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AT1 Notes


We are delighted that the long-awaited AT1 gathering is here at last! Whether you are in Portland with us or you are following AT1 updates on one or more of our Adventist Today platforms, this AT1 Notes hub aims to provide you with materials to help you better benefit from what our AT1 presenters are sharing. Come here for notes, questions and other resources to accompany each presentation as we focus on the theme “Christ Challenges Culture.”




Christ at the Center of Adventist Today

2019 Theme: Christ Challenges Culture

Friday — 7 pm 

Dan Linrud

President, Oregon Conference, Gladstone OR

Title: Loving Well

Scripture: 1 John 4:16-21

For Reflection & Interaction:

  • Do you have someone in your life who identifies as LGBTQ? How has that relationship  broadened your understanding and increased your kindness?
  • Why does it often take an adverse event in healthcare or death (expected or not expected), to bring about healing in difficult relationships?
  • When someone starts to unfairly judge, or worse yet, use hateful words to label people and take action against them, what are you going to do to change the rhetoric or stop the unethical and illegal actions?

Friday — 7 pm

Dilys Brooks

Associate Chaplain, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda CA

Title: Dancing With Anger

Scripture: Ephesians 4:20-27

For Reflection & Interaction:

  • Often anger says more about your internal state than it does about the person or circumstances you’re angry at. Hold up a mirror. What’s going on?
  • In today’s world, it seems socially acceptable to be angry at everything. What is Jesus saying to you about that right now?
  • In your anger, you can make some life-altering decisions that have real, disastrous consequences. If you’re addicted to anger, consider an anger management seminar or become voluntarily accountable to a coach or friend who will help you choose a more productive path.

Sabbath — 8:30 am

Jennifer Deans

Pastor, Living Faith Church, Chantilly VA

Title: True Christians

Scripture: John 13:34-35

For Reflection & Interaction:

  • Surface talk is safe, and protects you from going deep in conversations with others when often-times that is what they crave (to know and to be known). Is this something you want to work on?
  • When you realize life is fragile and you have no idea what’s around the corner, how do you treat each encounter with others?
  • In a culture where fake news, being snarky, and attacking people who don’t think/feel like us seems to be the norm, how does Christ challenge us to be different?

Sabbath — 8:30 am

Karl Haffner

Vice President for Student Experience, Loma Linda University CA

Title: Lust

Scripture: Matthew 5:27-30

For Reflection & Interaction:

  • What have you and your partner found most helpful for enjoying a meaningful intimacy?
  • Pornography is everywhere and easily acessible. What safeguards are you putting in place to not let it draw you away from a healthy sex life?
  • How do you keep from straying into legalism as you relate to others and their sexual preferences?

Sabbath — 10:30 am

Kendra Haloviak Valentine

Professor of New Testament Studies, La Sierra University’s HMS Richards Divinity School Riverside CA

Title: Afraid? No Faith?

Scripture: Mark 4:35-41

For Reflection & Interaction:

  • Are you aware that Jesus sees you at all times? That he is looking at you with favor? That he will see you through anything that threatens to swallow you up?
  • Fear seems to be the primary motivator in so many human interactions today. What are you doing to accept Jesus’ daily invitation  to “fear not”, and influence your world to do the same?
  • It would understandable if our interactions outside the church were fear-motivated, but when we find that the conversations inside the church are primarily motivated by fear, doesn’t that tell us we’ve taken our eyes off of Jesus? Why do we allow that to happen?

Sabbath — 10:30 am

Alex Bryan

Mission Identity Executive at Adventist Health, Roseville CA

Title: Motives

Scripture: Matthew 5:8

For Reflection & Interaction:

  • When you hear “pure in heart,” what do you think of? Naive? Perfect? Detached from real life?
  • What will it take for you to feel like you can accept Jesus’ invitation to be transparent?
  • What areas of your life need to be more “full-hearted or all in?”

Sabbath — 2:00 pm

Joey Oh

Associate Pastor for Administration at Loma Linda University Church, CA

Title: Us and Them

Scripture: Matthew 12:30

For Reflection & Interaction:

  • Are you the kind of person who needs an enemy to operate most effectively? Do you need someone whose faults you can point out, compared to your fine traits? How’s that working for you?
  • Are you really genuinely happy for people when they tell you about their professional successes, their exciting vacations, etc., without being envious, or turning the conversation back to you?
  • Are you willing to pursue the truth in your strained relationships with others even if it makes you uncomfortable?

Sabbath — 2:00 pm

Chris Oberg

Senior Pastor, La Sierra University Church, Riverside CA

Title: Lifestyle

Scripture: Matthew 5:48

For Reflection & Interaction:

  • Jesus said not to look on the outside of the cup, but more importantly, to consider what’s on the inside. How can you be less interested in appearances and more interested in winsome character traits?
  • Why do we think it’s okay to drink alcohol (or indulge in any other traditional SDA no-no), and hide this from church friends just to avoid judgement?l Why can’t we be transparent?
  • Why do Adventists still grade each others’ sins like the Catholics (whom we criticize) and think sins can be sorted into “only human” and  “unpardonable sin” categories?

