’s or Chick-fil-A

Conclusion: Jesus, you need to send all these people away.

It is interesting that Jesus affirmed their analysis of the situation, but suggested — no, commanded — a different solution. He said, “You feed them!” In this, Jesus advocated faithful social action with the resources we have.

The "finance committee" hastily called a meeting and reported they did not have the resources to feed such a crowd. The church, even today, believes it does not have enough resources to do what Jesus commands. Perceived lack of resources is the major reason why so many good endeavors die prematurely. Wayne Gretzky had a T-shirt that said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.”

Jesus asked for an audit. He said, “Go and see how much food you have?” Interestingly, they did not know. They estimated and assumed, but their conclusion was not based on fact but on attitude. Like some disciples today, they were offended by the presence of the crowd and their eagerness to be close to Jesus. 

How welcoming would you be if when you arrived at church one Sabbath morning there was a parking lot full of cars and people whom you didn’t know waiting to enter the church?

The disciples did a quick audit. When completed, they returned and triumphantly reported the five loaves and two fish. They expected that Jesus would capitulate and agree with them to send the multitude away. But to their amazement, Jesus said, “Fine. Have everyone sit down.” At that moment, Jesus demonstrated to His disciples His dependence upon God. Ellen White wrote on page 368 of The Desire of Ages, “The providence of God had placed Jesus where He was and He depended on His heavenly Father for the means to relieve the necessity."

You know what happened. Five thousand men and an estimated 20,000 women and children were fully fed from the little boy’s lunch. In addition, twelve baskets full of leftovers were collected and likely stored in the disciple’s boat.

Mark makes a weird summary statement later in the chapter. The statement is about Jesus’ walking on the water later that night. Mark 6:51–52 says, “Then He went up into the boat to them and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart (attitude) was hardened.”

Ministry Context

If you study Mark’s account with the accounts of the other gospel writers, you learn that the miracle of the 5,000 was the apex and culmination of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee.

As Jesus broke the loaves and kept on giving the food to the disciples to distribute, everyone realized that a great miracle was happening before their very eyes.

Many in the multitude finally realized that Jesus was the prophet that had been foretold to come. They surmised that He would make Israel great again and rid the nation of Roman occupation. Ellen White says that a movement developed to immediately crown Jesus as the king of Israel. The disciples evidently agreed and were sorely disappointed when He sent them away via ship to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.

Essentially, the negative attitude, selfish desires and faulty theology of the disciples led them to totally miss the lesson in the great miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. Ellen White commented on page 369 of The Desire of Ages, “If we plan according to our own ideas, the Lord will leave us to our own mistakes. But when, after following His directions, we are brought into strait places, He will deliver us."

A Few Takeaways

1. It is extremely hard to help people we don’t like.

2. It is quite easy to formulate powerful and plausible reasons for not doing what God asks us to do.

3. While it is important to count our human resources, it is impossible to count God’s invisible but abundant resources. He has so many cattle that He only counts the hills they graze on.

4. God is who He says He is, and we can trust Him to help us do what He has commanded to be done. Seeing what God has already done for us and among us, should encourage us to believe that what He has promised He is able to perform. God’s grace is sufficient to supply every need.

Final Addendum

Since, as humans and Christians, we are addicted to counting things and making conclusions based on our polling and perception of things, isn’t it interesting that the boy who graciously contributed his lunch was not counted in the tally of people served? He, and most of the crowd, were not counted — only the men were. He therefore represents the groups of people who are uncounted, marginalized and unrecognized. Isn’t it ironic that that day Jesus used the resources of an unnamed, uncounted and marginalized person to perform a miracle that astounded the disciples and blessed the multitude?

As we survey, count and analyze the challenges of ministry today, let us be careful to not overlook the resources God sends to us in the people we are privileged to serve. As we count students, faculty, staff, members, constituents, money and property, let us not forget to count our attitude, because attitude counts.

Phil. 2:5 says, “Let this mind (attitude) be in us, which was also in Christ Jesus.”

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Byron Dulan Attitude Counts When Jesus saw the great multitude, He was moved with the attitude of compassion for them and spent the entire day ministering to them. You cannot minister to people you are not moved by. You must be moved to move!
Four Ideas for Father's Day Ministry https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/06/four-ideas-fathers-day-ministry Looking to celebrate Father's Day in a memorable way this year? Father's Day is quickly approaching on June 16, 2024. Check out these four ideas for churches to honor and appreciate the fathers in their congregation! NAD Ministerial Mission and Outreach 35271 Wed, 05 Jun 2024 10:30:00 -0700 Home

Looking to celebrate Father's Day in a memorable way this year? Father's Day is quickly approaching on June 16, 2024. Check out these four ideas for churches to honor and appreciate the father figures (dads, uncles, grandfathers) in their congregation.

Father-child sports day: Organize a sports day event where fathers and their children can participate in friendly competitions like three-legged races, tug-of-war and relay races. This not only promotes bonding between fathers and their kids but also emphasizes the importance of staying active and healthy as a family unit. Consider ending the day with a picnic to continue the celebration.

Father's Day tribute service: Dedicate a portion of the church service to honoring fathers in the congregation. This could include special prayers, testimonies from children about their fathers or even a video montage showcasing memorable moments shared between fathers and their children. Additionally, invite fathers to share their own reflections on fatherhood, offering words of wisdom and encouragement to other dads in the community.

Father-Child craft workshop: Host a craft workshop where fathers and their children can create meaningful keepsakes together. Provide materials for projects like handmade cards, picture frames or DIY gifts that fathers can cherish for years to come. This hands-on activity encourages creativity and strengthens the bond between fathers and their children while celebrating the unique role fathers play in their families.

Father's Day breakfast: Treat fathers to a special breakfast buffet before or after the church service. Set up stations with a variety of breakfast options, including pancakes, waffles, eggs and fresh fruit. Decorate the space with father-themed decorations and provide small gifts or tokens of appreciation for all the fathers in attendance. It's a delicious way to start the day and show gratitude to the dads in the congregation.

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NAD Ministerial Four Ideas for Father's Day Ministry Looking to celebrate Father's Day in a memorable way this year? Father's Day is quickly approaching on June 16, 2024. Check out these four ideas for churches to honor and appreciate the fathers in their congregation!
Sunset Lake Offers Grief Camp for Children https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/06/sunset-lake-offers-grief-camp-children This summer Sunset Lake Camp is partnering with Abba’s Child Grief Camps to provide much-needed support to grieving children in western Washington and to provide a boost back toward emotional health. Nestor Osman Youth 35273 Tue, 04 Jun 2024 15:40:00 -0700 Home

Death in the immediate family can change the life and reality of a child. A life that was predictable and complete suddenly feels fragmented and frightening. It is unsettling for anyone, adults included, but it can be devastating for a child. 

This summer, Sunset Lake Camp is partnering with Abba’s Child Grief Camps to provide much-needed support to grieving children in western Washington and provide a boost back toward emotional health.

The concept is simple: Place a grieving child in a place where adventure abounds, surround them with people who understand and relate to what they are going through, and then watch as they begin to open up and talk about their feelings. All of this is at no charge to the child’s family — it is funded through Abba’s Child Grief Camps. It's a low-pressure, high-energy place of emotional safety where the accumulated stresses of grief can be released, memories can be affirmed and hope can be restored.

Sunset Lake is proud to be partnering with this ministry by hosting an Abba’s Child Grief Camp again this summer with two weeks of Grief Camp. The camp sees this as an important outreach to the region and perhaps to your congregation. If you know of a child in your area who has experienced a recent death — parent or sibling — please let the family know about these camps. 

Here are a few more details:

  • What: A grief camp for children aged 9–15 who have lost a parent or sibling
  • When: 
    • Abba’s Child Junior at Sunset Lake: June 23–28, 2024
    • Abba’s Child Teen at Sunset Lake: Aug. 4–10, 2024
  • Who facilitates: Trained counselors from Abba’s Child will lead the grief support activities and Sunset Lake staff will facilitate regular camp activities.
  • To learn more: Check out abbaschild.org or call the Sunset Lake Office at 360-829-0311.

How to apply: First, visit abbaschild.org where a family can fill out the application available there. A representative from Abba’s Child will then contact the family. Once accepted as a sponsored Abba’s Child camper, the family will be referred to the Sunset Lake office to complete the registration process.

Thank you so much for helping us find the children who will be able to benefit from this ministry of Sunset Lake and Abba’s Child Grief Camps.

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Nestor Osman Sunset Lake Offers Grief Camp for Children This summer Sunset Lake Camp is partnering with Abba’s Child Grief Camps to provide much-needed support to grieving children in western Washington and to provide a boost back toward emotional health.
Rosario Beach to Offer Oceanfront Learning for All WWU Students https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/05/rosario-beach-offer-oceanfront-learning-all-wwu-students WWU is launching a new general studies program at Rosario beginning spring 2025. The Spring Tide program will offer four two-week courses focused around unique outdoor learning opportunities in a beautiful environment. Emmalani Dodds Education 35223 Thu, 30 May 2024 10:30:00 -0700 Home

Beginning in 2025, Walla Walla University will offer a 16-credit general studies spring quarter at Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory to students from any major. The Spring Tide program will have limited seats, with applications for the first cohort available soon.

Students participating in the Spring Tide program will spend a spring quarter at Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory, which is located next to Deception Pass State Park about an hour and a half north of Seattle. Studying at the oceanfront location will allow professors to include activities such as boat rides, hikes and nature observation into their curriculum. 

“One thing we do extremely well at Rosario is hands-on learning,” said Kirt Onthank, WWU associate professor of biology and Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory director. Non-traditional class schedules will also make more outdoor learning opportunities possible.

Spring Tide will feature four carefully crafted two-week courses, each designed to utilize the unique learning environment of Rosario and to integrate with one another. “While remaining broad in subject matter, Spring Tide courses are built on a foundation of exploring how the ocean plays a crucial role in human society,” Onthank said. Class topics will include ocean and society, religion and ecology, writing and the Salish Sea, and the art of natural history.

Spring Tide is a valuable program for students pursuing any major. Each course within the Spring Tide program counts for general studies credit, making it an excellent opportunity for students to explore new disciplines, fulfill degree requirements and learn in a setting integrated with the outdoors.

In keeping with the theme of accessibility, the Spring Tide term is designed to be financially accessible, allowing students to apply their existing financial aid to the quarter at Rosario. 

Spring Tide offers a tight-knit community, time spent in a beautiful environment and a uniquely structured learning environment that has previously only been available to students taking biology courses. “Many students returning from Rosario say it was one of the most impactful experiences they had at WWU,” said Onthank. “Everyone deserves to have the chance to study at Rosario.”

Learn more about Spring Tide by visiting wallawalla.edu/springtide.

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Emmalani Dodds Rosario Beach to Offer Oceanfront Learning for All WWU Students WWU is launching a new general studies program at Rosario beginning spring 2025. The Spring Tide program will offer four two-week courses focused around unique outdoor learning opportunities in a beautiful environment.
Summer Health Challenge for the Whole Family https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/05/summer-health-challenge-whole-family This summer, take on a challenge as a family! Can you complete the list before the summer ends? LaVonne Long perspective 35241 Thu, 30 May 2024 09:30:00 -0700 Home

We’re in the midst of summer and in our family we love visiting the community pool and beach, buying fresh produce at our local organic farm and bringing kayaks out on a nearby lake. 

Summer in the Pacific Northwest is beautiful and we try to get outside as often as possible. This summer, let’s do a health challenge together — as a family. Keep in mind, health is not just physical, so let’s focus on all areas of healthy living.

John tells us, "Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul" (3 John 1:2).

Here is a 25-day summer health challenge for the whole family!

  1. Get a new family devotional to read together — take turns reading scripture out loud.
  2. Do a water drinking challenge together — it’s always great to drink more water.
  3. Have a water gun fight.
  4. Get a great night’s sleep.
  5. Host a “No Complaint” day — no one can complain all day.
  6. Check in with your kids daily. See how they are doing, what they are into and what they are thinking about.
  7. Plant a vegetable or herb garden — kids love gardening; you can start small.
  8. Visit the local library and pick out books to read.
  9. Make a large fruit salad together.
  10. Have a water balloon fight.
  11. Play with bubbles — see how many you can pop.
  12. Use a fitness app together as a family.
  13. Commit to hugging each other at least once every day.
  14. Make a family prayer jar and add to it all summer — see what prayers have been answered.
  15. Have a large salad bar for dinner. Let everyone pick out ingredients and help cut.
  16. Take a family walk.
  17. Host Thankful Thursdays where everyone shares what they’re thankful for with no repeats.
  18. Learn a new sport — like pickleball or spikeball.
  19. Let the kids choose a healthy dinner recipe they’ll cook — if they cook, offer to clean up.
  20. Do an outdoor service project together — sandwiches for the homeless, yard work for an elderly neighbor, etc.
  21. Train for a 5K walk or run together.
  22. Visit a local splash pad or public park.
  23. Try new fruits and vegetables. Make rating cards and see what new ones you like.
  24. Set 30 minutes per day for no technology. Instead, read, write, draw, do puzzles, paint, etc.
  25. Set “play dates” for the whole family. Go visit friends or meet them at a local park, lake or beach.

What would you add to this Summer Challenge list? Head to the #NWAdventists website or social media channels to comment and share.

Proverbs 17:22 tells us, "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Be joyful together this summer as a family! God wants to bless you abundantly. He is so crazy in love with you! And remember, when you’re outside, wear sunscreen and pack your water. 

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LaVonne Long Summer Health Challenge for the Whole Family This summer, take on a challenge as a family! Can you complete the list before the summer ends?
Escrito Está Celebrates 30th Anniversary https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/05/escrito-esta-celebrates-30th-anniversary Escrito Está, the Spanish-language ministry of It Is Written, marks 30 years of ministry this year. Cassie Matchim Hernandez Mission and Outreach Church 35255 Wed, 29 May 2024 15:30:00 -0700 Home

Escrito Está, the Spanish-language ministry of It Is Written, marks 30 years of ministry this year. 

Created to reach the Spanish-speaking world, Escrito Está filmed its first program on April 5, 1994 with Milton Peverini as host. Peverini, who for many years had been a leader in media evangelismworked with It Is Written to produce Spanish programs and songs, which began airing on cable channels in 1995 in the U.S. 

In fall 1996, Escrito Está debuted nationwide in Chile to a phenomenal response, and other countries quickly followed as the quality and message of this Spanish-language programming touched thousands of lives. 

Today, Escrito Está ministers around the world through not only television and the internet but also evangelism and humanitarian work.

Robert Costa joined the fast-growing ministry in 2002 to coordinate evangelism campaigns, taking over from Peverini as speaker-director in 2006. 

“The 30th anniversary is a special occasion when we remember that God has led us so far,” Costa said. “Thirty years is a real miracle, but the greatest of miracles are those hearts that are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. For 30 years, God has used Escrito Está to be part of His mission around the world.”

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Robert Costa, Escrito Está speaker-director, and Carolina Bonilla, Escrito Está coordinator, express their gratitude to God and the staff for their support.

Credit
Tibor Shelley

Escrito Está is currently the most widely aired Spanish-language television program of the Adventist Church. The ministry’s original focus was reaching the Latino population in North America, but that focus quickly expanded to the rest of the world.

