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.

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.

stock photo phone computer search

The Promise to Be Forgotten

Recently I listened to a podcast that contemplated the “right to be forgotten.” The episode featured the staff at a medium market newspaper who were grappling with the balance between relevant media coverage and an individual’s right to privacy. Because of the longevity of the Internet and the paper’s extensive online archives, local residents’ minor legal offenses haunted them years after they had paid their fine, served their probation, or even had their court records expunged.

Schley Valencia

Connecting the Pieces

Many people wonder how a volunteer finds their calling and what leads them to that decision. My story begins in December 2019, when I was a volunteer science teacher at the Ebeye Seventh-day Adventist School in the Marshall Islands.

La Sierra University assistant professor

Unintended Odyssey: History Professor’s Dissertation Discovery Leads to Major Book Deal

It started with a mistake. Alicia Gutierrez-Romine, La Sierra University assistant history professor, arrived at the California State Archives in May 2015 to research her dissertation topic, but discovered she did not have the required authorization for certain records. Eventually, though, the professor would end up with a major book deal.