News reports from Chicago, the General Conference, the North American Division, Atlantic Union College and Loma Linda University.
More than 6,000 teachers from the Adventist schools at all levels in North America were in Chicago the first week of August for the 2018 North American Division Teachers’ Convention. They came for three days of keynote speakers and 420 workshop options designed to leave them more committed to cultivating a culture of excellence and introducing students to Jesus. Schools have already opened the new year in some places, while others will open in the next week or two.
Adventist churches around the world are scheduled to focus this Sabbath (August 25) on the End It Now campaign against abuse of children and women. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 1 billion children, aged 2–17 years, have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence or neglect in the past year. And a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control in the United States showed that 1 in 3 women have experienced some form of physical abuse by a spouse. Adventists will be urged to not turn a blind eye. Raquel Arrais, associate director for women’s ministries at the denomination’s General Conference, explains why an annual Sabbath is necessary. “There are so many people suffering silently, thinking the Adventist Church doesn’t care. But the Church does care. Observing End It Now Emphasis Day is one tangible way our congregations globally can help to raise awareness in the community, showing that we serve a God of justice and a God of love.” This year’s theme is “Words That Wound: The Trauma of Emotional Abuse.” A variety of resources are available at www.enditnow.org.
The North American Division of the Adventist denomination announced that Jere Wallack, former director of the NAD’s Church Resource Center (CRC, later known as “Vervent”), and co-founder of Sonscreen Film Festival, passed away on Aug. 17, 2018. Wallack was retired from denominational service and living in Arizona with his wife, Nancy. He is survived by his wife, sons Kurt and Kent, and several grandchildren.
Atlantic Union College will conclude its last program next week, six months after announcing plans to close. According to local newspaper, The Telegram, the school lost degree-granting ability on June 30 after a five-year conditional approval from the state of Massachusetts expired. AUC initially closed in 2011 due to severe financial difficulties and the loss of accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It reopened in 2015 without accreditation. As it only offered two bachelor degrees (Religion and Theology) and a handful of professional certificates, AUC found it difficult to recruit students. Low enrollment was not helped by the school’s unaccredited status which meant that students were unable to access financial aid to study at AUC.
According to a news story on the Loma Linda University Health website, the impact of Adventist dietary teaching on the evolution of global dietary practices and, in particular, the growth of the popularity of vegetarianism, is explored by an article in the academic journal Religions. The lead author for “The Global Influence of the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Diet” is Jim E. Banta, PhD, MPH, associate professor at Loma Linda University School of Public Health.