Today, Escrito Está has a prominent presence on national television stations in several Latin American countries. A major television network in a populous South American country airs no religious programming, except for Escrito Está. When Escrito Está was aired in one Central American country, the owner of the channel was so impressed with the programming that he expanded the broadcast to be nationwide and increased it from once a week to twice a week at no extra charge. The resulting increase in Bible study interests meant the church had to employ additional staff to process the requests.

“Media has no limits and the gospel has no barriers,” Costa said. “So far, we have viewers from 142 countries. As the Bible says, this gospel will be preached to all nations, all languages and all people. I’m so glad Escrito Está and It Is Written are part of the fulfillment of this prophecy.”

In addition to its flagship program, Escrito Está produces two other ongoing programs and conducts about 15 evangelism campaigns worldwide every year, resulting in thousands of baptisms annually.

Additionally, Costa participates in camp meetings, rallies and evangelism training for pastors and lay members. Meetings are held in venues of all sizes, from small churches to stadiums, where the messages are live-streamed across the country. In some countries, Costa joins a caravan where he preaches every night in a different city.

Over the years, God has reached people at every level of society through the ministry of Escrito Está, including government leaders, pastors from other denominations, television personalities, people living in the Amazon jungle and even those in hard-to-reach places like China and Muslim countries. An Orthodox priest has been listening to Escrito Está for nine years and is now in the process of being baptized. Costa and his team are faithful in presenting the truth, and the Holy Spirit moves hearts in response.

Costa believes the clear presentation of the full message of the Bible appeals to so many people. “We are committed to presenting the whole message — not just motivational talks, but the whole prophetic, doctrinal, Christ-centered message,” he said. “We learned that when we are committed to doing that, God is more interested than anyone else that everyone will be saved, and He will open doors.”

The global ministry of Escrito Está is made possible by a dedicated team. “I have never served alongside a harder-working group of people as our Escrito Está team,” said John Bradshaw, It Is Written president. “Their wholehearted commitment to giving people the opportunity to be ready for the return of Jesus inspires and encourages me.”

Throughout the years, Escrito Está has also participated in humanitarian projects to facilitate evangelism in remote locations. In 2008, a boat was donated to evangelize the Uros people living on the floating islands in Lake Titicaca in Peru. Bicycles and motorcycles were also given to pastors in Peru needing transportation to reach their church members and Bible study contacts. In 2021, water filters were presented to families in Guatemala and solar-powered radios were donated to the Kekchi community, enabling them to listen to Christian programming in their native language.

Escrito Está is an integral part of the ministry of It Is Written.

“I honestly find it difficult to express the depth of my appreciation for Escrito Está,” said Bradshaw. “Our Spanish-language programs have a vast global audience. Escrito Está evangelism has brought thousands upon thousands of people to faith in Jesus and into the church. People from all walks of life have been won as the Holy Spirit has worked through Costa's ministry with Escrito Está. His relentless commitment to sharing Christ with others continues to make a major impact. I thank God for what He has done — and continues to do — through Escrito Está."

Every year, Escrito Está produces 72 half-hour programs — Escrito Está and Lecciones de Vida — and 365 daily devotionals — Toda Palabra. These programs are seen worldwide on television, YouTube and other social media channels. As a result, an average of 1,100 new subscribers join the Escrito Está YouTube channel every month.

During his time with Escrito Está, Costa has participated in 510 evangelistic series throughout North America, Latin America and Europe. In addition to filming television programs this year, Costa will conduct evangelism in Colombia, Spain, Bolivia, El Salvador, Puerto Rico and Argentina. In the U.S., his agenda includes Maryland, Indiana, New Mexico, New York, California, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

“As we look forward to Jesus's soon return, it’s great to be part of the final movement to tell the whole story to the whole world,” Costa said.

To watch programs or learn more about Escrito Está, visit escritoesta.org.

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God continues to work through Escrito Está to reach people. In Cali, Colombia, Robert Costa, speaker-director, connects with a woman who came forward for the appeal. 

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Cassie Matchim Hernandez Carolina Bonilla Escrito Está Celebrates 30th Anniversary Escrito Está, the Spanish-language ministry of It Is Written, marks 30 years of ministry this year.
Bible Readings for June 2024 https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/05/bible-readings-june-2024 Follow the daily reading plan and you will read the entire Bible in a year. Bible Reading Plan 34792 Wed, 29 May 2024 05:00:00 -0700 Home

Follow the daily reading plan and you will read the entire Bible in a year.

June 2: Judges 8–15
June 3: Judges 16–21
June 4: Ruth
June 5: Psalm 6–11, 14
June 6: Psalm 16–19
June 7: Psalm 21, 27, 31

June 9: 1 Sam. 1–9
June 10: 1 Sam. 10–17
June 11: 1 Sam. 18–24
June 12: 1 Sam. 25–31
June 13: 2 Sam. 1–4
June 14: Psalm 34–35, 43–45

June 16: Psalm 49, 52, 54, 56
June 17: Psalm 59, 63, 73
June 18: Psalm 77–78, 81
June 19: Psalm 84–85
June 20: Psalm 87–88
June 21: Psalm 92–93

June 23: 1 Chron. 1–5
June 24: Psalm 102–104,
June 25: Psalm 120–121
June 26: Psalm 123–125
June 27: 1 Chron. 6–10
June 28: Psalm 128–130

June 30: Psalm 140–142

Our Bible reading plan leaves Sabbath as a time to share and reflect on your readings for the week. Find creative ways each Sabbath to share your reflections with others on what God is teaching you from your Bible reading time!

Follow us @NWAdventists on Instagram and Facebook.

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Bible Readings for June 2024 Follow the daily reading plan and you will read the entire Bible in a year.
Linrud Resigns from Oregon Conference Presidency https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/05/linrud-resigns-oregon-conference-presidency Dan Linrud, Oregon Conference president, after much prayer, initiated an executive committee meeting in which he offered his resignation on Thursday, May 23, 2024. This action was accepted by the Oregon Conference executive committee. Oregon Conference communication department Church 35263 Thu, 23 May 2024 21:51:44 -0700 Home

Dan Linrud, Oregon Conference president, after much prayer, initiated an executive committee meeting in which he offered his resignation on Thursday, May 23, 2024. This action was accepted by the Oregon Conference executive committee.

The resignation is effective immediately and will initiate a four-month sabbatical for Linrud. Following his sabbatical, Linrud will be eligible to seek employment as a pastor within Oregon Conference, within North Pacific Union or elsewhere.

The search for a new Oregon Conference president will begin immediately, a process that will be facilitated by John Freedman, NPUC president.

In the interim, Kara Johnsson, Oregon Conference vice president for administration, will serve as the ranking leader in the absence of a president. All other conference personnel will maintain their current roles.

Oregon Conference is grateful to Linrud for his hard work and contributions to our ministry during his tenure here.

See more from Oregon Conference

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Oregon Conference communication department Linrud Resigns from Oregon Conference Presidency Dan Linrud, Oregon Conference president, after much prayer, initiated an executive committee meeting in which he offered his resignation on Thursday, May 23, 2024. This action was accepted by the Oregon Conference executive committee.
Oregon Conference Churches Celebrate Spring Baptisms https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/05/oregon-conference-churches-celebrate-spring-baptisms Baptisms were plentiful across Oregon Conference the second weekend of March. No matter location or circumstance, God continues a powerful work in every life. Let’s join our church families in celebrating the many decisions for baptism. Kaleb Eisele Mission and Outreach 35239 Thu, 23 May 2024 10:30:00 -0700 Home

During the second weekend in March, baptisms were celebrated in several churches across Oregon Conference. In Scio, Oregon, members and friends of Vivid Adventist Church stepped into chilly river water as they readied themselves to baptize four young adults who had long been preparing for their special day. 

“Sabbath, March 9, 2024, was a high Sabbath full of joy and blessings,” shared Pochy Montes, Vivid Church pastor. “We had four young adults ready for baptism that afternoon, but then two more jumped into the water! These decisions were largely the fruit of organic friendship and consistent study of the Word. For four of them, this had been a journey of a year."

"At the end of the Sabbath service that day, we called for a prayer of dedication and one more young man, Gavin, decided to be baptized," continued Montes. "When we gathered at River Park that afternoon, I was surprised to see a crowd of more than 60 people there for the occasion despite the wind and cold water. I asked two of my leaders to join me in the water because the current was strong. I made another call for anyone who wanted to take a step of faith and Jasmine, the older sister of two of the young men being baptized that day, came running down to the water in her church clothes.” 

With laughter, joy and tears, six young adults celebrated the next step in their journey of faith.

Meanwhile, up in Battle Ground, Washington, Rosemary Andrykanus, Meadow Glade Adventist Church pastor, waded into the baptismal tank alongside 13-year-old Arrianna Rapisarda. “Arrianna is one of the friendliest young women you’ll ever meet,” shared Andrykanus as they stood together. 

“Arrianna’s eagerness to learn, the depth of her understanding of God’s Word, her love for Jesus, her love for her family and the deep care she has for her friends became evident as we studied week after week," Andrykanus continued. "It’s been a joy getting to know her as a person and I’m just really excited for the plans I know God has for her.”

Down in Vancouver, Washington, the church family at Oasis Christian Center celebrated the decisions of six people to give their lives to Jesus. Jose St. Phard and Rachel Swanston, Oasis Christian Center pastors, stood alongside Bernie, Gloria, Michael, Jerry, Austin and Kathy as they prayed over their decisions and the life ahead of each of them. 

When each had gone under the water, St. Phard closed with prayer, “The best decision I ever made at the age of 17 was to say yes to You. You’ve completely changed and shifted my life."

"My prayer now is that You would speak to the heart of the person You are calling into Your eternal family. Show up for them now. Help them say yes and bless their journey. Let the six people who gave their lives to Jesus today show up in this community and transform this world and bless our church," prayed St. Phard. 

No matter location or circumstance, God continues powerful work in every life. Let’s celebrate the many decisions still being made for Jesus.

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Kaleb Eisele Oregon Conference Churches Celebrate Spring Baptisms Baptisms were plentiful across Oregon Conference the second weekend of March. No matter location or circumstance, God continues a powerful work in every life. Let’s join our church families in celebrating the many decisions for baptism.
NPUC Meeting Highlights Leadership Transitions https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/05/npuc-meeting-highlights-leadership-transitions North Pacific Union’s executive committee meeting on May 8 represented a significant time of leadership transitions with welcomes, farewells and prayers of blessing. Heidi Baumgartner Church 35253 Thu, 23 May 2024 09:30:00 -0700 Home

North Pacific Union’s executive committee meeting on May 8, 2024 represented a significant time of leadership transitions with the welcoming of a new vice president, a farewell for a retiring vice president and a prayer of blessing for the upcoming presidential transitions at Walla Walla University.

Peter Simpson was welcomed as NPUC’s new vice president for multilingual ministries. He comes to the Northwest leadership team from Ohio and previously from multiple roles in Central America.

Meanwhile, Byron Dulan marked his last union-level executive committee meeting as he anticipates his retirement after investing 52 years in ministry.

“Dulan has never gone into a job that he hasn’t expanded,” remarked John Freedman, NPUC president. “He’s done great work throughout this union.”

Executive committee members were briefed on the recent WWU presidential election process, which involved collaboration with the executive search company, Faith Search Partners.

The comprehensive process included identifying the core present needs of the university, recruiting candidates and conducting in-person interviews which included the top five candidates sharing their vision for the university’s future growth.

After prayerful consideration, the process culminated in the unanimous selection of Alex Bryan as the university’s new president-elect. Bryan will be leaving the corporate office of Adventist Health in Roseville, California, where he serves as vice president for mission and director of philanthropy and plans to begin his presidency on July 1.

Bryan shared a story-filled devotional with executive committee members, highlighting the importance of training the next generation.

“As WWU works to grow the next generation of Christ-centered, faithful Adventist pastors and teachers, nurses and doctors, engineers and business leaders, they will need the strong support of our NPUC constituency,” Freedman said.

Freedman and John McVay, who is retiring after 18 years of leading WWU, had a meaningful prayer of dedication for Bryan as he prepares for his new calling.

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Credit
Heidi Baumgartner

Evangelism Partnerships and Outreach Initiatives

During the president’s report, there was a significant focus on celebrating the ongoing work of God, particularly in the realm of evangelism, both in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

It Is Written recently completed its second partnership in the Pacific Northwest, this time with Alaska Conference, for a conference-wide evangelism initiative.

Kevin Miller, Alaska Conference president, shared how the It Is Written partnership invigorated the churches in his ministry territory.

“Most of our members are well-connected in their community and they took their friendships to the next level,” Miller said. “As a result, we have 35 baptisms reported so far and anticipate 15–20 more baptisms this summer.”

One of the bridge events that was particularly helpful in Alaska was a free medical clinic, especially focused on mental health, in association with the AMEN clinic network.

It Is Written previously partnered with Idaho Conference, which is still seeing an uptick in evangelism growth and involvement. Three Idaho representatives are currently in Papua New Guinea helping with the Adventist World Radio evangelism reaping with thousands of baptisms reported from the first 600 of 2,000 sites.

Idaho Conference also had a strong presence with 17 administrative, pastor and member representatives at the second annual Propel Conference, organized by SermonView, a company specializing in evangelism marketing, and partially sponsored by NPUC.

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Heidi Baumgartner

Young Adult Ministry Investments

Rob Lang, NPUC youth and young adult director, shared a comprehensive report about recent and upcoming activities associated with his ministry area. He highlighted a recent tour stop for Young Adult LIFE Tour that is visiting each of the nine unions in North America.

“Our weekend was incredibly positive, focusing on how to better engage with young adults,” Lang remarked. “The key message we want to convey to young adults is, ‘I am with you. I am for you. I believe in you.’”

Young Adult LIFE Tour included 163 registered participants in addition to local members from the host site, Pleasant Valley Church, as well as 12 watch parties in various locations.

Lang also updated committee members on new efforts to connect with Adventist students attending public universities.

“We need to be with our Adventist students wherever they are attending higher education,” Lang explained.

Lang is collaborating with John Leis, Washington Conference public campus ministries director, to organize a Pacific Northwest training event for pastors, lay members and collegiates. The training will be held June 27–30 on the University of Washington campus in Seattle and aims to equip attendees with the skills needed to initiate public campus ministry efforts. Registration is now open.

Growing Together cohorts have had a solid start with many churches seeking ways to engage all generations in ministry. The next cohort will be available in 2025 for more churches to join in this intentional engagement journey.

WWU Student Achievements

John McVay, WWU president, in his final university report before retirement, highlighted remarkable student achievements, including recognition for two students — Liberty Anderson, WWU junior business administration major, and George Perez Jr., WWU senior psychology major — who received the student civic leadership award from Washington Campus Coalition for the Common Good.

Academic excellence is evident across campus. Jenn Fanselau and Reuben Herbel, both WWU senior civil engineering majors, expanded the design of Maranatha’s One-Day Church to provide a blueprint option for larger church facilities. Tawni Lloyd, WWU senior bioengineering major, is working on a design for a skeletal muscle bioreactor for tissue engineering to grow and preserve skeletal muscle tissue.

Josie Henderson, WWU 2018 communication graduate and a 2020 master’s graduate in cinema, religion and worldview, recently premiered a 20-minute film called Color of Threads, which chronicles the stories of five women in 1909 rebuilding their lives. This film could be shopped around for developing into a potential TV series. Henderson is now a WWU adjunct professor for communication and technology.

Rylie Rogers, WWU senior biology major, is wrapping up research in an internship on harmful algal bloom effects of eelgrass isopods. Additionally, Rogers created stunning illustrations of marine life to complement the research.

