Many of us are living through challenging times of loss, stress, and heartbreak. But there are also unexpected blessings some of us encounter. Here are a few stories of "Faithful Givers," Adventists in North America who share their experiences giving in a time of need.
“Predators love church because there’s an automatic feeling of trust,” says Erica Jones, Women’s Ministries assistant director for the North American Division. Local church leaders and members can work to promote a culture that respects boundaries and places safety as a top priority. “We take seriously our duty to protect our members as they worship. Screening programs help us to reduce risk and are a first line of defense in the prevention of potential issues,” says Fred Warfield, Human Resources director for the Potomac Conference.
Adventist Community Services has approximately 100 pantries operating in New York’s five boroughs, and they currently distribute food two to three times each week. The use of these pantries had led to our ACS teams running out of food, and some centers were not able to open because of a lack of food. We began speaking with City Harvest food banks about working with us to meet the observed need. This lead to the current offer of 12 pallets of food delivered to one location each Monday.
In early June, on Chicago’s Southside where Goshen Church is located, supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and several retail stores were wiped clean of merchandise, and in some instances the buildings sustained major damage. The church is in one of the poorest areas in the city, which had already seen a surge in COVID-19 infections and an elevated rate of gun violence. When reports streamed in of residents pleading for help in the midst of the dueling crises, the church leadership knew they had to do something. But what could they do?
One way that the Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) is adapting their summer outreach is to refocus their student canvassers on fundraising to sponsor literature mail-outs to small towns in their territory. The initiative is called #TinyTowns4Jesus, and the goal is to raise enough funds to send packs of GLOW tracts and copies of The Great Controversy to people living in small towns in Colorado.
Ronny Nalin has been appointed the new Geoscience Research Institute (GRI) director effective August 1, 2020. He replaces retiring director Jim Gibson.
On July 9, 2020, the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s General Conference Executive Committee met virtually to receive the name of G. Alexander Bryant, the recommendation for division president, from both the North American Division’s nominating committee and executive committee. Bryant was confirmed in a vote of 153 to 5.
The Paradise, California, community understands the long-lasting recovery of a catastrophic disaster. The Nov. 8, 2018, Camp Fire burned 95 percent of the town. Now, in Paradise and across the nation, the impact of COVID-19 shelter in place is burning through check books and savings. But for those in the Paradise area, there is some good news. “The church burned down, but our members are still standing, and meeting the needs of others,” explained Steve Hamilton, senior of the Paradise Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Unity. Justice. Community. Peace. That’s what the demonstration on June 3, 2020, in Los Angeles, California, was all about as about 300 people gathered to pray, march, and connect. It was the first time Southern California Conference (SCC) churches organized such an event with a diverse group in every sense of the word: age, gender, ethnicity, and more.
On June 21, the La Sierra University class of 2020 had a chance to safely gather and celebrate their achievements with a “Drive-Through Celebration” organized by the university. For more than two hours beginning at 8:30 a.m., nearly 200 grads with their families and friends paraded in their vehicles on a guided route throughout the school’s campus. Faculty, staff, and students, all with face masks in place, lined the roadside and grassy median, waved congratulatory signs, and cheered them on.