News reports from Allegheny East Conference (NAD), Ghana, Loma Linda University Church, Trans-European Division. 

Something to Talk About

Sabbath Seminars, a Sabbath School class at the Loma Linda University Church, is studying the subject of LGBTQ+ in the Adventist community. The class seeks to better understand a greatly dismissed, ignored and excluded part of our community. Sabbath Seminars has a voted position on gender inclusiveness, but it does not speak for its home congregation.

The next class is on Jan. 22, 2022, at 10:30 AM PT (US and Canada), and is available via Zoom. Participants must register in advance to participate through Zoom. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

To register in advance for this meeting, click on this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUqd-qgpjwsHd1IL0moa37af0LiiWfiQl8X.

The schedule for the series is as follows (past presentations can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/showcase/llucsabbathseminars; for password, email Mailen Kootsey at mkootsey@gmail.com):

Jan. 15, 2022: “Examining the Biblical Texts About Homosexuality – Towards the Unity of
the Body of Christ.”

Jan. 22, 2022: “Biologic/Genetic Basis of Reproductive Development.”

Jan. 29, 2022: “The Psychology of LGBTQ+ Identity, and the Relation Between Religiosity
and Heterosexism.”

Feb. 5, 2022: “Adventist LGBTQ+ Members’ Stories.”

Feb. 12, 2022: “Regarding LGBT+ Members, Where Does Adventism Go From Here?”

Keeping a Song in Their Hearts

The Trans-European Division’s Youth Ministries department hosted an Adventist version of the music competition Eurovision. Called “Vision,” the music competition featured 14 video entries from 13 countries throughout the division, including England, Greece and Serbia, to name a few.

The program was broadcast live on Jan. 8, 2022, on both the TED YouTube channel and Youth Ministries Facebook page. Viewers voted for their favorite songs using the live.voxvote.com platform.

The “Sweden” and “Finland” entries placed first this year, as both received 101 points. To hear the song from Sweden, visit this link: https://www.facebook.com/TEDyouthdept/videos/613851089723960. To hear the song from Finland, visit https://youtu.be/NrtH8dgKX9g.

In League with Justice

Jayne Johnson, an Adventist who has made a career in government service, was recently appointed as the director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging in the governor’s office for the State of New Jersey, United States.

Her assignment from the governor is to dismantle unequal and unfair policies and procedures in the state and local governments based on race, ethnicity and other protected characteristics such as gender and disabilities. Her office will seek to expand opportunities for communities of color and the poor.

Johnson previously served as a senior policy analyst at The Council of State Governments Justice Center in New York City. There she provided strategic direction in launching the Justice Reinvestment Initiative of the U.S. federal government.

Nothing to Sneeze At

The Trans-European Division (TED) hosted a COVID Symposium, “Vaccines, Freedom and Loving Our Neighbour,”on Jan. 19, 2022. Two medical doctors, Dr. Peter Landless and Dr. Carlos Casiano; a theologian, Ganoune Diop, PhD; and an attorney, Jennifer Woods, explored different aspects of the COVID crisis and debunked the most dangerous coronavirus myths. The symposium can be viewed on the TED YouTube channel.

Too Big a Hoop

Ghanaian gospel music star Celestine Donkor has made known why she left the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) church despite her wild love for it. Referred to as the gospel soldier, the Agbebolo singer said in an interview with NY DJ on BTM Afrika that she couldn’t survive the Adventist church because the church wouldn’t allow her to wear earrings.

“I attended a lot of churches because of my singing. I even attended SDA [churches] because of the songs they sing. They were in my neighborhood and I loved it when they sang, but I left because they wouldn’t allow me to wear my earrings,” said Donkor. “Yes, I left because I love my earrings, in fact, the big ones. So I couldn’t survive there, but I loved it there.”


(Photo: Contestants from Sweden and Sweden placed first in the TED’s music competition, “Vision 2022,” an Adventist version of the international song contest Eurovision. Photo via TED Facebook page.)

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