The university is working on strategic academic plans to introduce a new three-year bachelor’s program in computer science among other initiatives.

Financially, WWU is strong with no debt, except for borrowing from themselves for capital improvement.

“We are blessed to have had a leadership team who built up strong financial reserves during high enrollment years and budget surpluses,” said Freedman, in his role as WWU board chair. “This has helped the university deal with several years of budget deficits because of enrollment drops caused by the pandemic.”

The university is expecting another budget deficit at the end of the 2024–2025 school year and will again need to draw down some reserves. Yet, gratefully, enrollment is rebounding. God is blessing WWU administration efforts to adjust budgets and grow enrollment. Active applications for enrollment are increasing and retention levels are standing at the best in the system at 88%, according to McVay.

The NextGen and Bright Future scholarship programs — funded by generous Northwest donors — continue to have what McVay called a “dramatic and positive effect on our campus.”

Additional Ministry Updates

NPUC-wide membership levels are rebounding to pre-pandemic levels. The first quarter of 2024 included welcoming 438 new members through baptism or profession of faith. This represents 137 more new members compared to the first quarter of 2023.

After a record year of tithe returned in 2023, the 2024 tithe report, year to date is down 7.69%. For the month of March, each of the six conferences in the union had a tithe decrease. A bright spot was the reported tithe growth in Hispanic and regional churches. This has been a stressful year already for conference administrators as they are adjusting budgets to fit the present reality.

NPUC executive committee members approved a $3 million line of credit for Oregon Conference to help cover operating expenses as they seek to rebound from their financial strain.

Northwest leaders particularly appreciate members who have invested in NPUC’s revolving fund. While the fund is presently closed to new donations, current funds are supporting ministry and mission by providing loans to churches, schools and conferences. This is a significant blessing to moving our Adventist mission forward in the northwest.

In personnel-related updates, NPUC executive committee approved Idaho Conference’s request to ordain Jason Williams, Cloverdale Church associate pastor.

Additionally, the committee voted to invite Brian Harris to serve as NPUC secondary education director. Harris subsequently accepted this invitation and will be transitioning from his role as Upper Columbia Conference vice president for education. He will be replacing Keith Waters, who plans to retire soon.

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Heidi Baumgartner NPUC Meeting Highlights Leadership Transitions North Pacific Union’s executive committee meeting on May 8 represented a significant time of leadership transitions with welcomes, farewells and prayers of blessing.
Whitehead Named UCC Associate Director for Young Adult, Youth and Club Ministries https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/05/whitehead-named-ucc-associate-director-young-adult-youth-and-club-ministries After an exhaustive search, Ryan Whitehead has been selected as the new associate director for UCC young adult, youth and club ministries. Whitehead is currently serving as the associate pastor for Adventist Community Church in Vancouver, Washington. Dustin Jones Youth 35248 Wed, 22 May 2024 14:30:00 -0700 Home

After an exhaustive search, Ryan Whitehead has been selected as the new Upper Columbia Conference associate director for young adult, youth and club ministries. Whitehead is currently serving as the associate pastor for Adventist Community Church in Vancouver, Washington.

“Over the last few months as I have gotten to know Whitehead and his wife, Bridget, I have been more and more impressed,” said Jeff Wines, UCC director of young adult, youth and club ministries. “It is evident that Whitehead is passionate about young people knowing Jesus, and his excitement to be part of the youth and young adult team is wonderful!”

Whitehead has more than seven years of experience working on a church team with young people and three years of experience as a district pastor in Washington Conference. He has recently graduated from Andrews University with a doctoral degree in ministry with a focus on discipleship. His master’s degree in divinity is also from Andrews University, with his undergraduate degree from Southern Adventist University.

Prior to his work at the three-church district in Washington, Whitehead was assistant pastor at Auburn Adventist Academy Church. Whitehead and his wife, Bridget, have one young daughter, Brynna.

“The value I bring to this position, in addition to a life lived in ministry to youth and young adults, is my full-time ministry experience involved with this same age group,” said Whitehead. “My ability to connect with youth and adults allows me to support both well as we journey together toward the kingdom.”

Whitehead replaces Richie Brower, who served in the position for several years. Late last year, Brower was named as associate director of the new Serve One More initiative.

Wines is already looking ahead to see what kinds of plans Whitehead will be initiating. “Both Whitehead and Bridget are kind and engaging people,” said Wines. “Our department can’t wait for his family to move to the Inland Northwest. We are very much looking forward to seeing what they will do in this conference.”

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Dustin Jones Whitehead Named UCC Associate Director for Young Adult, Youth and Club Ministries After an exhaustive search, Ryan Whitehead has been selected as the new associate director for UCC young adult, youth and club ministries. Whitehead is currently serving as the associate pastor for Adventist Community Church in Vancouver, Washington.
Mission Blessings Highlight Washington Constituency Session https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/05/mission-blessings-highlight-washington-constituency-session Living through and emerging from a global pandemic era influenced a great time of ministry innovation, creativity and collaboration along with a deeper calling for praying to God for Greater Things, as Washington Conference discovered. Heidi Baumgartner Church 35219 Wed, 22 May 2024 10:30:00 -0700 Home

Washington Conference’s 61st constituency session on May 5, 2024 served as a day of reflecting on God’s blessings from the last five years and fittingly began with 280 delegates singing “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

Constituency sessions are important times for church representatives to gather. They're a time to listen to ministry reports, observe trends, ask good questions, elect leaders, select committee representatives, process church business decisions and reflect on ministry and mission milestones.

Financial Blessings

Living through and emerging from a global pandemic era influenced a great time of ministry innovation, creativity and collaboration, along with a deeper calling to pray to God for "Greater Things."

Washington Conference leaders, like many other entities, prepared for worst-case scenarios in the initial days of the pandemic. With church doors closed for a time, donations for tithe and offerings were expected to go down significantly.

They didn’t. In fact, they grew.

“We didn’t have to lay off a single employee for financial hardship reasons during the pandemic,” said Jerry Russell, Washington Conference vice president for finance. “Thank you for your incredible generosity to the cause of Christ.”

Tithe over a 10-year time span increased by 18.9% in just the last five years. Tithe per capita in the last five years averaged out to $1,153.70.

Russell shared, “Because of your generosity in the last five years, we have 2,321 new members; 1,284 students enrolled (on average); $3.5 million in subsidy for Walla Walla University and Oakwood University; 32,500 church services in more than 120 locations; and 2,573 Sunset Lake campers where 1,292 young people accepted Jesus for the first time.”

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Follow along with ministry reports and stories of transformation in Washington Conference's 61st constituency session video report.

Ministry Investments

Washington Conference’s leadership team decided in the pandemic era to intentionally invest in ministry and grow the mission, particularly through children’s ministry, media ministry, health ministry, outreach ministries and most recently with the launch of public campus ministries.

“God uses different methods to reach people,” said Doug Bing, Washington Conference president. “We planted 12 new churches in five languages in the last five years, and we saw a 24% increase in attendance at our revitalization churches. Yet, we are still asking God for victories as 47% of our churches are still in declining growth.”

Washington’s focus on church planting and church revitalization led to the seating of eight new churches at the session: Auburn Hispanic, Everson Spanish, Gig Harbor, LifeBridge, Lynnwood Spanish, New Life Samoan Puyallup, Refuge and Ukrainian churches.

Membership in this quinquennium surpassed 24,000. Baptisms between pre-pandemic and post-pandemic times grew from 509 baptisms in 2018 to 598 baptisms in 2023. 

In 2023, 13 churches had 12 or more baptisms; 4 churches had 9–11 baptisms; 15 churches had 6–8 baptisms; 29 churches had 3–5 baptisms; 21 churches had 1–2 baptisms; and 34 churches had zero baptisms.

“We are not too concerned with the churches with zero baptisms because we see many are involved in an evangelism cycle,” said Randy Maxwell, Washington Conference vice president for administration. “We are more concerned about getting churches out of decline.”

Additional ministry reports highlighted how Washington’s education system is growing and experiencing a six-year enrollment increase. Most schools in the conference now have waitlists, and the system has hired 10 new teachers to accommodate more students. Auburn Adventist Academy’s enrollment is now 260 students, with a population of 49% male and 51% female students.

Sunset Lake Camp received national recognition from Newsweek as one of the top 500 camps in 2023. Camp leaders are continuing to prepare for long-needed infrastructure updates for renovated hillside cabins, a new dining hall and a new family village — investments that are expected to cost $4–5 million long-term and that will require significant fundraising.

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Washington Conference's education system keeps growing through increased enrollment, professional learning communities, teacher retention activities and more.

Church Business

Delegates processed constitution and bylaw updates such as virtual attendance and proxy voting provisions. Multiple clarifications were added to governing documents, including further definition of “for cause” related to the removal of committee members; type of officer duties; and two typos in an article reference and in a word meaning.

Delegates voted for the disbandment of North Creek Christian Fellowship, a church in Snohomish that experienced good community engagement for many years before facing decline.

With a focused and fast-paced agenda, Washington Conference’s 61st constituency session concluded at 1:14 p.m. Delegates represented a nearly equal number of first-time delegates (49.6%) vs. returning delegates (50.4%).

Earlier in the day, session delegates honored a key local leader, Bob Paulsen, who served multiple terms on many levels of executive committees, by singing his favorite song “Blessed Assurance.” Paulsen died in his sleep the Thursday night before the 61st session.

Electing Leaders

Delegates expressed strong support for the leadership team with John Freedman, North Pacific Union president and nominating committee chair, noting how this was one of his best nominating committee experiences. “God has really blessed this team,” he said.

Washington’s re-elected executive team members are Douglas L. Bing, president; Randyle S. Maxwell, vice president for administration; Gerald S. Russell, vice president for finance; and Michelle D. Wachter, vice president for education.

Delegates also re-elected the following ministry directors and associates: Wilma Bing, associate superintendent; Pam Scott, associate treasurer; José Jerez, trust services and planned giving director; Bob Moore, trust services associate and stewardship director; Abishai Aiolupotea, human resources director; Heather Brueske, human resources associate director; Derek Lane, Adventist Community Services and outreach ministries director; Bill Roberts, ministerial director; David Yeagley, Sunset Lake and young adult ministry director; Nestor Osman, youth ministries director; John Leis, public campus ministries director; Elida Jerez, health ministries director; and Ernesto Hernandez, media ministries director.

“God’s mission for His church is always more,” said Bing. “Our mission is huge to take the gospel to all the world. Greater Things come as we are faithful in oppressive times. Greater Things happen when we stay the course to the end.”

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Heidi Baumgartner Mission Blessings Highlight Washington Constituency Session Living through and emerging from a global pandemic era influenced a great time of ministry innovation, creativity and collaboration along with a deeper calling for praying to God for Greater Things, as Washington Conference discovered.
WWU Students Gain Experience at Sonscreen Film Festival https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/05/wwu-students-gain-experience-sonscreen-film-festival In early April 2024, 16 Walla Walla University film students attended the Sonscreen Film Festival, a connection hub for students and young professionals to meet with peers and established Christian filmmakers. Hailey Werner Education 35190 Thu, 16 May 2024 10:30:00 -0700 Home

In early April 2024, 16 Walla Walla University film students attended Sonscreen Film Festival in Loma Linda, California. The annual film festival is sponsored by North American Division and serves as a connection hub where students and young professionals can meet with peers and established filmmakers.

Krista VanHook, senior film, TV and media major, had her dramatic short film, Taste, screened Saturday evening, followed by an audience Q&A. She said much of her preparation was spent in prayer: “I wanted to make sure I was opening myself up fully to being used by God and not letting my ego get in the way of that when I got on stage.”

Friday evening included a film premiere of Color of Threads, a WWU short film written by Josie Henderson, WWU alumna. The film was made possible through the collaboration of several film professionals and WWU students. Samantha Hodges, junior film, TV and media major who worked on the film, said, “My absolute favorite part of the festival was watching the final product on the big screen. Seeing how it touched so many people truly inspired me.”

Hodges said the trip showed her the diverse job opportunities within film and was a great networking opportunity. She connected with Kristina Daley, The Chosen assistant director, while Vanhook met John Quinn, The Chosen head editor, who agreed to be a guest speaker on her podcast, Creative by Design. VanHook and Hodges also built relationships with other Adventist university film students.

“Sonscreen is so valuable to me as a Christian because being a person of faith who wants to enter into a largely secular industry can feel so isolating at times,” said VanHook. She appreciated how the festival serves as a gathering place for people who are both Christians and creatives. She recalled her favorite part was the opportunity to be surrounded by so much art made by such wonderful artists. VanHook added that Sonscreen is an event that never disappoints.

To see clips from the Sonscreen trip and hear more from Samantha Hodges, visit WWU’s Instagram page

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Hailey Werner WWU Students Gain Experience at Sonscreen Film Festival In early April 2024, 16 Walla Walla University film students attended the Sonscreen Film Festival, a connection hub for students and young professionals to meet with peers and established Christian filmmakers.
Renton Church Brings Clean Water to Thousands in Ghana https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/05/renton-church-brings-clean-water-thousands-ghana The Clean Water Project hosted by Renton Adventist Church brought two boreholes to Ghana and opened doors to new conversations. Renton Church Mission and Outreach 35211 Wed, 15 May 2024 15:30:00 -0700 Home

In a world where access to clean water remains a pressing issue for millions, Renton Adventist Church's international ministries department has made a difference through sponsoring wells. 

Partnering with local Adventist conferences, churches and community leaders in Ghana, Renton Church supported the drilling of two boreholes in Primproase and Asikasu with the Clean Water Project. Through their unwavering commitment to service and collaboration, Renton Church's international ministries brought clean, safe water to more than 5,000 people in Ghana.

The project was spearheaded by Jack Barrow III, Renton Church elder, who spent time in Ghana. “In many places, men and women travel 5–7 miles to fetch water from brackish ponds or foul streams,” Barrow said. The idea of working to bring clean water to people quickly materialized.

Renton Church created the Clean Water Project to raise money to build boreholes in the area. Clean water plays a pivotal role in people's health, education and overall well-being. With fervent prayers and generous donations from members and non-members, they set out to address the pressing water scarcity in Ghana.

Collaboration was key to the success of the Clean Water Project. By partnering with local Adventist conferences and churches and engaging with community leaders and chiefs, Renton Church's international ministries' efforts ensured the borehole installations were carried out in a manner that aligned with the needs and priorities of the residents. 

This approach fostered a sense of ownership and empowerment within the communities and facilitated sustainable solutions that will have a lasting impact for generations to come. Additionally, non-Christian residents — in largely Muslim areas like Pong Tamale — were reached by local church members and clergy through the simple act of caring for needs first. The project has increased trust and opened conversations where barriers previously existed.

The installation of the boreholes has been met with overwhelming gratitude and joy from the residents of Primproase and Asikasu. For many, access to clean water was once a distant dream. With boreholes in place, that dream is a reality. People no longer have to walk long distances or rely on contaminated water sources. Instead, they can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that clean, safe water is readily available in their own communities.

The impact of this initiative extends far beyond the physical provision of water. It's a testament to the transformative power of faith-led efforts, compassion and collective action. God's hand has been evident every step of the way through the generosity of donors and the dedication of volunteers.

