Stories & Commentaries

About Stories & Commentaries

From time to time, the North American Division shares commentaries on issues and/or events important to Adventists in this division. We also publish stories, which sometimes include interviews and features, to inspire our leaders and members.

Jared Woods, Southwestern University's conservationist professor

Conserving Is Serving

In the Red Slough Wildlife Management Area in southeastern Oklahoma, you will find well-loved and well-respected Jared Wood handling and observing alligators, following a passion he developed as a kid. “I love all animals,” Wood begins. “My mother always encouraged my fascination with animals by letting me bring them home to play with, but I always liked reptiles the best.”

Ukrainian students at Kettering College

Opening Doors and Hearts to Students from Ukraine

In February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. While world leaders deliberated how to support the people of Ukraine militarily, the international governing body of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (the General Conference) reached out to Adventist colleges in North America and Europe, asking if they could help displaced Ukrainian students whose educations were disrupted by the invasion. Kettering College was one of the institutions that answered the call — 50 times over.

Athena Gray

One Thin Dime

I met Athena and Kevin Gray at my favorite smoothie shop just down the street from the Oregon Conference office. It was a summer morning when we sat down together. I had reached out to ask if Athena might be willing to share a little bit of her life through a weekly storytelling project we do called “Oregon Adventist Stories,” and although she often tries to stay out of the spotlight, Athena finally agreed. What she and Kevin shared next was a story that, unbeknownst to any of us, would carry across the country.

Pastor Ben Lundquist (left) and Dan Linrud, Oregon Conference president, have a conversation with young adults at the second annual "Dinner With Dan" event on April 8, 2023.

Conversation with Young Adults Front and Center at Second Annual "Dinner With Dan" Event

On April 8, 2023, Dan Linrud, Oregon Conference president, joined a group of about 60 young adults aged 18-35 in the Holden Convention Center of the Gladstone Park Conference Center for the second annual “Dinner with Dan” event. Hosted by Pastor Benjamin Lundquist and Oregon Conference Young Adult Ministries, the night began with worship music led by musicians from the Walla Walla University School of Nursing and a message from Pastor Jose Saint Phard, who began serving at the Oasis Christian Center in Vancouver, Washington, this spring. After worship, Lundquist transitioned into the conversational time.

Screenshot of a Zoom meeting with two women and a man of different ethnicities.

More than Playing Games: One Accord the Guild

A few years ago, Christopher,* a former Agnostic and recovered alcoholic, sought Christian community and purpose. “I began by surrendering to God, who led me to One Accord the Guild (OAG), where other Adventist kids like to build, so [I could be] built for the great commission.” OAG, a faith-based digital community for gamers and creatives, began with a free webinar with Felecia Lee, then-special projects manager, Center for Online Evangelism, Jamie Domm, then-digital strategist, North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Jay Razzouk, lawyer and eventual OAG producer.

Joint efforts bring increased enrollment in Adventist colleges and universities

Adventist Colleges and Universities See Rise in Enrollment Through Joint Efforts

Seventh-day Adventist higher education is facing many challenges, including lack of affordability, mounting student debt, and emerging college alternatives. These are just some of the unprecedented difficulties colleges and universities nationwide — not just Adventist ones — have been grappling with in the past few years. But leaders at Adventist colleges and universities are working to change that, setting aside their competitive differences to further the mission of Seventh-day Adventist education.

A woman in nursing uniform stands by while a man in doctor's coat gives another woman an eye exam

Medical Mission Takes Off Again

Before the pandemic, the last mission trip by a medical team of the Guam Seventh-day Adventist Clinic was in November 2019. They traveled to Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia to provide primary care. The return to missions began in November 2022 when the clinic’s eye care team went to the Republic of Palau, followed by a medical and dental trip to Rota in the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) in January 2023.

stock photo of father and son sitting in car

A Healing Illness

I had a good relationship with my father. He always made time for his family no matter how busy he was. But once I started school, I would see him for only an hour or two before I went to bed. I remember my father always being busy, either in church or in his home office. I remember playing with my toys at the foot of his desk just to be near him. But that all changed when he got ill.

Sharon Pittman with coworkers in Malawi

See You in the Morning

"To go or not to go?" That was the question! We had just been informed that John, my husband, had idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a terminal disease, and he had anywhere from six months to two years to live. After collecting our breath (literally), and crying together, we refocused our future on the eternal. It seemed clear that the Lord was leading us to serve as AVS volunteers in Malawi.

Carmela Monk Crawford, Message magazine editor

The Righteous Mission of "Message"

"Message" magazine is published by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, and printed at Pacific Press Publishing Association. "Message" is one of several sharing magazines geared toward members being able to share them with their family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. "Message" magazine is the second to be featured in our series.