News Brief October 31, 2014
by Jeff Boyd
Adventist Today regularly provides a summary of stories that we have decided do not require in-depth reporting, but our readers may want to be aware of.
NORTH AMERICAN DIVISION
Adventist Physicians Working in Liberia Speak on Ebola
After working together in Liberia, Dr. Gillian Seton and Dr. James Appel were in the U.S. recently to attend the Global Healthcare Conference at Loma Linda University (LLU), reports The Sun, a newspaper based in San Bernadino, California. Seton, an LLU graduate, has been working in Liberia since February, and she believes the media hype is hurting relief efforts because fear has led to a reduction in the transport of needed supplies, reports KESQ-TV, the local ABC and CBS affiliate in Palm Springs, CA. Seton can be seen in the initial photograph in a video distributed by the North American Division (NAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church – https://vimeo.com/108797800. Appel, another LLU graduate, has been a missionary doctor in Chad for the past decade and more recently has been working with Seton in Liberia. Appel can been seen online answering questions about Ebola at KHQ 6, the NBC affiliate in Spokane, Washington – https://www.khq.com/story/27167506/6-questions-missionary-doctor-returns-from-epicenter-of-ebola-outbreak. Seton plans to return to Liberia, while Appel will be returning to Chad.
Islamic Professor Speaks on Peace at Oakwood University
Dr. Mahmoud Ayoub gave two presentations on the Quran and peace for the 2014 Ahl al-Kitab Lectureship sponsored by Oakwood University's Center for Adventist-Muslim Relations and the Huntsville Islamic Center, reports AL.com. "Salaam is doing something positive – building up the Earth to make it a holy, safe place to make it the abode of God," Ayoub is reported to have said. Ayoub is professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut and emeritus professor of Islamic Studies and Comparative Religions at Temple University. Ayoub has written fifteen books, including Studies in Christian-Muslim Relations.
Adventist Church Releases Women's Study Bible
The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Women’s Ministries department released the Woman’s Bible, the first study Bible specifically designed for women by the Adventist Church. The Woman’s Bible uses the New King James Version and offers more than 100 commentaries, study materials and profiles on major and lesser-known female biblical characters. All articles were written by Adventist women members, biblical scholars and pastors, according to a release from the Adventist News Network (ANN).
Vegetarian Diet May Lower Sperm Quality
A vegetarian diet is correlated with reduced sperm levels and quality, reported Loma Linda University researchers at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. The four-year study found “that vegetarians and vegan diets were strongly associated with lower sperm count compared to people who ate meat…. In addition, they had a lower average sperm motility, with a third of them active compared to almost two-thirds in meat eaters,” notes Renal and Urology News. A Harvard University study “found that a diet high in fruits and vegetables could impact fertility due to the consumption of residual pesticides,” reported the same article. In summary, although “a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables can protect against many illnesses and can prolong life, it appears that it may also harm fertility.” The Adventist Review adds, “The five-member research team suspects that the blame rests with the use of soy-based meat substitutes and a deficiency of vitamin B12, which is found in meat.” In a follow-up article in the Adventist Review, Dr. Eliza Orzylowska, the study's lead author clarifies, “It’s a very preliminary study and not clinically significant, so to get this much press surprised me.”
Nonprofit Gives Moms Handmade Gifts
Warm Hearts Warm Babies is “a nonprofit formed by a group of volunteers who knit, stitch, sew and crochet everything from booties to blankets for premature babies all over the state” of Colorado, reports the Denver Post. The group meets once a month at the Brighton Seventh-day Adventist Church to stuff dolls and animals, make quilts and cut patterns for clothes. “The group also makes burial clothes for newborns and takes them to hospitals.” Warm Hearts Warm Babies started in 1998 in a volunteer's home, and it has expanded with additional groups meeting in Loveland, Arvada and Colorado Springs. Each month the nonprofit distributes thousands of items “to hospitals, doctor's officers, day cares, foster homes, shelters, pregnancy centers and area clothing pantries.”
Huguley Hospital Recognized for Excellence
Texas Health Huguley Hospital Fort Worth South recently received two honors: Pathway to Excellence designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and a Gold Seal of Approval for inpatient diabetes care conferred by The Joint Commission. Huguely is the first hospital in two local counties to achieve the diabetes certification, and only 53 of 649 hospitals in Texas have received the nursing excellence designation.
Adventists Found to Have Highest Certainty in God's Existence
Of the forty-three largest faith groups in the United States, Seventh-day Adventists have the highest certainty in God's existence, according to the Pew Research U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, reports Religion News Service. Adventists were followed closely by Pentecostals (black), Assemblies of God and Jehovah's Witnesses. However, regarding a “personal God,” Adventists drop to fifth place. In the two least confident categories—agnostics and atheists—there were still a small percentage who were “absolutely certain” there is a God, even a personal God.
Conference on Liberty and Conscience Held in Romanian
The Department of Religious Liberty of the Romanian Union of the Seventh-day Adventist Church organized a conference on religious liberty, which was held in the Romanian Palace of the Parliament. The event was attended by the foreign affairs minister, the minister of education, ambassadors, parliamentarians, academicians, and leaders of several denominations.
ADRA Partners with USAID in Madagascar Food Program
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is partnering with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in a five-year, $75 million food security program in Madagascar. ADRA states the goal is to directly benefit 264,380 men, women and children by reducing “vulnerability and food insecurity among households in the nation’s central and southern regions.” More specifically, the “program aims to improve health and nutrition, increase sustainable access to food, improve disaster preparedness and response and improve natural resource management.”
Adventists in Jamaica Praised for School Food Program
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Chester, St. Ann, Jamaica, are providing meals twice a week for students at the Chester Primary School. Adventist Church members began the program in April in order to assist children attending school without breakfast. “Merline Ingram, who is one of the organisers, said: 'We put everything together. We prepare egg, mackerel, bread, fried dumpling, callaloo, porridge, juice, fruits, and sometimes a baked item,'” reports the Jamaica Observer.
Adventist University is named Argentina’s first ‘Healthy University’
River Plate Adventist University (RPAU), a Seventh-day Adventist school in Argentina’s state of Entre Ríos, was recently awarded an official certification as the first “Healthy University” in the country. The school is now the first of its kind to receive such a title by government health officials in the South American nation of 42 million, reports ANN. Dr. Horacio Gimenez, coordinator of Non-Communicable Diseases Control in Entre Rios, said his goal was for other universities to reach the same status. “We would like them to start promoting a healthy lifestyle not only in their campuses, but also in the communities around them,” he said. RPAU has more than 2,500 students from 50 countries and offers 30 undergraduate and graduate degrees in health sciences, business, education and theology.