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Renton Church Renton Church Brings Clean Water to Thousands in Ghana The Clean Water Project hosted by Renton Adventist Church brought two boreholes to Ghana and opened doors to new conversations.
Harris to Lead Northwest Secondary Education https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/05/harris-lead-northwest-secondary-education North Pacific Union is welcoming a new leader for secondary education. Brian Harris accepted the invitation to serve as the next director of secondary education and will replace Keith Waters who plans to retire. Dustin Jones Education 35202 Tue, 14 May 2024 15:30:00 -0700 Home

Brian Harris accepted an invitation from North Pacific Union to serve as the next director of secondary education. He will be replacing Keith Waters, who plans to retire this summer.

Harris has been serving as vice president for education at Upper Columbia Conference in Spokane, Washington, since 2019. He was instrumental in developing a strategic plan for the UCC education department and has a passion for bringing teachers together to learn from each other and advance education throughout the conference. Harris has also invested in future educators through higher education instruction at Walla Walla University.

Prior to his time in conference leadership, Harris served as principal of Walla Walla Valley Academy from 2012 to 2019. During his tenure, his tireless efforts to build a mission of empowering students for Christ renewed the school’s commitment to students, family and alumni.

“Brian Harris is well skilled for his role on our Northwest leadership team with his many years of successful leadership in secondary schools and at the conference level,” said Keith Hallam, NPUC vice president for education. “His passion for Adventist education is vital to helping us fulfill our vision for every Seventh-day Adventist early childhood through grade 12 program and school to be a valued asset to the ministry of the local church.”

Harris has a Master of Education, with endorsements in administration, physical education and history. He is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and The National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Harris began his career as an athletic director and physical education teacher for Rio Lindo Academy, in Healdsburg, California, in 1997. He then served as principal at Palisades Christian Academy in Spokane and Cascade Christian Academy in Wenatchee.

Harris and his wife, Ayrin, met at Pacific Union College and married in 1996. They live in Walla Walla with their children, JT and Ellie. The family enjoys backpacking, camping, golf, baseball and their two dogs, Molly and Moses.

“I am humbled and excited for this new ministry opportunity,” said Harris, who will be joining the NPUC education team in summer 2024. “I love Seventh-day Adventist education and feel so blessed to be able to continue to contribute to the educational mission in NPUC. God is good!”

NPUC serves more than 7,500 students and 680 teachers and administrators in 125 schools and early childhood programs with the intent purpose to lead students to encounter Jesus, accept His gift of salvation and follow Him.

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Dustin Jones Heidi Baumgartner Harris to Lead Northwest Secondary Education North Pacific Union is welcoming a new leader for secondary education. Brian Harris accepted the invitation to serve as the next director of secondary education and will replace Keith Waters who plans to retire.
Northwest Leaders Prepare to Launch Public Campus Ministries https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/05/northwest-leaders-prepare-launch-public-campus-ministries North Pacific Union is unveiling a plan for establishing Adventist Collegiate Fellowships on secular campuses, supporting spiritual growth for Northwest Adventist higher education students. Heidi Baumgartner Education Youth young adults Mission and Outreach 35203 Mon, 13 May 2024 17:55:00 -0700 Home

Even with a robust Adventist education system, many young Adventists are choosing to pursue their education outside traditional Adventist institutions.

To bridge this gap, North Pacific Union has unveiled a visionary plan to establish Adventist Collegiate Fellowships on secular campuses, offering support and spiritual growth opportunities for Adventist students and their friends in the Pacific Northwest.

“This is an exciting frontier ministry for our territory,” said Rob Lang, NPUC youth and young adult director. “With more than half of our young people choosing to pursue their education on non-Adventist campuses, the church is seeking to provide leadership opportunities, support, fellowship and spiritual growth programs for them. We want these young people to know we are with them, we are for them and we believe in them.”

NPUC leaders are prayerfully working to establish at least one ACF on a secular campus in each of the six conferences over the next 18 months.

To help lead this effort on a local and regional level, John Leis recently joined Washington Conference’s team to serve as public campus ministries director. He is also serving as NPUC coordinator of public campus ministries and will be working closely with Lang to establish a public campus ministries network.

The official launch of this initiative will be at the NPUC ACF institute being held at the University of Washington, June 27–30, 2024.

Pastors, lay members and college students are encouraged to form a team and come to ACFi to receive training, resources and inspiration to launch their own church-based ministry at a campus near their church.

“Good news, there is grant funding available to assist a local church when a new ACF has been officially established,” Lang said. “This is an exciting mission field. Let’s meet our collegiates where they are and give them training and support to conduct a collegiate-led ministry on their campus, sponsored by their church.”

For more information and to register, click here, or visit npuc.org/ministries/young-adult. North American Division and NPUC are subsidizing this training opportunity and the cost is only $95 per person for three nights' lodging, six meals, all programs and resources. 

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Heidi Baumgartner Rob Lang Northwest Leaders Prepare to Launch Public Campus Ministries North Pacific Union is unveiling a plan for establishing Adventist Collegiate Fellowships on secular campuses, supporting spiritual growth for Northwest Adventist higher education students.
Alaska Conference 19th Consistency Session Announced https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/05/alaska-conference-19th-consistency-session-announced The 19th Regular Constituency Session of the Alaska Conference will be held Sept. 22, 2024 Brenda Campbell-Johnson Church Church Business constituency session 35191 Thu, 09 May 2024 11:30:00 -0700 Home

ALASKA CONFERENCE LEGAL NOTICE 19TH REGULAR CONSTITUENCY SESSION

Notice is hereby given that the 19th Regular Constituency Session of the Alaska Conference will be held in the Palmer Church located at 2238 Inner Springer Loop, Palmer, Alaska, on Sept. 22, 2024 at 8:30 a.m.

The purpose of the constituency session is to receive reports of conference activities for the quadrennial ending Sept. 22, 2024, to elect officers, departmental directors, conference executive committee, constitution and bylaws committee; to conduct strategic planning and to transact any other business that may properly come before the delegates in session.

Kevin Miller, president 
Ashwin Somasundram, vice president of administration

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Brenda Campbell-Johnson Alaska Conference 19th Consistency Session Announced The 19th Regular Constituency Session of the Alaska Conference will be held Sept. 22, 2024
Authentic Engagement: Ministry in the Third Space https://nwadventists.com/feature/authentic-engagement-ministry-third-space A recent study found that 66% of young adults stopped attending church regularly after graduating high school. The primary reason wasn’t a difference in theology, worship style or culture; it was a lack of relational connection. Caleb Foss Youth Mission and Outreach 35046 Wed, 08 May 2024 15:30:00 -0700 Home

In the 21st century, the concept of a third space — a place between work and home where people build community and foster connections — is increasingly elusive, with nearly 50% of Americans reportedly feeling alone.1

Historically, the church served as a cornerstone of third spaces and fulfilled an important role in community building. But as people step away from religious settings, a need for determining a new third space has presented itself.

These trends highlight the need for the church to rethink the typical forms of ministry and engage in meaningful social and spiritual interactions outside the third spaces generally accepted as part of the Adventist norm.

As we minister to people outside our normal circles of life, it is crucial to first understand our identity and value in Christ so we can see each person we encounter as a cherished child of God.

This perspective enables us to shift our focus from being interesting to being interested, allowing us to authentically listen and minister in unique ways.

As you read these stories about Northwest third spaces of ministry, ask yourself, “What third space in my life is God calling me to minister in?”

 

After my first year of college, some friends and I decided to go on an adventure. We spent the week in Florida learning to surf, eating fast food and sleeping in a nearby field.

When the weekend arrived, we decided to perform a social experiment, which involved attending one of the local churches and seeing how they responded to our shaggy crew. None of us had brought any church attire, and we arrived with matted hair, T-shirts, board shorts and flip-flops.

The service was already underway, and the greeters were gone when we walked in the front door. Upon opening the next set of double doors, we found ourselves standing in the center aisle at the back of a crowded sanctuary. The room was filled with gray hair, fancy dresses and three-piece suits.

As it happened, our entry coincided with the end of opening prayer. As if on cue, every head turned to look, and then gawk, at the newcomers at the back of the room. The only empty seats were in the front row, and we gleefully, in the name of science, walked down and planted our board-shorts-covered behinds right in front of the pastor.

During the service, it was hard to tell exactly what the response behind us was without being too conspicuous, so we had to wait until the end to truly assess our impact on the local congregation.

Small groups of dignified men and women huddled together, casting occasional glances in our direction as we stood in the lobby.

Eventually, a group sent a couple of emissaries to engage us in awkward conversation. Once they found out we were on a surf trip, they found what seemed to be the one youngish person in attendance who had some surfing experience to pass us off to. We stuck around until most of the members had cleared out before the pastor took pity on us and invited us home for lunch.

Have you ever wondered why making new connections is so difficult? Why is it that when new people walk into a church environment, most of us avoid interacting or even making eye contact with them? And why is this especially true if they are young or look different from us?

We know we should be welcoming to people who walk through our church’s doors. Pastors regularly preach sermons about the importance of reaching out to the people around us.

A study by Lifeway Research2 found that 66% of young adults stopped attending church regularly after graduating high school. The primary reason wasn’t a difference in theology, worship style or culture; it was a lack of relational connection.

The church had never connected with them in a way that made them miss it when anything else came along. What keeps us from reaching out?

I think many of us are afraid to make new connections with younger — and honestly all — generations because we struggle with our own sense of identity and value.

Most of us base our identity on what we believe are our valuable traits. Work, recreation, appearance, organizational skills, leadership, money, wisdom, influence, righteousness, self-discipline, etc. all are sources of value. Yours may not be on this list, but all of us have areas where we are tempted to find our self-worth.

The problem is all of these attributes will eventually let us down. Athletics and looks fade. Influence diminishes. People retire or are fired.

If our identity is based on these assets, we will eventually be let down. This leads to depression, midlife crisis, loneliness, loss of purpose and more. It also causes us to judge others based on the same criteria.

Biblically, we're reminded that our identity is based in Christ. 1 John 3:1 says, “The Father has loved us so much that we are called children of God. And we really are His children.”

Our identity isn’t in our earthly works or what we deem valuable. Our identity is that we are all children of God.

Furthermore, the gospel tells us that our value doesn’t come from anything we produce — see Eph. 2:8–9. Instead, we are valuable simply because God says we are.

Think about it. The most powerful being in the entire universe chose to become one of us and suffer simply for the chance to establish a friendship with you.

It is ludicrous if you take the time to actually process the concept. This isn’t something you earned. Your good works and positive characteristics did nothing to make you more worthy. Instead, they are simply the things people do and have when they've truly experienced grace in their lives.

Conversely, the bad things you've done don’t make you any less valuable to God. You are an important part of God’s family. Even if you decide to opt out, you are still loved and God waits for your return with open arms. See the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11–32 for a key example.

The beautiful part about understanding where our value comes from is that we don’t have to spend our lives trying to prove our worth to others. Instead, we can focus on helping others understand their identity in Christ and how valuable they are. We don’t have to prove we are awesome so others will listen to us talk about Jesus.

This is what 2 Cor. 5:17 refers to when it says we are a “new creation.” Now that we know every person on this earth is a child of God and we are all valuable because He simply says we are, we can see people the way that God sees people. They are incredibly valuable, and the best way to show someone they are valuable is to listen to their story.

Everyone is looking for a safe place to be known for who they really are and valued. There are very few places in this world where that can be found.

So where do we start? First, we immerse ourselves in the good news of God’s love every day.

Instead of focusing on producing more, focus on experiencing the love and grace Jesus offers so fully in your life that it naturally flows out of you. Allow God to teach you how valuable you are so you can better recognize the value of the people around you.

Take time to learn their story instead of telling yours. Ask questions. Focus on being interested instead of interesting. Invite others to do the same.

Through listening, we will become a meaningful part of someone’s journey and earn the right to be a voice of truth in their life. When we do, our communities and churches will never be the same.

Reflection Questions

  1. Have you ever felt alone or unseen, whether within your faith community or one you were visiting? What emotions did that produce? What did you do to deal with the situation?
  2. In what ways do you seek to make yourself valuable to others? Have any of these ever let you down?
  3. What are some steps you can take to spread the gospel of grace you have been given to the people around you?

Caleb Foss is the author of A Way Forward, a book focused on helping Christians better understand their own identity and build meaningful connections across generational divides. Foss also serves as Camp MiVoden director of programming and staff mentorship.

Sources:

[1] The Week Staff. “An Epidemic of Loneliness.” theweek, January 6, 2019. theweek.com/articles/815518/epidemic-loneliness.
[2] Earls, Aaron. “Most Teenagers Drop Out of Church When They Become Young Adults,” Lifeway Research, Lifeway, 2019. 

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Caleb Foss Authentic Engagement: Ministry in the Third Space A recent study found that 66% of young adults stopped attending church regularly after graduating high school. The primary reason wasn’t a difference in theology, worship style or culture; it was a lack of relational connection.
Bryan Named Next WWU President https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/05/bryan-named-next-wwu-president The Walla Walla University board of trustees is excited to announce that Alex Bryan has been unanimously appointed as the university’s 24th president. Walla Walla University university relations department Education 35195 Tue, 07 May 2024 14:30:00 -0700 Home

On Monday, May 6, 2024, the Walla Walla University board of trustees unanimously appointed Alex Bryan to become WWU's 24th president.

“We are excited that Bryan accepted our invitation to serve as WWU president,” said John Freedman, North Pacific Union president, who also serves as WWU board of trustees chair. “He has a deep love for and walk with God and His Son, Jesus Christ, which will bless our university students, faculty and staff. He is committed to our Seventh-day Adventist beliefs and mission, and I and our church members across the Pacific Northwest will lift him up in prayer as he takes this responsibility at WWU.”

For 13 years, Bryan served as a pastor in Georgia and Tennessee before joining Walla Walla University Church in College Place, Washington, as senior pastor in 2009. In 2013, he became president of Kettering College in Ohio for one year, and then returned to Walla Walla University Church to serve as senior pastor for another four years.

In 2018, Bryan joined Adventist Health in Roseville, California, where he currently serves as senior vice president and chief mission officer, leading strategy and discourse about ethics, alignment to mission, spiritual care, relationship to faith communities, global mission, theological foundations of healthcare, and also overseeing philanthropy and grants initiatives.

Over the past 16 years, Bryan has served as adjunct professor teaching theology, business, communication and honors studies at numerous Adventist universities. He has served as a member of the North American Division executive committee, Upper Columbia Conference executive committee, Adventist Bioethics Consortium, SonBridge Community Center board, Rogers Adventist School board and Walla Walla Valley Academy board. He currently chairs the Walla Walla Valley Adventist Schools board.

“I am honored to be called to serve such a special place — one that is dedicated to God and to His glory and to His purposes in the world,” Bryan said. “Our family has called College Place home for 15 years, and we’ve been deeply blessed by the peerless mission of WWU and its people. I believe the Christ-centered university is the hope of the world, and we are excited to contribute to this bold venture.”

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Bryan preaches to a group.

“I am honored to be called to serve such a special place — one that is dedicated to God and to His glory and to His purposes in the world,” Bryan said about his new role as WWU president.

Bryan earned bachelor of arts degrees in history and religion from Southern Adventist University, a master of divinity degree from Andrews University, a doctor of ministry degree from George Fox University and a master of science degree in bioethics from Albany Medical College.

His wife, Nicole, earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from WWU, and, as a student, served as president of the Associated Students of Walla Walla University. She holds a master’s degree in education from Georgia State University and works in the health and physical education department at WWU. They have two children.

