At 4 p.m. PDT/7 p.m. EDT on May 22, 2019, university students from across North America will attend the fourth “Is This Thing On?” (ITTO) live-streamed conversation during the annual Adventist Christian Fellowship Institute. Those gathered will have the opportunity to engage with Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders from the North American Division (NAD) during a 90-minute livestreamed conversation. Sharing comments from the conversation on social media, especially Twitter and Facebook, is encouraged during the event.
The dialogue with Dan Jackson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America; Alex Bryant, executive secretary; and Randy Robinson, treasurer, will be held at the Life Adventist Church of Berkeley, California.
“Our church only becomes stronger when we talk to each other, pray with each other, and learn from one another,” said Jackson.“I look forward to an open dialogue on the issues important to young people. It’s especially exciting to be with our friends from public universities.”
“Having this type of dialogue with Adventist young people from public colleges and universities is a first for us, and we are really looking forward to hearing what they have to say,” said Bryant.
This will also be the first “Is This Thing On?” for Robinson, who is looking forward to answering questions on finance and how the church works. “In the mission of the division, stewardship is an important issue,” Robinson said. “I look forward to talking about my philosophy of ministry, . . . and promoting efficiency.”
The program is unscripted; questions will be taken primarily from the live studio audience. Subjects will likely includethe Bible, young adults in the church/society, church policy, Adventist lifestyle, race relations, and more.
The young adult audience featured during the ITTO live event will primarily be attendees of the ACF Institute. According the website, ACF is about following the mission of God through the Seventh-day Adventist Church on college and university campuses in Bermuda, Canada, Guam-Micronesia, and the United States. “ACF is a ministry of students, by students and for students, supported by local Adventist churches and resourced by Adventist Conferences, Unions and the North American Division. It includes concerned parents, faculty, pastors, chaplains, church leaders, church members and hundreds of volunteers.”
The event will be hosted by Julio Muñoz, associate director of the NAD Office of Communication, and Mylon Medley, news writer/news producer and assistant director of the NAD Office of Communication. Those in the audience and watching online are encouraged to use #NADNOW.
The first Is This Thing On? Event, held on March 14, 2017, drew more than 23,000 viewers, with hundreds of questions and comments pouring in during the event and directly after. The second event on December 2, 2017, at Oakwood University drew 11,300 views and about 2,000 reactions and posted comments, which included 975 questions and statements regarding the conversation. More than 80,500 Twitter accounts were reached through almost 400 tweets and retweets. The third event, held on May 12, 2018, at Walla Walla University, drew almost 8,850 views, with 1,200 comments, reactions, and shares on Facebook alone.
—NAD Office of Communicationkmaran Mon, 05/20/2019 - 14:28
On Friday, May 17, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act (H.R. 5). The bill, if it were to become law, would extend protection to gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals across a broad spectrum of U.S. civil rights laws. This would include employment, housing, public accommodation, and social services.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned that this legislation would further erode the religious liberty of faith communities and their members. This bill makes no allowance for communities or individuals of faith who hold traditional views of marriage and gender.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church believes that every human being, regardless of their beliefs or choices, is created in the image of God and thus deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. We recognize LGBT individuals often suffer unjust discrimination and are in need of legal protection.
Unfortunately, in attempting to provide protection for some, the Equality Act unnecessarily infringes upon the rights of others.
The way forward means addressing the concerns of both the LGBT and religious communities. We believe there is a better approach, one that builds upon the civil rights protections offered in the Equality Act by also reaffirming the First Amendment religious freedom rights of people of faith.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church reaffirms its biblical interpretation of marriage, gender, and our long-held commitment to the separation of church and state. The Seventh-day Adventist Church calls on Congress to pass legislation that guards the civil rights of all Americans, while unequivocally protecting the right of faith communities to live, worship, and witness according to their convictions.kmaran Fri, 05/17/2019 - 06:21
Archaeology is integral to understanding past cultures and informing present society, but excavations attract thieves and the work itself leaves behind its own scarred history. A new endowment aims to help change things.
The Lawrence T. Geraty Community Archaeology Endowment was established last year at the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), based in Alexandria, Virginia. The main purpose of the endowment is to prevent damage to excavation sites in the Middle East and spur local ownership of cultural heritage while creating economic opportunity. Geraty, the endowment’s namesake, is a past president of ASOR, president emeritus of La Sierra University, and a long-time archaeologist who co-founded the Madaba Plains Project (MPP), a collection of three major excavation sites in Jordan—Tall Hisban, Tall Jalul, and Tall al-‘Umayri.
Endowment organizers have set a first phase fundraising goal of $50,000. Thus far about $30,000 has come from individual donors including Geraty and his wife Gillian, their family members, and archaeology colleagues.
“That my name would be connected to this timely initiative is most rewarding,” Geraty said. “Too often American archaeologists have done great field work, even published their results, but left the actual sites themselves to deteriorate without signage and a plan to care for them in perpetuity. Such a fund fills an important void in archaeology. It’s a byword that archaeological excavation is destruction, but with this new endowment, hopefully it will become known for preservation.”
“The site that consistently draws the most visitors is Tall Hisban, or biblical Heshbon. It is where our [Madaba Plains Project] got started, and where four of five MPP directors cut their teeth in archaeology. The site is owned by the government and has been singled out by the Department of Antiquities as a major touristic destination in Central Jordan,” said archaeologist Øystein LaBianca, professor of anthropology at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and director of the Tall Hisban Cultural Heritage Project.
LaBianca added that the endowment will “provide an on-going signal to our host community and the local government that we stand with them in preventing the destruction and looting of the site and in making it a destination for tourism and a source of income and other benefits to the local community. In making this sort of long-term commitment, we are setting a new standard for projects in Jordan and the wider region.”
Ahmad AlMousah, board president of Selah, a nonprofit established in Jordan to raise awareness of and protect cultural heritage, noted the significance of community involvement. “When you want to protect archaeological sites, you should start with local communities, because if communities are involved, they will care and feel proud of their heritage,” he said.
LaBianca, Geraty, archaeologist Doug Clark, director of La Sierra’s Center for Near Eastern Archaeology, as well as Larry Herr, professor emeritus of Burman University in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada, and Randall Younker, director of the Institute of Archaeology at Andrews, were involved in establishing the three sites throughout the decades, beginning with Hisban in 1968. The Madaba Plains Project celebrated its 50th anniversary last year with events at several locations and culminating in a celebration for last November’s Archaeology Discovery Weekend at La Sierra University.
For further information about the Lawrence T. Geraty Community Archaeology Endowment, visit https://multi.madabaplains.org/the-lawrence-t-geraty-community-archaeology-endowment/.
— Darla Martin Tucker is director of public relations for La Sierra University in Riverside, California.
kmaran Wed, 05/01/2019 - 11:32
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