After last fall’s horrific shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, our North American Division administrative team reminded us: “The United States was founded on the promise of religious freedom and when one faith group has this right taken away, we all suffer. Nothing is more sacred than the right to worship our God in the safety of our sanctuaries with those we love.” We are only three months into a new year and another faith community, this time on the opposite side of the world but still our brothers and sisters, are reeling from the appalling violence committed upon them in a place considered a destination of refuge — their house of worship.
The NARLA Religious Liberty Summit, to be held on May 17-20, in metro-D.C. area, will be an exceptional opportunity. Not only will the traditional religious liberty advocacy training, domestic and international issues briefings, and legislative and judicial updates be offered, but this year the event is host to the U.S. Department of Justice’s timely workshop “Protecting Places of Worship Through Education and Dialogue.” This seminar educates participants on how to prevent and respond to hate crimes that target religious institutions and fosters dialogue to strengthen relations between government, law enforcement, and faith communities.
"We think this would be an excellent resource to equip local congregations as to not only how to protect their own churches, but how to serve as their neighbor’s keeper, so all may bow their heads and lift their hands to God without fear," said event organizer Melissa Reid, North American Religious Liberty Association associate director.
"For those unfamiliar with the North American Religious Liberty Association, we’re the advocacy arm of the NAD Public Affairs & Religious Liberty ministry. The Summit is an opportunity for church members to play an active role in the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s religious liberty advancement efforts," Reid explained. "This year’s four-day event will provide a truly remarkable experience."
Individual registration is $125 and space is limited to the first 50 guests, so early registration is encouraged.
We pray you’re able to join us May 17-20 for this year’s Religious Liberty Summit, "Where Freedom and Action Meet."
Here is a closer look at the event schedule:
kmaran Tue, 04/02/2019 - 16:20
On Sunday, March 3, 2019, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada (SDACC) Board of Directors elected Paul Musafili as its new treasurer and Rose Jacinto to serve as undertreasurer. Musafili will take over the position held by Ulysses Guarin, and Jacinto will fill the position vacated by Musafili.
Mark Johnson, president of the SDACC, remarked, “The SDACC Board of Directors, with regrets and respect, received the retirement of Ulysses Guarin, SDACC treasurer. I have deeply appreciated his skill and wise counsel.”
Musafili has served as undertreasurer for the SDACC since 2014. Prior to this he served in the Quebec Conference. He assumed his new responsibilities on March 1. Musafili states, “It is my honor and privilege to serve the church in Canada. I know it is a significant commitment and I need your support, prayers and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to build upon what has been accomplished by my predecessors.”
Jacinto has worked with the General Conference Auditing Service (GCAS) since 2001, most currently as audit manager. “I am thankful for this opportunity to serve the church in a different capacity. I pray God will continue to guide me daily,” Jacinto said. She will begin her new role on March 19.
“I have worked with both of these individuals and know them well and respect their work," Johnson added. "I believe that they will be a blessing to all of us throughout Canada and to our work at the national headquarters.”
The national headquarters of the SDACC oversees seven regional districts that serve 72,000 members, 500 congregations, 43 schools, various media ministries, and humanitarian organizations. Their mission is to help people understand the Bible to find freedom, healing, and hope in Jesus.
— Office of Communication, Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canadakmaran Mon, 04/01/2019 - 15:25
Message magazine is partnering with regional conference Personal Ministries directors and leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Touch 10K Challenge to impact the lives of 100,000 people in major cities across the United States. On Sabbath, May 4, 2019, members from Seventh-day Adventist churches will take to the streets in urban areas to touch the lives of people with prayer and a special edition of Message.
“Central to our effort is our desire to meet and touch people with the love of Jesus Christ,” says Carmela Monk Crawford, Message editor. “Through this outreach, we hope to create friendships and relationships that will grow.”
The Touch 10K Challenge is an evangelistic outreach modeled by Vandeon Griffin, North American Division’s associate director of Youth Ministries, and former Personal Ministries director for the South Central Conference. As a pastor, Griffin led a similar effort in his local church, mobilizing members to make 10,000 connections in both Shelbyville and Gallatin, Tennessee. Two years ago, regional conference administrations voted to support the model division-wide.
“This year we’ve upped the ante by seeking to make contact with 100,000 people in just one day — 10,000 in 10 major U.S. cities,” Griffin said. The goal for 10 cities has already been surpassed as church leaders and members in 14 cities have signed on, including Atlanta, Birmingham, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Reno (NV), Riverside (Calif.), Sacramento, St. Louis and Tucson.
Crawford says that instrumental to the wider participation in this year’s Touch 10K Challenge has been Colin Brathwaite, Personal Ministries director for Allegheny East Conference. He and other regional conference and union Personal Ministries directors have been the coordinating force behind the effort, she added. The team includes Leon Bryant (Lake Region), Gary Collins (Central States), Alvin Freeman (South Atlantic), Kennedy Luckett (South Central), Byron Dulan (North Pacific Union) and Virgil Childs (Pacific Union). The effort has also garnered the support of NAD Adult Ministries, and Literature Ministries.
Crawford, Griffin, Braithwaite, and all their partners hope more Adventists will accept the call to go out into the community to pray with people and distribute copies of Message on May 4. “What an opportune time to meet your neighbors and encourage people in your community,” says Brathwaite. “With the blessing of the Holy Spirit, we are hoping this will be a great experience for all who participate.”
To sign up, visit Touch10K.com.
— Celeste Ryan Blyden serves as vice president for strategic communication and public relations for the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and is editor of the Columbia Union Visitor.kmaran Thu, 03/28/2019 - 13:06
The leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America is shocked and saddened by the recent violence that took the lives of 50 worshippers as they celebrated their Friday prayers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. What should have been a quiet time in worship quickly transformed into a time of despair, fear, and pain. Our prayers go out to all those impacted by this senseless act of hate. We ask all our members to pray for the families of the victims, and to reach out to their local Muslim communities to affirm their right to worship as they see fit.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has always been a strong supporter of religious liberty and it is in times like these that our voices need to be heard loud and clear in supporting our brothers and sisters of other faiths in their time of need. The right to worship is a basic human right. When one group is violated, it impacts us all.
Acts of hate serve to destroy our communities and drive wedges of discontent between different cultures and faith traditions. Let us all serve as beacons of light to destroy the hate that darkens our world. Let us serve our brothers and sisters in their time of need. Just as the Good Samaritan served someone of a different faith, let us “go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37, KJV).
Daniel R. Jackson, President
G. Alexander Bryant, Executive Secretary
Randy Robinson, Treasurerkmaran Tue, 03/19/2019 - 09:53