Bryan will replace John McVay, who is retiring after serving as WWU president for 18 years.

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The Bryan family serving on an Adventist mission trip to Kenya.

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Walla Walla University university relations department Bryan Named Next WWU President The Walla Walla University board of trustees is excited to announce that Alex Bryan has been unanimously appointed as the university’s 24th president.
It Is Written Conducts Alaska Evangelism and Mission Trip https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/04/it-written-conducts-alaska-evangelism-and-mission-trip This spring, 70 volunteers at pop-up free health clinics in Anchorage and Bethel invited residents to find hope for their physical and spiritual needs ahead of Revelation Today: Hope for Humanity. Christine Magnuson Mission and Outreach 35145 Tue, 30 Apr 2024 13:00:00 -0700 Home

In spring 2024, It Is Written conducted a mission trip and evangelistic campaign in Alaska, culminating in the Revelation Today: Hope for Humanity series. 

In late March 2024, a mission team of 70 volunteers served in Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska, and Bethel, the largest rural community, ahead of the evangelistic series that began on April 5. The events were held in partnership with the Adventist Medical Evangelism Network and Alaska Conference.

John Bradshaw, It Is Written president, shared his excitement for the campaign and said, "It Is Written exists for the purpose of sharing the gospel. We're thrilled to be collaborating with the churches in Alaska. We have met many pastors and church members who are enthusiastic about what is taking place. The two mission teams are going to do great work for God, and we are trusting that the evangelistic meetings will reach many souls with the message for this time.”

The Revelation Today: Hope for Humanity series, held April 5 through May 4, is a Christ-centered Bible prophecy series led by Bradshaw and Wes Peppers, It Is Written evangelism director. Eight churches in Anchorage are working together to host the series, with a live stream being offered to more churches across the state.

In preparation for the series, It Is Written has held training events for local churches, teaching pastors and members how to effectively reach their community. 

“We've been helping to shape the culture there for mission and evangelism for more than a year,” said Peppers. “The evangelistic meetings are the culmination of that. As a result of our long-term training, the churches will be better equipped to continue the work that's been started."

The Revelation Today campaign followed a large-scale mission effort in Anchorage and Bethel to offer free medical, vision and dental care to the community. 

“AMEN has a well-established clinical process but wanted to scale up its evangelistic efforts. We’ve been wanting to increase our medical footprint, so this was a natural partnership,” said Peppers.

The Anchorage clinic offered medical, vision and dental care. The Bethel clinic offered medical care, but primarily focused on mental health, including consultations, depression and anxiety education, and professional counseling. Each clinic visitor was invited to attend the series and receive Bible studies.

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Christine Magnuson Cassie Matchim Hernandez It Is Written Conducts Alaska Evangelism and Mission Trip This spring, 70 volunteers at pop-up free health clinics in Anchorage and Bethel invited residents to find hope for their physical and spiritual needs ahead of Revelation Today: Hope for Humanity.
WWU Team Creates Affordable Aquarium Controller https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/04/wwu-team-creates-affordable-aquarium-controller Walla Walla University computer science, biology and engineering professors and students created a new device controller for aquarium tanks that helps to measure ocean acidification. Their work is now featured in a peer-reviewed scientific report. Hailey Werner Education 35168 Tue, 30 Apr 2024 12:30:00 -0700 Home

In his 2023 sabbatical report, James Foster, Walla Walla University assistant professor of computer science, published a detailed description of a new aquarium tank controller, describing the design, construction and customization of the device. 

Foster helped write the software for this device, along with John Foster, associate professor of mathematics, and several senior computer science majors. Additional contributions to the device's physical build were made by other WWU professors from the biology and engineering departments.

This new controller makes studying the effects of ocean acidification on marine life more affordable. The original idea and design for this device came from Kirt Onthank, associate professor of biology. While planning for his ocean acidification research, Onthank found that the necessary equipment was about $7,500 per tank. With help from WWU engineering professors, Onthank built a more cost-effective prototype, which he took to the computer science department for help with perfecting the software. 

Now, the device can manipulate a tank's pH and temperature, provide a user interface for setting configuration values and observing current values, record configurations and observations to a micro-SD card, and allow web-based management and reporting. It is capable of all of these tasks thanks to the software programming expertise of WWU professors and senior computer science majors.

Every year, senior computer science majors are required to work on a project of their choosing, but this was a special opportunity for those involved. Since the tank controller project had been ongoing for almost four years, the long-running nature of the project meant participants could learn how to use software written by someone else. Working outside of your own code is an important skill in the computer science field. The significant cross-departmental collaboration allowed students to work and communicate with peers from other disciplines. 

Foster said another unique appeal this project presented was its global influence and relevance. Students enjoy "playing a part in something that has significance beyond oneself." The design and construction specifications, described by Foster, were published to HardwareX — a peer-reviewed, open-access scientific journal. Now, anyone can freely access and copy the design files for the device, and this affordable technology could make ocean acidification research more available beyond WWU, bringing the scientific world closer to understanding the impacts of ocean acidification. 

While this was not the first instance of cross-departmental collaboration for the computer science department, it has been the most impactful — having a greater amount of both professor and student involvement, with a more global influence. 

WWU's small class sizes offer excellent opportunities for close collaboration with expert professors and lots of interdisciplinary learning opportunities for students. Foster said he looks forward to similar computer science projects in the future. 

To learn more about the WWU computer science department, go to wallawalla.edu/cs. To read the full published work on the ocean acidification tank controller, go to hardware-x.com.
 

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Hailey Werner WWU Team Creates Affordable Aquarium Controller Walla Walla University computer science, biology and engineering professors and students created a new device controller for aquarium tanks that helps to measure ocean acidification. Their work is now featured in a peer-reviewed scientific report.
SonBridge Shares the Healing Power of Touch https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/04/sonbridge-shares-healing-power-touch SonBridge Center for Better Living is impacting lives in College Place, Washington. Victoria Smith Alvarez Mission and Outreach 35178 Tue, 30 Apr 2024 11:15:00 -0700 Home

Each day, a person is touched and helped at SonBridge Center for Better Living in College Place, Washington. Whether it’s through the Thrift and Gift Store, the Helpline@Sonbridge resource assistance office or the dental clinic, SonBridge is impacting lives. Currently, it seems the importance of the service at SonBridge has been highlighted by the word "touch."

Samuel, a recent patient of the dental clinic, arrived for his appointment visibly nervous. In the dental chair, he couldn’t calm down enough to stop shaking and sweating. The dental manager sat with him and held his hand, promising to be patient and gentle with him and to work at his pace. 

When Samuel left, the dental manager doubted he would ever return. However, a week later, the clinic received a call from him to set up another appointment. Samuel was still comforted by the gentle hand of the dental manager during his second and third appointments. 

By his fourth visit a month later, he fell asleep in the chair for two and a half hours! When the dental manager asked him how he could sleep through a full dental procedure, Samuel simply said, “I felt safe.”

Mara, Thrift and Gift Store employee, has been working at the store for seven years. She came broken after several terrible life experiences and needed healing. Although she first arrived at SonBridge needing help, she now extends the touch of healing to others. 

“I’ve learned so much at SonBridge,” Mara said. “I’ve grown into who I am today because of the people I’ve met and the work I’ve done here. It has touched me in unbelievable ways.”

In late February 2024, SonBridge held its annual constituency meeting, where members of eight constituent churches gathered to learn about and vote on decisions for the year to come. David Jamieson, Upper Columbia Conference president, opened the meeting with a devotional thought. 

Jamieson shared how Jesus never let go of those who needed Him. He reached out to those whom society had marginalized, like lepers and tax collectors, and reawakened their humanity by touching them — both physically and spiritually. Jesus was even aware of the financial state of those He served, by healing those who were sick and allowing them to provide for themselves and their families once again. 

In continuing to illustrate this message, Jamieson took the hand of Kitty Haney, SonBridge executive assistant, to show how tenaciously Jesus holds on to us, His sinners in need of healing and His sheep in need of finding.

Every day, people walk into SonBridge in need of restoration — sometimes financial, sometimes material, sometimes physical, but always spiritual. The mission of SonBridge is to restore hope and wholeness, while sharing God’s love, to all who are broken. 

Whether it’s through the calming, appropriate touch of a hand, a hug between friends, the touch of hope for a struggling family or a spiritual touch through prayer, SonBridge is daily touching the hearts, hands and lives of those they serve.

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Victoria Smith Alvarez SonBridge Shares the Healing Power of Touch SonBridge Center for Better Living is impacting lives in College Place, Washington.
A CLEAN Community Connection https://nwadventists.com/feature/clean-community-connection If you haven’t heard of CLEAN yet, the best way to describe it might be a combination of nonprofit addiction recovery ministries, small group meetings and a public-facing urban center of influence — all of which coalesce into the CLEAN ministry. Kaleb Eisele Missions and Outreach 35078 Thu, 25 Apr 2024 15:00:00 -0700 Home

"What if we’ve been going about evangelism all wrong?" That’s the question William "Billy" Hungate, a pastor who previously served at Sunnyside Adventist Church, posed as he wrote, “Believe, Become, Belong, Bless” in a vertical stack on a large sheet of paper in front of him.

“Traditionally, our evangelism starts with an evangelistic series that asks people to believe the things we do,” Hungate said, pointing to the first word. “Then you can become a Seventh-day Adventist through baptism. Once you’re baptized, you belong to our group. Then, after some trust is built and background checks come through, you can now bless people alongside us. That’s the basic trajectory we’ve had for people.”

Hungate next pointed to a particular and well-known passage from Ellen White’s Ministry of Healing, p. 143, “Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me.’”

“This was the way Jesus did ministry,” said Hungate. “Belonging came first. Then we see He blessed people. He healed them. After that, He asked them to believe and follow Him, which for us is the process of becoming a disciple of Jesus. That’s the trajectory we want to use at CLEAN.”

If you haven’t heard of CLEAN yet, the best way to describe it might be a combination of nonprofit addiction recovery ministries, small group meetings and a public-facing urban center of influence — all of which coalesce into the CLEAN ministry.

Its focus is small, intentional community groups aimed at helping people recover from addiction and connect deeply with a community that cares about them. Hungate, his wife, Chelsea, and several other individuals, many of whom have gone through the recovery process themselves, founded this initiative, where Hungate now serves full time. 

“One of the common misnomers is that the opposite of addiction is sobriety, but that’s not really it. It’s community. And not a community like we might think of in a church, but a community of people who really know your deepest, darkest secrets and accept you anyway,” said Hungate.

“It's a group of people that can empower you to grow in your relationship with Christ. That’s one of the best things about recovery groups. People’s stories who have gone through this are basically the same at their core — they believed some lie about themselves like, ‘I’m not worthy of love’ or, ‘I’ll never be good enough,’” Hungate continued.

“Then Satan utilizes that and says, ‘This is what you need to do to cope with this psychologically.’ Whatever addiction someone is dealing with, they need to be fully known by people who understand what they’re going through,” said Hungate.

“We have to remember that addiction isn’t the problem,” Hungate said. “Addiction is a coping mechanism and a behavior connected to deeper things — things we often don’t talk about.”

According to Hungate, addiction can always be traced back to trauma, but that can look different from person to person.

“There are two types of trauma,” he said. “There are the big ‘T’ Traumas like divorces, deaths, things like that. But then there are the little ‘t’ traumas that are really hard to uproot. They become these negative scripts in our heads.”

The "little t traumas" are an integral part of Hungate’s own story. He recounted one of the ways they began to take hold in his life at a young age. His mother dreamed he would become a professional baseball player so he could “rescue” their family. If he played poorly, he had a massive hole in his heart because he thought, “I'm a failure. I didn’t do the one thing I was supposed to do — the thing I was created for.”

“We don’t have enough help overcoming the lies Satan plants in us or in seeing what God really says about us. That’s where real transformation takes place,” Hungate pointed out. “We pastors can preach all we want from the pulpit, but transformation doesn't happen until you have a few people around you who you can tell, ‘I acted this way,’ or, ‘I believe this thing,’ and can have them speak God’s life into you.”

One of the greatest obstacles to addiction recovery is isolation, and CLEAN exists to replace the feelings of hopelessness and isolation with those of connection and trust.

To do that, you need a space that doesn’t alienate people who aren’t ready to step through the doors of a church. A space that isn’t their workplace or their home. A third space.

“Before World War II the most popular third space was church. But after that, there was a lot of cultural and legislative change in the way we started designing communities and building houses and all of that. The number one 'third space' after World War II was the bar. With bars came a vice — more alcoholism. Two in every five people in the state of Oregon suffer from what some would call alcoholism,” said Hungate.

With this in mind, CLEAN began making plans for a unique ministry: a sober bar, which serves a wide variety of familiar drinks in a familiar setting — minus the alcohol. 

In addition to pop-up events, micro church groups and recovery programs, CLEAN is laying the groundwork to open a permanent brick-and-mortar nonprofit location in the heart of Portland. As a nonprofit entity, the CLEAN sober bar’s proceeds will all be reinvested in creating recovery initiatives and spaces.

In discussing the look and feel of the place, Hungate shared they are not shying away from some of the traditional bar aesthetic.

“One thing we’ve done as Christians is look at things and said, ‘That’s not good,’ and avoided associating with it at all costs,” he said. “But what ends up happening is we lose our influence with people instead of doing anything that might pique their interest. If you pick up one of our bottles, it might look like alcohol, but if you read the ingredients, it’s good stuff instead.”

“We’re trying to make recovery cool,” said Hungate. “When we ask someone to come to church, we’re often asking them to cross so many cultural barriers to be there. If we’re asking people to cross more cultural barriers than we are willing to cross ourselves, then who’s really being the missionary? I believe it’s actually our job to cross more of those cultural barriers ourselves.”

CLEAN is launching a YouTube channel for their sober bar where they'll post stories and recipes. Visit @CLEANBARPDX to watch their first recipe demonstration of their original Busy Bee non-alcoholic drink. “The best part of CLEAN is we don’t just do juice,” commented Hungate.

Learn more about the CLEAN ministry by visiting their parent website at thecleanlife.org or by watching their sober bar come together at clean-bar.com.

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Kaleb Eisele A CLEAN Community Connection If you haven’t heard of CLEAN yet, the best way to describe it might be a combination of nonprofit addiction recovery ministries, small group meetings and a public-facing urban center of influence — all of which coalesce into the CLEAN ministry.
Deconstructing Digital Evangelism https://nwadventists.com/feature/deconstructing-digital-evangelism Digital evangelism is a two-part phrase: digital — or anything that has internet — and evangelism — meaning sharing the gospel and the good news with my community. The question becomes: "How can I share the good news in this interconnected space?" Heidi Baumgartner Missions and Outreach Digital Evangelism 35074 Thu, 25 Apr 2024 10:00:00 -0700 Home

North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists is embarking on an ambitious mission to cultivate a network of 10,000 digital disciples. Whether you're already sharing your faith online or curious about getting started, this initiative has something for you.

As a media strategist, Ernesto Hernandez, Washington Conference media director, actively works in a faith-based digital environment and serves as a frequent coach to pastors, creatives and churches. Hernandez brings a forward-thinking, innovative mindset to his role. He is passionate about empowering individuals of all ages and stages — especially those active on social media — to leverage their platforms for good.

In this conversation, Hernandez shares how individuals can make a meaningful impact through their online presence.

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Ernesto Hernandez, Washington Conference media director, frequently coaches pastors, creators and churches on how to take their digital engagement to the next level.