Sabbath — 4:00 pm

Emily Whitney

Spiritual Discipleship Pastor, Summit Northwest Ministries, Post Falls ID

Title: Sabbath

Scripture: Mark 2:23-28

For Reflection & Interaction:

  • What does the Sabbath mean to you? Is that what you want it to be? Why?
  • Does your church experience add value to your Sabbath, or take away from it? Explain.
  • Sabbath seems to be a growing topic of discussion in the wider Christian community. Are Adventists at the table of those conversations? Why not?

Sabbath — 4:00 pm

John McLarty

Senior Pastor, Green Lake Church. Seattle WA

Title: Rich Friends of Jesus

Scripture: Luke 8:1-3

For Reflection & Interaction:

  • When you purchase something, do you ever think of who made that item and how much they are getting paid? Do you consider if they are enslaved? How should we see some of the “bargains” that retailers advertise?
  • What would Jesus be doing if he walked on earth today to alleviate the plight of the poor? Would he visit a city mission, theGates Foundation or some other non-profit?  Would he lobby the US Congress to change policies?
  • As you serve someone in need, do you ever think, “Jesus, is that you?” Matthew 25.

Sunday — 8:00 am

Michaela Lawrence Jeffery

Pastor, Athens Church. Athens GA

Title: Vain Worship

Scripture: Matthew 15:18-20

For Reflection & Interaction:

  • It’s easy to say, “We like innovation.” But when it actually comes to changing things, well that’s another story. What has been your experience with changing the tried and true? What did you learn?
  • Remember the old chorus, “May my steps be worship, may my thoughts be praise, may my words bring honor to your name.” Do you live with a secular part of your life, and a sacred part, or is it all blended? Is everything in your daily life a form of worship , or just parts of it?
  • In Adventism, have we created tamper-proof traditions, and unassailable fundamental beliefs, and left no room for mystery or present truth?

Sunday — 8:00 am

Don Veverka

Community Relations Manager, Whitman Place, Walla Walla WA

Title: Grief

Scripture: John 11:18-35

For Reflection & Interaction:

  • Are you aware of the stages of grief?  Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance? Have you considered that someone’s response to you (or the church) has more to say about the stage of grief they are in than the circumstances at hand?
  • Is there generational grief that Boomers, GenXers, Millennials and Gen Zers’s are dealing with as a cohort based on their shared experiences? Does that help you be more sympathetic (less judgmental) of each group?
  • Have you observed the different ways people process their grief? Introverts? Extroverts? Sanguines? Melancholics? Cholerics? Phlegmatics?

Sunday — 10:30 am

Brenda Billingy

Associate Director, Ministerial Association, North American Division

Title: The Final Exam

Scripture: Matthew 25:34-40

For Reflection & Interaction:

  • Are you playing the church game: saying all the right things, doing all the acceptable things, maintaining a stellar reputation? Or are you following Jesus wherever he leads, which most of the time feels messy and challenging and goes without recognition?
  • What is Jesus calling you to do as a result of AT1? Does he want you to keep doing what you’re doing, or is it time to step things up? Is he asking you to step out of the boat and do something new and intentional? Or are you seemingly being led out into the desert where you have to cling to God’s promises and be faithful to the One who made you, saved you, and is offering to walk through the valley with you?
  • Are you ready to follow Jesus who challenges the culture in which you live and work, without holding back and playing it safe?

Respondents to Each Presentation

Marlene Ferreras

Associate Professor of Practical Theology, La Sierra University’s

HMS Richards Divinity School Riverside CA

John Brunt

Pastor, Washington Conference, Seattle WA

Author, Retired Theology Professor and Church Administrator

Scripture Reader

Linda Emmerson

Professor of Philosophy, Walla Walla University, Walla Walla WA


Nicholas Zork — Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – New York City NY

KC Hohensee — Drummer – Loma Linda CA

Justin Jeffery — Keyboard – Athens GA

Michaela Lawrence Jeffery – Vocals – Athens GA

Elia King — Electric Guitar – Estes Park CO

Leanna Arredando — Vocals – Rancho Cucamonga CA

Jason Decena — Electric Bass – Columbia MD


Please take time to get to know our exhibitors. They are here to help us apply the Christ-challenging concepts being shared by our speakers this weekend. One of our AT1 goals is that we would be “Doers of the word, not hearers only,” (James 1:22) as we go back to our circles of influence and concern.

Photos Being Taken

We have a media team taking pictures and videos of participants up front and people in the audience. We will be placing some of this material on our Adventist Today website and other media to help us remember the event. Every effort will be made to use shots that are respectful of everyone. Thank you for your understanding.

AT1 Planning Team

There isn’t enough gratitude that could be expressed for the planning team of AT1 and the larger, amazing group of people that are serving during our inaugural gathering. Their vision, resourcefulness, tenacity, and kindness is amazing.  — Paul Richardson

Chariolett Johnson — Venue & Registration Director

Stefani Leeper — Promotions Associate Director

Bjorn Karlman — Promotions Director

Greg Leno — Production Director

Tim Blackwelder — Program Director