News Briefs for February 23, 2018
News reports from Uganda, Washington D.C., Jamaica, Columbia, Maryland; Yuba County, California; Thailand, Southern Adventist University and Loma Linda University
Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni addressed a gathering of thousands of Adventists in the country last Saturday. In the presence of Elder Ted Wilson, the president of the General Conference headquarters of the Adventist denomination, Museveni challenged members to embrace wealth creation. According to Uganda’s New Vision newspaper, Museveni called on Adventists to “Work towards improving your household income. Being poor in Africa, a continent God endowed with resources, is not being a good Christian.”
In the wake of this week’s Florida school shootings, US Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Ben Carson, has told Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) news that America needs to do a better job of protecting children from gun violence. “Right now, we need to protect the kids – how do we protect them? We know how to protect everybody else; why can’t we protect them?” asked the Adventist former neurosurgeon. “Guess how hard it would be for that guy (the shooter) to get inside of a football stadium or even into this building and yet (with) our most precious commodity, our children, you can get in there,” he said.
In other Carson-related news, The Philadelphia Tribune reported on February 21 that the HUD’s inspector general has begun reviewing the role Carson’s family has played at the agency. The review was requested by Carson himself after the Washington Post reported that HUD officials had expressed ethics concerns about Carson’s son and daughter-in-law’s involvement in an HUD listening tour in Baltimore last summer.
Alvin Wint, a professor at the Mona, Jamaica-based campus of the University of the West Indies, challenged an audience at the Adventist-owned Northern Caribbean University to make Jamaica “positively exceptional again.” The Jamaica Observer reported that Wint was speaking at a recognition ceremony for Adventist workers. Wint called on Adventists and the larger Christian community to address social and economic instability by providing community dispute resolution, parenting training and financial management outreach across the nation.
This year’s eHuddle (“e” stands for evangelism) gathered the Adventist denomination’s North American Division Evangelism Visioning and Leadership Team from February 19-21 at the NAD headquarters in Columbia, Maryland. The first afternoon of the event focused on ministering to young Adventists. Jake Mulder, co-author of the book, Growing Young presented about engaging young people in church. In addition, Pastor Shantel Smith, one of the #GYA Certified Speakers, called on Adventist leaders to empathize with Millennials, listen to their views of church and engage their interest in discussing difficult topics.
A February 2 article in the Sacramento Bee reported that Bertram Hiscock, a UC Berkeley graduate, had committed suicide in the Yuba County jail. Hiscock, who was raised as an Adventist, had made three attempts at suicide in the facility during his 77 days of incarceration there. The English literature graduate and former theology student had been jailed after police arrested him for placing his mother in a chokehold and walking her down a road. “The police were called, and although his mother explained that Mr. Hiscock was mentally ill and in crisis and requested that he be taken to a hospital for psychiatric care, the police arrested Mr. Hiscock, charged him with kidnapping and false imprisonment and booked him into the Yuba County jail,” said a court document. A lawsuit has been filed by Hiscock’s father and brother against Yuba County and other defendants. The lawsuit, filed in late 2017, claims negligence and wrongful death. It also claims violations to Hiscock’s constitutional rights to medical and mental health care.
The New Zealand-based Indian Newslink site reported that an Adventist pastor in Bangkok, Thailand represented the denomination at a January 19 interfaith meeting organized by a UN-affiliated NGO called Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL). The event emphasized shared values contained within religious scriptures of different faiths. At the event, Adventist Pastor Virendra Arora addressed the teachings of Jesus saying, “The founder of religion should not teach from his own knowledge but on the basis of that which the person has received from heaven.”
Swedish American conductor Herbert Blomstedt will be in residence at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee from March 5-7. The conductor laureate of the San Francisco Symphony will attend as a guest of the Eugene A. Anderson Organ Series. Each evening, Maestro Blomstedt, an Adventist, will present a free event, open to the public. The Chattanoogan.com reported that events will include a hymn sing, a lecture and a screening of his performance of Johannes Brahms’s A German Requiem with the Danish National Symphony.
The 10th Annual Women’s Conference hosted by Loma Linda University Health Women and Loma Linda University Health will take place in the Riverside Convention Center on April 13. The event will provide the latest information on health and wellness for women and will feature health screenings and relevant exhibits. Click here for more information or to register.