Q: What is the basic definition of digital evangelism?

HERNANDEZ: Digital evangelism is a two-part phrase: you have evangelism — meaning sharing the gospel and the good news with my community — and then you have digital — anything that is internet-connected. Digital disciples or evangelists find creative ways online to share their faith.

Evangelism is something we've done face-to-face for so many years. Digital is a space that was created in the last 20 years. So, then, the question becomes: “How can I share the good news in this interconnected space?”

Q: What are some examples of digital platforms that have been effectively used for evangelism that you're seeing?

HERNANDEZ: I'll share three of my favorite ones I've seen recently.

My dad does digital evangelism through WhatsApp. He sends a little devotional audio every morning to a list of 500 people that he’s collected through his travels. Through WhatsApp, he's able to stay in touch with them, even if they're remote, and he can continue sharing the gospel through that platform.

Here’s another one that I really love: There’s a teenager I met about two years ago. He started a blog in Spanish called Un Joven Jota — An Adventist Teen — and he shares little quotes or small devotionals that he hears from preachers. He’s gained so much traction. He has a following now in the thousands.

I have a friend with a Bible Minecraft ministry. He invites young people, usually 10- to 22-year-olds, to play in a safe environment and build Bible scenes together. He will give a prompt and 30–50 people in this video game environment will collectively build Noah’s Ark, for example.

Q: What do you think are the biggest challenges with using digital tools for evangelism, and how can they be overcome?

HERNANDEZ: One of the biggest challenges that I see is people trying to go into digital evangelism but not understanding the platforms.

Let’s say I'm going to go into construction because there's a lot of need for houses and I just start building. Well, I have to know my tools. I have to know what type of housing is allowed. I have to learn a little bit of code. It's the same way with digital evangelism.

The next huge obstacle I see is that sometimes people don't understand who they're trying to reach. People are going to say, “I want to reach everyone.” Define your niche and then your people will find you.

Q: How do you believe churches can leverage social media to reach a broader audience?

HERNANDEZ: First, do not spread yourself too thin in the digital space because it’s a huge space. Once you understand your platform and your audience, you're at a good point to get started as a church. Then you can start creating a strategy and establishing a social media team.

I know about a church that has chosen to do Instagram and WhatsApp community groups — two opposite platforms. Yet, the team works well to maintain a sense of community and to reach others who are looking for community. They’ve trained their team in what’s effective in posting, using hashtags, understanding the platform and working with the algorithm.

Q: In your experience, what type of content resonates on different platforms with audiences, especially for sharing messages of faith?

HERNANDEZ: It depends on who you are trying to reach. If you're trying to reach a newcomer audience, you have to lead with a basic message of hope. I like to check myself on content creation by asking, “Can my neighbor relate to this?” Many of us are waiting for the Second Coming of Christ, yet many haven't even heard of the First Coming.

After you have your target audience, you will start introducing them to this story. The next question is, which technology? Some people are going to say, "Oh, podcasts are effective, or YouTube's effective, or TikTok's effective," but it's an ever-evolving world.

Remember my dad? He said, “I don’t understand YouTube or Facebook that well. I’m really good on WhatsApp and this is what’s working for me.” He shares a lot of Christ-centered messages with an introduction to Christianity.

Q: What additional advice would you give to someone who's new in this space?

HERNANDEZ: First of all, it's scary. You're walking into an unknown space. We like our comfort. We like what we know and it's very hard to walk into a space we don't know.

These platforms were built to be addicting. You have to be careful and create a proper strategy. You have to be intentional with your usage of social media and the amount of time you’re investing into this ministry.

There are a lot of people out there doing a lot of great things with digital evangelism. There are a lot of us coaching. I think the fact that if someone is reading this, or if someone is listening to this, it means God has already placed that seed in your heart to be here. It’s up to us to take that first step or next step.

Start with doing inventory of what digital tools you're good at and see what God’s calling you to share. We can be a light in a very dark space. That is the digital space.

Watch the full 30-minute conversation below:

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Ernesto Hernandez, Washington Conference media director, frequently coaches pastors, creators and churches on how to take their digital engagement to the next level. Here he talks with Heidi Baumgartner, NPUC communication director and Gleaner editor, how digital disciples and evangelists can light up a dark digital space. [30 minutes]
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Heidi Baumgartner Deconstructing Digital Evangelism Digital evangelism is a two-part phrase: digital — or anything that has internet — and evangelism — meaning sharing the gospel and the good news with my community. The question becomes: "How can I share the good news in this interconnected space?"
WWU to Celebrate Togetherness at Homecoming 2024 https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/04/wwu-celebrate-togetherness-homecoming-2024 Walla Walla University invites alumni to campus to celebrate homecoming weekend. The weekend is full of events, many of which are free to attend. Seminars, concerts, class reunions and more offer a chance to gather and reflect on God's leading. Emily Wical Walla Walla University 35167 Thu, 25 Apr 2024 06:00:00 -0700 Home

On April 26–28, 2024, Walla Walla University is welcoming alumni back to campus for Homecoming Weekend 2024. A plethora of exciting activities are available, many for free, throughout the weekend, such as golfing and PRISM vespers. This is a precious time to reconnect with old friends and see what's new.

John McVay, WWU president, said, “We are delighted … to join in sharing memories, reflecting on the ways God has led in our lives and celebrating the value of education at WWU — a distinctive experience.”

This year, during homecoming weekend, WWU will celebrate several anniversaries, including the 100th anniversary of Bowers Hall, 50 years of the social work program which includes social work majors and sociology minors, all pre-professional alumni and the 50th anniversary of Harris Art Gallery. 

An award ceremony will be held on Friday at 11 a.m. highlighting faculty achievement and student scholarships. Several seminars will be held throughout the rest of the day featuring speakers Hilary Dickerson ’02, Pamela Bing Perry, and Tammi Thomas ’83. Friday afternoon will also feature a screening of a short film called The Color of Threads, written by Josie Henderson ’18 and ’20 and produced by WWU Center for Media Ministry.

Honor class reunions and photos will be available for alumni in the years 2014, 2009, 2004, 1999, 1994, 1989, 1984, 1979, 1974, 1969 and 1964 on Sabbath afternoon, 2–6 p.m.

The second-to-last event of the weekend is the Eugene Winter Golf Classic on Sunday at 8 a.m. The final event of the weekend, the 24th annual car show, will occur at 10 a.m. on Sunday in the Havstad Alumni Center parking lot.

Register for free and see a full schedule of events at wallawalla.edu/homecoming or call 509-527-2631.

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Emily Wical WWU to Celebrate Togetherness at Homecoming 2024 Walla Walla University invites alumni to campus to celebrate homecoming weekend. The weekend is full of events, many of which are free to attend. Seminars, concerts, class reunions and more offer a chance to gather and reflect on God's leading.
Bible Readings for May 2024 https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/04/bible-readings-may-2024 Follow the daily reading plan and you will read the entire Bible in a year. Bible Reading Plan 34791 Wed, 24 Apr 2024 05:00:00 -0700 Home

Follow the daily reading plan and you will read the entire Bible in a year.

May 1: Num. 14–15
May 2: Num. 16–17
May 3: Num. 18–22

May 5: Num. 23–25
May 6: Num. 26–27
May 7: Num. 28–30
May 8: Num. 31–32
May 9: Num. 33–34
May 10: Num. 35–36

May 12: Deut. 1–4
May 13: Deut. 5–7
May 14: Deut. 8–10
May 15: Deut. 11–13
May 16: Deut. 14–16
May 17: Deut. 17–23

May 19: Deut. 24–27
May 20: Deut. 28–29
May 21: Deut. 30–34
May 22: Psalm 90–91
May 23: Joshua 1–4
May 24: Joshua 5–11

May 26: Joshua 12–15
May 27: Joshua 16–18
May 28: Joshua 19–21
May 29: Joshua 22–24
May 30: Judges 1–2
May 31: Judges 3–7

Our Bible reading plan leaves Sabbath as a time to share and reflect on your readings for the week. Find creative ways each Sabbath to share your reflections with others on what God is teaching you from your Bible reading time!

Follow us @NWAdventists on Instagram and Facebook.

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Bible Readings for May 2024 Follow the daily reading plan and you will read the entire Bible in a year.
99 Students Gather for UCC Youth Prayer Conference https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/04/99-students-gather-ucc-youth-prayer-conference 99 high school students from eight schools and one home school co-op in NPUC gathered at Camp MiVoden in Hayden, Idaho, to participate in a prayer retreat for youth. Sara Maniscalco Youth 35122 Mon, 15 Apr 2024 08:00:00 -0700 Home

In February 2024, 99 high school students from eight schools and one home school co-op in North Pacific Union gathered at Camp MiVoden in Hayden, Idaho, to participate in a prayer retreat for youth. 

This prayer-nurturing event was planned by the Upper Columbia Conference education department in partnership with Prayeradigm Shift ministry team. The retreat focused on teaching principles of prayer, helping youth grow in prayer in their lives and empowering them to share what they learned.

“This event sparked a new relationship and a new connection with God,” shared Tyler, student attendee. “I was not as serious about my prayer life before. Now I’ve been praying every morning with God, something I would have never done before.”

Students were challenged to know God more and desire a deeper relationship with Him. Pavel Goia, Ministry Magazine editor and General Conference associate ministerial secretary, shared many stories about the power of prayer and how he has experienced God’s presence. Goia talked about what it means to live a life of total commitment to God and full surrender of ourselves.

“Goia inspired us all and showed us that God is not just a person to ask things from but a friend,” explained Sydney, another student participant.

The weekend was filled with opportunities for students to get to know each other and pray together. Every morning started with one hour of prayer time in which the entire group met to sing, focus on scripture and pray together.

“Being around people your age where you don’t feel a single bit of shame to talk about God is just the most fulfilling thing ever,” said Clara.

After each presentation, students circled up in small groups to talk and pray about what most impacted them. From this, they created a list of 105 “Prayer Principles” that they had learned.

“My whole perspective on prayer is completely flipped, and I'm so excited to start applying some of the prayer principles to my life,” shared Joanna.

The Prayeradigm Shift weekend was a tremendous blessing and changed many lives. The last evening of the retreat included a powerful testimony time where students shared how God showed up and impacted their lives personally.

“I used to be intimidated to pray; now I can’t wait to pray,” said Jonathan.

Before leaving, students met together as school groups and spent an hour answering the question, “Where do we go from here?” The enthusiasm of the weekend was channeled into having a prayer partner, committing to regular group prayer times back home and planning intentional next steps to grow prayer in their lives and on their campuses.

“It was extremely exciting to see the moving of the Holy Spirit in the lives of students who were there,” shared John Spano, Prayeradigm Shift team member. “Our prayer is that God’s Holy Spirit will fan the flames that were started this weekend and that we will see the power of what God can do when youth pray.”

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Sara Maniscalco 99 Students Gather for UCC Youth Prayer Conference 99 high school students from eight schools and one home school co-op in NPUC gathered at Camp MiVoden in Hayden, Idaho, to participate in a prayer retreat for youth.
How to Reach Generation Z for Christ https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/04/how-reach-generation-z-christ Generation Z has so many things vying for their attention, so how can we get through the noise and minister to them? Explore these practical ways to reach Gen Z. LaVonne Long perspective 35127 Sat, 13 Apr 2024 08:00:00 -0700 Home

What a time to be parenting a Generation Z kid! 

There are so many things vying for my children’s attention. I want to be doing intentional things in my parenting journey that show them who Christ is, but, I am not going to lie, it’s hard. I am always reading books, articles and blog posts. I want to impact my kids' lives — a positive impact for Christ. Here's what I'm learning:

A recent Barna study1 shows that more than half of Gen Z are motivated to learn about Christ. Parents are the most influential and important people in kids’ lives.

What Do We Know About Gen Z?

There are many definitions of who Gen Z is, but many consider them kids born approximately between 1997 and 2012. According to Pew Research,2 Gen Z is the most diverse generation, and they are also on track to be the most educated. 

Gen Zers lean more progressive on social/political issues. They are more inclusive, open-minded and sensitive to people’s feelings. They have almost no memory of a world before smartphone technology. They are often referred to as Digital Natives. Some researchers have linked the use of smartphones with the growth of anxiety and depression in this group. Values and authentic commitment are important to Gen Zers. 

Knowing what we do about Gen Z, it is important as parents and adults in the church to provide an authentic Christian experience for this group. We learned from a Gleaner article on Gen Z3 last year written by Carolann De León: “Our kids, youth and young adults are desperately longing for peace and joy. As we disciple them into a relationship with the only fountain of sustainable life, they will find the strength and peace to move beyond their debilitating mental health symptoms and the courage to accept mental health support without shame.”

Practical Ways to Reach Gen Z for Christ

Utilize Technology

Gen Z learns with a multisensory experience, often with technology involved. We need to provide ways for them to learn about the Bible and Christ in the ways they learn best. Let them ask questions, eat/drink, fidget and move when talking with them about Christ and Christianity. They want to actively participate in discussions at home, school and church.

Genuine Relationships

Gen Zers want authentic, real relationships based on trust. They want parents, teachers, pastors and family friends who will walk beside them. So get to know this generation better. Engage with the kids in your home, school and church. Provide a judgment-free zone where they are comfortable asking questions and grappling together over issues.

“When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the good news and share in its blessings” (1 Cor. 9:23–24).

Get Involved in Community Outreach

Gen Z wants to see your faith be lived out in the community. So bring your kids to community events, outreach opportunities and bridge events. They want to see Christianity in action. If your church or school isn’t actively involved in outreach to the local community, then it’s time for you to help plan those events. Better yet, let the young people plan them. They love having actual leadership roles in the church.

These are just three practical ways to reach Gen Z for Christ as we help to nurture peace, real relationships and a sense of belonging. Gen Z needs authentic mentors. Don’t be afraid to talk openly about mental health issues with Gen Z. Ask them real questions and get to know them. This generation can change the world for Christ — it’s daunting and exciting to be parenting this generation of young people.

John 14:27 tells us, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

 

Sources:

  1. “Over Half of Gen Z Teens Feel Motivated to Learn More about Jesus.” Barna Group, June 27, 2023. https://www.barna.com/research/teens-and-jesus/.

  2. Parker, Kim. “On the Cusp of Adulthood and Facing an Uncertain Future: What We Know about Gen Z so Far.” Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project, May 14, 2020. https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2020/05/14/on-the-cusp-of-adulthood-and-facing-an-uncertain-future-what-we-know-about-gen-z-so-far-2/.

  3. De León, Carolann. “Trauma-Responsive Discipleship.” Northwest Adventists, November 15, 2023. https://nwadventists.com/news/2023/06/trauma-responsive-discipleship.

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LaVonne Long How to Reach Generation Z for Christ Generation Z has so many things vying for their attention, so how can we get through the noise and minister to them? Explore these practical ways to reach Gen Z.
Young Adult LIFE Tour Comes to Portland https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/04/young-adult-life-tour-comes-portland Many of our local churches love their young adults but are at a loss for where to begin a thriving ministry with them. The Young Adult LIFE Tour intends to bring insights and relevant, doable steps toward building young adult ministry now. Church young adults Growing Together Youth 35164 Thu, 11 Apr 2024 15:32:00 -0700 Home

The North Pacific Union Young Adult LIFE Tour will be held April 19–20, 2024, at Pleasant Valley Adventist Church, 11125 SE 172nd Ave, Happy Valley, Oregon 97086. The Friday check-in will begin at 6:15 p.m. (Pacific). Steven Argue will be the featured presenter, with special guest worship leader, Robert Leslie Jr. Registration is free and now open at youngadultlife.com.

