News Briefs for Friday, December 7
News reports from Newbold College, Columbia Union Conference, Washington DC, Australia, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; the Philippines, Jamaica and Berrien Springs, Michigan
From Naomi Gritt, Adventist Today Campus Representative at Newbold College in Berkshire, England: Every week, the Newbold Homeless Action Group drives to London to help the homeless. As it is getting colder now, they need it more than ever. The van is packed with people, soup and hot beverages, and most importantly: warm clothing. The group gets split up and dropped off at different places in Central London, so everyone can cover a different area. Once the groups find the homeless they offer them clothes, food, drink and have a conversation. Many of them are alone on these streets and do not have anyone to talk to.
On the 10th of November, the action group decided to organize a charity concert to raise money for the homeless. Many Newbold-based church members prepared songs for the audience to enjoy. Entry was free, but there was a bake sale after the concert where the audience was able to buy soup, cakes, cookies, and many other baked goods. The group raised just over a £1000 (over $1,300).
According to Visitor Magazine, Viva GPS Caravan meetings were held across the Columbia Union conference throughout November. The caravan featured speaker/evangelist Alejandro Bullón and Rubén Ramos, the Columbia Union’s vice president for Multilingual Ministries. It made 24 stops and aimed to motivate and educate attendees about the essential role small groups play in carrying out the church’s mission. Ramos aims to increase the number of small groups around the union from 900 to 3,000 in 2019. “The number of baptisms is not the important thing,” says Ramos. “What matters most is that the members get involved in mission.”
Tomorrow (Sabbath, December 8) is the annual Christmas celebration for the Southern Asia Adventist Association in the Washington DC area. There will be a prayer breakfast at 9:30 am, followed by the Sabbath School Lesson Study by Krupavaram Meesarapu at 10 am, a Traditional Christmas Pageant at 11:30 am, and Fellowship Meal at 12:30 pm, and then Christmas Praise and Music by Daniel Prabhakar and Ensemble. The event will be held at Eglise Baptiste du Calvaire Church, 10002 Riggs Rd, Adelphi, Maryland 20783. For more information call (301) 793-2061 or 778-0187. The association includes the large number of Adventist immigrants from India and neighboring nations who live in the Washington metro area, but people of all backgrounds are welcome.
The Adventist denomination in Australia continues a strong partnership with Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), an inter-denominational organization that works to prevent substance abuse. This is a partnership that goes back 180 years and in which Adventist co-founder Ellen White once played a key role. The organization’s annual meeting was held in October and the Adventist Record, journal of the denomination’s Australian Union Conference, recently announced that four Adventists were elected to the officer group of the WCTU as as president, vice president, treasurer and director for pastoral care.
More than 30 multi-generational teams from Adventist congregations across the United States participated in the Growing Young Summit in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, recently. They went home with practical insights and strategies to make their local churches attractive to young people and to help all generations to successfully work together. Growing Young Summits were also held this Fall in the Pacific Union Conference and the Mid-America Union Conference. For more information go to www.facebook.com/GrowingYoungAdventists
A Center for Digital Evangelism is being set up by Adventists in the Philippines. It will work in collaboration with Adventist World Radio (AWR) connecting with people who respond to radio programs, providing them with online Bible studies and leading them to baptism and discipleship. It will use social media with sites like Facebook, WhatsApp, Youtube, Instagram, and others. AWR gets large numbers of phone calls and text messages each day from its radio programs and wants to make sure these listeners and seekers “will not fall through the cracks,” but will continue their spiritual journey with support and friendship from a Center worker or volunteer. The Center will begin operations in January.
Pastor Everett Brown, president of the Adventist denomination in Jamaica, and Aston Barnes, former treasurer of the West Indies Union Conference, were among 206 individuals accorded national honors on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II for 2018. The appointments were presented by Governor General Patrick Allen at Kings House on National Heroes Day in Kingston. Brown was given the Order of Distinction at the rank of Commander for his outstanding contribution to religion. Barnes received the Order of Distinction at the rank of Officer for his contribution to the Ministerial Fraternity and to Social Development, Welfare, and Philanthropy.
Last Saturday night, December 1, Rajan Daniel died very unexpectedly at home. He was well known as leader of the immigrant community from India in Berrien Springs, Michigan, where Andrews University is located. He leaves behind his wife Vimala C. Daniel and two daughters, Sabeula Bates and Lynda Daniel-Underwood, their husbands, and five grandchildren. Viewing is at Allred Funeral Home on December 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. The funeral will be at Pioneer Memorial Church on December 16 at 9 a.m.