News Briefs for August 31, 2018
News reports from Germany, Loma Linda University, Nashville, Tennessee; the Southern Asia Division of the denomination; Papua New Guinea; the General Conference of the denomination and Albania.
A devout Adventist has opened up about setting a speed record on the German Autobahn in a luxury sports car. Radim Passer, the owner of a Bugatti Veyron, drove the car at a record speed of 250.1 mph down a stretch of the Autobahn that does not have speed limits. Although he accomplished the feat in 2015, he opened up about the experience on video on Motor1.com this week.
According to a report on the Loma Linda University Health website, Jonathan Sackett, a fourth-year medical student at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, was picked from a pool of 115 applicants to participate in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Medical Research Scholars Program for the 2018-2019 academic year. Sackett is the first student at Loma Linda University to participate in the program.
Ed King, a former guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd who helped write several of the group’s hits including “Sweet Home Alabama,” died last week in Nashville from cancer at the age of 68. King, a former Adventist, was featured in the North American Division film shown at the 1980 General Conference Session. He and his wife were going to a small church in New Jersey at the time.
Pastor Gerald J. Christo, who served as president of the denomination’s Southern Asia Division from 1980 to 1990 and was a veteran leader of the Adventist Church in India, passed away on August 30. Adventist Today received word from Dr. Gordon Christo, his son, who asked that readers remember the Christo family in prayer.
The Papua New Guinean (PNG) government’s environmental protection authority has declared a protected area that includes two Adventist institutions and a denominational campground. Variarata National Park includes Pacific Adventist University (PAU) which will now protect the abundant bird and animal life found around the campus. Mount Diamond Adventist Secondary School forms part of the eastern boundary, while the Bautama mangroves and Bootless Bay, the Central Papua Conference’s campgrounds, are included within the southern boundary. The government has asked the PAU School of Science and Technology to collaborate in preserving the biodiverse mangrove community within the protected area. The school is collecting basic data sets for future, more detailed research to focus on preservation of the mangrove communities as a means of helping mitigate climate change. This also opens up other lines of future research.
Darrell Patterson, an Adventist who worked for the Walgreens chain of pharmacies in Orland, Florida, and was fired because of refusing to work on the Sabbath, has appealed his case to the United States Supreme Court. The massive corporation refused to provide an accommodation that would allow Patterson to observe the Sabbath and maintain a similar level of employment, and won the case in lower-level courts. The denomination’s General Conference legal office believes that the Supreme Court will hear his appeal during the term that begins this fall.
The denomination’s Central German Conference and the local Adventist church in Chemnitz, Germany, have issued a public statement calling for the community to find ways for peaceful coexistence and to overcome hatred following a deadly knife attack and subsequent violent clashes. The statement recalled the “round table” meetings that helped with the reunification of the former east and west republics in the country, and advocated that similar “round tables” could be again useful to “come to terms with the content of the protest.” The statement was based on the Bible admonition for pursuing peace with everyone (Hebrews 12:14). It asked that each person turn away from any kind of mental and physical violence and deplored the increasing violence as well as the inability to solve existing conflicts without violence.
A summer camp is being operated by the German branch of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) for Roma children in Albania. The camp program included tutoring in school subjects, as well as many social and sporting activities. The goal is to continue to encourage the children to go to school. The number of school drop-outs in Albanian Roma children is very high.