Argue, Young Adult Ministry Now author, is Fuller Theological Seminary associate professor of youth, family and culture and Fuller Youth Institute applied research strategist. He has worked in multiple ministry contexts as a youth pastor, parachurch leader and pastoral team leader.

Leslie Jr. is a worship leader and vocalist who has been leading worship for the last 15 years. Growing up, he felt the calling from God on his life to create authentic spaces where people could have intentional encounters with Jesus. As a Union College graduate, he currently serves as a worship leader for various churches in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska.

Church leaders, pastors and young adults are invited to attend this free young adult ministry training event sponsored by North American Division youth and young adult ministry, NPUC youth and young adult ministries, Oregon Conference young adult ministry, AdventSource and Pleasant Valley Church.

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For in-person registrants, the tour stop will include practical training, exclusive resources, inspirational worship, ministry networking, Sabbath meals and much more. Online registration is also available. Both in-person and online registration are free at youngadultlife.com.

Many local churches love their young adults but are at a loss about where to begin a thriving ministry with them. The Young Adult LIFE Tour intends to bring insights and relevant, doable steps toward building young adult ministries now.

Wanting to be more than an instructional event, the Young Adult LIFE Tour intends to be experiential and interactive, seeking to hold tour stops in local Adventist churches across the division where vibrant young adult ministry is thriving and bringing vitality to the whole congregation. Following the NPUC tour stop, plans are being laid for tour stops in Lake Union and Canada.

For more information on Young Adult LIFE and the Young Adult LIFE Tour, visit youngadultlife.com

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How would you finish the sentence, "Young adults are ...?" Come dialogue at the Young Adult LIFE Tour on April 19–20 at Pleasant Valley Church in the Portland, Oregon, area. Attend in person or online. Visit youngadultlife.com.
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Young Adult LIFE Tour Comes to Portland Many of our local churches love their young adults but are at a loss for where to begin a thriving ministry with them. The Young Adult LIFE Tour intends to bring insights and relevant, doable steps toward building young adult ministry now.
UCC Ordains Two Pastors https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/04/ucc-ordains-two-pastors Ordination or commissioning is a significant milestone in a pastor’s professional development. Upper Columbia Conference recently affirmed two pastors in their ministry. Autumn Dunzweiler Church 35121 Thu, 11 Apr 2024 08:00:00 -0700 Home

Upper Columbia Conference recently ordained two pastors, James Ash and Jake Wilkinson, into the ministry.

“Ordination or commissioning is a significant milestone in a pastor’s professional development and it’s wonderful to see the church affirm these men in their ministry,” shared Eric Brown, UCC ministerial director.

Ash, Stateline Adventist Church and Dayton Adventist Church pastor, was ordained on Nov. 18, 2023, at Stateline Church. Rodney Mills, UCC vice president for administration, presented Ash as a candidate into the ministry and gave the homily. At the end of the service, Brown presented the certificate of ordination.

“Receiving a certificate is nice, but being ordained isn’t at all like receiving an achievement award,” shared Brown. “When we pray over a pastor like James, it’s a symbol of the trust and responsibility we as a church are placing in him as a spiritual leader.”

Ash was born to missionary parents in Taipei, Taiwan. He attended Far Eastern Academy for three years in Singapore and finished his senior year at Upper Columbia Academy.

From there, Ash went to Walla Walla College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in theology and minors in biblical languages and history. Ash then attended Andrews University, where he met his wife, Joy, and graduated with a master’s degree in divinity. 

While Joy attended classes to become a nurse practitioner in Loma Linda, California, Ash did literature evangelism and focused heavily on becoming a certified pilot.

When Joy graduated, they moved to Guyana to become a missionary pilot family. For more than 11 years, Ash served Guyana Conference as a school administrator, project leader and chief pilot. During this time, they were blessed with two daughters, Julianna and Jenna.

In 2021, feeling the calling of God, Ash accepted a call from Upper Columbia Conference to pastor the Stateline/Dayton district.

Wilkinson, Ellensburg and Cle Elum district pastor, was ordained on Dec. 2, 2023, at Ellensburg Adventist Church. Mills presented Wilkinson as a candidate into the ministry. Cary Fry, Kennewick Adventist Church pastor, gave the homily, and Brown presented the ordination certificate.

“Sometimes ordinations can seem very formal and stiff, but not Jake’s,” shared Brown. “His service matched his love for people and his sense of humor perfectly.”

Wilkinson was born and raised in Soldotna, Alaska. He graduated from Walla Walla University with a degree in theology and served for two years as an intern pastor at Spokane Valley Adventist Church. After completing his internship, Wilkinson spent two and a half years in seminary at Andrews University and has spent the last three and a half years in the Ellensburg and Cle Elum district. He and his wife, Crystal, currently live in Ellensburg with their two dogs and fish.

“God has blessed us in UCC with an incredible team of dedicated pastors,” shared Brown. “I am so grateful to have these two men as a part of it and to welcome them to the ranks of ordained pastors in the Adventist Church.”

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Autumn Dunzweiler UCC Ordains Two Pastors Ordination or commissioning is a significant milestone in a pastor’s professional development. Upper Columbia Conference recently affirmed two pastors in their ministry.
Oregon Conference Education Team Welcomes New Associate Superintendent https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/04/oregon-conference-education-team-welcomes-new-associate-superintendent Jennifer Schmidt recently joined the Oregon Conference education department as a new associate superintendent of education. Kaleb Eisele Education 35110 Wed, 10 Apr 2024 08:00:00 -0700 Home

Jennifer Schmidt recently joined Oregon Conference as a new associate superintendent of education. No stranger to the Oregon Conference education field, Schmidt made the transition from her role as Columbia Adventist Academy vice principal and teacher in Battle Ground, Washington. 

In an interview with the Oregon Conference communication team, Schmidt shared that she recognizes the struggles and hardships teachers have faced in recent years and wants to do all she can to support them. 

“In my [job] interview, we talked a lot about supporting teachers,” said Schmidt, “and that’s really what I want to do — support our teachers. I want to know their stories and classrooms and to understand what they need. Coming out of the pandemic has been so tough for so many, and our teachers are really on the front lines. They’re doing such good work, but at the same time, I know they’re tired. I just want to do everything I can to help support the teachers in this conference.”

Schmidt has been serving in educational spaces since her youth and has worked in classrooms internationally. “My mom worked as a teacher, and I would go to her school to help her," said Schmidt. "That was probably when I started to really think about working in education. I was also a student missionary in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I think it was those things that led to me wanting to find some way to work with kids and help them — not only in achieving good academic outcomes but also in bringing them to Jesus.”

Ron Jacaban, Oregon Conference vice president for education, shared, “Jennifer’s knowledge and expertise in all areas of Standards Based Learning make her a major asset to Oregon Conference. She has been on the cutting edge for years and was practicing SBL before it became a focus in Adventist Education.”

One of Schmidt’s top priorities, she said, is making teachers’ jobs easier. “I would like to be an instructional leader,” she said, “and to provide support as we map out our path for the future. I want to help provide those things teachers need to be the best they can be — to go from good to great. I want to be part of helping them do well.”

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Kaleb Eisele Oregon Conference Education Team Welcomes New Associate Superintendent Jennifer Schmidt recently joined the Oregon Conference education department as a new associate superintendent of education.
Wenatchee Spanish Church Saves Souls https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/04/wenatchee-spanish-church-saves-souls God's influence has been evident at Wenatchee Spanish Adventist Church as He blessed them with in-person and virtual visitors. Antonio Ix Rosique Mission and Outreach 35131 Tue, 09 Apr 2024 08:00:00 -0700 Home

God has demonstrated His love and kindness powerfully in Wenatchee Spanish Adventist Church in Upper Columbia Conference during the latter part of 2023 and the early months of 2024.

Each Sabbath, we have rejoiced in having 10–20 visitors attend our worship services. During the week of Oct. 1–7, 2023, approximately 50 people visited the church. 

During Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, many identified with the church, formed friendships and have continued to visit. It's worth noting that some, in their testimonies, have expressed coming to us on their own seeking Bible studies.

During last year's fall evangelism period, we held Friends Day accompanied by a concert prior to the evangelism week. It was interesting to see how our guests expressed their need for God and how the congregation actively invited their friends, family, neighbors and coworkers.

2024 began with high expectations for the church, as a mission-focused spirit has been growing among church families. In January, we continued sharing the message through our radio program on one of the city's most popular stations and on social media through our virtual church coordinated by the UCC Hispanic ministries department. 

Our virtual church has many followers — or what we call "members of our borderless virtual church” — which operates every weekday at 7 a.m. on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

We began planning our eagerly awaited evangelism week — scheduled Feb. 24 through March 2 — with our committees, the evangelist and the entire church service team’s collaboration. 

A week before our event, we organized a family-focused weekend with Mike and Laura Rosario, a couple who were a great blessing to the church. The number of visitors prior to our evangelism week continued to rise. Daily attendance reached an unprecedented 215 people worshiping in our sanctuary.

We conducted our week of evangelistic meetings and the Holy Spirit moved powerfully! Thirty-three individuals were accepted as new church members: 24 through baptism and nine through profession of faith.

We continue to provide follow-up care and support to our new church family members through our discipleship class held on Sabbaths at 10 a.m. We continue to prayerfully plan to plant three new congregations in our area and surrounding communities with our new members and guests. 

We thank God for His blessings, the support of the entire church and supportive church leaders. We continue to serve and work joyfully for Christ.

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Antonio Ix Rosique Wenatchee Spanish Church Saves Souls God's influence has been evident at Wenatchee Spanish Adventist Church as He blessed them with in-person and virtual visitors.
Cinema Evangelism Sparks New Conversations https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/04/cinema-evangelism-sparks-new-conversations Visionary filmmaker Kyle Portbury’s intentionality is evident in the way he crafted The Hopeful, not just as a film, but as a tool for personal evangelism and community engagement. Heidi Baumgartner Missions and Outreach 35069 Mon, 08 Apr 2024 08:00:00 -0700 Home

Kyle Portbury, filmmaker, has a gift to share with the world, and you have an active part in sharing this gift.

Portbury is the writer, director and producer behind The Hopeful, a 90-minute film that shares the Adventist Church origin story. The Hopeful will be released to more than 1,000 theaters on April 17 and 18, 2024.

If you’ve watched the six-part Tell the World miniseries, the storylines and a few scenes may seem familiar to you.

“You couldn't have The Hopeful without Tell the World,” Portbury said during a screening conversation with Pacific Northwest leaders in March. The two projects were filmed at the same time and edited to present distinct narratives. “Now, in 2024, The Hopeful is one Adventist giving his love letter to his roots.”

Cinema evangelism is a unique avenue for community engagement and outreach, using films to spark meaningful conversations about faith and life.

Portbury’s intentionality is evident in the way he crafted The Hopeful, not just as a film, but as a tool for personal evangelism and community engagement.

“Imagine you've known a friend for years, but you've never really talked about your faith with them. It can feel awkward to suddenly bring it up. Cinema evangelism offers a unique chance to change that,” he said. “Who wouldn't want to say yes to a movie and dinner with friends?”

The Hopeful offers a platform for discussing disappointment, pain, loss, grief, mental health, community building and grace in grief. It presents real people and emotions that resonate with viewers, sparking introspection and deeper conversations.

“You will be able to have these wonderful engagements because people aren't seeing something that's trying to teach or preach to them in The Hopeful,” Portbury said. “They will be seeing real people in a storyline who are really experiencing the same things that they do in life. And they will be asking, 'How can I work past the disappointments in my life?'”

Hope Studios, a new cinematic arm of Hope Channel International, is investing in film projects to increase awareness and understanding of the Adventist faith through creative storytelling. An upcoming project, in partnership with Walla Walla University Center for Media Ministry, will be a 10-part series with personal stories of resilience.

“I’m very happy to see where Hope Studios is taking cinematic evangelism,” said Matt Webster, WWU Center for Media Ministry producer and director of studio operations.

Already, Portbury is personally seeing the impact beyond the storyline through his interactions with the cast, crew, investors and industry partners.

The diverse crew of more than 200 included individuals, like a Buddhist editor or atheist assistant director, who respectfully challenged Portbury on different aspects of the story, making the project stronger.

"When the crew is asking you to tell them about the Sabbath just as you’re sitting there working on the scene, you become an evangelist without even realizing it," Portbury reflected. "It was very natural and organic and not weird at all. The concept of the Sabbath was very appealing to them."

Tickets are now available at fathomevents.com where you can purchase individual or group tickets in sets of 25.

The Hopeful aims to keep audiences engaged through local church or school screens and additional faith-sharing assets, such as a new Steps to Christ audio recording, all available via thehopefulmovie.com.

"The film is a perfect excuse to engage with your community," Portbury concluded. “It's an opportunity for you as an individual church member to engage with people in your community who are already in your sphere of influence and then share with them on a deeper level.”

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Heidi Baumgartner Cinema Evangelism Sparks New Conversations Visionary filmmaker Kyle Portbury’s intentionality is evident in the way he crafted The Hopeful, not just as a film, but as a tool for personal evangelism and community engagement.
Iceberg Ahead https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/04/iceberg-ahead Only 10% of an iceberg is visible above water. Let's not be like icebergs — showing our best 10% and hiding the rest — instead let's surrender to Jesus daily so we can become all He wants us to be, without having to hide. Natashia McVay perspective 35119 Sat, 06 Apr 2024 08:00:00 -0700 Home

On April 15, 1912, one of the most luxurious and technologically advanced ships of its time sank. Why did it sink? The Titanic sank because they underestimated the dangers of icebergs. The portion of the iceberg you see only constitutes about 10% of its overall mass. What is hidden is much more dangerous than what is visible. 

As human beings, we often struggle with inconsistency. It's frightfully easy to slip into the practice of saying to people, "Do as I say, not as I do." In many ways, we can become a human embodiment of the iceberg principle — showing people our best 10% and hiding the rest below the surface. Sometimes we fall into this trap for all the “right” reasons. We want to be — or feel we have to be — a better example than we actually are.

Jeremiah proclaimed, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). Is your religion a true religion, or a performative event in which you take part? True Christians will talk the talk and walk the walk, empowered and enabled by God. Instead of using ourselves or others as an example to be followed, we should always point people towards Jesus. Jesus and Jesus alone is the one we should seek to emulate and imitate. In Christ, there is safety from the stormiest of seas.

Jesus’ words in the Gospel of John are useful here, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). There is a tug of war that occurs in even the most converted of human hearts. Now, more than ever, faithfulness to God’s law of love and authenticity matter. 

On our own, we are incapable of living a truly transformed Christian life. It's only through a daily surrendering of self, a wholehearted submission of selfish desires and gain, that we can be truly genuine and devoted Christians. 

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:1–3).

Jesus promises that He will be with the true seeker, and He will help our words and actions match. He wants us to be truly transformed by Him living in us. He wants to make us new in Him — not just knowers of the "right" but livers of the truth, Jesus Christ, that has transformed our whole being.

How is this accomplished in our lives? It's accomplished through daily submission to Jesus and through reading the Bible — not just to check off a box for the day or to have an advantage over others. Read the Bible to get to know who Jesus is and what He desires to do in our lives. Pray to be like Jesus and that His ways become our ways.

“For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth, one confesses and is saved” (Rom. 10:10).

