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.

Colorful blobs resembling a crowd of diverse people

The Church’s Needed Witness

The political and social events of the year 2020 have once again pushed unresolved issues around race relations in the United States to center stage in our national and international conversations. The video-recorded murder of George Floyd by a police officer on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, represented for millions a tipping point, one that elicited an outcry by leaders who highlighted historical inequity and called for social justice across a diverse range of political, commercial, academic, and ecclesiastical institutions.

stock photo of teen on phone

Ready to Minister to New Generations?

Growing up today as a teenager is challenging to say the least. On top of social pressure, which has always been around, we have social media, which didn’t exist when I was growing up. Some of the issues that confront youth today include anorexia, bullying, cyber addiction, depression, legalized marijuana, sexting, sex trafficking, fake news, vaping, drinking, and smoking, to name a few. What is a parent to do? What can the church do? 

Charis McRoy

Charis McRoy Has Something to Say!

At 17, Charis McRoy is Guide magazine’s youngest columnist by several decades. That doesn’t, however, mean she has any less to say than her more experienced counterparts. When Lori Futcher, Guide’s editor, and Laura Samano, managing editor, met McRoy at the 2019 Pathfinder Camporee, they knew they’d found someone special. They prayed with McRoy then and there about her potential future work with the magazine.

Karnik Doukmetzian

Beware of the Wolves

Adventist World executive editor Bill Knott recently spoke with Karnik Doukmetzian, general counsel of the General Conference and the North American Division, about dubious charities with unverifiable projects that take advantage of church members.

Clarksville Karen Company

Refugees Empowered as Adventist Leaders in Ministry on World Refugee Sabbath

The North American Division and the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church designate a special day each year during the month of June for Refugee Sabbath ("World Refugee Sabbath") to raise awareness of the needs of the unprecedented numbers of refugees who have fled their homes due to war and persecution. This year, on June 19, two significant events occurred on Refugee Sabbath, serving to empower refugees and their leaders in ministry.

Marissa Channer

The Sun Still Rises

Marissa Channer doesn’t know the exact moment her disease started, but she remembers a significant turning point with her health. It was in February 2016, around the same time she started her role as a financial services accountant at AdventHealth University in Florida.

Luke Zabala and Dex Esmeralda

Southwestern Adventist University Nursing Grads Share Experiences From the Front Lines of the Pandemic

When the pandemic started, Southwestern Adventist University nursing graduates Dex Esmeralda (2019) and Luke Zabala (2018) were fresh in their careers. Little did they know, they would soon join thousands of nurses across the country experiencing a time unlike any other — encountering more trauma in a year than some nurses encounter in a lifetime. Yet both were prepared for the challenges at hand because of the clinical and spiritual training they received at SWAU.

ministerial virtual stuff

Creating Real Community in Virtual Spaces

Early in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in wide-spread quarantines that shut down church buildings all around the globe, many of us pastors, churches, and tech teams faced the challenge of trying to figure out how to do ministry effectively in a media space we had spent quite a bit of time demonizing. Upon making the plunge, however, attention naturally turned to two main things: how to make the technology actually work in these new spaces, and then how to create better programming that would grow bigger audiences — or at least just help us not lose the ones we already had.  

stock photo

Listen, Help, Pray

Anyone who works in law enforcement, or who has a loved one that works in a law enforcement agency, dreads news like what we heard on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. As the news agencies reported, two FBI agents were killed and three others were injured in a shooting as authorities were executing a search warrant at a home in Sunrise, Florida. The gunman, who was also killed, was a 55-year-old man suspected of producing and trafficking in child pornography. I am a Seventh-day Adventist pastor, and a volunteer chaplain with the Federal Bureau of Investigation — and I was contacted to help.

mental health awareness illustration

The Gospel and Mental Health

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), about one in five adults in the U.S. — 43.8 million — experiences mental illness in any given year. Many of these individuals turn to their church or their personal faith in search of support and guidance in times of emotional distress. Despite the prevalence of mental health concerns, there is still a stigma attached to mental illness in many of our churches.