If we truly seek Jesus, the Holy Spirit will enable us to live out our faith. With Jesus in our lives and the working of the Holy Spirit we will more fully embody the true nature of Jesus. We can be authentic Christians who strive to submit our lives more fully each day to Jesus. Then our actions will display this transformation in our lives. This is to be the goal of a Christian’s life.

I appreciate Ellen White’s statement on this principle in The Acts of the Apostles: “Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, a day, but of a lifetime. It is not gained by a happy flight of feeling, but is the result of constantly dying to sin, and constantly living for Christ."

God doesn't want icebergs — people who say one thing but, in private or in the secret of their home, act in a completely different way. Rather God wants mountains. 

He wants our actions to match our hearts; to truly be transformed by a relationship with Him and have our actions be a true representation of that relationship.

Stand tall and proud because what you have learned about God has changed you; what you say is what you truly believe and live. Stand like a mountain, pointing ever upward to God as the true light and leader of your life.

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Natashia McVay Iceberg Ahead Only 10% of an iceberg is visible above water. Let's not be like icebergs — showing our best 10% and hiding the rest — instead let's surrender to Jesus daily so we can become all He wants us to be, without having to hide.
LCA Robotics Team Advances to Championship https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/04/lca-robotics-team-advances-championship Lake City Academy learns programming, problem solving, presentation preparation and much more in the field of science and technology through their robotics program. Autumn Dunzweiler Education 35124 Fri, 05 Apr 2024 08:00:00 -0700 Home

Lake City Academy in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, began its robotics program three years ago with just eight students. Now, three years later, they have two teams with 16 total students participating.

“The group learns programming, problem solving, presentation preparation and much more in the field of science and technology,” shared Anne Blech, LCA robotics coach. “Core values are an important part of robotics. Everyone on the team must learn how to work together and share ideas. We learn about gracious professionalism and cooperation.”

In February 2024, LCA represented two of the 10 participating teams in the NPUC robotics regionals at Auburn Adventist Academy. Students from fifth through eighth grade participated by presenting their projects to a panel of judges, which evaluated the projects based on the theme, core value and robot engineering.

“Having two teams in our program at LCA can be a challenge, but the teams learn together and help each other,” said Blech. “Our group meets once a week after school for a couple of hours. Sometimes students will go to the robotics lab at a recess to finish programming a mission on their robot.”

During regionals, each team was given a 30-minute judging in front of a panel of judges to present their projects. Then the robot games began with each team having two-and-a-half-minute robot runs to score as many points as possible while completing missions on the table.

Awards are given in each of the categories that are judged. This year, Eagle Studios, one of LCA’s teams, won the award for core values. The other team, Abstract Eagles, placed third and are advancing to the First LEGO League Championship that will be taking place at Forest Lake Academy in Florida. 

Now comes the challenge of fine-tuning the robot programming and getting everything ready to go to Florida.

“I’m looking forward to the robot runs at the FLL Championship,” said Caleb Whalen, Abstract Eagles team captain and LCA seventh-grader. “It’s the best part!”

“Our team is excited to represent our school, conference and union at the FLL Championship. Robotics is a great way to enhance our science programs,” shared Blech. “I'm excited for the students getting to meet other students from around the country who share the same interests in science. It’s fun to see how each team approaches their team projects and how they design their robots.”

Visit adventistrobotics.net for more information about Adventist robotics and how to watch the championships.

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Autumn Dunzweiler LCA Robotics Team Advances to Championship Lake City Academy learns programming, problem solving, presentation preparation and much more in the field of science and technology through their robotics program.
Walla Walla Education Programs Enhanced for K–12 Teachers https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/04/walla-walla-education-programs-enhanced-k12-teachers Walla Walla University is updating its continuing education program to better serve K–12 teachers pursuing Adventist teaching certification or renewal. It is also adding a new science education major for the next generation of teachers. Kelsi Dos Santos Education 35115 Thu, 04 Apr 2024 08:00:00 -0700 Home

Walla Walla University is updating its continuing education program to better serve K–12 teachers pursuing Adventist certification or renewal. The School of Education and Psychology is also adding a bachelor’s degree in science education, which will provide more well-rounded preparation for those interested in teaching the sciences. These program updates are part of a concerted effort to meet the demand for qualified, Christ-loving teachers.

Updated Adventist Certification Courses

The restructured continuing education program consists of online, self-paced courses that are flexible and convenient for teachers. The asynchronous courses are designed to be finished within six months and are centered around job-embedded coursework, making it easier for teachers to complete the courses while teaching.

“Job-embedded assignments allow teachers to implement what they’re learning in their classrooms immediately. Instead of creating lesson plans for a hypothetical class or students, they’re doing that work for their current classroom,” said Maria Bastien Valenca, WWU School of Education and Psychology dean.

Perhaps most importantly, the program is embedded in the Adventist worldview, providing a context of faith for teachers. As they learn about curriculum or literature choices for their classrooms, they’re examining those practices in relation to Adventist beliefs. “Other programs might allow similar flexibility, but we’re really unique in offering high-level education for teachers in the context of Adventist faith,” said Bastien Valenca.

Interested in learning more once this program launches? Visit wallawalla.edu/cont-ed.

New Science Education Degree

The new bachelor’s degree aims to make it easier for undergraduate students to prepare to teach the sciences, especially in smaller schools that require endorsements in multiple areas. The program allows students to concentrate in either physics, chemistry or physics, while allowing time to add a minor in a second science area.

“We are trying to encourage students to think about science teaching as a major,” said Brian Hartman, associate professor of education, “and provide a way for them to be more marketable and flexible, without having to take extra time to complete their degree.”

The new degree will be available this fall, pending final accreditor approval. Learn more about the School of Education and Psychology at wallawalla.edu/ed-psych.

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Kelsi Dos Santos Walla Walla Education Programs Enhanced for K–12 Teachers Walla Walla University is updating its continuing education program to better serve K–12 teachers pursuing Adventist teaching certification or renewal. It is also adding a new science education major for the next generation of teachers.
Brower to Lead UCC Serve One More Initiative https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/04/brower-lead-ucc-serve-one-more-initiative After a recruiting search of more than three months, Richie Brower has been tapped to oversee the new Serve One More initiative throughout Upper Columbia Conference. Dustin Jones Church 35120 Wed, 03 Apr 2024 08:00:00 -0700 Home

After a recruiting search lasting more than three months, Richie Brower has been tapped to oversee the new Serve One More initiative throughout Upper Columbia Conference. 

Currently serving as associate director for club ministries, youth, young adult ministry and Camp MiVoden, Brower will begin transitioning to his new role as associate director for Serve One More effective immediately. However, due to major club ministries events, the transition will not be complete until Sept. 1, 2024. 

“Brower has a passion for service and an incredible knack for connecting with people,” said David Jamieson, UCC president. “This initiative is a critical piece of our strategic plan to reach every man, woman, boy and girl in the Inland Northwest.”

The Serve One More initiative was established as part of the 2023–2025 strategic plan with the goal of focusing lay people, pastors, teachers, and students who are in schools, churches, Pathfinder clubs, Adventist Community Services agencies and other UCC entities on Christ’s method of mingling with, ministering to and serving others in our local communities. 

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Richie Brower

Brower’s new role will help direct Serve One More funds to new community service initiatives, as well as provide much-needed training and resources to encourage innovative community engagement. Brower has already demonstrated a keen passion for community engagement in his previous role as Pathfinder leader for the conference.

“I am very excited to help our churches, schools, Adventist Community Services groups and clubs effectively connect with their local communities and understand how we can serve them best,” Brower said.

Brower will be instrumental in encouraging pastors, members, teachers and students to engage in community activities and events that will bring the presence of Jesus into the life of the communities throughout the conference.

“As this exciting initiative unfolds, it will encourage our members to effectively engage with their local communities, and we believe each person they interact with will learn more about Jesus and fall in love with Him,” said Jamieson.

Brower has spent his career at UCC, as a pastor and chaplain, and more recently focusing on youth and young adults. Brower and his wife, Timi, have three boys and love to speak as a team on topics related to marriage and relationships. They live on a small farm in the Palouse.

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Dustin Jones Brower to Lead UCC Serve One More Initiative After a recruiting search of more than three months, Richie Brower has been tapped to oversee the new Serve One More initiative throughout Upper Columbia Conference.
Alaska Young Adults Find Common Ground https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/04/alaska-young-adults-find-common-ground The next generation of Alaskan church leaders gather for connection and fellowship. Along the way, they discover a special sense of purpose that unites their diverse backgrounds and experiences. John Winslow Youth 35134 Tue, 02 Apr 2024 08:00:00 -0700 Home

On a fine sunny weekend in February 2024, young adults from southcentral Alaska gathered together to grow their faith, enjoy delicious food and foster wonderful fellowship. 

The weekend kicked off on Friday evening with the Anchorage chapter of Adventist Young Professionals leading the evening program, sharing music, giving insights about AYP and emphasizing the value of connecting with friends and God. 

On Sabbath, Tyler Drumm, pastor and young adult from southeast Alaska, explored the theme, “To be like Jesus ... Making Christianity Practical.” Drumm also made sure to include easy and practical resources he has developed or found to maintain a strong connection with our loving Heavenly Father and to share the message of Jesus’ love with others.

During the weekend, the young adult group also took time to experience the sights and trails found in the Anchorage area, which included a great evening at a local entertainment center playing games like nearly life-sized hungry, hungry hippos.

Alaska Conference is blessed and thankful for the exceptional young adults who are taking the lead in many ways in local churches and young adult ministries. The conference stands ready to support young adults as they serve within their congregations and participate in special events, such as the young adult weekend. Plans are underway for an annual young adult weekend focusing on faith, food and fellowship, with additional smaller events throughout the year. 

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John Winslow Alaska Young Adults Find Common Ground The next generation of Alaskan church leaders gather for connection and fellowship. Along the way, they discover a special sense of purpose that unites their diverse backgrounds and experiences.
Oromo Pastor Praises God for Growth and Progress https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/04/oromo-pastor-praises-god-growth-and-progress Oromo Adventist Church's pastor is praising God for His multiple blessings through the years and is looking ahead to God's future blessings with building a new church home. Gemedi Geleto Church 34823 Mon, 01 Apr 2024 08:00:00 -0700 Home

Reviewing the abundant blessings the Lord bestowed on their church in 2022 and 2023 has filled the members of Oromo Adventist Church with gratitude, joy and praise to God.

As a result of baptisms held in 2022, the Oromo congregation welcomed 24 new souls into their faith-filled fellowship. And, even as they rejoiced over those who have already given their lives to Jesus, they continued to actively reach out, inviting others to personally know and love the Lord. Doing so resulted in more souls accepting Jesus as their personal Savior in 2023.

Oromo Church partnered with It Is Written and other churches to visit Ethiopia on a mission trip, which included doctors, pastors, clinicians and support staff in 2022. Medical professionals performed almost 2,000 cataract surgeries and 15,000 other medical procedures, taking time to pray with every patient. Over the course of the trip, almost 3,000 people were baptized!

In response to their long-held desires, careful fiscal management and fervently faithful prayers, God has provided the means for the Oromo congregation to purchase land on which to build their own church home. Crediting God’s guidance, the congregation managed to successfully navigate the long and arduous building application process of the City of Gresham, Oregon, and has received final approval from the city for their church building plans.

Having a designated plot of land for their future church home has already proven to be an enormous blessing to the congregation. When the facility they had been renting for worship services became unavailable, Oromo members pitched a tent on their newly purchased property, and, instead, worshiped there. Oromo Church’s ultimate goal is to transition to worshiping in their own permanent structure, but with a projected cost in the millions, they need the prayers and the financial support of others to help make this goal a reality.

As they look towards the construction of their new church home, Oromo church members are planning an expansive vision of ministry, not only for their local church members but also for their wider community. They dream of providing a dedicated place of worship and discipleship training for their own rapidly growing congregation of families, young adults and seniors. They are especially proud of their growing Pathfinder club and can’t wait for space to accommodate the club’s various activities.

Additionally, the congregation aims to be a service center, providing refugee/immigrant orientation classes, health education classes and at-risk youth mentoring. And, they desire to be considered a safe gathering place for seniors, those with disabilities and the immigrant/refugee community.

Your partnership with Oromo Church — through your prayers and financial support — will go a long way toward helping them realize these goals. Visit oromosdachurch.org to contribute or learn more.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Oromo Church at sdaoromo7@gmail.com or 503-501-9937.

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Gemedi Geleto Oromo Pastor Praises God for Growth and Progress Oromo Adventist Church's pastor is praising God for His multiple blessings through the years and is looking ahead to God's future blessings with building a new church home.
What's In Your Hand? https://nwadventists.com/news/2024/03/whats-your-hand When we desire to be a blessing to God and others, the first place to look is at what God has placed in our hands already. John Freedman Mission and Outreach 35140 Sun, 31 Mar 2024 08:00:00 -0700 Home

As a young adult, several friends invited me to attend church with them. I was searching for God and truth. This led me to study the Bible.

Soon I was born again of the Holy Spirit and baptized as a Seventh-day Adventist with a new heart devoted to God. My habits and priorities began to change.

The Holy Spirit planted in my heart a desire to tell others about how God had changed my life. The gospel of Jesus Christ has power. I could not shake the desire to share my newfound faith with friends and family.

The conference where I lived held a witnessing training weekend. Someone at the event preached a sermon based on Exod. 4:2.

There, we find the call of God to Moses when he was in Midian, just after he turned to explore the burning bush. Moses heard the call and listened to God call him to do something for Him.

However, Moses did not believe he could accomplish anything significant for God. I don’t remember much about the message except for how the pastor pressed the question, “What is that in your hand?”

This was a powerful question. It still is.

For Moses, his hand held a shepherd’s rod.

The Creator God has given gifts and talents to all humankind — to all nations, peoples and tongues — male and female, young and old, poor and rich.

When we desire to be a blessing to God and others, the first place to look is at what God has placed in our hands already.

What talent has He given you? What spiritual gift has He given you? What education has He blessed you with? What career or vocation has He given you? What skills have you learned in your work? What hobbies have you learned and enjoy? What friends has He given you? What family members need God’s transforming power?

The North American Division is talking about a new evangelism initiative called Pentecost 2025. The goal is to hold 3,000 evangelistic proclamation events in North America during 2025.

The NAD is working to raise funds to assist each local church that volunteers to hold an event. North Pacific Union is also going to provide funding for churches that hold evangelistic proclamation events.

The Voice of Prophecy is providing training and resources to assist churches and pastors. In fact, all the NAD media ministries are actively looking for ways to assist local churches for this evangelism initiative.

To prepare for Pentecost 2025, we must use the rest of 2024 for preparation. How? Start where you are. Evaluate what is in your hand.

God will bless anyone who will partner with Him to win souls. Look around you at what God has provided already.

After I heard God’s call, I found a stack of invitations to a prophecy presentation in my hand. Sharing those with family and friends, as well as explaining how my life had changed, resulted in my two brothers attending the meetings. Both were baptized.

This Gleaner issue features a plenitude of stories — in both traditional and unusual third spaces — about how Northwest Adventists are using God’s gifts in their hands to creatively build community, share the Good News of Jesus and reach just one more person. As you read and reflect, listen to how God is prompting you to respond to His question, “What is that in your hand?”

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John Freedman What's In Your Hand? When we desire to be a blessing to God and others, the first place to look is at what God has placed in our hands already.